According to the experts at Gabriel Organics, a beauty product can only be called "natural" if at least 10% of its ingredients were derived naturally. To be considered "organic", however, the ingredients must have been grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, GMOs, or other chemical questionmarks; provided at least 95% of all the ingredients in a beauty product are organic, can it carry the "USDA Organic" label.
Caveat: While the certified organic seal helps identify products that are eco every day (not just on Earth Day), the fact remains that the manufacturing process might have involved less-than-desirable ingredients such as synthetics, humectants, emollients, emulsifiers, and colorants. There is so much information (and misinformation) about what constitutes "natural" - that we cut through the beauty products clutter, so you won't have to:
The Minnesota company has always honored its commitment to the principles that beauty has a responsibility to the environment, to charity and to looking good. But don't be fooled: there is nothing “crunchy" about its innovative hair and color products which are mainstays on the catwalk. Aveda.comEDITOR'S PICK: Pure Abundance Hair Care will take your tresses from limp to lush without damaging chemicals.
WIN! We have one of their top-selling gift sets to give away. Tweet @Fashiontribes with something interesting about Smooth Infusion which leaves tresses shiny, smooth and naturally lush.
BEST OF THE REST:COLOR NEWCOMER: Vapour Organic Beauty
This new addition to the (green) scene captured our attention last year with their easy-to-use formulas and especially the illusionist Trick Stick which allows us to primp in 5 minutes, and is now a staple in our makeup bag. The company was founded by Erik Sakas, the former co-founder of Kevyn Aucoin and Director of Philosophy, who made a conscious choice to create a 21st century brand. Working with a New Mexico based lab, Sakas developed eco-certified and USDA certified organic color cosmetics that glide on the skin and are so easy to use. “While working closely with Kevyn Aucoin for nearly ten years, I learned all his secrets to making skin look young, radiant and healthy," adds Sakas. "His one-of-a-kind technique incorporated several different products to achieve the perfect youthful and flawless look. Once I began developing products, I found myself searching for that one product that can do it all. I discovered the Vapour formula through a very happy accident, and I knew immediately that I had come across what I had been seeking for years. It is the only product I have ever seen that can achieve the look of young healthy skin instantly. Vapour’s organic component makes our products more compatible with your skin. Plant cells and skin cells are compatible, causing our products to blend and become one with your skin as opposed to lying flat on top. This allows for more movement and a delicate ‘play of light’ onto the skin." VapourBeauty.comTRIED-AND-TRUE COLOR: Tarte
We heart Tarte, the luxe line Maureen Kelley founded out of her one bedroom apartment in 1999 when she couldn’t find a department store line that was healthy. We love the line's Golden Globe Glam with is missing nasties like parabens, phthalates, sulfates and synthetic fragrance (Want to know what's in Tarte? Just check out their skin glossary.) EDITOR FAVES include Clean Slate foundation primer and Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara (which is nominated for a CEW award), and their their kiss-and-tell blog filled with tips on how to look like a green goddess every day. TarteCosmetics.com
WIN! Tweet us @Fashiontribes explaining why you are a Tartelette and you may be on your way to longer, thicker lashes naturally, courtesy of Tarte’s new Mulitpleye Lash couture collection which includes an eyelash primer and mascara.
SOAP: Kiss My Face Peace Soap
Way back when anything too "eco" or "natural" meant it was probably unappealing and ineffective, Kiss My Face was creating environmentally-sound products that actually worked. Their new castile soap is formulated with 100% natural ingredients including olive, coconut and jojoba oils, challenging the established understanding that chemical ingredients are required for personal and household cleaning. Peace Soap contains natural olive oil to alleviate skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, making it an excellent choice for sensitive skin as well as a safe and gentle alternative to traditional soaps that often contain harsh ingredients. The simple formulation helps to reduce the carbon footprint and minimize waste imposed on the environment, while allowing for multiple benefits and uses, such as washing your lingerie, floors, hair, and, yes, your face. ECO TIP: Kiss My Face will donate 10% of the profits from Peace Soap to Seeds of Peace, an organization that pioneers programs for children in countries of conflict to challenge widely-accepted - and harmful - perceptions. KissMyFace.com
SKIN CARE: SKYN Iceland
Because burning the candle at both ends can furrow brows, Skyn Iceland (a CEW Indie Award Winner) was developed as a natural skincare remedy for stressed-out skin. In particular, their Stress Defense Cream with Biospheric Complex is a paraben-free botanical alternative to injections. SkynIceland.comWIN! Want to look fresh as a daisy? Tweet us something clever about what stresses you out, and win the Eye Relief Kit...and say goodbye to excess baggage next time you are booking a flight somewhere fabulous.
A smoothing and soothing treat for your kisser, and USDA- and Eco-certified, too.
WIN! Tweet your support for better regulations for natural products and win Gabriel Organics Red Seaweed Exfoliator. GabrielCosmeticsInc.com
FOUNDATION: Cover-Fx Mineral Powder
Because women (and men) aren’t a shade of pale pink. Talc free, oil free, fragrance free, and available in twenty shades that match the skin you are in. CoverFXMakeup.com
For thirty years Sonsa Rae, a former L’Oreal executive, and her partner have been creating artisanal botanical products as a solution to their allergies. Each product is made in individual batches and sent directly to you by loving people who love this earth. OUR PICKS: Replenishing Hand Lotion & Soothing Foot Cream, which is ultra rich & creamy, thanks to Olive Oil and Glycerin, as well as Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree Essential Oil. FreshlyNatural.com
NAIL CARE: Priti NYC
Nail Colors that are not only pretty, but are all-natural, too, and devoid of any toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DHB) or formaldehyde-known carcinogenic ingredients found in traditional nail polishes. In addition, Priti polishes are fast drying, chip resistant, contain a UV inhibitor, and are super durable and glossy. We also love their biodegradable soy nail polish remover in a recyclable apothecary style bottle that leaves hands and nails feeling moisturized and nourished while getting the job done, naturally. The luxury remover is soy and corn based (derived from organic farm crops), and is infused with coconut, soybean esters, and essential lemongrass oils. That's it. FASHION FORWARD TIP: During Spring 2010 Fashion Week, designers including Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Thakoon, and Philosophy di Alberta Ferreti debuted their takes on the classic nude nail, introducing new variations and experimenting with matte, barely-there, and layered-up coats of polish. Rachel Roy and Victoria Bartlett complimented the elements of their designs with different shades of corals, while Tuleh and Isaac Mizrahi experimented with soft shades of pink and lilac. Devi Kroell chose a moody and confident vibrant magenta-berry. Editor’s Fave: Our toes look luxe in Gilded Lily. PritiNYC.com
Eco chic fragrances for home and body, that are animal-friendly and environmentally kind. Using all-natural ingredients sourced in Grasse, France, they are free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, glycols, mineral oil, petrolatum, DEA, TEA, synthetic colors, and phthalates. Editor’s Fave: Le Petit Essence Spray in Clementine, an uplifting light orange blossom scent we like to spread on our bed linens, and on our wrists to ward off olfactive offenders on the subway. DayNaDecker.com
ORGANIC ROOM DIFFUSERS: Redflower
Of all the dozens of home diffusers we've tested, Redflower's consistently throw the most intensely-scented fragrance, and last for at least 3 months. Our personal overall favorite is Orange Blossom, but for spring we recommend the Cherry Blossom scent, which diffuses wild cherry blossom, bulgarian rose buds and ripe cherries from a demeter certified, bio-dynamic blend - encased in a recycled spanish glass vase. The diffuser is packaged in 77% post consumer recycled paper and printed at a 100% windpowered plant. Redflower.com
- Michelyn Camen, Editor at Large
(image at top: source)
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