The multi-billion dollar industry of cosmetics carries the cost that many women and men are not willing to pay for. Shady ingredients may lend pretty shades to the lips or eyes, but their sources may contain a high amount of heavy metals such as lead, that used daily and repeatedly can easily create a bio-accumulation with metabolic consequences on one’s health. Also, the high cost of animal testing that occurs (seemingly needlessly) that many people are infuriated and sickened with, has been the highlight behind many animal rights campaigns.
Expectedly, the perfume world behind smelly pages in magazines carries its weight in shame. Ingredient sourcing and marketing seem to share an inverse relationship; cheap ingredients with high publicity. Here, phthalates pose ongoing health risks that appear in nearly all scented toiletries. Over time and usage, exposure may interact with the body’s metabolic and methylation pathways and cause numerous health issues.
Wanting to add a splash of colour, a hint of shine or all out accentuation of the face while smelling good, is understandable and warranted. So what are viable options without the health risks and manipulation of innocent lives? Looking for locally made cosmetics is a great choice. There are numerous companies that are growing in this area. Earth Lab is one example that is produced in Canada with exceptionally clean simple ingredients.
Many books abound with ‘how to’s to create your own lip glosses flavored and scented with essential oils. Face and body creams, cleansers, oils, waxes and hair products can all be devised in the home. Learning about all the different substances that can be used and the properties that each embodies is a fascinating journey into history, sustainable agriculture and really fun get togethers.
Easy beauty tips to try include massaging a small amount of jojoba oil into long hair with a couple added drops of essential oils; I tend to enjoy a drop of vanilla with two drops of with basil or pine/balsam fir or bayberry/cinnamon for a unique spicy scent that is bound to be noticed and enjoyed. With the vastness of pure oils available, read –up, smell and experiment! Note: do exercise caution with pure essential oils. Always dilute them in a carrier oil (almond, argan, grapeseed, etc.) first as pure oils can potentially burn skin.
Buying and using kohl as eyeliner is not expensive and wears incredibly well. I recently saw a youtube video that used crayons to make lipsticks, which could also serve as a creamy blush. Mineral powders can provide greater cover-up with a base of shea butter massaged first into the skin. Canadian winters can leave facial skin and hands bitterly stinging and a small amount of pure shea (melted in the palm of the hand) efficiently soothes sore skin and lips.
Henna is a traditional hair colorant and a google search gives plenty of recipes to treat and colour your hair type. Lemon, hydrogen peroxide and camomile are well known hair lighteners for gentle highlights (be careful! –as you would with any other hair treatment).
Making your own beauty products, or buying them ethically, is a forward moving affirmation of modern society with a political, self-respecting edge. It is well known that the value of the dollar is very much attached to the decisions made in commerce production. So let those cheekbones be lifted, and eyes shadowed with mystery, lips lilted with pink pigments and lashes deepened naturally.