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Buying Natural Cosmetics (Makeup)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

But if you're like me, highlighting your most attractive features while camouflaging the not-so-beautiful features makes you feel more positive about yourself. I am the type of gal that rarely will leave the house without first performing my short makeup application ritual. To me, using good hygiene practices and looking my best shows respect for others and demonstrates that I care to look my best for my loved ones as well as those I am blessed to meet.

Until the past couple years, I have had to primarily use brand name cosmetics because naturally based cosmetics were in short supply. Brand name cosmetics often give the illusion that they are made with the highest quality ingredients, but that is not usually so. Many of the ingredients that are used in commercial cosmetics are synthetic, harsh on the skin over time or can clog pores. The use of mineral oil is a good example. Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum production. It can clog pores and prevent the skin from breathing. Foundations and concealers are still being made with mineral oil. Some larger companies are starting to get away from including mineral oil, but only after they have been faced with greater consumer awareness and demand for products made without it.

Mineral powders are considered healthy (or at least harmless) for the skin while mineral oil is not.

Large cosmetic companies that do offer more natural lines of cosmetics often purchase the ingredients they use in their products based on the price of the ingredient with little regard to true ingredient quality.

In the past few years, however, consumers have been fortunate to discover artisans that have researched and experimented in creating more naturally based cosmetics. The quality, benefits to the skin and selection are a blessing to those, like me, that desire to wear makeup, but prefer to use natural products.

Although the common definition of the term cosmetics includes moisturizers, cleansers, toners and personal fragrances, this article focuses on purchasing natural and nearly all-natural mineral based makeups such as concealing powders, foundations, blushes, bronzers, shadows, lip and eye liners and lipsticks.

The advantage to purchasing primarily natural, handmade cosmetics are many:

  • Artisans have more control over the exact ingredients included within the cosmetics that they create.

  • Handcrafted cosmetics made by experienced artisans are typically made with higher quality ingredients yet often cost less than their commercial counterparts.

  • Handcrafted cosmetics are typically gentler for your skin when properly formulated and used.

  • Want your mineral foundation to be a hint lighter? A tad more yellow in tone? Your favorite artisan may be happy to customize one of their products to meet your preferences. Note, however, that by using natural products, slight product variations can occur between batches as described in more detail below.

Artisans are faced with challenges when working with natural ingredients. As a consumer, it helps to understand and respect these challenges:

  • Perfecting the color and consistency of naturally based cosmetics is a challenge for artisans. It is an even greater challenge to reduplicate colors and textures consistently from batch to batch. Ingredients often used in natural cosmetic formulation include natural oxides, micas, cosmetic grade clays, vegetable oils and powdered herbs such as arrowroot powder. View our Ingredients Commonly Used in Mineral Based Cosmetics article for more detailed information. Natural botanical ingredients are contingent upon the conditions that the botanical was grown in, the farm/producer that oversaw the harvest and so on. Mineral based ingredients can vary based on the quantity and proportions of minerals contained within each ingredient. Slight variations in color, consistency or aroma can occur between products.

  • The most significant challenge that artisans face in making cosmetics involves the limited shelf life of handcrafted cosmetics. Unless they add a preservative, their cosmetics will not have the same shelf life as their commercial counterparts. Most of us tend to keep and use our cosmetics until they run out instead of properly disposing of them after a few months. Even heavily preserved commercial cosmetics can become breeding grounds for bacteria because the cosmetics come into contact with our skin and natural body oils. Eye shadow and blusher brushes touch the powders, then gloss over our skin and carry bacteria and oils back to the cosmetic container. Mascara brushes touch our lashes and then go directly back into their tubes carrying the oils and bacteria from our lashes directly into the liquid mascara. When artisans create cosmetics, the shelf life is much more limited, but you can keep track of the date that you first received them. Because they can be less expensive than high end cosmetics, you can replenish your personal cosmetic apothecary with fresh new cosmetics more frequently, something that is a necessity anyhow.


Shop Confidently for Cosmetics With Beauty By the Batch

Beauty By the Batch is a practical resource for assisting you in finding artisans that provide natural and nearly all-natural makeup and other cosmetic products. Begin your search by visiting the Beauty & Fragrances category of Beauty By the Batch's Artisan Directory. Not only do the artisans that appear within the Artisan Directory support the efforts of Beauty By the Batch, but they have all agreed to adhere to Beauty By the Batch's Artisan Code of Conduct. By agreeing to our Artisan Code of Conduct, artisans promise to abide by truthful and accurate marketing and a number of other practices that are in the best interest of consumers.

Visit the Beauty By the Batch Artisan Directory

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