Whilst I can’t speak for Jackie (head over to her blog to read how she maintains an eco friendly beauty regime) my daily routine can only be described as ‘natural'. I expose myself to cosmetics only for rare occasions: special events, weekly trips into town and photo shoots. But I wasn’t always a make-up free advocate.
MAKE-UP AS A 'FEEL GOOD' DRUG
In my twenties like many women, my self-esteem correlated with what was in my make-up bag. I had so much make-up that I could have started my own Priceline (beauty) store. When I look back, I remember how addicted I was not only to the make-up purchase, but of its application. I thought I looked more beautiful, I got more compliments that reaffirmed this belief and thus I kept applying it. A never ending beauty cycle.
There’s a meme that is making its way around that reads:
Make-up is a harmful drug. Once you start using it, you’ll feel ugly without it.
As sad as it is, there is some truth in this. It took me years to 'wean' myself off the habit of 'putting on the face' each and every day. Social expectations, media advertising and peer pressure can affect our body image and self-image. This need to look 'perfect' is a learned behaviour. Therefore we can unlearn it too.
DON'T ACCEPT THE 'GOLD' BEAUTY STANDARD, QUESTION IT
It is only when we start questioning these notions of ‘perfect’ beauty that we begin to understand its absurdity. The Barbie doll, an example of this ridiculous idea of ‘perfection', has hit its third consecutive year of declining sales according to Times Magazine. Although critics may blame a competitive toy market, there are others who believe that with rising awareness of sustainability issues, women are abandoning unrealistic beauty expectations in favour of natural, less toxic beauty.
This is exactly what happened to me many moons ago.
ECO BEAUTY = SIMPLICITY
I'm often asked about my beauty routine so I'm going to give it to you straight.
First of all, I believe that beauty starts from within and no amount of ‘eco’ beauty products is going to change anything if you don’t feel beautiful from the inside.
I also believe in the less-is-more theory of beauty. If you're adding fake anything, it's not very sustainable is it? Fake eyelashes, fake nails, fake hair sounds like a fabulous way to change it up a bit (and why not if only once in a while), but if you're doing it month-in-month-out, week-in-week-out and dare I say, day-in-day out, I would encourage you to start questioning whether your self-esteem is entirely derived from purely physical attributes.
Furthermore, what are these beauty items made of anyway? Sustainability and minimalism go hand-in-hand so if you want to go eco-friendly, try giving these synthetic beauty additions a miss.
Having said all of that, here are my eco-friendly beauty tips:
What's on the inside counts too.
I'm not talking about your overall attitude and personality (although of course this is important!) I'm referring to what you're eating and drinking. This plays a role in your health and poor health can be physically obvious affecting your 'natural beauty' such as: tired eyes, pimples, limp hair, brittle nails, dull complexion. These may all be signs of poor health. I'd get a check up and then begin addressing any vitamin deficiency ASAP as well as overhauling my health.
As for me, I am an organic food worshipper (and also grow a lot of organic produce myself) with a keen interest in health and nutrition. My routine is as follows: I wake up I drink a glass of water or some hot water with lemon. I also drink a glass before I go to bed. During the day I will drink many glasses. I do some basic yoga poses. I eat vegetarian organic food paying close attention to my nutrient intake. My skin is flawless, my nails are strong, my hair is thick and healthy and I have lots of energy. I don't wear foundation or tinted moisturiser because I don't need to - my skin is healthy and I feel healthy and that's because I nourish myself from within. If you're going to try an eco friendly beauty routine, I encourage you to start below the surface.
Don't be heavy-handed with make-up.
Unless you've got a good reason for having an inch thick of makeup on (you're in theatre, you're a circus performer, you're a drag queen) lighten the load. My usual make-up bag of tricks is as basic as they come because I don't like to slather on chemicals or additional ingredients however natural if I can do without. My usual routine? I define my eyebrows and line my eyes and that's it. If you're wondering, I use Australian eco-friendly make up brand Adorn Cosmetic & Nude By Nature (only because it was a recent gift from a friend).
Coconut oil as leave-in conditioner.
I haven’t brushed my hair in a couple of years as I revealed in my previous post. However if I feel like pampering myself I'll apply coconut oil to the ends of my hair as an eco friendly alternative to leave-in conditioner. I wash it out and it always smells beautiful and feels luxurious afterwards. No one has ever suspected my hair hasn’t been brushed – the coconut oil helps make it look silky and lush.
Apple Cider Vinegar as toner, blemish treatment & detoxifier.
A few years ago my face exploded with adult acne. It seemed to have come from nowhere as I had never been afflicted with this skin condition before, not even as a teen. Both my naturopath and doctor put it down to hormones.
My naturopath's wife (who had suffered adult acne when she was pregnant with their first child) recommended I mix one part apple cider vinegar with 3-4 parts water. She advised to drink it (to detox and cleanse) as well as use it as a topical acne treatment. I followed her advice and my skin cleared in weeks. This is a cheap DIY beauty treatment that works - I swear by it!
Beeswax lip balm for a perfect pout.
From time to time I get dry lips which is the only reason I use lip balm. I have used a variety of different natural lip balms from Palmers Cocoa Butter, Body Shop, Burt’s Bees - you name it I’ve tried it. Then along came Eco Store Beeswax Lip Balm - and now I am hooked. It is fragrance-free and is made with plant based ingredients that is biodegradable. I will eventually make my own lip balm once we have a ready supply from our bee hives but until then, this is my lip balm of choice.
Now it's over to you: What does your beauty routine entail? Do you worry about the toxic chemicals you expose yourself to each time you apply beauty and make-up products? Do you wear too much and want to cut down? Would love to hear your thoughts so please post a comment below.