The Evolution of a Consumerist Beauty Product Whor(der)

A lot of my life I've thought about, used, and loved an array of beauty and hygiene products. When I was two I started dancing and by age four stage makeup at recitals was required. When I was seven my grandma brought me violet parfum from her travels in France. Once I turned nine I quit ballet, but was basically a preteen immediately after and wanted to wear makeup and scents regularly. In fifth grade I had a tube of silver/blue Wet and Wild lipstick that I used on my eyelids, cheeks, and lips (gag!) with glitter caked on top. By middle school my mom helped me apply eyeliner some days and I was obsessed with body sprays. I received my first bottle of designer perfume (RALPH by Ralph Lauren) for Christmas right before I turned 14. In high school every dollar I earned doing odd jobs went to face washes, lotions, new makeups, blow dryers, etc. Then when I had my first steady job I spent about half of my money on food, and the rest on beauty supplies and magazines. I started box coloring my hair every couple months. It was out of hand! I would buy new foundations, shampoos, and anything that was new before I even ran out of the last one. I had a rotation of *at least* 4 designer perfumes. All that to say I've loved beauty products my whole life... but that is just a lot of crazy when I think about it now!

I still really love beauty products and get super excited to try new ones and experiment with them, but my love is much more rational now! Around the time I moved in with David in 2009, and had bills to pay, I stopped buying any new face paints and concoctions unless I was completely out. In the last few years of doing things that way I've still been able to try out different products (always looking for what's best for my skin, coloring, style, etc.) and have not once felt deprived of anything. 

When we moved to Washington in February of '12, my outlook on the stuff I was putting on my body changed again. I was more interested in finding products that were still affordable but not as harsh on my skin and environment. We stopped using body washes and started using organic handmade bar soap, and then Dr. Bronner's. I bought into products like Covergirl Nature Luxe and then Physicians Formula Organic Wear foundations and Organix Shampoo and Conditioner, which were frankly still too expensive for our small budget and as I later learned here still pretty toxic. 

And then there's the present...It seems like there has been a steady progression towards knowledge and care about what I do to feel pretty/clean/presentable. 

Currently in my makeup bag: e.l.f. mineral powder foundation, blush, lip tint and mineral mascara, and e.l.f. studio corrective concealer which are surprisingly low toxicity for their small price tag and vegan friendly. E.l.f. makes a very cheap nail polish as well in lots of trendy colors that is free of toulene, formaldehyde, and dbp (the top offending ingredients in most nail polishes), so I collect those when I can. I'm also a huge fan of Naked Eye Beauty's products. The Vegan Organic Rose Tinted Lip Balm looks, smells (passionfruit and rose), and feels so nice, but with a steeper price tag than I really like I use it sparingly.

Currently on my body/skin: Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Liquid Castile Soap, Tom's of Maine Naturally Dry Antiperspirant, and Naked Eye Beauty Organic Vegan Sandalwood Vanilla Body Lotion (which like the lip balm smells and feels freaking amazing) For my face I rotate using oil cleansing methods with washing with this Rocky Top Soap Shop Cambrian Blue Clay bar soap. I've tried 3 of his other soaps and I would happily use no other brand of soap ever! They have a luxurious lather for bar soap and are unscented plus he has a pretty impressive selection based on your needs (even a dog shampoo soap bar!).

Currently in my hair: If the baking soda and apple cider vinegar no 'pooing routine is leaving anything to be desired then I'll wash my hair with the Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree soap and do a vinegar rinse. I don't use any other hair products.

Currently in my mouth: Tom's of Maine Propolis and Myrrh Fluoride Free Toothpaste, it tastes like a ginger mint and it's mild enough in flavor that Lorelei uses it too!

So those are the products that are cutting it for me right now. Maybe farther down the road I'll end up using less or at least gentler products but for now these ones make me pretty happy. At least I know that if I can ever afford to take up a hobby or start an etsy shop it will be in formulating natural beauty products because I love them, and also chemistry.

What are your favorite beauty products? Do you put much thought into what you're putting on your largest organ (that would be your skin)?

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