Can Green and Glam Co-exist?

Posted on August 3, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Being green is a good thing, but do you have to look like an Iowa farm girl because of it?  Of course not!  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the natural look.  Having healthy skin so you look great without make up is a really good goal.  But how about the times when you feel like looking glamorous?  Can green and glam co-exist? 

Pondering this question, I headed out to the department store to do some snooping.  The first place I checked out was a high end department store, lots of sales people doing professional style make up applications on eager potential buyers there.  Then I decided to go to the natural food store (with earth friendly cosmetics) just to check out the difference. The whole beauty care area was just a cramped display of several different brands and the sales girl in Birkenstocks ignored me.  Bummer.  No help, no hand holding.  To find somewhere between those too extremes, I headed out to the trendy natural skin care shops at the mall and I decided to start in those shops to find my glam.  But first I decided to do some homework.

The first thing I settled on was the focus of my “mission”.  Mostly, I was looking for a color palette that worked with my skin tone and natural coloring.  And I reminded myself that I have my skin care stuff down pat, so I was going to resist any skin care product sales pressure (even if she produced a mirror that was so magnified that my pores looked like the moon surface, I vowed to “just say no”). 

Next, I decided what kinds of make up I would be checking out.  Lip color, eye pencil, and blush.  These are the color cosmetics and the ones we need expert advice on (otherwise why pay the 250% mark up?) and it’s a short enough list so I can jot down any big bad chemicals that I should avoid.   Anything with coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mica, etc. will be rejected outright.  I kind of bend my rule on parabens when it comes to make up around the eye.  Since the amount used is small and the risk for bacterial infection is huge, it makes more sense to use something with parabens — till they come up with something safer.  Check out these web sites, which have good cosmetic dictionaries:,         

After you have your list of bad chems to avoid and a few blank index cards to jot down names and colors, you are ready to hit the stores.  Wear a top with a color that is flattering to your skin tone and matches your personality.  What you wear everyday is the best bet.  Go with only foundation and powder on.  I like to go near the end of the day, since persistent salespeople will only have so much time to badger me.  *smile*

At this point you can be like me and vow to only buy one new cosmetic, all the while jotting down names and smearing color samples on those handy index cards (tell you why in a minute) or just kick back and have the sales person do their thing and pass on the gold card.  I like to buy only one thing because I realise that the natural food store may have the same colors, only greener (that is, more natural).  Just try to find the closest matching colors and read the labels.  Since people who shop in natural food stores are more ingredient aware, you can bet that the cosmetics will be more earth friendly.  (If I can’t find a better product, no worries, I still have the information on my cards and can go back to the trendy mall shop.)  In the best case scenario, I have made two sales people happy.  Sharing the love.

One other thing (if you really want to go glam), check out make up artistry books for application tips and also salons for waxing and eyebrow shaping.  Having a polished look and being green.  A terrific combination.

Update:  Found this cool site that gives you shopping guidelines in one easy-to-print-up- and-take-along list:  also… got a few names of natural cosmetic companies that you might want to check out:  Dr. Hauschka, Logona (from Germany), and Jane Iredale’s.

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