OK, so who’s been here: You all of a sudden have plans but you don’t feel quite day-to-night (or gym-to-out) equipped because, well, it’s Sunday and you didn’t think you’d need your red lipstick or whatever, and even though you don’t really wear perfume, you feel you could use a little pick-me-up but you don’t have that on you, either? So you book it to Sephora and wait semi-patiently while other girls in your predicament use those badly lit mirrors to apply germ-filled samples to their day faces until they feel going-out ready? Then, when it’s finally your turn, you fold over a cotton pad and think “This will double as a blush brush, sure!” and you smear some pink on your cheeks, and it looks ridiculous, and you are reminded, again, why this is never a good idea?
(Please don’t tell me I am alone here.)
Anyway, here’s a much better idea: Go to Whole Foods.
When I stopped using conventional cosmetics, I also stopped doing last-minute makeup application at Sephora. But I also thought I’d never find a replacement since there’s no natural-beauty chain (yet) and the very few places in New York where you can buy clean cosmetics in person aren’t centrally located, making the dash-in-dash-out move impossible.
Yesterday I’d gone to my usual Sunday morning class and showered at the studio, leaving me with soaking wet hair, no conditioner, no makeup, and a lunch (and then museum) date. It wasn’t like I was going out-out, but I was feeling a little blah and hadn’t brought anything with me except—and this was an accident—bright red lipstick and—and this wasn’t an accident—my new Lotus Wei aromatherapy sample.
I had a bit of time to kill so I went into Whole Foods to browse when it occurred to me: Whole Body! I love Whole Body! Some Whole Body sections are amazing (looking at you, Columbus Circle) but they’re all good enough if you ask me. I am wild about their new organics standards, they carry a great selection of many of my favorite lines, they have samples out of everything under the sun, including makeup, and the people who work the section are nice about letting you try anything you want. Genius. [UPDATE: I heard it from the horse's mouth that for anything in Whole Body, if there isn't a sample available you can just ask and they'll open one for you!]
So I popped into my regular, at Union Square, and when no one was looking, I sprayed my face with an Evan Healy toner, moisturized with some Juice Beauty, sprayed some John Masters Organics Sea Salt Spray in my hair, dabbed some vanilla on my wrists, and played with a just-opened sample of Dr. Hauschka blush, which I ended up buying because I liked it so much.
Now, I’m generally wary of store samples for obvious reasons (germs, and it’s weirdly embarrassing to apply things in public), but sometimes it’s just what you need. If nothing else, primping a little bit can change your mindset from “It’s downward-dog time” to “It’s interact-with-human-beings time” and you don’t need makeup to do this; I was wearing basically none at all. But the mere act of spraying something on my hair made me feel ready for anything. It’s pretty cool how these things work.
But back to the headline: We want to know from you: Where do you buy your natural makeup? Online? In person? If so where? Are you lucky enough to have an actual physical STORE in your town, like Los Angeles with our beloved Evolue?
After all that lead talk, it’s no wonder that our friends at Well+Good went on a natural lipstick hunt. We’ve had lipstick on the brain too. Below is their post “7 natural red lipsticks that perform”—got any to add to the list? (Note: Not all of these are truly clean—we’re looking at you Korres—but the author says as much.)
There’s nothing more classic than a strong, crimson pout. (At least in my beauty world.) But many vibrant-hued lipsticks are packed with lip-drying chemicals, “accidental ingredients” like lead, and mineral-oil bases meant to lubricate bike chains not your lips. I get that pigments are still primarily chemical- and insect-derived, but what about the other 98 percent of my lipstick?
Is it possible to find a red lipstick that’s both highly natural and high-performance? We put seven reds to the test:
Vapour Organic Beauty Lipstick, $22, www.vapourbeauty.com
Shade we tried: Siren Tryst 412
Best for: Creating a matte, bee-stung look.
This red weighs in somewhere between a lip balm and a stain, but the color lasts for hours and fades naturally and evenly. Even better, it comes in sixteen shades.
What’s in it: 70 percent certified organic ingredients, wildcrafted botanicals, no chemicals, and beeswax and jojoba for base ingredients. Made with wind power, and sold in sleek yet biodegradable packaging.
Christopher Drummond Beauty Creamy Lip Stain, $22.50, www.christopherdrummond.com
Shade we tried: Arouse
Best for: Those who want a true, bold red with wet-look color. The first application goes on sheer, but it layers to desired (smoking hot) intensity, and is surprisingly long wearing. It comes in a small compact with mirror and mini brush.
What’s in it: For a killer color, it’s a pretty simple ingredient list of mostly organic jojoba seed oil, aloe leaf gel, beeswax, pomegranate, and grape seed extracts, and vitamin E.
Korres Raspberry Liquid Lipstick, $22, www.korresusa.com
Shade we tried: 56 Red
Best for: Liquid-gloss lovers.
It slicks on like a liquid gloss with a wand and quickly dries to a lush lipstick finish, making it a good day or night lip product. Though its prone to feathering at the lip line, it keeps lips soft for hours.
What’s in it: Korres’ marquee ingredients are antioxidant raspberry and pomegranate extracts and certified organic acai oil. The product is also free of parabens, mineral oil, and propylene glycol. But if you consult the list of ingredients, you’ll see it’s not a chemical-free or a truly all-natural choice.
Get excited! Part three of our series is here, and this one’s a little different. We’ve already told you about our favorite loose powder and a liquid introduced to us by a makeup artist and makeup maven—now we’re going to tell you about another high-performing foundation that we discovered while we were writing the book.
We first learned of this line more than a year ago, and I instantly fell in love with their peony-pink lip-and-cheek makeup (see comment for details!). I like to just kiss the tube a few times for a rich, layerable and always-flattering blast of color, or I’ll sweep a little on my cheeks and then blend with a finger.
(In case you hadn’t already guessed, we’re both pretty low-maintenance, preferring products we can apply using nature’s best makeup brushes: our digits. The Narcissist is no exception.)
Like the lipstick, I apply it either with a clean finger or by sweeping the tube itself onto my face—under my eyes, down my nose, in the middle of my forehead—and then blending it out gently. The creamy texture mimics the feel of moisturized skin, so it doesn’t create a makeuppy look at all, but thanks to the mineral pigments, the coverage is superb. And the ingredients? Squeaky clean, of course. There’s organic oils, plant extracts, mineral pigment and a little beeswax. It never cakes or slips or smears and offers a glowing, dewy look. As with all naturals, you’ll have to reapply if you’re wearing it all day or all night, but it beats putting silicone on your face, thank you very much.
Oh, and for $38, we’re not sure a better value exists as far as foundation is concerned. This tube lasts forever.
Have you tried any stick foundations you love?
Bunch of stunners, no? Thanks to all of you who submitted pictures. We see lots of red lips, pretty eyes and great liner—among other things—and most of all, we have the proof we were looking for that naturals can be JUST as glam as conventionals, without any of the tradeoffs. Here, your many lovely mugs. And the winner is……. Rebekah Meyer, from Caldwell, Idaho!!!!! Big congrats Rebekah, we will email you with details.
Row 1 (left to right): Santana Benitez, Kaiserslautern, Germany / Sara Reistad-Long, New York, New York / Lauren Vandenberg (aka Siobhan’s cousin), Ottawa, Ontario /Autumn Whitefield-Madrano of The Beheld, New York, New York
Row 2 (left to right): Elizabeth Duszynski, Chicago, Illinois / Kristen Arnett of KristenArnett.com, New York, New York / Emily Southwood of imarriedapornographer.com, Los Angeles, California / Rebekah Meyer, Caldwell, Idaho
Row 3 (left to right): Katie Becker, New York, New York / Chatney Auger, Gaithersburg, Maryland / Taryn Wieser, Santa Barbara, California /Virginia Sole-Smith of beautyschooledproject.com New York, New York
Row 4 (left to right): Kristen Tischhauser and Rebekah Iliff of talkTECH communications, Los Angeles, California / Alyssa, Montgomery, New York / Helen Jung, Aliso Viejo, California
Row 5 (left to right): Jessica Lee Lafleur, Montreal, Quebec / Siobhan O’Connor, Brooklyn, New York / Anna Singer, New York, New York / Elizabeth Wegmann, Denver, Colorado
Row 6 (left to right): Anya Sarre of anyasarre.com, Los Angeles, California/ Tosha Arnout of essentiallybasic.com, Midway Utah / Karen Behnke of Juice Beauty, San Rafael, California / Kate Watson of Juice Beauty, San Rafael, California
Row 7 (left to right): Jalila Bouchareb of amaloils.com / (On right) Alyce King, Vancouver, British Columbia / Molly Steele of petrichorstore.etsy.com, Los Angeles, California / Liza Vadnai, Brooklyn, New York
Row 8 (left to right): Shelly Bulkley, Copperas Cove, Texas / Caitie, Toronto, Ontario / Kate Bowdren of towardsatori Tempe, Arizona / Amy Fulton, Salt Lake City, Utah
Row 9 (left to right): Stephanie Barrette, Toronto, Ontario / Emma Grady of pastfashionfuture.com, New York, New York / Melissa Lombardi, Fort Collins, Colorado / Hannah Sjostrom, Stockholm, Sweden
Row 10 (left to right): Lisa Jung, Aliso Viejo, California / Tai, New York, New York / Regan Herald, Thousand Oaks, California / Annie Newhouse, Dallas, Texas
Row 11 (left to right): Rebecca /Jenny Berglind, Uddevalla, Sweden / Kristen Cook, Tucson, Arizona / Aimee, Montreal, Quebec
Row 12 (left to right): Melissa Jochim of Juice Beauty, San Rafael, California / Alexandra Spunt, Los Angeles, California / Pleasant Wayne of pleasantwayne.com, Los Angeles, California / Jessa Blades of bladesnaturalbeauty.com
Lately we’ve been on a bit of a makeup kick. A couple of weeks ago I got a little emo about my relationship with makeup, and your comments were deeply moving and thoughtful, then I told you about our favorite new blush (slash lipstick). Next, we challenged you to give us your best, glammest clean-cosmetics face, and then Alexandra asked you to share your makeup horror stories with our friend Melissa Dahl.
Now, we’d like to tackle the most basic basics—the stuff we use to hide our zits, even out our complexions, and fake a good night’s sleep. In a word: foundation.
We’re going to do this in five parts, and the first one might raise some eyebrows (or crossbows!). Be gentle with us, and hear us out, because numero uno in the series is….
“Huh? Laura Mercier? But her line isn’t natural or organic—is it?” Heck no, but her loose minerals contain the same ingredients as almost any other mineral powder on the market, and hers is our current favorite. In fact, it’s the only reason we ever go to Sephora anymore! (No offense, Sephora—it’s just that your stores confuse people about what’s truly natural and what isn’t. Also, the perfumes make us kind of heachachy.) Like many other minerals lines, this one does contain bismuth oxychloride, so if you react badly to it, then this one probably isn’t for you. What we like about LM minerals are the colors and how finely ground they are—it just makes for a nice light touch, but with the same strong coverage minerals provide. As always, you must be very careful not huff the stuff. (One solution? Mix it with your moisturizer or face oil.)
What’s your favorite loose minerals line?
Come back Tuesday for the next!
Image of a pretty girl putting on powder (CC) from Flickr