What Dirty Secrets Are Lurking In YOUR Medicine Cabinet? [UPDATED]

Q: “If I came to your house and looked through your medicine cabinet and makeup bag, what would I find that would shock me?”

We get this question a lot, and we are always more than happy to answer it with complete candor because our approach to clean beauty has always been one that is inclusive and with an understanding that we all come to naturals at our own pace. This isn’t some kind of deliberate strategy we decided on—it’s how we feel and it’s how we behave. And yet when we say that we prefer the completely clean products we’ve switched to, almost without any exceptions, we’re telling the absolute truth. We hope that is clear.

Still, there are a few things I keep lying around—which is not to say I use them much—and I’m going to tell you what mine are, and why I still use them. Alexandra is going to do the same early NEXT WEEK (that’s the update: she needed a little more time on this), and we want YOURS in the comments. One thing I’d like to point out, though: None of these are things I use very often or over a large surface area.

1. My Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick

Reason: Because it makes my eyes pop in a way that no other lipstick, natural or not, can. It’s an organgey red, but not too orange, and actually really quite red, with maybe a bit of blue? I don’t know. I just know it looks great—especially on days when the rest of me doesn’t.

How often I use it: I wear it once a month, I’d say.

2. My CVS-brand topical antibiotic ointment

Reason: What can I say? I’m attached! I used to put this on any broken skin to help it heal quickly, but these days I barely use it. I have tea tree, manuka honey, and neem—great natural antibacterials, all—but it seems prudent to keep it handy, lest a child come over and step on a rusty nail or something.

How often I use it: Every couple of months.

3. A Degree antiperspirant in Shower Clean

Reason: There is no reason for me to still own this. Once I discovered Soapwalla deodorant (read all about it here and here), I stopped needing to cheat with industrial-strength antiperspirant on those days when I need to feel sure. It’s just not necessary, because the Soapwalla OUTPERFORMS Degree. Shyeah. Still, it sits on my desk at work. I don’t know.

How often I use it: Once a month or less when I forget to put on my Soapwalla or—gasp—lose it/run out.

4. Nars cream blush in Cactus Flower, which I use as a lipstick

Reason: I actually looked up the ingredients to this thing once and it scared the living daylights out of me, but the color is wonderful, kind of like the color of poppies (or cactus flowers, apparently) and until I find a naturals substitute, I will keep it handy for those days when I want that kind of a pop(py) on my pale face.

How often I use it: More often than I should. Once a week, maybe. For reviews of my favorite nontoxic lipsticks, click here and here and here.

5. Clinique Mascara

Reason: Habit, and the awesome wand. I lose sleep over the why-can’t-my-favorite-naturals-brands-make-a-freaking-mascara-that-doesn’t-suck question, but I currently use 100% Pure’s mascara in navy (by accident) and I love it. It doesn’t bleed down my face when I cry and it only moves if I touch my eyes when I’m really, really sweaty (like, Jivamukti-for-two-hours-in-the-summer sweaty).

How often I use it: Maybe once a month, probably less—especially since it’s not even waterproof.

6. Some cheap brand of hairspray so toxic it could choke a baby

Reason: Halloween

How often I use it: See above.

I alllllso would like to point out that the ones here I actually use are not about function, so much as aesthetics, which further proves that naturals work better than conventionals—they just don’t always have the prettiest red lipsticks.

And now you know all my dirty little secrets. Your turn!

54 Responses to “What Dirty Secrets Are Lurking In YOUR Medicine Cabinet? [UPDATED]”
  1. Elizabeth says:

    Have you tried Dr. Hauschka Volume Mascara? I am not joking when I say it’s a life changer…kind of like the soapwalla deodorant situation. For the first 2 weeks you use it, it stays quite wet on your eyelashes for about 3 minutes. So my method is apply one coat, let it dry and do something else, go back for the second coat, etc. etc.
    After those first few weeks though, it thickens and becomes the most amazing mascara on the planet. Better than Diorshow, better than BadGalLash, better than them all! And it’s SO good for your eyelashes too! It has made my eyelashes grow about 1/8 inch in the past few years. Hooray for Dr. Hauschka!! You must give it a try!

  2. Mary says:

    I’m like you, I have the bright lipsticks I can’t let go of. I have a Estee Lauder bright coral, and a couple NYX bright red colors. I only use them when I go out though. All of my everyday stuff is free of the bad stuff!

  3. Jenn says:

    My MAC Paint Pot in Painterly & Too Faced Shadow Insurance. This is my HG combo for keeping my eyeshadow lasting all day and giving me the color payoff I want. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to replace these with something natural.

    Also, my MAC Pro Longwear concealer until I can find something better and Benefit’s Powderflage to set under my eyes. I also keep a CG Lashblast Fusion Mascara. Mostly I keep the mascara for the wand. I’ve been using Gabriel Cosmetics mascara which is decent but to get clumps out and to get that extra lift and volume I need I finish it off with CG Lashblast. So I feel slightly better that I put on Gabriel’s first and then CG Lashblast…

    Oh and lastly Shiseido Natural Eyebrow pencil, also an HG. It’s so hard to find an eyebrow pencil that #1 goes on looking natural and #2 matches the color of my eyebrows! My eyebrows are a very dark brown, not a warm brown. So most browns don’t work and most blacks are too black. I know this list sounds horrible but my hair care and skin care is all natural (Face Naturals, Bubble & Bee, Dr. Bronner’s) and I use Gabriel Cosmetics Moisturizing liquid foundation and dual powder foundation to set.

  4. Juliana says:

    Instead of the antibiotic cream for quickly healing abrasions, I have found Burt Bee’s Res-Q ointment to work wonders.

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