Finding non-toxic makeup to replace what you are currently using can be very daunting. There are many choices out there, and also a lot of greenwashing (and pinkwashing) with cosmetics companies. I remember being excited to have found a brand of natural and organic makeup, so I bought a bunch from their line – only to find that a few of their products still contained toxic ingredients on my list to avoid.
Earth Lab Cosmetics is based out of Kelowna, BC, and all of their mineral make-up is free of toxic chemicals and parabens, and have no fillers or preservatives. They also have vegan and gluten-free products, and all of their stuff is handmade. Their mineral bases have no nano particles (which means that the minerals sit on the surface of the skin and never enter the blood stream).
The ingredients and no animal testing all get my stamp of approval, so it’s time to to put the products to the test! I had a friend help me with this review (I’ll call her CC) – she is currently using conventional makeup and is looking to switch to natural, non-toxic makeup. I have been using natural makeup for several years, so you can get a sense of our opinions and what kind of make-up we’re used to as a baseline.
Ingredients: Titanium dioxide, Iron oxides, and Ultra marine blue
Me: My first experience with mineral make-up was Bare Escentuals, and I really liked the coverage and “flawless” look I got with it. However, their old formulations got whopping scores of 7 in the EWG SkinDeep Database (scores of 7-10 mean high hazard). So how’d I like this one? It took me some time to get the application right. I used the same technique of application with a kabuki brush and applied it in circles on my face. But the first few times I did it, I used way too much powder and it ended up accentuating the fine lines on my face (agh!). I really liked how it evened out my skin tone, though. At the advice of experts from Earth Lab Cosmetics, I started using a teeny tiny amount (their suggestion was a dime-sized amount for your whole face, I would say I needed even less), and finally got much better results – more even skin tone and more of a flawless look (without lines accentuated!).
CC: For a mineral foundation, it didn’t give me as much coverage as I was expecting. I currently use a Maybelline stick as a concealer, and skip the foundation.
Ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Castor Oil, Carnauba Wax, Candelillia Wax, Ozokerite Wax, Vitamin E, Mica, and Iron Oxides
Me: I was really excited to try this eye liner because it is the one thing I will put on if I’m too lazy to wear any other makeup. However, the skin around my eyes is oilier, so pretty much every eye liner I have tried (natural or not) smudges easily. I have been using Korres eye liners for the past couple of years, and although I like them because they glide on easily, I definitely notice smudging within 3 hours of application. This Earthlab eye liner glided on just as smoothly which made putting it on so easy (I HATE hard eye liners that feel like you are digging into your eyelid!) – AND it actually stayed put through my entire workday! There was slight smudging by mid-afternoon, but it was much less than I’m used to! I also tested it on a very cold winter day shoveling snow, and then going inside and sweating (I hate the cold to hot temperature changes in winter, and my skin does too!) – the eyeliner stayed pretty much intact for a few hours before beginning to smudge. I was pretty happy with that since I know how greasy my eyelids are. This is DEFINITELY a winner for me and I’m sticking with this eye liner from now on!
CC: I really liked how smooth this eye liner went on. However I did find it a bit smudgy within a few hours, especially if you have oily skin around your eyes. Currently I use a Rimmel twist-up eyeliner.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Glycerin (Vegetable Glycerin), Sunflower Wax / Sodium Polyacrylate, Acacia Gum, Kaolin, Cocos Nucifera (*Organic Coconut Oil), Benzylalcohol / Dehydroacetic Acid, Iron Oxides, and Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract (*Organic Vanilla Bean Extract)*Made with Certified Organic Ingredients.
Me: I currently use either Korres or Tarte mascara (both more “natural” brands available at Sephora), and I found this one to be pretty comparable in terms of performance. It went on very smoothly, definitely no clumping at all. It stayed put through my workday and my cold to hot temperature test, just beginning to smudge after a few hours of coming in from the cold. Not a waterproof mascara, but I got pretty good wear out of it.
CC: This mascara went on really nice and smooth, and has an excellent brush. It did start to get smudgy after a few hours though. Currently I use a L’Oreal Butterfly Voluminous Mascara, and most often I use a waterproof kind.
I hope our experiences are helpful for some of you who are looking for good natural non-toxic cosmetics alternatives! As with many green alternatives – green cosmetics may not perform exactly like your conventional counterparts – because they don’t contain all of the nasty chemicals. And often it’s a matter of just getting used to something new or different. Keep trying until you find the right thing for you!
What Earth Lab Cosmetics product do you want to try?
(Disclosure: I received samples of Earth lab’s vegan lash mascara, vegan eye liner, and mineral foundation to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. The opinions expressed in this post are purely my own.)