Fashion Lesson #10 Natural Make Up

You may remember a previous post called “Can Make Up Make You Sick?”, where I discovered that cosmetics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.  It was then that I decided to do a little research and find organic and non-synthetic alternatives to the cosmetics that I currently use.  Upon finding such products, I wanted to try them out to see if they were just as effective as their chemical laden cousins.

In beginning my research, I  learned that Minnesota, as of Jan. 1, 2008, banned the intentional use of mercury in mascara.  It seems that some cosmetic companies still use the heavy metal that can cause serious neurological damage as a preservative, much like vaccine companies have.

With further investigation, I found that conventional cosmetics contain all sorts of harmful preservatives and additives.  According to the Federal Government source for women’s health information, fragrances and preservatives are the main ingredients in cosmetics.

Products marked “fragrance-free” or “without perfume” means that no fragrances have been added to make the product smell good.

Preservatives in cosmetics are the second most common cause of skin problems. They prevent bacteria and fungus from growing in the product and protect products from damage caused by air or light. But preservatives can also cause the skin to become irritated and infected. Some examples of preservatives are:

  • paraben
  • imidazolidinyl urea
  • Quaternium-15
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • phenoxyethanol
  • formaldehyde

The ingredients below cannot be used, or their use is limited, in cosmetics. They may cause cancer or other serious health problems.

  • bithionol
  • mercury compounds
  • vinyl chloride
  • halogenated salicyanilides
  • zirconium complexes in aerosol sprays
  • chloroform
  • methylene chloride
  • chlorofluorocarbon propellants
  • hexachlorophene

This is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to harmful ingredients.  I highly encourage you to search these contents in the database for a more in depth look at their effects and what cosmetic products they are found in.  (I started to include them in this piece, but it became much too lengthy.)

So now we know that our cosmetics are not regulated and may contain some forms of harmful additives.  So what should we do?

I contacted Marj Melchiors, the Founder & President of Cosmetics Without Synthetics, Inc. and asked for a sampling of her products that I use everyday.  I wanted to find safe, organic and non-synthetic alternatives to cosmetics that I use each day.

Marj generously sent me two collections of eye shadows; one natural and the other in the plum family (I told her I have blue/gray eyes).  She also sent: two shades of foundation, eye liner powder, blush, lipstick, lipgloss and mascara.  All of which I will review for you. 

But before I get into my review, I was pleased to find out that some of the makeup that is sold on also included Gluten Free and Vegan varieties,(if you are following a special diet you will appreciate this.)


Back to the review…  After using the products for approximately two weeks, I must tell you that I love the Earth’s Beauty mascara .

Several friends commented on how long my lashes looked.  I found that this mascara wore really well and was also easy to wash off.  Many times I have to work really, really hard to remove my mascara and I didn’t have a problem with this product.


In the eye shadow and blush group, I tested Earth’s Beauty and NVEY EcoNVEY Eco is a luxurious organic line of makeup that I highly encourage you to try.   I was impressed by all three products that I tested: Light Pink Blush (regardless of it not suiting my coloring); Medium Brown Eye Shadow; and the Pearly White Eye Shadow was excellent for highlighting the brow bone and the inner corners of my eyes.

The bulk of products that I received were from Earth’s Beauty which is created by Ms. Melchiors.   According to the product information, “the base of the products is organic/wildcrafter arrowroot with added natural colorings.”

I enjoyed using these products.  My only limitation was the colors provided.  This is in no way a reflection of the products.  Simply the fact that Ms. Melchiors was given insufficient information about me and has never seen a picture of me.  Therefore, short of using divination, she would not have been able to provide me with 100% compatible colors.  Lets face it, how often do we get home and discover products that we think we like do not suit us?

I tried each product and I have nothing but positive things to say.  Each color had a rich pigment and wore well.  I especially liked the Sunlight Eye Shadow and the Deep Walnut Eye Liner.  I haven’t used a powder liner before, (you first dip a wet applicator or brush in the powder and then apply) and I really appreciated the effect.  The powder liner also lasted longer than the usual eyeliner that I currently use.



Next, I tested the Miessence Foundations.  This line of Australian products “are the only skin care range in the world that are certified organic by third parties.”

I really have to be honest with this one.  I respect that it is organic and feel confident using it based on that fact.  However, there was just something about this foundation that I didn’t like.  I am not sure if it was the smell or the coverage, but I found that my usual foundation did a better job.  I would be interested to know how others feel about this brand including their experience.  (If you try it let me know!)

The last category I tested was lipstick/gloss. Both were from Earth’s Beauty.  I especially favored the Wild Rose Lip Glaze.  The color and texture was just right for me.


Trying to find the right cosmetics in general is a difficult task, but to find lines that are also organic and held to higher standards can be daunting.  I hope that you found this review useful.  If there is interest, I will share other on-line resources that I discovered.  Further, I am also seeking alternatives that one could purchase at their local drug store.  If you would like information concerning this topic in future Fashion Lessons, please let me know.

Finally, as a special offer, has extended an exclusive 5% discount to Fashion Sensei readers when you use the code: fashion sensei at check out.  Happy Shopping!


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Filed under Beauty, blogging, Cosmetics, Fashion, Uncategorized

12 responses to “Fashion Lesson #10 Natural Make Up

  1. Thanks for the article! 🙂

  2. I’m so glad you did this article – I just recently stopped using all face care & hair care products as well as deodorants that contain parabens because I’ve read that they mimic the estrogen hormone and have been linked to breast cancer (don’t quote me on the specifics – it’s monday morning and the coffee hasn’t completely kicked in). Anyways, it’s a LOT harder than I imagined but two face lotion lines that I really like are Alba and Burt’s Bees, and I’ve found that Paul Mitchell’s hair care line and the DevaCurl shampoos and conditioners don’t contain them. Dove’s pro-age deodorant also doesn’t have them, but I haven’t checked if it has some of the other toxic chemicals. As far as makeup goes, I’m going to try out some of what you recommended because my next goal is to health-ify my makeup bag!

  3. Hi guys, I’m really glad you enjoyed the article.

    Morgan, thanks for the advice on other products. I am in the market for some new shampoo and conditioner, so I will look into those. Deodorant is also another concern with all the aluminium, so let me know if you find anything else. 😀

  4. This is a great article! I usually use Aveda because they market themselves as ‘safe’ but I’ve never taken the time to actually read the ingrediants. I’m going to go home and check it out!

    PS…you’re the queen of getting companies to supply discount codes. How do you do it??

  5. blackravenflower

    Thank-you for your article. I made the switch to natural cosmetics and toiletries about a year ago. I have noticed a huge difference in my health, skin and hair. is a great place to buy natural products because everything can be bought as price friendly samples that are of generous size. In the article, the foundation from Miessence was sampled and the author disliked it. I personally use all Earth’s Beauty cosmetics. I use their concealer, loose powder and blush. I find that the concealer can be used as a spot-treater or for overall use. I would highly reccomend these products. My only complaint is that the loose powder comes in a very small container. I like having a large lid to tap my brush into before applying. Luckily I had a container from another, store bought, brand. I simply washed it thoroughly, dried completely, and transfered my loose powder into that container. Problemed solved!

  6. jamie

    Thanks Fashion Sensei for this very informative article!!

    I’m very interested in learning more about additional natural cosmetics resources you find. Your reviews are very helpful. I think a lot of women want to make the switch to natural cosmetics but aren’t sure which ones to try. I’m intrigued with the mascara from Earth’s Beauty and plan to give it a try.

  7. Hi Jamie, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    I’m glad you liked the post. I just ordered some Earth’s Beauty mascara today. Don’t forget to type in fashion sensei at checkout for 5% off (not much, but every bit helps) 😀

    I hope to see you back!

  8. sandy c

    Thanks Fashion Sensei, I loved your article. I recently read a few articles about phthalates, parabens and DEA, these articles scared me so much that I immediately started my quest for natural personal care products. I found that places like Whole Foods have natural products, but when you read the ingredients, they are not so natural. So I decided to look online and found some great websites. has a great selection of makeup and skin care. They list all ingredients and only carry products that are truly safe.

  9. Thanks for the heads up Sandy. I’ll check it out!

    I hope to see you back! 😀

  10. Heidi

    One thing you didn’t mention was that you can actually order samples of most or all of the products on which is a great option, especially for people with senstive skin. Just yesterday I ordered some makeup samples and an eyecream sample pack containing 4 different brands. I’m really looking forward to trying it out!

    Also, I have been using an all-natural deodorant I ordered from and it’s excellent! It works even better than any deodorant I ever bought off the shelf. She also has other great products and lots of information on her blog about ingredients and what they are derived from.

    Thanks again for the article and the helpful information!

  11. Heidi

    (FYI on my previous post: You do have to pay for the samples at but the cost is very minimal – $1 each for the makeup samples and $6.50 for the 4 eyecream samples).

  12. Hi Heidi, thanks for the visit and your comments. You’re right, I did forget to mention the samples. Thanks for mentioning it. 🙂 I’ll also check out bubbleandbee deodorant.

    Have a great day and I hope to see you back again soon!

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