A few posts ago, I gave a run-down of the Cosmetic Catastrophe that is the mainstream makeup industry as we know it. I also listed many companies who are driving change and are über worthy of the fab reputations they’ve earned for themselves within the world of (truly) natural and organic beauty products.
I promised a special blog to feature the two companies at the top of my list, since they are the companies I chose to go natural with, and are now the products I’ve been using exclusively – here we go!
I’m pleased to introduce Au Naturale Cosmetics and Honeybee Gardens!
- Au Naturale Cosmetics is organic and vegan (PETA-certified), founded by Ashley Prange, who believes that “no woman should have to sacrifice her health and values for beauty”. Products are made fresh in small batches, from ingredients sourced locally. The company is also leading the way for green beauty reform, helping to lobby for stricter cosmetic safety regulations on Capitol Hill. Bonus perks: You can order samples of creme foundation or powder foundation, blush, or bronzer!
- Honeybee Gardens is vegan (PETA-certified) and gluten-free, founded by herbalist Melissa J. Buckley out of her kitchen. All ingredients are natural, and many are organic. Here’s a handy-dandy store locator to see if it’s in a store near you, or you can order online. Aside from all your makeup needs, they also have some body products (like soaps) and men’s items. Bonus perks: HBG sells samples of several different products, which really comes in handy for choosing eye shadow colors! If you can keep your sampling bonanza <$5, enjoy only $2.95 shipping!
…Ready to See the Products?!
First up is face makeup, all by Au Naturale. [Update April 2017 – Au Naturale has just re-branded, so please note, the product packaging will look different now on their web store! Product formulations are unchanged.]
I purchased these products 100% by making educated guesses, and luckily nailed it, so it is possible to buy online!
Each foundation color has a recommendation for which skin tone(s) it works best with, so using that, plus this guide to help me identify my skin tone, I picked my foundation color. The concealers tell you which foundation color they coordinate with, so that was simple. I chose the blush by comparing the product pics to the Neutrogena color I was previously using, so that wasn’t too tough either – but keep in mind that colors vary on all computer monitors based on calibration, so use the pics as a loose guide. (Don’t judge color off my pics, please! I had a heck of a time trying to accurately show them, but they’re still off, especially the blush. Sigh.)
Overall, picking my colors was a big success, and I was even luckier to have scored them on a fantastic Black Friday sale! Woo-hoo!
Curious about ingredients? Check it out. It’s a short list!
- Pure Powder Blush (Pomegranate): Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide and Silica.
- Pure Powder Bronzer (Luminous): Mica, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, and Iron Oxides.
- Semi-Matte Powder Foundation (Sand): Zinc Oxide (Non-Nano), Mica, Titanium Dioxide, and Iron Oxides.
- Completely Covered Creme Concealer (Beige): Organic Castor Oil, Mica, Wildcrafted Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Organic Simmondsia Chinsis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Castor Wax, Iron Oxides, Kaolin, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oleoresin, Organic Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Organic Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Zinc Oxide (Non-Nano), Organic Maranta Arledinacea.
Over the years, I’ve flip-flopped between using loose mineral powder foundation vs. liquid foundation (of many brands), but I’m so glad I went the loose Semi-Matte Powder Foundation route from Au Naturale. I realized how much I missed loose powder, but I’d truly never used one of this quality before! It brightens and evens complexion, and the finished product looks flawless and airbrushed, with weightless (but effective) coverage. Applying in circular motions ensures proper coverage, which is especially important for someone like myself with some old acne scars. A little goes a long way, which is huge! Being careful to tap off excess before applying will not only save product, but ensures the most natural look. I’ve been using this brush with great success, but any mineral powder brush will do. If you’re a greasy gal like myself, you’ll be pleased to see that this foundation does help control shininess quite well, and *bonus* doesn’t smudge off if you use oil-absorbing blotter sheets! It’s a fresh look that lasts all day.
I’d never used a loose mineral blush or bronzer before (always used pressed), but immediately fell in love with how super soft and natural-looking this Pure Powder Blush is. It blends seamlessly with the powder foundation in such a way that they become one, instead of standing out super noticeably or even (gasp) streakily. Just like the powder foundation, the overall effect is airbrushed. There’s just something about it, this glow, that I haven’t had with prior products. The Pure Powder Bronzer is the same way, offering a very natural, soft glow, and you really only need a tiny bit swiped in strategic places on your face to make it believable. I use a blush brush for applying both of these, and same as with the foundation, you’ll want to tap off excess before applying.
The Completely Covered Creme Concealer was probably the product I most worried about ordering, because it’s easy to doubt that something natural can offer proper coverage. Well, this product will prove you wrong! It’s not quite as “liquid creamy” as I initially expected, but it’s a more solid, “warms-under-your-fingertip” creamy consistency that works well. I recommend using your ring finger to give it a couple swirls to get it nice and warmed up, then transferring it quickly to your skin. I use it primarily for my under-eye circles (the bane of my makeup routine), though this concealer handles them well! I actually do them once, let it absorb a little, then come back for a touch-up, if needed. Even when doing two layers, this product blends nicely into the surrounding skin. I won’t say it’s 100% crease proof, but it’s definitely on the better end of various concealers I’ve used.
So we’ve got face makeup covered, now let’s move on to those eyes! Ready for eye makeup!?
All eye makeup is by Honeybee Gardens, which I first stumbled upon at my local natural grocer, and bought the mascara right then and there. That day, I ended up coming home to buy a ton of mineral eye shadow samples online (50¢ each!), and had fun test-driving them! A 40% off flash sale cropped up not long after that, so I took that opportunity to order my favorite shadows, plus threw the eyeliner in my cart. Addicting!
Here too, in case you’re curious, are the ingredients:
- Stackable Mineral Eyeshadows: Mica, kaolin, silica, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, potassium sorbate, chlorphenesin.
- JobaColors Eyeliner (Smoking Gun): Aqua, styrene/acrylates/ammonium methacrylate copolymer, butylene glycol, calcium sodium borosilicate, silica, laureth-2 benzoate, sorbitol, sodium cocoyl apple amino acids, caprylyl glycol, coconut acid, sodium chloride, tocopherol.
- Truly Natural Mascara (Espresso): Purified water/aqua, serenoa repens (saw palmetto) berry*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed wax, shorea robusta resin, rhus vernicifla cera, ascorbyl palmitate, brassica campestris/aleurites fordi oil copolymer, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax*, glycerin, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil*, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, triisostearyl citrate, polyglyceryl-2 oleate, polyhydroxystearic acid, polyglyceryl-2 stearate, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, methylcellulose, rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) leaf*, xanthan gum, propanediol, phenethyl alcohol, undecyl alcohol, tocopherol. *denotes Organic
Let’s talk eyeshadows! If you love a beautiful mineral shimmer with a slight metallic look, you’ll simply adore these colors. (If that’s not you, HBG also has more subtle colors, plus a whole line of pressed eyeshadows that are more matte.) These are highly-pigmented, so a little goes a long way (be sure to tap away excess from your applicator/brush, otherwise it’ll “snow” onto your undereye area). They’re buildable if you like a stronger look, and are very smooth and blendable. These three colors are absolutely perfect for me – I love creating a beautiful, more natural look that accentuates my eyes, without making it look “overdone”. I use an eyeshadow applicator when laying down my main color (a patting motion rather than swiping), then an angled eyeshadow brush for applying the crease/outer lid color.
The eyeliner is a bit less subtle than the eyeshadows, but I love it. I couldn’t quite tell from the product listing/customer reviews if this one was also going to be glittery (like the other color options), and was a little surprised to see what it looked like when it arrived. It is in fact a little glittery, but it grew on me instantly. It’s fun without being obnoxious or childish. Smoking Gun is a great color – it’s a dark charcoal gray, dark enough to have impact, but much less extreme than black. If you want to be bold, you can be heavy-handed with it. If you want to be a little more low-key with it, you can – just apply a little, then use an eyeliner brush to smudge along your lash line. Being a more natural product, the consistency is a little softer than what you’re likely used to, but after a few uses you get the hang of it.
The mascara is simply amazing, to say the least. I’m actually really glad I went with Espresso (a black brown) instead of straight black, because it just looks so unbelievably natural. Gone are the days of clumpy, overly-obvious, gunky lashes! This mascara is smooth, clump-free, and has no issues with drying or staying put. When I want to feel less like a bum running errands, I throw on one layer that brightens my eyes and makes me look more awake. But when I’m actually doing my full eye makeup, I go the whole nine yards and use all the tricks of the trade – getting product on the top of my lashes first, then combing through normally with a little wiggle-shake for better coverage. Depending on my mood, I’ll go back a second time for the top lashes. Love it! I feel like it accentuates my eyes without looking over-done. It’s not “runway” mascara, no doubt, but it’s perfect for me.
So those are the products, now would you like to see how they look applied? For giggles, I decided to use the products on my left side only (the right side of the pic). I haven’t edited any of these photos at all other than cropping, so you’re seeing the real results. I had a good time doing this, and wanna know how silly I am? I chanced it and went to our laundry center like this, with half a face of makeup! *shrug* All in a day’s work!
Here’s what it looked like doing just the concealer. I apologize, this pic is so dark, but later on you’ll see it even better. Even still, you can see the difference. Buh-bye purple!
Next, I applied the powder foundation, powder blush, and powder bronzer. (Please don’t ask me what my eyebrow was doing in that right pic. I have no clue.)
So moving on from there, I proceeded to do my eye makeup in full. I used Satin Sheets as my base color (using one layer on my brow bone area for highlight, then two layers all over my lid), then Passage to India as my crease/outer lid color.
Here’s an eye close-up that helps show the concealer’s coverage better than above!
Here you can compare the two sides of my face. Pic on the left, no makeup. Pic on the right is full face/eye makeup. (No, I’m not angry, I swear!)
I’m sure you’ve seen enough of my mug by now, but I just really like this last pic, because you can see how wonderfully shimmery the eyeshadow is! I do wish the pic wasn’t so dark. (If I’m wishing for stuff, I also wish my eyebrow wasn’t playing hide and seek! After seeing this, I ordered the Brown Sugar eye pencil for my brows!)
[If anyone’s wondering, this adorable headband I was wearing is by Wild Child Couture in Cleveland, OH. Gotta rep my hometown hippies!]
So, there you have it! Real results you can totally see, done with products that you don’t have to fear what they’re made from. I’m sure many women are hesitant to switch out of habit/loyalty to this brand or that brand, or worry that buying natural means a less effective product. That, of course, is totally untrue – you can have gorgeous makeup and fabulous results without the onslaught of chemicals.
Before I go, I want to pass along one more little tip, which I believe I also mentioned in my Cosmetic Catastrophe post. Whichever companies you decide to go natural with, be sure to start following them on social media and sign up for their emails, so that you’re on top of any sales or promos! It truly pays to keep a watchful eye!
Wishing you healther, happier days!