Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Picks Part 1: Makeup

One of the most frequently asked question I get is..."What do YOU use?"  People know that they can come to us for soap, deodorant, insect repellent, body butters and more...but for the products that we don't make, are there some that I recommend?  Here I have created my full list of product recommendations from dish soap to mascara, complete with handy links.  If you're wondering about additional products or categories, write in the comments and I'll try to add them to my list.  Because there are so many different products and categories I've split this up in to a series.  So, here's Part 1:

While there are no certified organic options on the market, there are a few that come close.  Now, keep in mind that there are no perfect options.  There will still be mineral pigments, micas, or other ingredients that aren't organic, but I've poured over countless brands and ingredients lists to come up with these recommendations.  Ingredients-wise, they are the best available.  Now, do keep in mind that I have not tried all of these products, so I can't speak for how they will work for your particular skin.  However, most of these companies offer sample sizes that you can try before you invest in a full-sized product. 

My criteria

In addition to the obvious ones...parabens, fragrance, artificial colors, phenoxyethanol, ethoxylathed chemicals, propylene glycol, etc, here are my additional standards for choosing these products:
  • No Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • No Japanese Honeysuckle Extract
  • No dusts that pose inhalation hazards
  • No essential oils on my "avoid" list
  • Adequately and safely preserved
  • No carmine
I also tried to avoid titanium dioxide, although there are some products that do contain it.  (I have noted below if they do.)

Do keep in mind, just because I recommend one product, does NOT mean that I recommend the entire line. 


Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Creme Foundation
This is what I use on the rare occasion that I wear makeup. It gives light coverage and has a nice silky feel.  It also doesn't irritate my skin like a lot of foundations do.  Natural Joy Beauty offers samples for $1 so you can try different shades and find out what works best for your skin.  Another great thing is that it contains non-nano zinc oxide, and, while it doesn't officially boast an SPF, the zinc oxide naturally offers UVA and UVB sun protection.  No separate SPF face cream needed!

If you've ever talked to me about makeup, you know that I love Lauren's line.  She's local to me here in Utah, and I've spoken with her personally and know the extreme care she takes in creating her products and choosing her ingredients.

Miessence Translucent Foundation 
I have not tried this product.  It is a bit on the pricey side, but it also has a great ingredients list as far as makeup is concerned.  


RMS Beauty Un-Cover Up

I have not tried it, but it gets some great reviews. (Some shades contain titanium dioxide.) She doesn't list the ingredients on her website clearly for each product (just a master list of ingredients used overall) so here is an ingredients list that I found on another site for our perusal:
*Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (non-GMO), *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract. May contain [+/-]: Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499
*Certified Organic
Lauren Brooke Creme Concealer
This is what I would use on the rare occasion that I wear makeup.

Earth's Beauty Concealer
Really simple ingredients list!

Miessence Concealer
Also a really simple ingredients list.

Eye Shadow

Lauren Brooke Creme Eye Color

RMS Beauty Cream Eyeshadow


Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Eyeliner Pencils
(This is what I use.)

100% Pure Creamstick Eyeliner
I hesitate to recommend anything from 100% Pure because of their use of Japanese Honeysuckle Extract, among other issues (labeling inaccuracies, preservative issues).  However, this product appears to be good.  Lauren Brooke is my top pick, but if you couldn't do it for some reason, this would be okay too. 

Liquid Eyeliner

100% Pure Creamy Liquid Eyeliner
See above for my opinion on 100% Pure.


Real Purity 


Meisha Cream Blush

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek

Except for the "smile" shade which contains synthetic colorants.  Again, hard to find full ingredients listings on their website, so here it is:
For all Lip2Cheek except Smile: *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernal Oil, Tocopherol (non-GMO), Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Propolis Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract. May contain [+/-]: Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Mica CI 77019
Some shades do contain titanium dioxide.  You may want to e-mail RMS and find out if there's a shade you're interested in.


Miessence Lip Creme

Lip Colors by Lauren Brooke

Coastal Classic Creations

Lip Gloss

Botanical Lip Gloss by Lauren Brooke

Lip Liner

Lauren Brooke Lip Liner Pencils
*Note: some colors contain carmine.

I don't have any primers that I recommend.  That's because they are primarily used for loose powder foundations, which I don't recommend because of the potential to breathe in the mineral dust.

Nail Polish
A really tough one because even the "good" brands contain questionable stuff.  But, the bottom line is, you're putting paint on your nails.  It's a very unnatural thing in and of itself, so some chemicals are needed.  My standards for nail polish are completely different from those of my other makeup items because there are no nail polishes that would possibly meet the standards.

Aquarella is probably one of the best ingredients-wise.  However, it does take some special care to use it.

Honeybee Gardens is another option along the same lines.

Keeki Pure and Simple is another good one.  It's marketed more for kids and teens but can be used by anyone.

Finally, there's Scotch Naturals.

All of the above fall in to the water-based formulas that are somewhat high maintenance.  Adequate cleaning of the nail beforehand, doing numerous light coats, giving it a really long cure time, etc. And even then, it seems to quickly peel. 

If you're looking for a nail polish that acts more like a "regular" nail polish, I've been impressed with the Mineral Fusion brand that I found at Whole Foods. (Can't find it online for some reason to link to it.)  It dries quickly and is way easier to use than the watercolor brands.  The only downside is that it does contain some bad ingredients like phenoxyethanol. But it is at least tolulene-free. 

Any other categories in makeup?  Comment below and I'll do my best! If you'd like me to take a look at a product for you, I'll be happy to do so.  Please either post the ingredients list, or provide a direct link to the product.  

Tomorrow: Part 2--Cleaning Products


Christy said...

I am really waiting for part 2 because I don't wear makeup. However, I would like to know how Piggy Paints rank as a nail polish. My daughter really wants to paint her nails. Truth be told, I don't want her to use nail polish at all, but fear the total rebellion if I don't at least let her on special occasions.

limoncello said...

I have always wanted to give Living Nature cream foundation a try. Any thought on this brand? Thanks

Neha said...

Thanks Stephanie! Such great information! Two brands I was wondering if you had an opinion on--Acure Organics and Zoya Nail Polish? Here are links to one of the Acure Face Cleansers, and a Zoya polish:

You rock!

KW said...

Thanks so much for these recommendations, Stephanie! Just wanted to let anyone who tries to avoid animal products know that the Marie Veronique tinted moisturizer you mention above contains emu oil (which comes from emus who have been killed). I love Lauren Brooke's creme concealer and lip gloss, too!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great list! You might look at more of the Earths Beauty Line. Here is a link to their ingredient policy:
Ingredients are minimal: arrowroot for foundation powder etc. They work well. (I have no connection to the company.)

Anonymous said...

Have you reviewed The All Natural Face before? They have tons of shades and are vegan cosmetics with all of their ingredients clearly listed on their site. Do you have any info on their ingredient safety?

Julia Farkas said...

Hi, Thank you for your recommendations. I have been using Coastal Classic Creations so far for all my make-up needs. Do you have any recommendations for make-up remover?
I am particularly interested if you see anything wrong with the CCC makeup-remover called Coastal Moon Makeup Remover ( Here is the ingredients list from the website:
Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil; Daucus carota sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil; Helichrysum italicum (Helichrysum) Oil; Boswellia carteri (Frankincense) Oil; Phthalate-free, premium grade Lemon Verbena fragrance oil; Phthalate-free, premium grade Neroli fragrance oil.

Also, regarding brushes and tools, does it matter a lot what they are made of?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the info!!!
I'm curious what you think of piggy paint nail polish? (Link to the ingredients list below)
Also Juice beauty SPF products:
Thank you!!


Judi L. said...

Why no Jane Iredale?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Regarding PIGGY PAINT--Yep! It's a good choice, too. Not as great as Scotch Naturals, from what I can tell, but "better" than Mineral Fusion. It's going to be along the same lines as the watercolor paints, with the potential for easy peeling/chipping.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Regarding Living Nature Cream Foundation...Nope, they wouldn't make the cut for me. Titanium Dioxide is pretty high up on the list in their ingredients. It also contains talc and grapefruit seed extract, which I recommend avoiding. Full ingredients list: Aqua (water), Sodium PCA, Titanium dioxide (CI 77891), Jojoba esters, Mica (Cl 77019), Zinc oxide (CI 77947), Glycerin (vegetable glycerin), Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil**, Macadamia ternifolia (macadamia) seed oil ,Cetearyl wheatstraw glycosides (&) cetearyl alcohol (wheat straw extract), Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Iron oxides (Cl 77491, Cl 77492, Cl 77499), Talc (CI 77718), Citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract, Stearic acid, Cetyl alcohol, Sclerotium gum, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (tee tree) oil.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Regarding acure's hit or miss with this line. Some is okay, others not so great. The cleanser you linked to is decent, but not as pure and organic as ours. :) (Theirs contains potassium sorbate, which is a petrochemical.)

The link you provided to Zoya doesn't list the ingredients, so I am not sure.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for the heads up on the Emu Oil!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Regarding Earth's Beauty--yep, you'll note that I recommended their concealer. However, a lot of their stuff is loose powders, that I recommend avoiding. Their mascara is pretty good, except for the GSE. Their lip sticks and lip glosses are good though.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Regarding the All Natural Face...not such a hit with me. A lot of powders (which, I, again, recommend avoiding) and their liquid foundation contains the petrochemical preservative potassium sorbate, and the ethoxylated chemical ceteareth-6 Olivate! (Which can contain traces of carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane.) They don't make the cut! :)

Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Julia--Gosh, everything looks good but the fragrance in that Coastal Classic Creations product! Even though a fragrance is phthalate-free, it can still contain plenty of hidden and harmful chemicals. I would recommend any of our cleansers, and for any stubborn eye makeup, this instead!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Regarding Juice Beauty SPF...It doesn't meet my standards and I would recommend my official recommendations over this, due to the ethylhexylglycerin and other borderline kinds of chemicals. However, there are no huge red flags here.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Why no Jane Iredale? Well, lets take a look at their "Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream BB5"

Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) 20% Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Stearoxymethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Maltodextrin, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Fruit Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Pectin, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Sodium Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Root Extract, Lecithin, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288)

So, ethoxylated chemicals, GSE, JHE, many things wrong with this!

* Nancy * said...


I've been wondering about these two foundations:

Thanks for this post, very helpful!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Nancy--oh yes, Vapour! These are pretty good products and get great reviews. They do look like they contain titanium dioxide, but in low amounts. Good choice!

me said...

Hi Stephanie,

I wonder if you have any input about Signature Minerals' makeup.
Specifically, I am wondering whether their Kaolin Clay and Petal Pink finishing veil are safe[r].

Thanks so much!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Melissa--I don't recommend any loose powders, as there is a potential that these mineral dusts can become lodged in your lungs, leading to a host of respiratory problems.

Anonymous said...

Loved this blog post! What are your thoughts on Gabriel/Zuzu Luxe?? I really like ZuZu mascara & liquid eyeliner. What about pressed powder??
What about Vapour blush?


drake911opr said...

i use rejuva minerals. it ranks low on hazards on ewg. covers fairly well also

Sandy said...

Hi Stefanie,

What do you think about the nail polish from Butter london (

Here is a list of ingredients: Ethyl Acetate Butyl Acetate Isopropyl Alcohol Nitrocellulose Adipic Acid Neopentyl Glycol Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate Triphenyl Phosphate Stearalkonium Hectorite Diacetone Alcohol Citric Acid Dimethicone Benzophenone-1 MAY ALSO CONTAIN: Aluminum Powder Bismuth Oxychloride Black Iron Oxide D&C Red no.30 Lake D&C Red no.33 D&C Red no.34 Calcium Lake D&C Red no. 6 Barium Lake D&C Red no.7 Calcium Lake D&C Violet No. 2 D&C Yellow no. 11 D&C Yellow no.10 FD&C Yellow no.5 Aluminum Lake FD&C Yellow no.5 FD&C Yellow no.6 Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide Mica Red Iron Oxide Titanium Dioxide D&C Red no.17 FD&C Red no.4

Thanks! :)

* Nancy * said...

Thanks, for your response.
I've used their foundation for a few months and love the look & coverage.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie! Thanks for all the great recommendations and for all the hard work you put into this! I currently use the pressed foundation from Lauren Brooke. What are your thoughts on that product? I use her mineral eyeshadow, botanical lip gloss, eyeliner, and real purity's mascara and I love them all! Look forward to hearing from you!


Stephanie Greenwood said...

I prefer the creme foundation over the powder so there is no inhalation risk. The pressed powder is still a good choice, but the creme better in terms of safety, in my opinion. :)

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Rejuva looks pretty good--no titanium dioxide or micas. However, they didn't make my cut because it's a mineral-based loose powder that can become lodged in your lungs.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Zuzu Luxe isn't terrible. However, their mascara and liquid eyeliner contain the petrochemical preservative potassium sorbate and tocopheryl acetate, which you can read about here: So, they didn't make my cut.

Regarding Vapour big red flags there. It didn't make my cut because the Meisha and the Lip2Cheek were better picks, but, it's still a decent choice.

Rachel said...

Hi, Stephanie! Thank you so much for this post. I am concerned about the Lauren Brooke foundation because it has lime and tangerine essential oils. I heard citrus oils cause photosensitivity. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I currently use Lauren Brooke's cream foundation and like it, but would love to find a foundation with more anti-aging benefits. Any recommendations? What do you think of the Suki and NVEY ECO lines?

Anonymous said...

I use Miessence products and love them, but have not tried their cosmetics (no samples :(). Those of you have, what are your favorites?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Suki Tinted Active Moisturizer:

water (aqua), helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil, alcohol, cera alba (beeswax), vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, cetearyl (coconut) alcohol, butyrospermum parkii (shea) seed butter, corylus avellana (hazelnut) seed oil, borago officinalis (borage) seed oil, salix alba (willow) bark extract, lecithin, retinol, ascorbic (vitamin c) acid, phospholipids, sodium borate, acacia (arabic gum), xanthan gum

First of all, I'm not crazy about willow bark extract. It contains the xenoestrogen salicylic acid.

Second, not crazy about retinol added to a formula. You can read about it here:

Looking at NVEY ECO's compact powder, I notice that they also have salicylic acid. And also benzyl alcohol, that you can read about here:

Lauren Brooke remains my top pick! :)

Anonymous said...


I was hoping you could elaborate more on your avoidance of powders. I understand there is an inhalation risk associated with the particles that can lead to respiratory problems--what kinds of problems? If you hold your breath while and/or leave the area immediately after applying, would this help? I ask because I generally dislike cream/liquid foundations, as even the most natural ones cause my acne to flare up. Almost all my makeup is from Lauren Brooke, which I was happy to see on the list, but I gravitate toward powders for the reason listed above and because I am very oily-skinned and like being able to cut down on the shine with powder application. I only use cream concealer and occasionally foundation when I want more coverage. Thanks so much!

Sara A said...

Vapour Beauty has basil essential oil in it. I thought basil essential oil was on the avoid list when it comes to use on the skin, am I wrong? I was interested in their products awhile back but turned away because of that ingredient.

- Eye shadows: Do you solely recommend nothing but pressed and cream shadows due to the loose powder issue? Right now I'm using all loose powders because I haven't found any responsible products that are pressed or cream.

- Also, I wanted to let you know for the RMS eye shadow you listed, it directs to 100% Pure.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Stephanie for that info! I had no idea! That's why I like your site so much! :) I will stick with Lauren Brooke as well!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
R. Gratis said...

This post series is turning out to be very helpful. Thanks, Stephanie! I love to buy safer and more natural, but I have a difficult time wading through the ingredients lists or even finding the companies that sell the best products.

I'll be sure to give Lauren Brooke a try!

Brittney said...

How do you feel about Real Purity's foundation? Also, I know you didn't list any primers because of the fact that they are primarily used with powder foundations...I like to use primer with liquid foundation because it makes it last longer...any recommendations on primer? I have found some "natural" ones, but they all contain avocado oil...and I am allergic to avocados.


Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Jackie--avoidance of powders. Well, when you breathe in these mineral dusts, it's pretty much the same as breathing in drywall dust. These minerals become lodged in the lung like small rocks. Because the body cannot dissolve these powders, it tries to get rid of them using the cilia. However, if the particles can't be swept out by the cilia, they become permanently and deeply lodged in the lung. As the body tries to unsuccessfully remove the particle, inflammation builds as the immune system attacks the particle. This can lead to asthma, bronchitis, silicosis, emphysema, and even lung cancer.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Regarding the citrus oils in Lauren Brooke's foundation---the sun protection that the zinc oxide gives counteracts any effects that the small amount of citrus oils would have.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

The basil in Vapour Beauty is called Tulsi, or Holy Basil, which is a different plant than the basil that I recommend avoiding.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Brittney--I haven't found any primers that would meet my recommendation standards. (Or any from recent memory that would come close.)

Regarding Real Purity's foundation, it is a good one on the surface ingredients-wise, however, there is no apparent preservative that would prevent bacterial growth in the product. If someone lets me know otherwise, I'd happily recommend it.

Anonymous said...

I'm really loving these blog posts! These are a few products I'm curious about:

Herbal Choice Mari moisturizing foundation

Herbal choice mari mascara: (I'm thinking silver citrate is not a great thing)

also these eyeshadow sticks


Key27 said...

Hi Stephenie,

I have noticed that some "organic" bloggers have been raving about Alima Pure makeup.

What do you think about there line?

here the link -

I am curious about Revolution Organics as well -

Joy said...

For the person who uses Lauren Brooke Creme Foundation and asked about one with more anti aging, consider using the Lauren Brooke Organic Facial Serum before you apply the creme foundation. It will give you the extra anti aging you want and help the foundation smooth on very nicely.

Anonymous said...

hi Stephanie,
If you were to recommend a pressed powder, which is the best? Sometimes I need a bit of powder dabbed here and there over my foundation (I use miessence liquid foundation). I've looked at juice beauty's pressed powder but it has zinc stearate, which I'm not so sure about. And Lauren Brooke's has stericite, magnesium stearate, and capric/caprylic acids- are these ok ingredients???

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Either one of these would be fine. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you for posting this information! I can't tell you how helpful it is. I've switched to all "safe" products according to EWG, but never took things into account like the dust issues.

There are a few items I'd like to know your take on:

100% Pure, Lip and Cheek Tint - I know your general thoughts on them, but am coming up short on finding a lip and cheek tint that won't come off easily. INGREDIENTS: Fruit pigments of all or some of the following : Plum, Pomegranate, Red wine, Cranberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, Raspberry, Cherry, Cocoa Bean, Peach, Apricot, Blueberry, Carrot and Tomato, Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate), Shea Butter, Grapeseed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Honey Beeswax, Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Natural Strawberry Flavor

I use Frownies - low low low tech version of Botox I like to say. Anything I should be concerned about here? Ingredients: Facial Patches are made from natural, skin-friendly materials of unbleached Kraft and a vegetable starch based adhesive.

Also, Have you ever come across a safe product that reduces the look of redness? Everything I've found even I can tell is terrible.

Lastly, how can you tell if an product has nano-particles? I'm not finding it easy at all to tell.

Thanks so much!

Michele said...

Hi, Just wondering why you didn't recommend Laura Brook's Blush? I value your opinion very much. Thanks!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for your question! The Lauren Brooke blush is a good option, however, it didn't make my list because it's a loose powder.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie :) Thanks so much for your picks in make-up :):) Also thanks for mentioning the powder make-up risk - I never considered the inhalation aspect. I have a question I didn't see above in other comments. I want to find out about cross uses - for example the Meisha Blush indicates it can be used as a lip color as well as a blush. Given the ingredients is it safest as a blush only or would you consider it ok as a lip color? Thanks again for your research and sharing the information :):)

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Yep, Mary Lau! It should be fine!

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie :) Do you encounter creasing with either brand of eye shadow? If so how do you correct it? Thanks :):)

Stephanie Greenwood said...

I have not encountered any problems with creasing with those that I have tried.

Lydia said...

THANK YOU for posting these types of blog posts! You are the only person whose advice I truly trust when it comes to products that are put on skin. There are many blogs out there that review "organic" and "natural" products but I haven't found any whose standards are as high as yours. Thank you so much for your diligence and willingness to share information!

drake911opr said...

I have been looking at using Origins Skin Care products. They sale them at Macys so it would be very accessible to me. The problem that I'm having is that I can't find a complete list of ingredients per product. This concerns me. What do you know about this brand? Thanks a bushel

Stephanie Greenwood said...

That's always a red flag when the company doesn't publish their ingredients!

One thing that most people don't know is that Origins is owned by Estee Lauder, who has recently been called out for animal testing:

Going through their line and the sparse ingredients lists I can find online, it looks like their "organics" line is decent.

However, most of their products are pretty filled with chemicals. Here's an example. Make A Difference Plus + Rejuenating Moisturizer: Water, Butylene Glycol, Sweet Almond Oil, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Carprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Glycerin, Squalene, Trehalose, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Lauryl Lactate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, , Cetyl Ethylhexanote, Myristyl Myristate, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Orange Oil, Spearmint Leaf Oil, Vetiver Root Oil, Camphor Bark Oil, Plumeria Alba Flower Extract, Magnolia Acuminata Flower Extract, Rosa Damascena Extract, Iris Palida Root Extract, Linalool, Citral, Limonene, Litchi Chinensis Seed Extract, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Rhodochrosite Extract, Anastatica Hierochuntica (Rose of Jericho) Extract, Coffee Seed Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Apple Fruit Extract, Lentil Fruit Extract, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Kokum Seed Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Shea Butter, Maurita Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Micrococcus Lysate, Lecithin, Caffeine, PEG-100 Stearate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Tocopheryl Acetate, , Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Sodium RNA, Potassium Sorbate, Dextrin, Cetyl Alcohol, Tromethamine, Sodium PCA, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol

Anonymous said...

Are there any safe preservatives?

Why is potassium sorbate bad even though it's a food grade preservative? What's a petrochemical?

Please educate me. :)

Stephanie Greenwood said...

There are some safe preservatives. Potassium sorbate is along the safer lines, however, like I said, it is a petrochemical. In other words its derived from petroleum.

Christina said...

Hello Stephanie,
I just wanted to know if organic grapefruit (citrus grandis)extract is the same as grapefruit seed extract? Thank you!

Also, wanted to say my husband and I are so glad we found your website and your products! Love your pitt putty deodorants, facial cleanser and cream, and am now detoxing my hair with your shampoo!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Grapefruit Seed Extract and Grapefruit Extract are two different things--however, a company might list GSE as "grapefruit extract" either by mistake, or to make their product appear cleaner, as GSE has begun to gain a reputation as an ingredient to avoid. So, if there's a product in question, I would ask the manufacturer.

Anonymous said...


Do you have any recommendations for a pressed or cream bronzer? I've not been able to find one. Thanks!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

I wish that I did have a recommendation! I'll be sure to post here when I do find one.

Unknown said...

Hi Stephanie, what do you think of Physician's Formula mascara and eye liner?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

The Physician's Formula Organic Wear doesn't meet my standards to be on my "recommended" list, however, if you were in a pinch and needed something, they're not too bad.

Christina said...

Hello Stephanie,
I was wondering if the ingredients in the Coastal Classic Creations mascara was good. This is what is says on their website: Ingredients for Black: Deionized Water, Stearic Acid, Ozokerite, Glycerin, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oil, Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Persea Grattisima (Avocado) Oil, Cinnamonmum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Leaf Oil, Murraya Koenigi (Curry) Leaf Oil, Iron Oxides (CI 77499). Thank you!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

I hesistate to use something with cinnamon essential oil near my eye for the potential of irritation. But perhaps the concentration is too low to be a problem. My only concern here is that there's no apparent preservative and the first ingredient is water. I would contact them and ask them for a copy of their challenge testing data and ask how the product is preserved. An un-preserved mascara could lead to serious complications, leading to eye infections and potentially blindness.

Anonymous said...

why is grape seed extract bad?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Grape seed extract isn't's grapefruit seed extract that's problematic:

Anonymous said...

What do you think about Josie Maran's new tinted moisturizer?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

re: Josie Maran

Whew! Lots of synthetics here to wade through:

Inactive Ingredients: Aqua (Water)**, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Triethylhexanoin, Stearic Acid**, Butylene Glycol, Behenyl Alcohol, Steareth-2, Steareth-21**, Isostearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate**, Squalane**, Cetyl Alcohol**, Aluminum Hydroxide, Dextrin Palmitate**, Hydrogenated Lecithin**, Phytantriol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polysorbate 80**, Synthetic Sapphire, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ethoxydiglycol, Dimethylacrylamide/Acrylic Acid/Polystyrene /Ethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract**, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract**, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil**, Punica Granatum Seed Oil**, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil**, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14, Panthenol, Lysine, Magnesium Chloride**, Potassium Chloride**, Sodium Chloride**, Zinc Chloride**, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Simethicone, Cellulose Gum**, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol. MAY CONTAIN: Mica**, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)**, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)**.

Polysorbate 80 is an ethoxylated chemical created with the carcinogen ethylene oxide, traces of which and its carcinogenic by-product 1,4-dioxane can remain in the product.

Phenoxyethanol is a suspected xenoestrogen

Sodium benzoate + citric acid = formation of carcinogenic benzene

Steareth-2, Steareth-20--more ethoxylated chemicals.

Aluminum hydroxide! Absorbable ionic aluminum...

so...I would put it on my AVOID list.

Melissa said...

Hi Stephanie,

Absolutely love your blog! I'm in the process of switching to "safe" cosmetics according to EWG. Some of the make-up you recommended contains Natural Vitamin E. On EWG it lists it higher as having a risk for cancer. I read your post about the two types of tocopherol and was wondering if the Vitammin E in the make-up you listed was safe.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Yes, if it says "natural vitamin E" this means that it's tocopherol, not tocopherol acetate.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,

I love your products and can't wait for you to come up with your make-up line. Until you do, I was wondering what your thoughts are on the revolution organics freedom glow blush is? I noticed that it contains soybean oil. Thank you so much for your knowledge and advice!!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for your question! Soybean oil, especially if organic, doesn't pose a risk applied topically, unless you have an allergy to it. However, I'm not crazy about mica, titanium dioxide, carmine and ammonium glycyrrhizate. I would recommend the blushes found on my recommended products list over this one.

Christina said...

Hello Stephanie! I was wondering if the pressed eye shadows from 100% pure were ok. Here is a snapshot from their website for one of the colors: VANILLA SUGAR EYE SHADOW - Ingredients: Organic Rice Starch 1, Pigments of Organic Carrot 1, Organic Cocoa 1, Organic Apricot 2, Organic Peach 2, Papaya and Organic Tomato 1, Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Organic Lavender 1, Organic Rosehip Oil 3, Organic Avocado Butter 4, Organic Cocoa Butter 4, Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate), Silica, Mica (natural shimmery mineral)

1 certified organic by QAI
2 certified organic by Organic Certifiers
3 certified organic by Baystate Organic Certification
4 certified organic by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic
Thank you for your help!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

It doesn't meet my recommendation criteria because of the mica, but otherwise it looks fine.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why Lauren Brook products are not to be found on EWG? I contacted the company regarding this and received no response?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

If you do a search in Skin Deep you'll find them...they'll have some older formulations listed, and maybe some current ones listed as old. EWG has made it more difficult to submit and update products to them, and companies really don't have much control over what shows up in their database.

Anonymous said...

I'm desperately looking for a natural foundation that is good/safe/natural. It seems almost every product out there has something bad in it or something wrong with it. I've looked at the Miessence translucent powder which has Mica (I thought that was bad?). I'm also looking at Real Purity, World Organics (has Mica) and Rejuva Minerals which are powders and seem to be safe. Rejuva Minerals has a pressed powder as well. Can anyone recommend which of these would be the best and why?

Anonymous said...

please help, which is better, miessence, real purity, world organics or rejuva minerals?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Anonymous--check out my updated article! :D