What I Learned From Organic Beauty and Wellness Week

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of being made up by Lou Dartford in front of an audience who had come to learn about natural and organic make up. I was promplty put on a panel discussion to talk about it with Lou, who has a completely green kit and has worked in the industry thusly for around 8 years (we also worked together a lot with People Tree) and Imelda Burke of Content Beauty.

I rapidly realised that I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to the make up side of things – I know so much about skincare but I rarely wear make up. But what was brilliant was the ability to soak up knowledge and ask questions whilst being made up to have a strong, smokey eye and lip for the event. Here’s what I learned.

Natural doesn’t mean organic. Organic doesn’t mean natural. Be careful not to be sucked in by language and semantics.

Natural is quite easy to claim, whereas organic is difficult. But a lot of make up cannot be organic because it’s made of minerals, which were obviously a few millennia in the making! Also a product may contain a teeny tiny amount of aloe and claim it’s harnessing the power of natural ingredients to soothe your skin.

It’s easy to add the label ‘vegan’ to a product if it’s entirely synthetic, but obviously ‘vegan’ looks far more appealing without having to put any work into it.

Something you just have to pick your battles. If you want to be vegan then you won’t be able to use the plethora of products using beeswax, but finding an organic, natural, vegan product that performs well is pretty tricky.

There is progress being made

According to Lou, the choice used to be pale, pinky foundations and brown eyeshadows. Nowadays there is far more choice, a growing range of choices for skin tones and shades and the pigmentation can be great, too. Zao Make up is my new favourite discovery and comes in a far broader range of colours than many competitors.

I love Ilia’s Wild Child lipstick, for example – brilliant, modern colour and pigment.

By Cezar B

Skin trouble? Don’t coat your skin

I asked about people with skin problems, having suffered with acne before. Lou told me that those with breakouts should aim to cover up the breakouts but not the whole of the face. We don’t need foundation to cover the whole of our face up to the hairline – just the redder parts (mainly situated in the T-Zone).

Don’t dismiss a natural/organic product because it doesn’t perform highly.

I’m always on the search for a natural/organic mascara that doesn’t drop and smudge. It’s been tough to find a natural/organic one (Neals Yard is the best so far). HOWEVER! I’ve been on a search for a mascara that doesn’t drop or smudge since I started wearing make up. Don’t dismiss your first try at a ‘natural and organic’ product as a whole if it’s not great because it’s natural and organic – what works for one person may not work for another. Keep trying.

And a quick handy tip – if you do find eyeshadow and mascara drops, try not to use oils or silicones near the eye area. These are big culprits causing the droppage. And apparently W3LL People’s is the most widely successful mascara so far.

£18.50 from Content Beauty

Don’t dramatically overhaul your beauty bag.

If you switch from your usual make up rang to natural and organic all in one go, then KABLAM! Your skin may react. Maybe it’s used to the products you’ve used years or maybe it’s having a clear out, but that’s not a wise idea.

Try going for one thing at a time.

Because throwing out all the stuff you own at the moment is a massive waste, anyway.

The formulations are different so you will have to adapt

We’re used to our products staying in the same state, but using natural bases and fewer preservatives means that natural and organic products can change a bit. For example, RMS Beauty’s ‘Uncover Up’ has a coconut oil base and so it can melt or harden according to temperature. But at least having coconut oil means it’s got active microbial ingredients beating spots!

Finally, have fun

The fact that there is such choice out there means we can play around with our looks and how we use it. For me, a cream blusher isn’t just for the apples of my cheeks. I dab a little on my eyelids and lips to look fresh. Check out Ere Perez, which was used by Lou on my lips – a bold colour on the lips, and a tiny weeny bit going on the eyelids and cheeks gives a ‘just been shagging wholesomely jogging through fresh fields’ appearance.

£18.50 from Content Beauty

Rebecca x

For more information on organic head to www.soilassociation.org

Check out Lou Dartford’s page here

Content Beauty is always worth a peruse…

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