Green Foundation Follies

kohgendoI began greening my makeup and beauty routine by reading lots and lots of blogs. Based on what I was reading, I thought finding a green mascara would be the hardest part. Not for me. I found and really like Pure Anada mascara, a brand I learned about on (see review here). I like Tarte’s Amazonian Clay mascara a lot too (though some may deem it not clean enough). This means I have two solid mascara options to go back to and a few others out there to try. Lipstick was easy peasy. RMS and Ilia dominate my growing clean lippie collection and I have not even been tempted to stray from them! (Reviews herehere, and here, oh and there are a couple new Ilia reviews forthcoming.) And greening my skincare has been pretty easy too. There are so many skincare brands to explore and these brands are rivaling luxe brands in ways that green makeup has not (in my experience thus far).

So back to makeup. I really wanted to go clean with lips and foundation first. My thinking was, I was probably ingesting lots of gunk when wearing dirty lip products and foundation accounts for the largest surface area makeup-wise. I wish my foundation search had been as fun and easy as lipsticks, but it hasn’t been. I have tried clean foundations in the form of: loose powder (1 brand), mousse (two brands), stick (1 brand), cream (1 brand), and liquid (1 brand). Thank goodness for sample programs (although I do have full sizes in 3 of these). I had the best experience with Alima Pure, but I really do prefer a liquid or cream foundation. I really thought Kjaer Weis would be the answer, but I think that foundation works well with a certain skin type–just not mine (review here).

As time (and products) went on, I started feeling less than great about how I looked. Each time I went to the ladies room during the work day, it reminded me how much better my makeup used to look. I love makeup and the point is to boost how I feel by making the most of my features. I wanted to go back to feeling good about my face. So I am on hiatus from green foundations. I am currently using Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation. I had come across it in an article about Jessica Alba’s natural make up choices. The company states it uses no artificial colors, fragrances, petroleum-based mineral oil or parabens.

The KGD also not something I would normally choose. I like matte medium to full coverage foundations. However, this light to medium HD product is loved by makeup artists and fans and I am now on board too. The finish is on the sheer side and a bit glowy—very your skin but better as opposed to your flawlessly made-up skin. It is a light to medium coverage foundation that contains a SPF of 15 (note: I haven’t noticed flashback in photos). I use about 2 pumps and apply with my fingers then blend with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush. It feels light and blends effortlessly. It doesn’t settle or become visible in pores. It doesn’t much of a scent. It lasts about through the workday and holds on to powders/blushes pretty well. In short, this stuff has me liking my makeup again. And that is why this blog is green-ish. This is a process and being happy is part of it. Who knows? At some point, I will resume my search for a clean foundation. But for now, this is working for me. So anyone with recos for a clean liquid or cream foundation that has a matte to natural finish and pretty good lasting power should chime in!


Lining with Shadow: Kjaer Weis Eye Shadow in Onyx


Last week, I had the honor of being featured on No More Dirty Looks in the “What’s in my Makeup Bag” feature they do on Mondays. I reviewed what I use on a daily basis and in doing so, I complained about not being able to find a good, clean eyeliner pencil. At the time I wrote the piece, I was using a Tarte dual-ended liner. It was raccoon city, so I gave up and got rid of it. I haven’t pulled the trigger on any replacements yet. The problem is that when you shop for “clean” makeup, you’re going to be doing so on line. If you’re like me, you read reviews and often wind up not buying anything. Why? Because inevitably, someone brings up a deal breaker: it runs, it fades, the pencil is too hard, the pencil is too soft. It just takes one mention to plant the seed of doubt. I know what you’re thinking: she is the freaking Goldilocks of eyeliner. Well, you’re probably right. I like my first-world problems to be as frivolous as possible, thank you very much.

So what am I doing while I wait for the clean eyeliner problem to be worked out by the gods? Well, I ain’t going without eyeliner if that’s what you’re thinking. Mama likes her cat eye/doe eye/winged liner. I have been using Kjaer Weiss Onyx eye shadow. It works well with a wet fine liner brush for a defined look or a dry fluffier liner brush for a softer line. You can even wet the fluffy brush for a soft, darker line. The possibilities! The softer color makes your mascara-ed lashes pop. KW describes Onyx as “a beautiful iridescent slate color, an ‘almost black’ shade, with gorgeous texture, giving beautiful definition to evening make-up. Onyx is great for creating a smoky eye, as the darkest, finishing color. The iridescent sparkling effect of Onyx adds life to black; it is a vibrant shade that is wonderful for all skin tones.” While it does have some sparkle, it is so finely milled so it’s not obvious at all. It is lovely and the photos above don’t do it justice—sorry!

Here’s what is in it:

Talc, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Tocopheryl Acetate, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Zinc Stearate. May Contain +/- Mica, Iron oxide (CI 77491), Iron oxide (CI 77492), Iron oxide (CI 77499), Titanium dioxide (CI 77891) Certified Natural by the CCPB, Italy (KW eye shadows contain bamboo which grows in the wild not in a supervised area, therefore not accepted as organic by the CCPB. 70% of the raw materials in this eye shadow are certified ORGANIC which qualifies it as certified NATURAL).

So all good news so far right? And we haven’t even touched on the now famous packaging—it’s even been likened to Cartier packaging. The shadow costs $44 IF you get it in the packaging. I did not. I bought the refill for about half the price and put it in a Z Palette. I think if you get the foundation—and more on that later—you should get the packaging. Since I knew I wanted to build a palette of clean shadows, I decided I could get twice as much by buying refills. So that’s my story. My clean eye shadow palette is coming along. I’ll post about that soon. In the meantime, you can read the blog post (by Lilly of Genuine Glow) that inspired me to start a palette.

PS: Don’t forget to enter the cheap thrills raffle!