Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Makeup Picks UPDATED

The first article I posted last year about my makeup recommendations was a hit. Throughout the year there have been some changes in my criteria and in the products available on the market, so I thought I'd give y'all an update!

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.)

Now, keep in mind that there are no perfect options.  There will still be mineral pigments, micas, iron oxides, and other ingredients that aren't organic, but as far as makeups are concerned, these are the best. Formulators have to use something to create colors and the "coverage" that we expect.

Also, just because I recommend one product, does NOT mean that I recommend the entire line. I judge products based on INGREDIENTS and never by brand name.


Lauren Brooke Cosmetique Creme Foundation

Ingredients: Triglycerides, Zinc Oxide, Organic Beeswax, Organic Jojoba, Silica, Radish Root, Organic Argan, Organic Rosehip, Neem, Clay, Organic Green Tea, Organic Passionflower, Organic Raspberry, Natural Vitamin E (+/-, Iron Oxides, Mica, Org Essential Oil Blend).

What I Like About It: In addition to a good ingredients list, it contains non-nano zinc oxide. While it doesn't officially boast an SPF, the zinc oxide naturally offers UVA and UVB sun protection.  No separate SPF face cream needed! I've put it through the test for several summers while out hiking and can tell you the sun protection coverage is great.

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.

What I didn't quite care for: 
There's not much that I can say bad about this foundation; it's my go-to formula on the rare occasions that I wear makeup. I'm not crazy about the presence of silica, however, because it's not in powder form, I'm not too concerned about it. 

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. 

Raw Skin.Ceuticals Matte BB Creme Foundation

Ingredients:aloe barbadenis (aloe leaf juice), rosa rubginosa (rosehip seed oil), garcinia indica (mango butter), cannabis sativa (hemp seed oil), calophyllum inophyllum (tamanu oil), cucurbita pepo (pumpkin seed oil), oenothera biennis (evening primrose oil), persea gratissima (avocado oil), cetyl-stearyl alcohol, proprietary vitamin C herb complex blend: glebionis (chrysanthemum), helisso chrysos (helichrysum flowers), citrus sinensis (orange peel), rosa canina (rosehips), euphrasia officinalis (eyebright), malpighia glabra (acerola cherry), galium aparine (cleavers), l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) preservative blend: potassium sorbate usp, citric acid mineral oxides for color

What I Like About It:
I love that after you apply it, you don't feel like you're wearing makeup.  I can't stand to have anything on my face and with most foundations even after a couple hours I'm ready to scrub it off.  Not so with this formula--it's mostly water-based so it goes on very lightly. 

What I Didn't Quite Care For: 

I had some trouble getting the product to prime the pump on the nozzle, and when it first came out it kind of came shooting out. Also the formula dries out at the nozzle so when you first squirt it, the little dried piece comes out in to your fingers and it's impossible to blend in your skin and you have to somehow pick it out. 

I also couldn't quite master the art of application with this one.  It seems that the moisture is absorbed and evaporates quite quickly once you put in on your skin so you have a very limited time for blending before the pigments become almost painted on your skin. The W103 shade was too light for me, surprisingly (I usually have to get the lightest shades) and left me looking like a pasty ghost.  But that's not the fault of the foundation; I just didn't get the right shade. Either way, though, the formula dried so quickly that I was left with splotches of pigments that were impossible to blend in. I'll have to keep trying with this one.  

The bottle also states that it has an SPF, however there's no drug panel listing "active" ingredients as required by law when you're marketing a sunscreen product.  

PRIIA Essential Cover Creme Mineral Foundation

Ingredients: Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Mica, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Root Starch, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Boron Nitride, Silica, Allantoin, D-Panthenol (ProVitamin B5), Bisabolol,
Iron Oxides. May Contain: Chromium Oxide Green, Ultramarine Blue.  

What I Liked About it:
This is a jar of creamy smooth perfection. Not too heavy, easy to spread, easy to blend. The texture and coverage is almost identical to RMS UnCover Up, but you get way more for your money.  With RMS, it's 5.76 grams for $36, whereas PRIIA gives you a generous 8.5 grams for only $22.50. 

What I Didn't Quite Care For:

Once again I ordered too light for my skin tones.  (I must have really picked up some sun this summer.) However, it's pretty easy to blend and almost works for me.  I'm not crazy about the possibility of chromium oxide in the formula. It also contains silica and titanium dioxide. 


I've removed Real Purity's foundation from my recommendations, as their formula had no apparent preservative. When questioned, the company assured us the product was safely preserved and that they've never had a problem, however, they wouldn't answer exactly how the product is preserved. They continued to offer a vague explanation and wouldn't provide any challenge testing or antimicrobial data, so we removed them from the list.  


RMS Beauty Un-Cover Up

I had the opportunity to try some RMS products this year, including the Un-cover Up, which can act as both a concealer and a foundation.  RMS Beauty is somewhat of a darling of natural cosmetics bloggers everywhere, and for a good reason. It has a good ingredients list and a little goes a long way. 

Ingredients: *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
What I Liked:
The texture is creamy and smooth, the coverage is nice, and the ingredients

What I didn't quite care for:
  • Not crazy about Titanium Dioxide. 
  • Felt somewhat heavy on my skin (although I'm one of those people that can hardly stand to have anything on my skin.)
  • I have pretty fair skin so I ordered the lightest shade--it actually ended up being too light for my complexion, so I was surprised about that.  However, I can't fault them for that, just my ordering decisions. 
  • The box does state that it's "organic" when it is not certified nor does it meet the criteria for organic certification.  You know I'm a stickler for organic claims.  :)
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
This creamy eyeshadow comes in a convenient twist-up stick with a generous portion of creme. I usually rub the top of it with my finger and apply it with my fingertip. Blends well, lots of pretty colors available. 

Matte Ingredients: Capryllc/Capric Triglycerides, Certified Organic Beeswax, Certified Organic Olive Oil, Silica, Certified Organic Vegetable Starch, Certified Organic Jojoba Oil, Certified Organic Raspberry Extract, Certified Organic Vanilla Extract, Non-GMO Natural Vitamin E (+/- Iron Oxides, Mica, Zinc Oxide, Ultramarines).

Shimmer Ingredients: Grapeseed Oil, Capryllc/Capric Triglycerides, Certified Organic Beeswax, Certified Organic Jojoba Oil, Silica, Certified Organic Shea Butter, Avocado Butter, Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, Certified Organic Vanilla Extract, Non-GMO Natural Vitamin E (+/- Iron Oxides, Mica, Zinc Oxide, Ultramarines).

(In a pinch I've even used it as a lipstick. )

RMS Beauty Creme Eyeshadow

Ingredients: *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil,*Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopherol (non-GMO), *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain: [+/- Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Mica CI 77019] 


Earth's Beauty Eyeliner Pencils

Ingredients: organic jojoba, organic castor oil, organic beeswax, candellila wax,iron oxides, mica and vitamin E.

I don't think I could ask for a simpler ingredients list! I have not tried this product, but it's on my must-get list!

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. 


Lauren Brooke Lash-Strengthening Mascara

Ingredients: Organic Aloe, Sorbitol, Olive Emulsifiers, Organic Horsetail, Organic Burdock, Organic Herbal Extract Blend, Radish Root Ferment, Cetearyl Alcohol, Non-GMO Organic Lecithin, Glyceryl Stearate, Orange Peel Wax, Sunflower Wax, Vitamin B Complex. 

While I haven't tried it yet, I am in love with the ingredients list and have every faith that Lauren's nailed it with this one. 

Miessence Mascara
I haven't tried this one either, but the ingredients look pretty stellar. No titanium dioxide, which I like. 

Ingredients: certified organic aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, certified organic rosa damascena (rose) essential oil, certified organic oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, black iron oxide, certified organic simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, non-gmo lecithin, sclerotium rolfsii gum, aqua, certified organic rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, certified organic butyrospermum parkii (shea) fruit butter, certified organic unrefined cera alba (beeswax), certified organic ethanol (sugar cane alcohol), citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) fruit extract


Meisha Cream Blush

This would be my top pick ingredients-wise because it doesn't contain titanium dioxide. 

Ingredients: Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Mica, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Root Starch. May Contain: Iron Oxide (CI 77499, CI 77492, CI 77491), Ultramarines, Zinc Oxide. 

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek 
Except for the "smile" shade which contains synthetic colorants.  
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
PRIIA Creme-to-Powder Blush

Ingredients: Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Mica, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Cymbidium Grandiflorum (Orchid) Flower Extract, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Root Starch, Kosher Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Mica, Zinc Oxide, Boron Nitride, Silica.  May contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Tin Oxide, Ultramarines.


Miessence Lip Creme

Lip Colors by Lauren Brooke

Coastal Classic Creations

PRIIA Pucker Upz Lip Infusions

Juice Beauty Conditioning Lip Color

Lip Gloss

Botanical Lip Gloss by Lauren Brooke

Juice Beauty Lip Shimmer

Lip Liner

Lauren Brooke Lip Liner Pencils

*Note: some colors contain carmine.


I don't recommend using loose powders due to the inhalation risk, but if you just have to have your favorite powder and need a primer, our Splash of Lime Toning Mist actually does a great job.  

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.

Acquarella has one of the best ingredients list.

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. 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.  


Anonymous said...

Good morning Stephanie. Thanks for sharing your research again. I am looking for a successful way to remove eye makeup which doesn't involve oils. I've had trouble in the past with clogged oil glands on my eyelids, and this has led to infection and redness. I tried using plain glycerin but it didn't really work. Any suggestions would be fantastic! Thanks. (Right now I'm just using soap, which can burn a little, and doesn't always get everything off.)

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Oils are going to be the best thing to remove makeup because makeups are oil-soluble. BUT, what you could do is use an oil-based makeup remover but then clean your eyelids afterwards with a cotton swab of witch hazel.

Anonymous said...

HI Stephanie! I was wondering what you thought of Real Purity's mascara. The description states "Real Purity's Mascara is micronized and the particles (particle sizes are 95) are coated with pycnogenol." I asked them 95 what? Microns? Nanometers? But they never replied...I also wondered how they got green, blue and purple mascara when iron oxides are the only listed colorant. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe that green and blue iron oxides exist.
What's your take? Anything else stand out to you as good or bad? Here's the ingredient list:

Purified Water, Beeswax, Glycerin, Candellila Wax, Cellulose, Pure Plant Extracts (Sage, Ivy, Pycnogenol), Iron Oxides. Real Purity never utilizes Nano-Sized particles in any of our products.

Also, what are the "Olive emulsifiers" in Lauren Brooke's mascara?

Thanks Stephanie--It's really great of you to spend time helping others out in their quest to find truly safe products!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

I'm a bit hesitant to recommend a product with the first ingredient being water and no apparent preservative. Especially in a product you're using on your eye. They say that the plant extracts and the oxides are the preservatives but I'm still hesitant to recommend. Also, you're right--that doesn't make sense. I'm not aware of any blue iron oxides!

Pavithra said...

Hi Stephanie!
Firstly, thank you for all this - your brand of products, and this very enlightening blog. I've ordered a bunch of Bubble and Bee products to replace all the nonsense in my bathroom and I can't wait to get started :)

I was wondering about the Alima Pure blushes :

It does have titanium dioxide, but I also came across a blog post on the same website that states that they do not use nano-sized particles (and hence it was safe).

Is that reasonable, or would you recommend steering clear of any form of titanium dioxide?

Thanks again!

Anna said...

Thanks so much for this list! I've been on the hunt for good, safe makeup for a while, and it's nice to hear more informed opinions on the ingredients. I'll definitely be trying out some of your foundation picks!

I can tell you I tried Miessence mascara, and it did nothing for me. The ingredients may be good, but personally I don't want to spend that much money on a product (not to mention the shipping!) for such lackluster results. Just my two cents!

Danielle said...

Hi Stephanie!

I was wondering what you thought of these two eye makeup removers & also the two eye creams. My eyes have been very dry due to allergies & I would like to use a good hydrating & firming product to help with wrinkles.

Lauren Brooke eye makeup remover:

Real Purity eye makeup remover:

Lauren Brooke Eye Firming Creme

Power Repair Cream by Sister Creations

Thank You so much Stephanie for all of your help!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

The link to the Real Purity didn't seem to go anywhere, but everything else looks good. Do keep in mind that nothing can reduce wrinkles or make anti-aging claims unless it's an FDA-approved drug with an active ingredient in the current drug monograph. Unfortunately most of these anti-aging products will inflame the collagen in your skin to make it appear more firm, but over time it actually breaks down collagen and your wrinkles become more deep-set. Keeping skin hydrated can make skin look firmer, but it won't reduce the appearance of wrinkles in an official sense.

Gus =) said...

Hi Stephanie!
What do you think of Karma Organic Nail Polishes ( ) based on their ingredient list?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

The ingredients look fairly decent; however, I really object to their use of the term organic when their products are clearly not organic and have no third-party certifying agency.

Amy said...

Hi Stephanie!

Thanks for this! Any recommendations for bronzers or perfumes? This is so so very appreciated!

Amy said...

HI Stephanie!
Thanks for this! I was wondering if you had any recommendations for bronzers and natural simple perfumes. This is so so very much appreciated!


TuffToodle said...

What about fragrance? I know there arent a ton of "healthy" options, but I have fallen in love with LaVanilla. They look pretty harmless, but I'd love your input.

Jourdan Parenteau said...

Hi! I'm new to this site and know nothing about shopping for healthy cosmestics like these, but I want to learn. I'm wondering if you recommend any makeups/cosmetics that are found in stores so I can match the foundation to my skin tone before buying. Are any of these found at whole foods or ulta or are they exclusively online?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Most of these brands are found only online. However most of them offer sample sizes. Natural Joy Beauty offers really affordable samples of most of the products they carry so you can try out different shades before investing in a full-size. :)

Unknown said...

Are there any other mascaras you'd recommend? The two you have listed are not available anymore. Also, what do you recommend for contact solution and dry eyes drops (like Systane).

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for your question, Jourdan! The products that are listed above are active links and they are still available.

Ann said...

Hi Stephanie,

Do you have any recommendations for pressed or powder foundations? Thank you!

Raquel said...

i love your blog sooo much Stephanie! I was wondering if all the make up products you recommend are gluten free and if not could you do a blog post on gluten free makeup with your criteria.

Unknown said...

Is there a hand cream you recommend?

Unknown said...

Is there a pressed powder you might recommend? I see foundations but not powders?

Jess said...

are mineral make-ups totally out because of the titanium dioxide and mica and silica?

i've been using this one for ages

(formerly known as smoky mountain minerals). i emailed them, and they don't use nano-particles, and i hold my breath when applying! their liquid foundation has so many more ingredients, so i'm afraid to use it (break-outs!)

Carla said...

Hi, Stephanie -

First off, thanks so much for all your wonderful articles. I know you've changed many lives.

I wanted to let you know I ordered a sample of the organic cream foundation from Lauren Brooke and after just trying it once, I had a horrible reaction. I broke out with about 30 or so red spots and bumps on my face. I haven't worn foundation in two months because I was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis, which has no known cause. The condition went away after several weeks of wearing no foundation of any kind, blush, or eye shadow ... just wore mascara. And then after one try of the Lauren Brooke organic cream foundation, I had the horrible reaction. That was 3 days ago. I haven't worn it since and my face has now cleared up. Below are the ingredients and I'm thinking it's the zinc oxide, which you say is safe. I also go to a certified cranial chiropractor, applied kinesiologist, acupunturist, and nutritionist and she also thinks the same thing. I said non nano zinc oxide is good but the label says 'zinc oxide' (although you're saying it's 'non nano zinc oxide). Can you let me know your thoughts please and if you think it might be something else in the foundation? I'm so bummed because now I don't know where to turn for foundation.

'Warm No. 10' organic foundation from Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques
Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Zinc Oxide, Certified Organic Beeswax, Certified Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Silica, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Certified Organic Argania Spinsosa (Argan) Oil, Certified Organic Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Neem (Melia Azadirachta) Seed Oil, Natural Clay, Certified Organic Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract , Certified Organic Passiflora Incarnata (Passionflower) Flower Extract, Certified Organic Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Natural Vitamin E Oil (+/-, Iron Oxides, Mica, Org Essential Oil Blend).

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for your question, Carla! Sorry to hear of the reaction.

Given your previous history with perioral dermatitis, I would actually not say that it's the zinc oxide that caused the flare up, but the oils present in the formula. Zinc oxide is a mineral powder that wouldn't really have the properties to clog pores. However, if your skin can't handle oil, it may have been the caprylic/capric triglyceride, beeswax, argan, and jojoba that created an occlusive barrier on your skin that it couldn't handle and led to the flare-up.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for your question, Carla! Sorry to hear of the reaction.

Given your previous history with perioral dermatitis, I would actually not say that it's the zinc oxide that caused the flare up, but the oils present in the formula. Zinc oxide is a mineral powder that wouldn't really have the properties to clog pores. However, if your skin can't handle oil, it may have been the caprylic/capric triglyceride, beeswax, argan, and jojoba that created an occlusive barrier on your skin that it couldn't handle and led to the flare-up.

Kelita said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog. It has been so helpful!

I was wondering about the clay in the Lauren Brooks foundation. Is it possible that there would be trace amounts of lead in the clay? This seems to be the norm with any sort of clay. I'm just not sure how good it would be for me to use something like that while pregnant. Which of your recommendations would be safest for pregnant women?


Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for your question! Any type of mineral-based product can contain trace amounts of lead (clay, iron oxide, mica, etc) However, my mind has changed a bit in regards to clay and lead. For instance, we stopped carrying Earthpaste this year because of our concerns with lead in the clay. However, I'm actually going to be bringing it back because Redmond has finally contextualized the risk and amounts present. "The really good news is that on a chemical level, lead likes to make friends — nearly all the lead in our environment is bound to other elements like zinc, copper, silver, and others. In Redmond Clay, there is a trace amount of lead that bonded long ago with clay molecules and other trace elements. That bond prevents lead from accumulating in our bodies."

And this page was also very helpful:

missezygee said...

Hi Stephanie! I really do appreciate this blog post! I already tried the Creme Foundation from Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques and it was so amazing!

I'm fond of lipsticks as well, but her lip products and those from PRIIA does not agree with me. I got to know a new lipstick brand which is Red Apple Lipstick by Jay Harper. Any insigths about this? Thank you so much!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Well, there aren't any huge red flags, but it wouldn't meet my standards for recommendation because of the synthetic beeswax and titanium dioxide. :)

Ricinus Communis, Ozokerite, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Synthetic Bees Wax, Olive (Olea Europea) Oil, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Seed Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate from an all natural non gluten source, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis leaf Extract, may contain Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides

Rebecca T. said...

Hi! Thank you for your great articles! Have you heard of Sappho Cosmetics? I started to use their foundation , concealer and eyeshadow. They are supposed to be clean but I'm not sure now :(

Here is the foundation :

The concealer:

The blush:

And the eyeshadow :

Thank you so much for your time !

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Foundation: Couple questions I would ask them...what is in their emulsifying wax (can be hiding ethoxylated chemicals.) I would also ask if there are any preservatives in their aloe juice.

Concealer, bronzer looks fine other than the titanium dioxide which I'm not a huge fan of.

Eyeshadow: Not crazy about tin oxide (tin can be a toxic metal in the body.)

Unknown said...

I came across your blog and thought it to be extremely interesting. I have battled with bad skin for about 3 years now. I have come to the conclusion that my face is very sensitive to mica, titanium dioxide, talc, rice powder, and bismuth. I was currently looking at a company called Borne cosmetics from Etsy:
Speicifally their creme foundation

And there mineral powder:

I am not sure, even though it has mica, that the rest of the ingredients would help combat the effects of mica and if Mica is indeed really bad for you.

Thank you for reading this and I really hope to hear back :)

Stephanie Greenwood said...

I'm not seeing complete ingredients lists for these products on the etsy site...

Rebecca T. said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! It seems almost impossible to get truly safe products! Especially in canada ! Thanks!

Rosa said...

Hi Stephanie,

I tried the Lauren Brooke foundation (which by the way I would mix with your face cream for a perfect application) but unfortunately the warm color option is still too neutral for me (I've got a more yellow asian complexion) more research later I came upon this line and am loving the consistency, color etc. I like mixing the two below depending on what type of coverage I want that day. I would love to know what do you think about their ingredients? Thank you so much in advance:

That is the one I have tried but they also offer a talc free, is that better?:

And I usually don't use liquid but they offer this:

Thanks again for your great products and advice!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Looks good for the most part--although I would ask them how the product is apparent preservative listed, however, water is a main ingredient.

Anonymous said...

I was interested in your knowledge of Rejuva mineral makeup. It seems to have a list of very decent ingredients. Thanks

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for your question @anonymous re: rejuva minerals. I don't recommend using loose powders due to the inhalation risks. Their pressed foundation looks like it's better than most, although not up to my recommendation standards, as it contains sodium benzoate and boron nitride.

Dream & Scheme said...

These are great picks! I've got my eye on trying the Raw Skin Ceuticals Matte BB Creme Foundation and the Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Creme Foundation next. How would you describe your coloring, just as a reference for my own color selection as you said W103 of the former was too light.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Dream & Scheme--I would say I'm one shade darker than the fairest of the fair. I'm not porcelain but I'm pretty fair. Get freckles, etc.

Sonja Lott Schleusner said...

Hi Stephanie, thanks so much for this post! I am a beauty and hair product junkie trying to revamp my products to safer, cleaner, greener ones and this list helps tremendously!

What are your thoughts on Poofy Organics Shampoo and Conditioner...and the company in general? Thanks!

*Poofy Supernaturals* Orange Lavender Shampoo
Ingredients: Purified Water, Decyl Polyglucose, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Yucca Extract, Organic Orange Essential Oil, Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Xanthan Gum.

*Poofy Supernaturals* Orange Lavender Conditioner
Ingredients: Distilled Water, Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Organic Safflower Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Grapeseed Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Organic Rosemary Extract, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate (Kimchi Seaweed), Panthenol (vitamin B), Silk Amino Acids, Organic Sea Kelp Extract, Organic Yucca Extract, Organic Orange essential Oil, Organic Lavender Essential Oil.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for your question @Sonja! Send me an email at so I can give you my full opinion. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't see on your new list. Is it still a good choice: Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques EYE LINER PENCILS

Thank you!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Yes indeed--i use them myself!

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie! I had been using Real Purity mascara until I saw that it was taken off your 'approved' list. I recently went to a Whole Foods and saw that they have Gabriel mascara. Do you have any experience with that brand of mascara? Thank you Stephanie, for all that you do!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for your support! :D Regarding Garbriel, it does look to be on the safer side. It doesn't meet my standards for recommendation, but it looks like a safer option.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Stephanie!

Brenda Combs said...

Love your products. Am looking for a lotion, not a body butter. Saw this mentioned on line It has glycerine as an ingredient which I thought was something I would not want in a lotion. Can you please take a look at the ingredient list and let me know what you think.
Many thanks,

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie!
I happened upon some mascara products that 'seem' healthy but would love your professional opinion if you don't mind?
They are 2 different types from the same company.

One is fruit pigment:
The other says Maracuja? Don't know what that means.

Thanks Stephanie!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Anonymous--re: 100% Pure Mascara...

Hm, it looks like the first one, the chocolate one, doesn't contain any japanese honeysuckle extract, but the second one does. (JHE is a synthetic paraben-like preservative that sounds like a natural extract.) So, I don't know if they just forgot to list it on the first one, or if it doesn't have the JHE. So, if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose the chocolate one.

I'm not a big fan of how they market their products as "fruit pigmented" when that's not the full truth--you'll notice mica and/or iron oxides in their products which is what's most likely giving the pigmentation to the product despite all of the fruit extracts listed.

Maracuja is another name for passion fruit.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Stephanie!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Brenda Combs--thanks for your question! Yes, Nourish is a good brand that's actually certified organic. A lotion like that with xanthan gum as an emulsifier may have kind of a slippery slimy feel with application and may dry kind of crusty on your skin. Although it depends on the particular formula--I haven't tried theirs, but that's what other xanthan lotions have been like for me. One thing you might consider is adding water to your skin first, then applying the body butter on top of it--that will feel more like a lotion and no emulsifiers or preservatives needed. :)

Romina said...

Hi Stephanie, I always love to read your posts.

I was wondering about a few products that I would like to purchase and wanted to know your opinion on the ingredients.

1. RMS Beauty Tinted un-powder: silica,iron oxides (ci 77492,ci 77491,ci 77499), They also sell an untinted version that is 100% silica. Is powdered silica safe to apply on the face?

2. 100% pure Matifying Primer: Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice*, Glycerin (Vegetable Glycerin)*, Olive Oil Squalane, Seaweed Collagen, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Euphorbia Cerifera Cera (Candelilla Wax), Camellia Sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Silica, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Extract, Oregano Extract, Thyme Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower and Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Seaweed Collagen (as mentioned on the front) *Certified Organic.

I know you don't approve of Honeysuckle. Is it like a real red flag ingredient? They use it in tons of their products.

3. Ilia Cosmetics Lipstick: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Seed Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Beeswax (Cera Alba)*, Triisostearyl Citrate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Starch *, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Oil, Sage (Salvia Officinalis) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide (CI 77499, CI 77492, CI 77491), Red 7 CI15850, Red 28 CI45410, Yellow 5 CI19140. *Certified Organic Ingredients.

Besides from this I had other two questions, I have been using Earthpaste for a year and a half, I also got scared about the prop 65. I read someone asked you and you said you think it's safe. I just wanted to corroborate this with you? To be honest I haven't found a toothpaste that doesnt have yucky ingredients so this has been kind of the only choice I've been comfortable with until recently.

Annnd lastly (hahaha sorry), this doesn't have anything to do with cosmetics but I've read that a lot of people drink diatomaceous earth food grade because it has lots of silica and amazing benefits like getting rid of parasites, joint health, beautiful skin, etc. Have you heard anything about it?

Thank you!!! And keep up the excellent work as always!

sea89 said...

Hi Stephanie!

I just came across a new mineral cosmetic brand called Lily Lolo. I've checked out some of their products and they don't seem like the cleanest..but much better than most! I wanted to get your opinion on their eyeshadows. Here is the list of ingredients..I'm not sure if I should be super concerned with the "may contain" ingredients! As always, thanks for the great info on your blog! :)

Ingredients are:
Mica, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Leptospermum Scoparium (Manuka) Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Eryngium Maritimum Callus Culture Filtrate, May Contain [+/- Silica, Tin Oxide, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77742 (Manganese Violet), Ci 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), Ci 77288 (Chromium Oxide)]

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,
Just wondering if you have any updates for nontoxic/natural mascaras? Thank you for your time!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Sea89--I'm not crazy about chromium and tin oxide, as well as ferric ferrocyanide, but the rest of it looks pretty good. Sometimes if you want particular colors, especially greens and blues, you have to deal with using some of these metals.

@Anonymous--I'm really liking Gabriel's right now. It does contain potassium sorbate, however, I consider it to be a low risk product because your skin isn't being exposed to it much.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,
Thank you so much for all of the useful information and products. I have a draw full of Bubble and Bee products and love them all. I was just curious if the Lauren Brooke Luminous Eyes Corrective Concealer makes your list?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Yes indeed! :D

LittleMe626 said...

Hi Stephanie, do you have any recommendations for Pressed Mineral Eyeshadows?
I know Lauren Brooks and Alima Pure have a few now. I am hoping to find more brands.

Also is it possible it's been a few years can we get another update to your makeup list?
Any new makeup brands we can check out?, please. :)

Thank you, your knowledge is much appreciated and helpful.

Jane Morris said...

Hi Stephanie,
Thanks for such a helpful blog. I have been using Jane Iredale minerals, pure pressed powder (due to acne scaring I have used a lot) for about 15 years and am now worried about the effect of the titanium dioxide! I would love to find an alternative but I am base in the UK. Do you know of any good brands that distribute in the UK?
Thanks very much!

Smith said...

Excellent and helpful post… I am so glad to left comment on this. This has been a so interesting ..I appreciate your effort..

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie!
So I was watching tv the other day and a commercial came on for this (new to me) company called JuiceBeauty. They mentioned nontoxic mascara so I went on their website to check it out. Would you be able to look at the ingredients to see if they really are nontoxic and the real deal? I've provided the link below. Thank you so much Stephanie! I appreciate your time and knowledge!

Unknown said...

Hey Stephanie -

I have been looking into the Australian brand "Fitcover" for a healthy, safe foundation that lasts with medium coverage.

They openly display their ingredients on the website, but it is possible that this is not the full list.
If I understand correctly, Australia has different health expectations and regulations than we do in America.

I was hoping you would look into it and provide your informed review of the foundation product?
Would you approve of this foundation makeup?
I'm looking into eliminating hormone-altering ingredients and toxins.

thank you! I look forward to hearing from you soon.