On the Nose

Of all the senses, smell is perhaps the most personal. Affected by personal preferences and prejudices, influenced by memories and experiences, modified by personal chemistry: one person’s heavenly scent is another’s stink bomb. This is why it always troubled me that practically every green beauty review out there speaks of the smell of the products being reviewed in the most superlative of terms. Sure, smell is one of the big advantages of green beauty: instead of a chemical fragrance, natural products smell like the very precious ingredients that make them so effective. Still, this very naturalness can be a problem.

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Let It Glow

Two things should be obvious from the title of this post: a) I have a Frozen-obsessed 5-year-old and b) I’m going to talk about highlighters. Unlike primers or blush,  both of which I didn’t really like before making the switch to green beauty, a highlighter was something I could get on board with from day one. In a way, a highlighter is make-up for the lazy: it can be used on a bare face or over foundation, it can contour without Kardashian-level of commitment and it can be used to brighten eyes, enhance cheekbones, lift eyebrows, enlarge lips and give an angelic glow. What’s not to like?! As a highlighter early adopter, I have tried a number of products, both conventional and green, and I am convinced that green beauty offers some of the best formulas and pretties shades of highlighter out there, especially when it comes to the all-stars in this review. 

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The Replacements: Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream

In making the switch to green beauty, some products are particularly hard to replace. In this series of posts I will  highlight the treasures discovered during my search for products that work as well, if not better, as their conventional counterparts.

In the annals of green beauty products that just never quite measure up to the conventional alternatives, two products prove especially impossible: mascara and sunscreen. Now, finding clean mascara that works well is a pain, but, truth be told, I am not hugely bothered about using dirty mascara (though I have finally found a clean favorite). After all, I hardly ever use it and, ultimately, the ingredients in many high-quality “dirty” mascaras are not all that terrible. Sunscreen, though is another story. We are expected to wear it daily, it covers most of our bodies or, at the very least, our entire faces and a lot of the dirty sunscreens have truly nasty ingredients, hormone disruptors being particularly dangerous culprits.

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Primer Directive

Making the switch to green beauty helped me find a new appreciation for a number of products I never previously used. One such product is primer. Though touted by makeup artists as a necessary step for ensuring a flawless base for foundation and perfecting the skin, I don’t wear foundation on a daily basis (in fact, I only wear a full face of foundation on the most special of occasions) and it just seemed to me as just another unnecessary product to coat my skin and clog my pores. Now though, having discovered natural primers, I am in love: not only are these products beautifully effective as a base for makeup, because they contain a score of skin-loving ingredients, they can actually make foundation unnecessary.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love LBF

I am a cynic. Well… Sort of. It’s not that I view the world through a distrustful gimlet eye or don’t get irrationally excited about life’s many gifts. I just dislike hype and have a (I think healthy) mistrust of cheerleader-like over-enthusiasm. Which is why I was incredibly reluctant to try the products from La Bella Figura. Yes, the majority of green beauty blogs lavish them with overwhelmingly glowing praise and yes, I have heard that he company founders are hugely popular and beloved by the community. Yet, somehow, all of this praise and love made me wonder whether the company’s products were more sunshine, rainbows and group hugs and less effective, science-backed formulae. Still, I am a green beauty obsessive and I felt I simply had to try at least one LBF product, if only to confirm my darkest suspicions.

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The Replacements: Absolution Micellar Water

In making the switch to green beauty, some products are particularly hard to replace. In this series of posts I will  highlight the treasures discovered during my search for products that work as well, if not better, as their conventional counterparts.

If you have ever read a beauty or makeup blog, you probably have heard of Bioderma’s micellar water. A cult product touted by every makeup artist, model and person who has set foot in a French pharmacy, it’s a gentle and effective makeup remover and cleanser. It’s also great for the conscientiously lazy: you know, us folks who know that it is crucially important to wash our faces before bed, but who can’t quite muster up the energy after a long day. A micellar water makes it easy: just a quick swipe and your face is cleaned, toned and refreshed. As conventional ingredients go, those in Bioderma aren’t actually too bad, they’re just… not that great. After making the switch to green skincare, every time I used Biderma I would feel the need for a second cleanse, simply because I didn’t want these not-great ingredients coating my skin while I slept.

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