MAKEUP

Reconstructed :: InStyle Best Beauty Buys Part I

InStyle Best Beauty Buys Green Makeover

InStyle magazine used to be my bible. I’d absorb the pages, letting them dictate my next fashion purchase or beauty look. Swoon over the stars in their dazzling dresses at the best parties. Bookmark stuff I wanted to go back to, rip out pages to take shopping or show my hair stylist, then wait for the next issue to arrive.

Our relationship grew more distant the more I learned about nontoxic beauty. Slowly, over time, I stopped buying the mag so much. I still love the fashion and purchase the special seasonal issues for style inspo, but the beauty stuff just didn’t hold the same appeal for me.

But there is one InStyle issue I grab every single year. The one I used to covet the hardest. And that is the annual Best Beauty Buys issue. A rundown of what the “industry’s top experts” recommend in each category. Sadly, the majority of the picks are not healthy products. I really thought by now InStyle would have realized how many great organic beauty brands are out there and that many women want them.

And I’ll prove it. Let’s take a look at the 20th  annual guide, page by page, and I will let you in on which ones are safe (clue: not many) and fill you in on what I’d put on the page, matching item for item with safe products. Love this kinda stuff!

This week, we’ll start at the top: Foundations + Cover-Ups and Cheeks

FOUNDATIONS + COVER-UPS

InStyle lists 10 foundation and cover up choices that they like. None are nontoxic. Boo. There are so many great items in this category that are organic and free from synthetic garbage ingredients. Here are the cream o’ the crop:

BB Cream Yes, you can have a BB cream that is free from toxic ingredients. Lavera BB Cream offers hydration with a natural glow. Perfect for those who don’t like a true foundation or have dry skin.

Foundation Brush W3LL People Basic Foundation Brush is made of synthetic fibers (non-animal) and tapered for ultra light coverage.

Primer Simply the best in facial sunscreen, Suntegrity Sunscreen Face Protection SPF 30 offers UV protection, while it works as a facial moisturizer and makeup primer. Non-greasy and leaves no white tint on skin. Perfection in a bottle.

Mineral Foundation cream compact Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation is the gold standard in mineral foundation. The cream is so light you’d never think it could provide coverage. But it does, like a dream. And the compact it comes in is modern art beauty.

Concealer stick Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer is the best I’ve come across for covering dark circles and spots. Seriously.

Tinted Moisturizer Not all of us like foundation. If you fall into this category a tinted moisturizer will become your new bff. And Ilia Beauty Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 is the bomb at light coverage with hydration and an added boost of UV protection.

Liquid Foundation For those who prefer a standard liquid foundation, try Lavera Natural Liquid Foundation. Just short of a being a cream this liquid provides super sheer coverage to hide imperfections and even tone.

Powder Foundation Looking for a great powder foundation? W3LL People Altruist Mineral Foundation is a hit amongst the powder lovers, providing weightless, satiny coverage.

Blemish Treatment Concealer Treat while you cover with Ilia Beauty Vivid Concealer. This lightweight concealer hides blemishes while soothing and calming the skin. Contains arnica, a super natural skin healer.

Powder The best barely there powder in the biz has to be RMS Beauty “Un” Powder. Absolutely translucent, just a touch of this mineral powder banishes shine and perfects the complexion with no white finish.

CHEEKS

The mag lists 7 cheek color products, 1 of which happens to be nontoxic and one of my personal faves. The selection includes an “eco-friendly bronzer”. Excitement fades upon realizing it is eco in name only. Tarte Amazonian Clay is a mineral bronzer, but also contains talc, dimethicone (a silicon-based polymer), nylon-12 (a synthetic polymer), polysorbate 20 (a chemical surfactant), and phenoxyethanol(chemical preservative. So, not eco at all. Tarte is a good example of a company with vague enough marketing to lead consumers to believe their products are green, when in reality, not so much.

Cream Blush The idea behind cream blush is that it melts into skin, giving a super natural flush. Thus is just the case with Kjaer Weis Cream Blush. So sheer, go for just a hint of color or layer for more intensity.

Highlighter This is the one InStyle got right with RMS Beauty Living Luminizer. Love, love this beauty staple created by makeup artist to the super models,Rose-Marie Swift. So many uses beyond cheeks. A true must have.

Powder Blush There are many choices of mineral powder blush that are free from unnecessary nasty junk, like dimethicone, synthetic preservatives, and talc. My picks: Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush, W3LL People Purist Mineral Blush, and Kari Gran Mineral Blush.

Blush Brush Alima Pure Blush Brush is super soft, synthetic fiber, and hypo-allergenic.

Bronzer Opt for a cream, RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer is a beauty aficionado fave, or powder,like W3LL People Bio Bronzer. Get your bronze on with all natural ingredients and no greenwashing.

Next week we’ll cover Eyes, so come back and check it out. Ask questions if you have ’em!

Seasonal Inspo :: Spring Colors

Spring Colors Organic Makeup

The transition from winter to spring can feel like crawling out of a cave. You want to cast aside all of that black and grey, and do something to lighten and brighten your look.

Let’s take a poll – how many of you have bobbed your hair or cut bangs at the first whiff of spring, only to realize a little too late that you’ll be straightening and wrangling short strands all through summer?

Yeah, been down that road a few times myself. Step away from the shears. I have an easy, fun, and super low commitment way to put some spring in your step. No locks lost.

While a perky pink or coral may seem awkward in the darker days of winter, they add insta-pizzazz to a springtime look. A hint of luscious color and you’ll be feeling loads lighter.

Here are my organic makeup springtime picks. So pretty you’ll be tip toe-ing through the tulips by early afternoon. I’ve also updated my shop with some fresh new seasonal product picks, so be sure to stop by there before you leave.

Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Rapture :: A brand new lip shade by the ever gorgeous KW. Think bougainvillea pink.

Ilia Beauyt Multi Stick in A Fine Romance :: A beautiful berry that adds sheer pinky brightness to cheeks and lips.

La Bella Figura Crème Blush in Just Jenna :: An exotic orchid pink that delivers on vibrant, springy color.

Kari Gran Mineral Blush :: The ultimate baby pink. More than lend color, this mineral blush enhances the natural complexion.

Benecos Creamy Eyeshadow Pencil in Green/Gold :: I just think eyeshadow pencils are so cool because you can use them as a shadow or eyeliner. And this one is a sweet natural green with more than a hint of scrumptious gold.

Reconstructed :: Cara D-Style Brows

Caras Brows OBS

Bold brows are still on trend for 2015. Still avoiding doing something about it? I know I am.

For years I plucked and waxed to perfection. Even taking on the task myself after constant disappointment over professional brow shaping. I have this brow thing down.

But last year brows went and got all thick and full and Brooke Shields-ish circa 1980. And I’ll tell you what, growing brows is not the same as growing bangs. Once you’ve wrangled those babies into submission for a decade or three they are not at all willing to grow back the way they started.

This means using a brow pencil to fill them in. Yikes. Now, I like makeup as much as any girl. But I am afraid of brow pencil lest I end up one of those artificially drawn on cartoon looking examples of brow fakery. Plus, I have this habit of unconsciously smoothing my brows with my fingers and am scared of walking around with brow pencil smeared across my forehead.

Still, I drool every time I see a pic of Cara D.’s lush browage. What’s a thin browed gal to do?

I dug deep and found out I am not alone. Lots of women are using makeup to fill in their less than hearty brows. I watched this video and decided I too could give it a whirl.

I recommend going with Lavera Eyebrow Pencil (in whichever color best matches your hair) to fill in brows with a soft swipe of RMS Beauty Living Luminizer underneath.

BB Cream :: How to Make Your Own

Make Your Own BB Cream

I’ve tried a couple of organic BB creams but they were too foundation heavy. I’m not much of a foundation wearer. When the time comes where I do want a little coverage, I simply add a bit of tint to my moisturizer. Still, I’ve pined for the glowy coverage BB cream gives to skin.

So, I tried whipping one up myself. And with amazing results. Here’s my not so secret recipe:

Warm a bit of skin luminizer on fingertips, just so it is softened a little. I used RMS Beauty Living Luminizer. Add a small amount of your daily moisturizer on top of the luminizer. Remember to use slightly less moisturizer than you normally would because you are mixing with other product. Then top with a smaller still dab of foundation or, if you tend to have dry skin, a tinted moisturizer. I used my daily fave Lavera Mattifying Balancing Cream along with Lavera Tinted Moisturizer. Looks like Lavera no longer makes their tinted moisturizer, so I’d probably go with something like 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer or you could just use your usually foundation. Mix this trifecta together lightly with fingertips and apply to face.

There you have it. Moisture, coverage, and a bit of skin perfecting luminosity. This combo does not look makeup-y, feels good, and gives just the amount of color I was looking for. My new winter skin staple.

The same thing could be done for body using your body lotion or cream, just a bit of tinted moisturizer and a little luminizer. Oila!

Reconstructed :: Angelina’s Vanity Fair Cover

Angelina Vanity Fair Cover December

Love Angelina’s look for the December cover of Vanity Fair. If you haven’t seen the issue, that’s it at top. Warm and natural, this simple look is polished enough to work for day or night. Perfect!

Angelina is one of my favorite high profile women. She is dedicated to what she does, loves a good mission, and comes complete with that awesome touch of badassery I so admire in a gal. I’m currently reading Unbroken, the book from which she just made a movie of the same name. Have you read it? If you need a good dose of buck up this story will def do the trick.

Anyway…back to the look. Here are the products I’ve chosen to do the reconstruction au naturel.

1 Lavera Beauty Balm (BB Cream)

2 Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer

3 Benecos Natural Baked EyeShadow duo in Celebrate

4 Benecos Natural Eyeliner in Black

5 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Black Tea

6 Benecos Eyebrow-Designer in Brown

7 RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

8 Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Desired Glow

9 Ilia Beauty Lipstick in Funnel of Love

Product Love :: Kjaer Weis Highlighter

Kjaer Weis Highlighter

Like I told ya on Instagram recently, I finally got my hot little hands on some Kjaer Weis.

I’ve been wanting to do another foundation roundup. Since I’ve never used much foundation I always like to test them out and see which are the best. Kind of an if-I-love-them-you-are-sure-to-love-them sorta thing. More on that soon.

In the meantime I have been playing with a new Kjaer Weis product. They’ve created their very own Highlighter. Yays! You know you love a great highlighter, and so do I, and this one will not disappoint ‘cha. Promise.

Kjaer Weis Highlighter is perfect when used in the traditional ways (brow bone, cheek bones, bridge of nose, corners of eyes, collarbones), but I’ve been doing something new with it. I like to sub it in for cream shadow. Smudge along upper and lower lash lines, and in crease of eye. It gives a super natural look but adds…something special. An I’m not even trying yet totally done look. Top with a little liner, maybe a swipe of mascara, and you are good to go.

PS: I also love it on my lips!

Reconstructed :: Haley Bennett’s Bronze Eye

Haley Bennett Bronze Eye

Love the look on actress Haley Bennett in the September issue of InStyle magazine. Namely, the eyes. Bronze-y shadow that keeps summer glow going in a totally fall way. The artist who did the look actually used RMS Buriti Bronzer to achieve the look. Always love to see an organic beauty favorite used mainstream. Yay!

Another good one to try here would be RMS Cream Eyeshadow in Solar. More of a gold than bronze, this cream would impart an all rich look. Apply to lower lash line and sockets of eyes.

Finish the look with a swipe of brown pencil. Brown eyeliner pencil happens to be the makeup product I would choose if I could only have one. AT the very least, a close runner up to lipgloss. I rarely leave home without a touch of it. My favorite is Benecos Natural Eyeliner and have several in different spots for easy access.

There you go. Add mascara if roll like that. Your fall eye look. Go try it out.

Bold Lip, Bronze Eye

Bold Lip Bronze Eye Organic Makeup

This is sort of a reverse of Alexa’s sig makeup look. Where she does the bold eye with nude lip, this is a bright orange or punchy pink lip with a bronze-y neutral eye. Hot this summer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Eye color of your choice ~ If you are going for a pink lip try taupe shadow, like 100% Pure Dual-Ended Creamstick in Cotton/Silk. If you are opting for an orange lip, you can use a gold or bronze hue, like RMS Beauty Cream Eyeshadow in Solar or Seduce.

For lips ~ Here is where things get fun. My top two recommendations here are Ilia Beauty Lipstick Voila or Neon Angel.

And that is it. Keep cheeks fairly neutral and let lips take the stage. Party on.