I love makeup. I am also someone who believes that we deserve to know more about how our beauty products are made, who is making them, what is in them, where those ingredients are sourced from, and how those ingredients are being sourced. It’s hard out here for a beauty lover who wants to shop ethically.
So you’ve made the conscious decision to stop buying clothing from fast fashion retailers. You’re hip to the damage that the fast fashion industry has on garment workers and the environment. You’ve seen The True Cost. You’re well on your way, eco-babe! But what about your makeup? Finding ethical makeup products can seem like a daunting task. Here are some roadblocks and tips to beauty for the conscious consumer.
ORGANIC, GREEN, NATURAL
Cosmetics companies often use these words to sell products. It’s called greenwashing—a powerful and deceitful tactic. The truth is that there is no regulation of what these terms actually mean within the beauty industry. However, there are many resources for consumers to learn more about what is really in our products.
Check it out! Beauty Lies Truth – they have a “Clean List” of products and a “Dirty List” of ingredients to look out for
CRUELTY FREE AND VEGAN
Many beauty and cosmetics brands are considered cruelty free, which means that they do not test or allow testing on their ingredients and their finished products. No animals harmed! Vegan products are not tested on animals and also don’t contain any animal by-products (ingredients such as beeswax, carmine, and lanolin). Some companies are completely vegan and others are cruelty free with vegan options.
Careful! Some companies claim to be cruelty free, but really aren’t. Always be sure to do your research. PETA and The Leaping Bunny both have cruelty free certifications that companies can apply for. Keep an eye out for their logos on your beauty products.
Check it out! Logical Harmony – Justin and Tashina have great lists for Cruelty Free and Vegan makeup option, and their certification process is very trustworthy and thorough.
I’m waiting for the day that I can buy mascara from a company that ethically sources organic ingredients, pays fair living wages to its workers throughout the supply chain, that can trace its products through the supply chain from ingredient to store shelf, that does not test on animals or use animal ingredients and by-products, that cares deeply for the earth, and all living creatures who dwell here, and that is committed to sustainability. We haven’t gotten to that point yet, and the beauty industry is a complex place that we must learn to navigate.
1. Buy Small.
It’s easy to rely on Sephora and Ulta to meet our beauty needs, but next time you run out of something, try purchasing from an independent creator on Etsy or in a local boutique. Artisans around the world are hand crafting natural and organic skin care, soaps, facial oils, and even makeup! I am totally pro supporting small businesses!
2. Keep on reading.
Read ingredient labels. When the ingredients don’t look familiar to you, read up about what they are. Do as much research as you can. The internet is full of beauty bloggers asking questions about ingredients and products.
3. Contact your favorite companies.
If a company you love tests on animals, write them an email explaining why ending animal testing is so important to you! Tell your favorite companies what kind of things matter to you. After all, the consumers do have the power!
Have you been trying to shop more consciously? What are your tips, or things that you've been thinking about?
Let me know in the comments below!
lipstick & solidarity,
p.s. what is slow beauty?