Posted by: Emily
4 years ago, before we started this blog, I viewed my beauty products as magical, benevolent poisons. They were these mysterious, secret potions that would cure my ills, but I didn’t want to know what was in them or think about where they came from. I feared natural ingredients– I remember in the dressing room of a play I was in years ago, watching with absolute horror as one of my co-stars slathered actual olive oil on her skin backstage!– assuming that chemicals were so much more controlled and monitored than the touchy-feely organics I imagined.
More importantly, I believed so strongly in the magical power of my chemicals that I followed their directions very carefully. I believed that everything had to be exactly “just-so.” For example, if I bought a “face cream,” it better not touch my neck or anything other than my face. Body lotion wouldn’t dare get near my face, and Gd Forbid I put anything labeled “hair” on my skin!
You could’ve sold me a cream just for my knees– that’s how specifically I used my lotions. (This reminds me of the “coin slot cream” commercial on SNL years ago… anyone else?! I love that.) If you’d told me that putting face cream on my arms would make my limbs turn blue, I just might have believed you.
Needless to say, I had very strong ideas of what belonged where, and the consequences of going against those rules. I remember using coconut oil in a muffin recipe once, and after getting it on my fingers, I washed my hands four times with anti-bacterial soap to get the oil off. (I know, I shudder now at the anti-bacterial soap!!) (And at the waste of perfectly good coconut oil!!)
Like anyone else who has ever grown up or changed, I find myself possessed of new beliefs and ideas in all aspects of life. I’ve loosened up in some ways, tightened in others. Parenthood will do that to almost anyone– after you see your daughter eat a rogue raisin off the ground at the playground– and Gd, you just hope it was a raisin!– one can’t be too concerned with getting cooking oil on one’s skin. These days, I put coconut oil all over my body. Even on my face! Gasp!
But my changes have also come from research, information, and facts. It’s not just relaxing about what goes where, it’s about understanding what goes in– into your products, into your body, into your life.
This is all good– I’m healthier, happier, and no longer believe in strange practices like washing my face after styling my hair, to make sure no products got in the wrong places.
And maybe there was some truth to some of my strange ideas– I kept deodorant away from all areas of skin other than my armpits like it was poison. And, come to find out, it basically was. So I wasn’t totally crazy. But now I use products so pure I don’t have to worry a bit of one will rub off on some other body part, or get on my daughter, or get on my sheets. And that hair goo I used in college was surely toxic!
But all of this change can lead to the occasional identity crisis of sorts– some days I look in the mirror and wonder– in a good way– who I am! Yesterday, as I rubbed eyeshadow on my lips to get the perfect brown tint I was craving, I couldn’t help but laugh. I’ve come a long way.
I’ve gotten smart, and I’ve gotten creative. For some strange reason, no natural cosmetics company makes the above-mentioned brown lipstick I miss from my commercial-chemcial days of makeup. So a few months ago, staring at a ton of eye shadows and creams in that same, rich copper-chocolate I wanted, that there was absolutely nothing keeping me from putting it on my lips. I had vetted the ingredients. They were all brands I trusted. There was no reason not to try it.
And so, I come before you a changed woman. I use eyeshadow on my lips. I use lipstick as blush. I use concealer as eye shadow. And the other day, as I dabbed Jane Iredale lip gloss on my eyebrows to tame them into place, I had another frightening realization:
I’m not so sure I’m all that into lip gloss anymore. I know– I’m a self-avowed lip gloss junkie! I once said it was my favorite thing, bar none.
Well, no more. Perhaps it’s lip gloss’s ephemeral quality– it doesn’t last long enough for me to get to wherever I’m going, let alone out my apartment door. Perhaps it’s that I love kissing my daughter’s forehead and my husband’s lips too much to mark them with pink, gooey gloss. And perhaps it’s just that I’m a woman of a certain age (and I’m just in my early 30s, that’s all I mean) and I’m not sure I want to be all shiny, glossy, “done up” anymore.
I live a different life now. My life is no longer “event based,” where everything was about looking a certain way for a certain 30- or 60- or 90-minute occasion. Meeting this person, dinner with that person, presentations, gatherings, etc; it was all about showing up, looking a certain way, and then changing into flats to walk to the subway, relaxing when I got home by slipping into sweatpants.
These days, my life, happily, is a long, constant stream. It’s the playground followed by an impromptu trip to the zoo, then dashing to a meeting with my editor, or dinner with my husband if I have a sitter. So I don’t really have time (or energy) for lip gloss, I guess. There. I said it. I’ve grown up. I need to put on a lip product and know it’ll still be there later, after kisses and coffee and conference calls.
I still have some glosses in my purse, but I doubt I’ll purchase more. I’m moving on to balms, stains, and, yes, eyeshadows or whatever is the right color for my lips.
Recently, Jordan and I were invited to this completely dreamy event for the launch of Jane Iredale’s new PureMoist Lipstick. (A full recap of the lush, decadent event coming soon, with photos!) This lipstick is one of my new faves, worthy, perhaps, of replacing lip gloss in my life. It’s moisturizing and a little shiny, thanks to avocado and sunflower seed oils, but it’s easy to apply on the go, and stays on much longer than a gloss. If you feel like your life is also heading in a direction that requires a little more substance than gloss, check out PureMoist.
And here is a list of some of the products I’ve been “mis-“using lately, since I’ve come to realize that my hair won’t fall out if I use body oil on the ends!
RMS Creme Eyeshadow in Seduce as lipstick. Amazing texture, long-lasting, and a color I can’t find in lipstick form! Plus, one pot lasts forever, and any left on my fingers after applications is wiped off on my eyelids as a bonus! (I’ve tried it as blush, too– pretty cool!)
W3LL PEOPLE Universalist used exclusively as a lipstick. The most long-lasting lipstick ever! I love #4 because it has just the right amount of shimmer! #3 is also amazing.
The All Natural Face sent me a sample of their Vegan Eyeshadow (Coral), I use as blush. It’s DIVINE! I also use their Peach Ice shadow as blush, and Lemon Ice as highlighter for my cheekbones. I know. I’m a rebel! And I’ve used it all as lipstick, over a balm or gloss. Just pat it on there and voila!
(I also love to use the Alima Pure eyeshadows as blush, blush as lipstick, etc. Great colors and pigments available!)
I’ve been toying with the idea of using a can of Spectrum Organics Coconut Oil Spray as body moisturizer. Like spray-on sunscreen, but waaaay less bad for you. Brilliant or weird? Might make the bathroom floor slippery! Use with caution.
I already use regular coconut oil as a makeup remover.
Weleda Skin Food makes a great balm for the ends of my hair and fly-aways after flat-ironing it, or when I let it air-dry curly.
Jordan is looking for a hair texturizer. I’m trying to get her to try this Love + Toast lip glaze I bought on a whim at Whole Foods. (I’m looking for new things to do with lip glosses, since I might be done with them!) I have no idea if it’ll work, but it seems like it might just be the right texture!
Any other ideas? Suggestions? Cautionary tales? Things you want to try to “mis-use”? Please post in the comments! We can’t wait to hear your ideas!