Make-up Bag Detox (For $20 Per Item or Less!)

Make-up Bag Detox (For $20 Per Item or Less!)

I detoxed my make up bag!  Are you proud?

I’ll admit, I was scared out of my mind. ‘Cause I like my make-up!  I never leave the house without it on.  Detoxing was way out of my comfort zone and I had no idea where to start.

I’ve been wearing my old make-up for six years now.  I know what it costs.  I know what looks good on me.  I know what shades I like.  However, I finally read the list of ingredients in my foundation and it was scary (parabens galore).  My anti-aging products were the worst.  After facing the music, I decided to take the plunge. (Though I won’t lie, I stashed it all away for emergencies in case my detox was a total bust!)

Make Up Bag Detox My Requirement List My goal in detoxing my make-up bag was to keep the toxicity rating of my make-up to “2″ or below on the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database and at $20 or less each.

I made a priority list and all of the make-up I bought had to meet these parameters in this order:

1.) Non-toxic.  For me this meant a rating of “2″ or less on the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety rating system. In a tie,  products with the most edible ingredients won.  In the case that a product was not found in the database, I looked up each ingredient and scored the product on that.  If a company did not list their ingredients and were not in the database, they did not get considered!

2.) Each item had to be $20 or less.   Real make-up is more expensive than the cheaply manufactured chemicals at the drug store, so I had to adjust my paradigm about make-up.  Still, it was important to me that this make-up bag detox be somewhat doable for budget-conscious gals like me.  That’s why the $20 price cap.

3.) Wearability.  This played a major part in selecting products.  No point in spending the money on mascara I don’t even like to wear.  I basically read tons of reviews to get this info.

4.)  Organic.  As you can see, this does fall last on the list.  Fruity “organic” ingredients do not win me over if an item contains parabens, or if the mascara reviews claim it is a clumpy, flaky mess.  The word “organic” lends to the idea of natural ingredients, however, you’ll notice companies will throw that term in there even if it only applies to one or two of their ingredients!


DSC 0282 Foundation

Bare Minerals $20

Score: 2

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This one gets an “S” for satisfactory, but it was not an A+.  I did the best I could here.  Foundation is very tricky in the non-toxic, organic world.  Especially if you are aiming for a $20 budget!   After much deliberation, I went with good old Bare Minerals.  Of all the make-up I purchased, this is the only one one that was familiar to me.  I have used it in the past and really liked the wearability.  Though it is a powder, the coverage is surprisingly thorough.  This time all I purchased was the basic powder.  (Having used it before, I didn’t see a necessity for the mineral veil or bronzer with the starter set.)

There is some controversy about the use of talc and titanium dioxide in this product.  But knowing I already liked the wearability of the product was a HUGE factor in my decision.  It is a good starting point, as it is much better than what I was using.

Does anyone have suggestions here?  My $20 budget may simply not be enough in this department.  Moving on to more satisfactory outcomes!

(Update June 2013:   I found a non-toxic solution for foundation that I love.  Read more here!)

Eye Liner

Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eye Liner (by Gabriel Costmetics) $13.00

Score: 2

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This product had the best wearability reviews and lowest toxicity of all eyeliners I looked at.  I was excited to find out that I could pick this up locally at Nugget Market along with my organic groceries (otherwise you can get it online or Whole Foods).  I like a pencil, but the toxicity ratings of the Zuzu Luxe pencil were hard to determine, so I went with the liquid. It went on smoothly and didn’t catch on my eye lid and make a big mess.


100% Pure $18.00

Score: 2

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Perhaps the most difficult make-up to choose was mascara.  It’s a staple.  If you don’t have great mascara, what do you have?  There were tons of mixed reviews on the brands I compared.  So many.  It’s a toughie.  In the end, I went with a brand called 100% Pure (in black), and I loved the outcome.  No itchiness, no flakiness, and great wearability!  I will admit, it did not “volumize” my lashes in the same way as my old mascara, but it still got the job done!

(FYI Physician’s Formula has an “organic wear” line.  Their mascara also scores a 2!  Wow!  At first I was impressed!  $6.95?  Available pretty much anywhere?  I’ll take ten!  However, if it seems too good to be true, it  probably is.  They may contain organic ingredients, but they are not non-toxic by any means.  One word: parabens.)

Blush and Lip Tint

100% Pure $15.00

Score:  Product not in database.  Per the in ingredients, toxicity is a 0-1.

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I went with a cream-based blush because I have always loved the soft, dewey look of a cream rouge.  Plus, it can be used as a lip tint too.  I read a whole bunch of reviews about the color and went with a mid-tone plummy-pink for my fair skin.

The color I chose is called “Sugar Plum.”  It is a nice, basic pink that doesn’t look too bright (though it does look bright in the container).  I prefer a pink for my cheeks over bronzer.  The intensity of the color is easily adjusted simply by applying more or less.  This gives me a lot of flexibility color-wise.  This does not feel sticky on my face at all.

Powdered Eye Shadow

100% Pure $15.00

Score: Product not in database.  Per the ingredients, toxicity is a 0-1

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When I dipped my finger into the 100% Pure Eyeshadow, it was just like soft velvet going over my eye lid.  The color was perfect.  The Champagne (a gold-cream) gave me a nice, shimmery base exactly like the color from my old make-up that I love.  The Cocoa Plum blended nicely into the crease of my eye.  Cocoa Plum is exactly that:  a nice, deep, brownish-purple.

Lip Creamstick (Lip Liner)

100% Pure $15.00

Score: None

I ordered 100% Pure’s  ”Perfect Mauve,” (a brownish pink).  It worked great, except it is a fat pencil and does not fit in my sharpener! Boo!

Lip Gloss

100% Pure $13.00

Score:  Product not in database.  Per the ingredients, toxicity is a 0-1.

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Lip gloss and lip balm were one of the easiest organic/non-toxic items to track down.  Seems like everyone and their mother sells a pretty decent petroleum-free tinted lip balm nowadays.  In fact, you can even make it at home.  Not all of 100% Pure’s lip gloss ingredients are organic, but they are all completely edible! (Per the make-up company, some ingredients are extremely difficult or impossible to find organic.)

I purchased the Sheer Cherry gloss.  The color appeared a lot more brownish on the browser screen when I was shopping online.  When it showed up in the mail, it was RED.  I busted it open and gave it a shot anyways.  Sadly, it turned out too pinky-red on my lips.  Other than that, I loved it!  No difference in wearability between this an my old gloss, other than it tasted good (and is in fact fine to eat).

I actually called their customer service and they were amazing!  I described what shade I wanted and the representative helped me pick another one.  She told me that I could return the opened lip gloss and request the new shade to be sent.  (Or if I wanted, they would even give me a full refund).   I really wanted to give it another shot, so I’m going to try the shade she recommended which is the Shimmery Cocoa Berry gloss.  This experience further solidified that I made a great decision in going with Pure!   It’s nice to know there is a company that stands behind their product.

The Results


Just this:  I put the make-up on and I could hardly tell the difference between my new toxin-free make-up, and my old brand.

I smell fruity though.

I have no complaints about my new make-up.   It’s not the disappointing experience I dreaded that it would be.  My only regret is that I waited so long to do it.

(Here is an update in which I share the new foundation I’m now using in place of Bare Minerals)

The MVP award in this post definitely goes to 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Make-Up.  I am really impressed with this make-up line, both for ingredients and price.  The only downside is that you’ll probably have to order it online.  There are only two places in my area that I know of which sell 100% Pure:  their store in Berkeley and my friend Chrissy’s store, Eco Chic Baby and Home here in Vacaville. (WOO HOO!)  If you do have to order online, the consultants are very helpful and you’ll have 30 days to return the product if it does not work for you.

As always, I want your opinions!  What make-up do you wear?  What are your favorite products?  Do you have any other amazing non-toxic brands to add to our list?  Does anyone have an amazing non-toxic foundation option for $20 or less?