My approach to updating my products has been slow and steady, to swap in new products as I finish the old. This of course goes faster with items like shampoo and conditioner, so it took me a while to get around to checking out new lipstick options.
My old lipsticks (that I still have and wear sometimes, just not on a daily basis anymore) were NARS semi-matte lipstick (here's the listing for the color Catfight) and MAC Satin Lipstick. Both earned a moderate concern ranking, with ingredients linked to cancer, and developmental and reproductive toxicity.
So I hit my local natural pharmacies with makeup sections to see what my options were. There are some brands that Skin Deep lists that I've never seen in a store (for instance, Canary Cosmetics, Alchemy of Color, and Cargo), and I don't like buying lipstick online because finding the right color is already tricky enough in person.
This is about the right time to note that I still haven't found an ideal lipstick. I just can't seem to find a nice red with brown undertones that suits people like me who are a little pale, but also a little olivey, and have dark hair. It seems like most of what I find is either way too pink or so brown that I look like a corpse.
But I have dedicated hours and the backs of both hands to testing healthier lipstick colors. Here's what I've found so far:
- Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer: For a long time I avoided Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer because it seemed more like lip balm than lipstick, and I assumed it was for the shampoo-once-a-week/no-makeup types. But I tried it and it's a pretty convincing lipstick, plus it tingles (in a good way). The only problem is the color. I had to buy three of them before finding one that I really liked, though at about $5 a pop, it wasn't such a big deal. The Merlot, which I tried first, was much more pink than the top indicated. The color Raisin is pretty good, though perhaps still a little too pink for me. And Coffee, though I originally avoided it (see corpse issue, above), ended up being a lovely shade of brownish red.
- Bare Escentuals Quick Stick: I tried
's Fig color Quick Stick and really liked it. The color is great and the application is smooth and even. But, even though Bare Escentuals promotes itself as a company that uses natural ingredients, I know that some of its powders (specifically the Mineral Veil, which keeps oily skin from being too shiny) contain parabens, so I thought I should just take a quick look at the ingredient list before charging down there and buying my own. And what I found was a really long ingredient list that included parabens and a few other unsavory ingredients. So sad. I really do hope they ditch the parabens though, because I really like the colors. Nancy
- Sante: This one is a mystery brand. It's available at the Elephant Pharm near my house, the colors are promising, and the price is right, but the store doesn't have an ingredients list and I can't find anything substantial online.