I love cosmetics. I have an unhealthy obsession with it. To me, it’s like taking the greatest canvas of all (your face) and expressing everything you can with strokes and colours. Though I adore all cosmetics (shamelessly), I prefer the organic kind. The ones that are less likely to poison your skin, age you and require premature surgery (there is a reason cosmetic surgery exists in our time rather than any other).
1) blinc Kiss-Me Mascara & Primer: This is possibly the closest to a real organic mascara, actually. Having spent hours of research on this, I found that the mineral and natural mascaras are uber-loaded with various (but natural) chemicals. ‘blinc’ however has the least amount of chemicals (of which most are natural), does not require a make-up remover, is water-resistant and creates natural looking lashes. The primer just holds the mascara better. The mascara comes in a variety of colours with my favourite being, of course, black. However it does require patience as it takes a while to dry.
2) blinc Kiss-Me Eyeliner: Following in the same lines and similar base as the mascara, this is also the closest thing to an organic liquid eyeliner. Water resistant which is great. Applying it, though, is somewhat of a chore since the liner doesn’t instantly dry and assuming you perfect the line you wanted in the first attempt, touching your eyes is a big No-No since it is guaranteed to smear. I think they should add as a disclaimer on the product: ‘Patience required’.
NB: blinc products are a little steep in price, however, they are worth paying for since they are incredible products because you won’t need ten different mascaras or eyeliners (unless your choice is pre-disposed to be off-beat ala Urban Decay).
3) Acquarella Nail Polish: There are only 3 or 4 natural nail polishes on the market (including Suncote, Go Natural and PeaceKeeper) and this is the hollistic and non-toxic variation of nail polish that I prefer. A better selection of colours (though nowhere near the kind of variety you get with regular nail polishes) and it doesn’t have a scent. You can get it in a variety of reds, natural colours and some off-beat colours like dark blue, turquoise and black. I love their semi-transluscent range – French Vanilla is brilliant. However this is not the fast-dry nail polish, it takes a good 30 minutes before you can do anything with your hands.
4) PeacKeeper Lip Gloss: God! I love this company. Their products are organic, environmentally-friendly and for a cause (hence ‘Cause-Metics’). They produce nail polishes, lipsticks, lip balms and lip glosses. I am not one for lipstick (I can’t carry them off for the life of me) or lip balms (I end up ingesting them) so I have no clue about those products. But their lip glosses are fantastic. Once again, very limited colours (do you see a pattern developing here?) but fortunately for me in my two preferred colours and style – sheer red and sheer burgundy. They have a neutral shade as well as a brown shade. There is no clear lip gloss though.
5) Tamz Your Flyawayz: Firstly, I fell in love with the name of the product. Secondly, I have no clue whether this is organic or not but it is great for taming my eyebrows. I first had my eyebrows done at 15 (because before that they were basically ridiculous and gigantic) at my aunt’s insistence since eyebrows ‘framed the face’. Since then until I was about 21, I worked at perfecting my eyebrows as humanly possibly – as in requiring no eyebrow powders/pencils and gels and shaped them using tweezers (I never allowed anyone else near my eyebrows – threading leaves an unattractive bristle-look, waxing can take too much off and allowing other people to weild tweezers is a bad idea since they are incompetent). I finally managed the symmetry and appropriate shape. After which I decided that I did need a slight polish on my eyebrows, which is where Tamz came in and has, since, never left.
6) Natural Blush: A fabulous little ‘pick me up’. There is only one tint but it will suit all, if you know how much to apply and how to apply. It’s like the same texture and packaging as Lorac’s Travel Sheer Wash and like Benefit’s BeneTint, it comes only in one shade – following the concept ‘one size fits all’. And the best part, 100% organic. While it’s great for the skin, never make the mistake of overdoing it – or you might look a little ‘toxic’.
7) Foundation & Cover Up: I don’t like foundation. Or concealer. However, they do appear in my make-up bag because they are a must and useful when you’re skin decides it hates you. The fantastic thing about this company is that they come in array of colours and because they are powders you can mix and match to get your own individual skin toned foundation/concealer. Do recognise that this needs a very light hand and a brush, not a pad.
8) Lily Lolo Eyes: Loose mineral (thereby ‘technically’ organic) pigments for eyeshadow. (Note: You need steady hands and calm to do this – chaotic environments and shaky hands produce terrible results). The only distinct feature about these eyeshadows, other than being mineral and loose, is that there is quite a variety of colours and you can blend them to create your own pots/shades. In certain powders, they also double up for lip powders and nail powders (though I have never seen how they serve a purpose).
Above are specifics and my personal choices. If I was any good at being general, I would have stated that the following are musts in any ‘every day’ make-up bag: a good primer and mascara, a liquid eyeliner, a lip/cheek tint and sheer lip gloss, a nail polish, an eyebrow tamer, a concealer and a foundation and lastly a duo or trio of neutral eyeshadows. The colours vary from person-to-person as does the application.
However, I don’t believe that make-up should be overdone (which is why I generally use 1 to 5 while the others are relegated to a ‘need-only’ basis), unless you are planning an avant-garde photoshoot or appearance. Make-up free looks are absurd. There should be a happy balance in between and it should be organic because blank canvases are boring and paintings that detoriate lose value.