Written by Kate Hall from Ethically Kate
My hair isn’t washed, my face is bare, I haven’t brushed my hair today, and it’s not because I have been too busy or am unwell. I’m a low-maintenance person; so why the heck am I writing a natural beauty blog?
Although wearing makeup is a rarity for me, it’s still in my bathroom cupboard.
When I wear makeup, it’s special. It’s also natural and eco-friendly. That’s right; you can be glamorous without having to put harmful things (for your body and the planet) on your face.
For all my fellow makeup rookies, here are my tips on natural beauty.
CHECK THE INGREDIENTS
Humans are clever, but when you read the ingredients on some makeup products, it’s hard to understand why we would put such harmful chemicals on our skin! You don’t have to be a beauty professional to know the main nasties to avoid. Here are a few to dodge.
Parabens: These are synthetic preservatives used to make makeup last, but with the side effect of endocrine-disruption. Although research is still being carried out to determine their exact effects and the FDA haven’t labelled parabens as official ‘no-nos’, it’s recommended you avoid ingredients that have a ‘-paraben’ suffix. The beauty industry is incredibly aware of parabens, so generally paraben-free products are labelled as such.
Fragrance: You’ll find the term ‘fragrance’ used in most lotions and potions. This sneaky term describes an ingredient that emits a smell but is most often a harmful chemical. Ensure the exact fragrance used is listed, so you know what chemical the fragrance is or if it’s a simple essential oil.
Petroleum: Found in many mascaras, this ingredient is produced at the same time as oil for our cars! Avoid petroleum products if possible, to avoid the risk of skin conditions like dermatitis.
WASH YOUR FACE
This may sound patronizing, but if you’re a fledgling like me it’s important to remember the basics. Especially since our skin isn’t used to make up, washing before applying any makeup is a great way to ensure your skin is fresh and clean, plus makeup is easier to apply to a clean face.
Keep it simple with the Oh Natural multipurpose Fair + Square Soapery Daily Detox Face + Body Wash, or try my personal favourite: the Ethique Deep Green Face Cleanser. These sustainable face wash options are made in Aotearoa New Zealand, they thoroughly wash your face, and come in home compostable packaging too.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Whenever I go away with a friend, my makeup bag is usually less than a quarter the size of theirs. I aim for quality over quantity when it comes to a lot of things; makeup included. I’ve discovered that you don’t need much to complete a simple but effective look. The key is to find a few products that have multifunctions and will never let you down.
I’d recommend starting with three natural beauty products. A foundation. A mascara. A blush/lip tint.
From the Oh Natural makeup range, here are the top three products I’d recommend.
A little goes a long way, and you won’t feel like you have a cake on your face. The Inika Organic Liquid Foundation is certified organic and contains ingredients such as Argan oil and Aloe Vera Leaf Juice which nourish your skin while you’re wearing makeup. It melts onto your face easily, blending quickly as you apply for a light coverage.
I love a multipurpose product, and this one ticks up to three boxes if you need it to. Pop some colour on your cheeks, your lips, and even your eyelids if you’re feeling fancy. These colour pots have very few ingredients compared to other makeup products, and none of them are the nasties I mentioned above. The size of the pot is also exceptional for travel and popping into your handbag when you’re on the go. Plus you can reuse the pot for keeping jewellery and other keepsakes for traveling.
If I could have just one makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be mascara. As a light-eye-lashed person, mascara is my most used beauty product. I highly rate the Eye Of Horus Vegan Mascara, especially the Bio Lash Lift. It’s not flaky like some natural mascaras, and the brush is an ideal shape to optimise volume and eyelash separation.
Sure, I only recently learnt what contouring is and my makeup collection can fit into one hand, but using less makeup has allowed me to focus on ensuring the products I do use are excellent. No matter how much makeup you wear or how often you wear it, choosing eco-friendly makeup products is key to a healthy planet and body.
Main Image: Nectar Photography.
We’d love to hear about any tips or tricks you have for minimalist makeup so leave a comment below if you’ve got any to share!