• Erica Larson

Non-Toxic Makeup + Creating A Natural Look

The lockdown has provided a lot of extra time at home to focus on my skin, and going makeup-free has given my skin some time to breathe. I have found myself using less products, but better quality.


I am continuing the "clean beauty" discussion from my previous post, and moving the focus from skincare to makeup.





What is considered "clean" can vary by brand and store. The key is to find products with high quality, non-toxic, ethical, and mindfully sourced ingredients that are held to certification standards. Some important certifications include, but are not limited to, organic, eco-certified, cruelty-free, and fair trade. It is important to read carefully and do your research because there is a lot of confusion with certain labels.


If a product is labeled as 'Organic', then that means that at least 70% of the ingredients are certified organic. If the organic ingredients do not hit the 70% mark, then the organic ingredients are just called out on packaging. 'Natural' is another tricky term, meaning that the ingredients are pure and derived from nature, such as plants and oils, rather than synthetic. 'Cruelty free' products certify that no products have ever been tested on animals. 'Sustainable' is a label focusing on sourcing; this means that the ingredients are biodegradable and grown without harsh chemicals and pesticides. Ingredients used in cosmetics are exempt from FDA regulatory practices - this is especially concerning considering our skin is the largest organ in our body, allowing toxic chemicals to quickly be absorbed into our bloodstream.


As I noted in my previous post, you can check how safe your products are on the toxicity scale from the activist group Environmental Working Group (EWG). Check the products you are currently using, and if the ratings are too high, consider some alternatives. Make the transition gradual - start by switching face, then eyes, lips, cheeks, etc., focusing on one area at a time.

I have found a couple of retailers, Credo Beauty and The Detox Market, that carry exclusively clean and non-toxic products. All of their products are considered "safe," which makes it easier to shop, except if you are indecisive like me you might have too many options to choose from! These products range from skincare and makeup to haircare, nutritional supplements, and fragrances.


'Non-toxic' brands focus on safety, sourcing, sustainability, ethics, and transparency.

I realized now that I am wearing minimal makeup, and using clean skincare, the last thing I want to do is apply powder with talc, eyeshadow with aluminum, or lip color with mineral oil onto my skin which ends up getting absorbed into my body. I am avoiding products with these ingredients not only for my skin, but for my long term health and for the environment.


I have already made the switch to all 'clean skincare,' and this is prompting me to make the switch to 'clean makeup' as well. Just like diet and exercise, skincare and beauty choices are personal and not a "one size fits all" approach. There is no right or wrong answer, and you don't have to cut products out overnight. I was originally uncertain about the value of transitioning my makeup, because in the modeling industry I have little input into products used by artists at a photoshoot. I finally decided it is better to be more selective when I can be, so I transitioned products for my personal use. We cannot control everything in our lives, but it is good to make positive changes whenever possible.


I slowly began replacing my beauty products with clean alternatives over the past several months as other products ran out. There are still some products I own that aren't entirely 'clean' - they have only some, but not all certifications, and that is okay. I don't truly ever think my entire makeup bag will be completely 'clean,' but it isn't about being perfect, its about moving towards better choices for our own bodies and the environment.


Since I have been prioritizing skincare and wearing minimal makeup, if any, as we progress back to some "normalcy," I want my daily routine to consist of non-toxic products that have beneficial ingredients and can even double as skincare. With an increased focus on skincare, I'm realizing that with my skin being clearer and more hydrated, I do not want to pile on the makeup. The phrase "less is more" is also very true when it comes to enhancing our natural features.


For my "everyday" and "natural" look, this is my routine and some of my favorite products:


Eyeshadow

I start by applying eyeshadow - I know this depends on the look, the makeup artist, the person, etc. I used to apply my eyeshadow last, but I would see flakes under my eyes or smudge some foundation or concealer in the process. I had a makeup artist years ago tell me that for darker or dramatic looks, or anyone worried about smudging, to apply eye makeup first. I've since realized that when I am in the makeup chair, unless there is almost no eye makeup being applied, my eye makeup is almost always done before foundation. Now I follow that bit of expert advise for my at home makeup applications as well.

I am loving Ilia The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Nude! This is a great palette for anyone who likes to keep their eyes natural looking or a neutral smoky eye. Since I have brown/hazel eyes I opted for the "warm nude" palette with golds and browns, but they also have a "cool nude" palette with more purple and grey tones.


Eyeliner

*Optional

My decision about eyeliner depends on the day - if I want to do a real "no makeup" look, then I skip it. Especially if I have certain castings I omit liner since they want you looking as natural as possible, and eyeliner can change the shape and appearance of your eyes...

… but that is the fun part for other occasions! I usually opt for a liquid liner to limit smudging, however for my bottom lid and certain looks I prefer a pencil liner. My favorite liquid liner of the moment is the Ilia Clean Line Liquid Liner. If you are a fan of the pencil look or application, the Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Precision Eye Pencil is my go-to.





Foundation/Skin

My latest makeup obsession is the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 because it offers light coverage, moisture and SPF! I love that this tinted moisturizer doubles as skincare with hyaluronic acid, plant based squalane, and niacinamide. The zinc oxide protects the skin from UVA, UVB, UVC and bluelight damage. I am currently using the shade Paloma (9), but as my skin tone darkens in the summer months, I might need the next shade. However, I am not sure yet if I will definitely make the switch because the great thing about this product is that it blends with your skin color after being applied.

BB (Beauty Balm) or CC (Color Corrector) creams are also ideal for light coverage!

Lily Lolo BB Cream is a lightly tinted moisturizer pigmented to even out skin tone if you just want to add a little smoothness to your skin.

The Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream with SPF 30 is a another great option that provides a little more coverage when you don't want a true foundation, but you might have some spots or blemishes to conceal.

If you prefer a fuller face coverage, opt for a true foundation like the Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation. This foundation is buildable medium coverage, so it is very versatile. The formula is ideal because similar to the Skin Tint, it doubles as skincare and naturally will diminish pores while helping to color correct and even out skin tone.

Whichever option you choose, be sure the shade matches your skin. Tinted moisturizers, BB Creams and CC Creams have more generalized shades and fewer options. Foundations have many more shade varieties, as well as undertone color, etc. A lot of brands have mastered shade matching virtually for shopping online which is very convenient!


Concealer

My favorite clean concealer I have found is Kosas Revealer Brightening Concealer.

As someone who has only used Tarte Shape Tape or Too Faced Born This Way for years, this is a great clean alternative! I use shade 5.5 for medium skin with olive undertones. This concealer is perfect for the undereye area, blemishes, and even a natural highlight if you are looking to experiment with contouring.


Blush

I have only used powder blush in the past, so for a more natural look, after hearing rave reviews about cream blush, I gave it a shot. As my first non-powder blush, I am very impressed with Kosas Color and Light Blush and Highlighter! I got the shade "Tropic Equinox" because it is more of a bronze, and it is perfect for my olive skin, especially during the summer!


Eyebrows

The PYT Beauty Defining Brow Pencil is a convenient and great quality double sided pencil and brush. I use shade warm brown - it is mind blowing how much sculpted brows can enhance a natural look!


Mascara

No better way to finish off a look and to add some confidence than mascara.

Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara has won awards in the beauty world for good reason! Don't forget to curl your lashes first though for best results.


Lips

I love the Lip2Cheek color by RMS Beauty because it is easy to bring on the go - between castings, fittings or running around, I can easily add a pop of color to both my lips and cheeks in seconds!


Less is more, especially for a quick and natural look! What is your "everyday" look?


Makeup is all about personal preference and it might take you some time to figure out what works best for you. These are some of my favorites and I hope these ideas can give you a place to start as you switch to cleaner products and explore options :)




#cleanbeauty #makeup #skincare #modeling

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