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We all want to do our bit for the planet and do our best for our complexions. Fortunately, mineral makeup is evolving and just about anything that you can cram into your purse comes with natural ingredients these days. Unfortunately, Mother Nature does not always help with the ravages of Old Father Time - think mineral powder caking in the crevices that we are in denial about - and she is all too often the poor relation in the color, shade and tone department. Well, sometimes you can have it all. These picks give green a good name.
When I saw Bare Escentuals 100% Natural Lip Gloss ($15), my inner cynic cackled, "yeah, I'll bet it it is." Actually, it is - 100% natural, that is. In addition to the usual oils and waxes, there is antioxidant pomegranate. If ever a fruit deserved to be called 'super', this is it. In 2003, at a American Association for Cancer Research conference, studies were presented that found pomegranate fruit extract helps prevent skin cancer and it is now starting to appear in serums and sunscreens. Another great plant extract is a butter from cupuacu seed that has been found to contain 11 different antioxidants. 100% Natural Lip Gloss is shimmery, so if that's not your thing seek out the matte 100% Natural Lip Color.
Foundations are tricky to get right at the best of times, but trying to keep them natural seems to have formulators making compromises on texture and coverage. It is worth trying Ecco Bella Liquid Foundation ($19.29), which is one of our Five Best foundation picks. There is the added bonus of some of the ingredients being organic. Aloe vera gel features high up with ingredient list and, along with vitamin E, provides some antioxidant power. Unusually for a foundation, it contains a handful of botanicals. These include comfrey, which is comprised of allantoin (speeds up the replacement of cells), and St John’s wort, which is an anti-inflammatory. For mineral lovers, Sterling Minerals is a good choice. The company goes out of its way to use minerals particles that are 5-8 microns. These are too large to penetrate the skin and do any harm, but small enough to give a nice, smooth cover. I also like the fact that Sterling has added to its Mineral Foundation ($24) a few things that are actively helpful for the skin, such as soothing allantoin, jojoba seed oil to moisturize and prevent acne flare-ups and kaolin clay to soak up any unwanted oils. Sterling promises that this cover up will never melt (even on the New York subway). Sterling Minerals.
RAW Natural Beauty's Perfect Balance Concealer and Highlighter ($38) will do much morethan cover up imperfections. It will help rectify them. There are several good antioxidants derived from plants including acai berry, pea extract and buckwheat. There is also the intriguing inclusion of capparis spinosa. This is caper bush (better known for the berries that are used in cooking) and it has high levels of rutin. In humans, rutin attaches to an iron (ion i2) and prevents it from binding to hydrogen pyroxide, which would lead to the creation of harmful free radicals. Best of all, there is nothing not to like. From Dermstore.
It can't be easy to pull off a natural mascara. All that lengthening, darkening and separating seems to be begging for chemicals. However, Jane Iredale has pulled it off with Longest Lash Mascara ($33). And she claims that the algae extracts and vitamin B will actually condition your lashes and help them grow. It comes in about ten different colors. From Dermstore.
Tested by dermatologists, tarte's Cheek Stain ($28) was formulated with the skin's best interest in mind. There are no parabens, phthalates, or sulfates to worry about, and each stick's delicious scent is derived from natural sources. Because the formula is oil-free, you don't have to worry about breaking out in areas where you just wanted to blush. It feels a bit slimy, but it never clogs pores. Each cheek stain contains a proprietary blend of what tarte calls its T5 Super Fruit Complex, which includes extracts from goji, acai, maracuja (passionflower), acerola, and pomegranate. These fruits are brimming with antioxidant-rich nutrients and vitamins.
Ingredients in Bare Escentuals 100% Natural Lip Gloss
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Flavor (Natural Vanilla), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Sorbitan Olivate, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Tocopherol, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Seed Butter, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Silica, Glyceryl Caprylate. (+/-): Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Carmine (CI 75470).
Ingredients in Ecco Bella
Purified water, titanium dioxide, glycerine, isopropyl palmitate (From Palm Wax), organic aloe vera gel, saccharide Isomerate (natural Sugar), organic sunflower oil, tea palmitate (from Palm Wax), kaolin, magnesium Silicate, organic Extracts of comfrey, chamomile, st.john’s wort, calendula, cetyl alcohol (emulsifier), lecithin, flower Wax, iron oxides, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A), methylparaben, propylparaben.
Ingredients in Sterling Mineral Foundation
Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Boron Nitride, Methicone, Mica, Kaolin Clay, Cold Pressed Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines.
Ingredients in RAW Perfect Balance
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isocetyl Stearate, Ozokerite, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Pulp Oil, Polygonum Fagopyrum (Buckwheat) Seed Extract, Silica, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Boron Nitride, Nylon-12, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Tocopherol, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Capparis Spinosa Fruit Extract. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
Ingredients In Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara
Water/Eau/Aqua, Algae Extract, Beeswax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Cellulose, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Algae Extract, Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Tribehenin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Oleic Acid. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499) Carmine (CI 75470) Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).
Ingredients in Tarte Cheek Stain
Propylene Glycol, Water, Nonyl Nonoxynol-150, Glycerin, Sodium Stearate, Laureth-23, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Fruit Extract, PVP, Fragrance (Natural). (+/-): Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Carmine (CI 75470), Red 33 (CI 17200), Red 40 (CI 16035), Yellow 5 (CI 19140, Blue 1 (CI 42090).