Give your cosmetic bag an eco-friendly makeover

Want to make the switch to more natural makeup but don't know where to start? We've got expert tips for going green.

By Lia Parsley

Organic makeup brands to try
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"Lip products are inevitably ingested and foundation and powder are usually applied to your entire face and are easily absorbed into your skin," says Eng.

While you're examining your makeup labels, do the same with your favourite nail polishes. Nail polish should be "three-free" – free from these three toxic ingredients: formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate. These ingredients are harmful and can be absorbed through your nail beds. Most nail polish companies have phased them out, but scour the ingredient label of your favourite brand to be sure.

3. What brands can you trust?

The good news is that now, more than ever before, there are a plethora of natural makeup choices that are not only better for you and the earth, but are also effective and a pleasure to use – unlike the goopy, inconsistent formulas of days gone by.

Specialty stores like Pure + Simple and Whole Foods offer a wide variety of healthy makeup choices. The Pure + Simple makeup line is a homegrown Canadian brand free of chemical fillers, dyes and fragrances.

Another organic makeup brand to try is Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, which offers an amazing, high-quality line of chemical-free makeup. Specifically, the Iredale concealers provide great coverage and are available in a variety of shades.

Other trustworthy brands include Nvey Eco Cosmetics, Revolution Organics, RMS Beauty, Vapour Organic Beauty and Dr. Hauschka Skin Care.

At larger chain stores like Sephora, ask for testers of products by eco-conscious makeup brands like Bite Beauty, Korres, Tarte and Josie Maran as you hunt for your new go-to products. At the most accessible level, Shoppers Drug Mart carries Physicians Formula Organic Wear, which is worth testing out.

4. Want to learn more?
Before buying, consider checking out product ratings on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. With over 65,000 ratings, you're likely to find out more about the product or brand you're interested in.

With this information, you'll be able to make educated and informed decisions on your journey to an increasingly safe, chemical-free makeup regimen. And don't stress if you can't be 100 per cent chemical-free: prices, availability and preference all play a factor in this transition. Even little changes can add up to a big impact for your overall health.

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