5 Tips For Choosing Make-up That’s Good For You And The Planet
Written by Guest Contributor: Andrea Karr
I’ve worked in the beauty industry for more than seven years now, attending product launches, testing make-up and writing articles—and I’m still just as obsessed with beauty as the day I started. One thing that’s changed is the expectations I have for the brands that I’m willing to put on my face. I want them to be cruelty-free, kind to the environment and gentle on my skin, and I don’t want to sacrifice performance.
If you’ve also started to think about the impact of your beauty purchases on the world and your health, I have five tips to help you give your make-up bag a once-over and weed out the good for you from the bad. I’ve also included a couple of product recommendations from Nude by Nature, Australia’s No. 1 mineral make-up brand, that you can feel comfortable keeping in your beauty arsenal.
Tip #1: Choose brands that don’t test on animals—ever
In the United States alone, more than one million animals are held captive each year for use in experiments, plus an estimated 100 million rats and mice. I have two puppies (that look a little bit like rats, to be honest) and they are my whole world. The thought of them, or animals like them, being tortured for the sake of my vanity is excruciating. So I really appreciate when brands like Nude by Nature take a stand against animal testing and become PETA-certified, meaning they refuse to test on animals.
My Nude by Nature Pick: Synthetic-hair make-up brushes can work just as well as natural brushes—except they have the added benefit of being vegan and cruelty-free. Nude by Nature has more than a dozen vegan brushes, with the hero being the Flawless Brush, which is perfect for powder formulas from foundation to blush. It’s a winner because its fibres are ultra-soft, high-quality and characteristically hypo-allergenic.
Tip #2: Skew vegan more than not
How strict you are with this one will depend on your product needs and beliefs, but I find that it feels good when I can say that the brands I support are completely cruelty-free, meaning they don’t harm animals, period. Some non-vegan ingredients you can avoid are animal hair (try high-quality synthetic make-up brushes instead) and carmine, which is a red pigment derived from beetles that is typically found in colour cosmetics like lipstick. About half of Nude by Nature’s products are vegan friendly and the other half contain ethically sourced beeswax and/or lanolin whose production does not harm animals.
My Nude by Nature Pick: Like all Nude by Nature products, the Creamy Matte Lipstick is made with 100% natural ingredients. It comes in 10 shades, including my personal fave 09 Roseberry, and creates a beautiful, velvety comfortable wear without the use of carmine. It’s also packed with powerful active ingredients that moisturize and protect the lips—think Australia’s best-kept secret, Kakadu Plum, which is the world’s richest natural source of Vitamin C, as well as mango seed to condition and soften, plus castor seed oil to help prevent dryness.
Tip #3: Avoid ingredients that harm the environment
Yes, it’s a smart idea to skip plastic straws, use cloth bags at the grocery store and bring a reusable water bottle to the gym (have you heard the World Economic Forum statistic that by 2050 all of the plastics in the oceans will weigh more than all the fish?), but knowing what’s in your cosmetics and avoiding certain ingredients can also make a big difference when it comes to the health of our planet. There are many resources online that talk about these ingredients, some stating that cosmetic additives such as siloxanes, PEGs, phthalates and triclosan are persistent, meaning they don’t easily degrade in nature, and have the potential to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms up to toxic levels. Nude by Nature avoids all of these ingredients, as well as synthetic fillers and preservatives.
My Nude by Nature Pick: BB Cream is basically an all-in-one product for the face with skin-care and cosmetic properties. The Sheer Glow BB Cream is full of antioxidants such as Desert Date Oil, Kakadu Plum which is known for its abundant Vitamin C content and Quandong. It contains Phytomoist which is extremely moisturizing, containing a natural Hyaluronic Acid to help improve skin softness and fight visible signs of ageing.
Tip #4: Banish irritants
The blanket term “fragrance” on a label can stand in for thousands of different ingredients, some of them capable of causing allergic reactions or known to interfere with hormone function. If you don’t know which ingredients give your skin care and make-up its scent, you may wish to avoid those products altogether. Most of the Nude by Nature line is fragrance-free, but a few products—such as the primer and lipstick—contain blends of natural essential oils that are safe for sensitive skin and may even uplift your mood.
Nude by Nature also has a no-no list that include silicones, sulphates, phenoxyethanol, parabens, talc and bismuth oxychloride, which can have a negative impact on the skin such as possible sensitization, breakouts and allergic reactions.
My Nude by Nature Pick: Though it’s not waterproof (to be honest, I hate waterproof mascaras anyway because they’re so hard to remove and they dry out lashes), the Allure Defining Mascara features natural ingredients that are known to repel water (candelilla wax) and promote smudge resistance (acacia gum). The formula is also buildable, doesn’t flake and conditions with Pro Vitamin B5, plus it’s free of synthetic preservatives such as parabens.
Tip #5: Look for products with skin-care benefits
I want make-up that looks good (like, really good), gives me a natural finish and also, if it’s not too much to ask, will improve my skin while I wear it. That’s where high-performing natural formulas come in with benefits that go beyond the surface. Some personal favourite ingredients include soothing aloe vera, anti-inflammatory green tea, oil-absorbing kaolin clay, nourishing shea butter and moisturizing vitamin E, plus a mix of oils like avocado, jojoba and sweet almond.
My Nude by Nature Pick: Make-up primers for lips, eyes and face are my jam because they create an even base and help extend the wear of my make-up. Nude by Nature’s silicone-free Perfecting Primer goes that extra step because it contains vitamin A sourced from calendula oil to fight signs of aging, as well as antioxidants like green tea, Kakadu Plum and Vitamin E to protect the skin against free radicals. I also like that it feels moisturizing while you wear it.
Wanting to detox your make-up bag is a worthy goal, but remember that baby steps make a difference, too. You don’t have to toss every product you own if it doesn’t conform to your ideal standards (why waste?). Instead, each time you buy a new foundation, mascara or lipstick, give some thought to the brand’s cruelty-free stance and the impact of the product’s ingredients on the environment and your health. By this time next year, your entire routine could have a fresh new look.
Written by Guest Contributor: Andrea Karr