When it comes to skincare and makeup, I’m a hard sell. With 20 years under my belt in the beauty industry, I’ve seen it all (and sampled most of it), and I gotta admit I’m a snob about the products I put on my face.
I want them to be high-performing and as “clean” as possible – meaning, I shouldn’t need a Ph.D. in chemistry to understand their labels.
And why should we care about the chemicals in our personal care products? According to the consumer-safety watchdog Environmental Working Group, parabens alone can cause reproductive problems, developmental disorders and hormone disruption in men, women and children.
For skincare, I was lucky enough to find Eminence Organics years ago, and it’s been my go-to product line ever since. As a licensed esthetician, I use it on my clients, and I use it on my own body daily, which is the ultimate testimonial. It feels good knowing this line is free of parabens, fake fragrances, harmful dyes and harsh chemicals, but what makes me a RAVING fan is that this organic line out-performs its chemical-heavy, toxic competition.
And while I’ve been patting myself on the back for finding such a fine skincare line, I struggled over the years to find a high-performing clean counterpart in makeup – clean cosmetics that are safe, vibrant, lasting and on trend. In the name of vanity, I admit I often ignored my better judgment and used some of the big brand names knowing they were full of the bad stuff. I knew I was undoing all of the healthy benefits of my smart, organic skincare each time I loaded my face with chemical-laden makeup, but I did it anyway, and I felt terrible about it.
My Life as a Guinea Pig
So a year ago, I stopped using mainstream makeup for a few weeks to see if I could “survive” on 100% clean beauty products. I tried a well-known clean brand of makeup, but the selection was limited and I was underwhelmed. After two weeks I grew bored and was craving some fun colors, so I dipped into one of my eye palettes from a big brand name. By the end of the day, my eyes became so red and itchy that I was miserable, but I wasn’t sure if it was related to the big-brand eyeshadow. So I repeated the same process the next week – using clean makeup for six days and the big-brand eyeshadow on day seven. The result: red and itchy eyes on the seventh day. Clearly my body was rejecting something in the mainstream makeup, so I decided to give the chemicals, and that big brand name, up for good. Over the next six months, I used the same clean beauty brand exclusively, but once again, I grew bored with the color selection and the performance didn’t ring my bell either.
I had heard about the Beautycounter clean makeup line, so I bought one blush only, expecting to be similarly disappointed. But I wasn’t. In fact, the blush was highly pigmented, laid on my skin perfectly and lasted the entire day. Next I decided to try an eyeshadow palette, again expecting to be disappointed, and once again it exceeded my expectations. I was on cloud nine.
This Industry Needs a Makeover
When I realized it’s possible to create amazing makeup that is natural, safe and high-performing, I started to get angry thinking about all the unnecessary chemicals I’ve used on my skin over time. I’m talking 20-years-of-working-in-the-beauty-industry angry. When studies indicate links between serious health issues like asthma, cancer and infertility and exposure to toxins in our environment, then WHY, on God’s green earth, are companies still using these ingredients in products applied to our skin?!
As it turns out, the United States refuses to follow the lead of European nations to ban many harmful ingredients that put our health at risk. And according to Scientific American, “The law requires no specific tests before a company brings a new product with a new chemical to market, and it does not require companies to release whatever safety data they collect.” Big beauty companies in the U.S. seem to care more about their bottom lines than they do about the safety of consumers, and THAT really makes me mad.
Don’t Get Mad, Get Beautiful
Our country has to do better. My beloved beauty industry has to do better. And as a business owner, I have to do better. So I’m taking a stand for my clients, employees, my family and myself.
This year, as we celebrate 10 years in business at She She Beauty Lounge, I made some big changes. In addition to our staple line of organic skincare products we have loved for years, we now offer non-toxic polish and gel-polish options. And through Dame + Heart, we’re providing a new line of high-performing clean makeup by Beautycounter.
I knew that I loved this product line, but even more so, I love the movement the company is creating. Beautycounter is doing exactly what all beauty companies should be doing: creating products devoid of more than 1,500 harmful or questionable ingredients, most banned in Europe. You will die when I tell you the U.S. has only banned 30 of those toxic ingredients, and that no major federal law regulating the cosmetics industry has been passed since 1938. When it comes to beauty products, current FDA regulations fail to protect you and me, so it’s up to each of us to align ourselves with conscientious companies, and products, that do.
I decided to partner with Beautycounter because I believe in their mission: to get safer beauty products into the hands of everyone. Safe products shouldn’t be the exception, they should be the rule, and they should be accessible to all. At Dame + Heart, we’re thrilled to offer a safer, high-performance line of lip colors, foundations, bronzers, eyeshadows and more through Beautycounter.