Monday, September 21, 2009

Lethiferous Lashes: Is Mascara Making You Sick?

     I once read somewhere that women tend to be very loyal mascara consumers; many use their favorite brand for years. I'm not one of them. Though I have my favorites, I tend to try the latest and greatest. Among my favorites are the very inorganic, somewhat dangerous Dior brands.
Why, oh why do I insist on paying $20 -$30 for a tube of toxicity? Mascara theoretically touches nothing but dead lash ends ... Wrong! What about the product residue that ends up raccooning under my lids after a long day? What about the particles that invariably flake into my eyes? What about the stuff that washes down the drain after I remove my makeup? The problem with many mascaras is they're loaded with preservatives, namely parabens.
The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database lists 1195 products. Among the worst (0=no risk, 10=high risk of toxicity) are the following mascaras:
  1. Prescriptives Beyond Long maximum Length Mascara, rated 9 for numerous parabens, BHT and aluminum powder. If you're concerned about endocrine disruption, allergies, cancer or neurotoxicity, you'll want to avoid this product.
  2. Estee Lauder Lash XL, also a 9 for aluminum powder and parabens as well as benzyl alcohol, which can be allergenic and irritating.
  3. Cover Girl Lash Blast Luxe Shimmery Volumizing Mascara also scored a 9.
  4. Diorshow (boo hoo) got a 9 for all the reasons listed above, plus Fragrance. The product smells delightful, like roses. Too bad manufacturers aren't required to tell us their fragrance ingredients. They consider these formulations proprietary, but the EWG finds everything in them from pthalates to formaldehyde. Scary stuff...when ingredients aren't listed, I get worried.
  5. Cargo Texas Lash, 9. I'm not at all familiar with this product, but it also rated as a high hazard for its perfume content.
The good news is, among the nearly 1200 mascaras reviewed, there were many that pose little to no threat, with ratings between 1 and 3. Costal Classic Creations, for example, received a zero, making it the safest option in the database. I've never heard of this company, so I'd love some feedback from anyone who uses the products.
Cleure Moisturizing mascara received a score of 1; the only problem the EWG seems to have is the mica content. Mica is used in lots of makeup, and is occupationally harmful to the folks who make the products. It is also bioaccumulative, which means it shows up in our waterways. Again, I'm not familiar with the brand, Cluere Grace Products.
Jane Iredale PureLash Lengthening mascara rates a 2, and seems to have a lot of fans. I've used other Iredale products happily, so I am going to try this stuff soon.
Loreal Double Extend rated well with a 2. Now, I have to say Loreal makes some great mascaras. The Double Extend Beauty Tubes, however isn't one of them. I believe this high-tech product touted by lovely Linda Evangalista is too new to the market to have its own rating, but even if it ends up with an acceptable number (under 3 for me), I won't buy it again. It's a hot mess that tangled up all my lashes and flaked all over the place.
According to the EWG, the product Paula Dorf Cake Mascara actually contains thimerosal: that's right, mercury. Avoid at all costs, unless of course you are looking to be poisoned!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kitty's Kreative Blogger Award

Citizen Green passed on a Kreative Blogger Award to me today, and I am honored to share my 7 favorite things:

1. Watching my son do anything.
2. Walking in the garden with Hubbs.
3. Taking a nap with my pups. If there are no dogs in Heaven, I don't want to go there!
4. Yoga (I'm an instructor; you can see my main website here)
5. Going to rock concerts. The louder the better. Especially love the jam bands.
6. Traveling by car with my family, especially when we end up in the forests of the N. Pacific.
7. Buddhism.

Seven blogs I love:
1. Citizen Green: Home of "Stupid Plastic Crap," a series which helps to heighten our awareness of wasteful consumption of plastics as well as coverage of other great environmental topics.
2. Chinoiserie Chic: Style Redux 2's daily posts of Asian decorating inspiration.
3. Odi et Amo: everything fantastic under the sun.
4. Marinik's Blog: one woman's story of love and loss. Amazing grace.
5. The Fragrant Muse: learn the scientific and subtle properties of essential oils.
6. The Liberty Post: prolific coverage of cultural news.
7. Yoga Addicted: great insights on yoga for those who love yama and niyama topics!

I am grateful to have learned from each of these women, strangers in life but sisters in consciousness. Thanks, Citizen Green! Now, the deal is, I am to pass this award to the blogs listed above. I do so, and I hope everyone has a chance to check them out. Peace and Great Lipstick, Your Kitty.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Greenwashing Alert

Oooh! I am not happy with this morning. I clicked over to see what I want and what I need, and found a banner proclaiming, "Natural Makeup." I was pleased to see one of my former favorite brands, Urban Decay tossing their hat into the natural cosmetics ring. On this site, the product Surreal Skin is listed as a natural cosmetic, apparently because it's a mineral makeup. Guess what the first two ingredients are: parabens! Gross! Although some parabens are extracted from natural substances, they aren't good for you. These preservatives are thought to be irritants at least, and endocrine disruptors as well.
If you haven't checked out the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database, you may want to grab your favorite products (and possibly their packaging) and start researching what you are putting into your body via your skin -- the largest organ you have. As for myself, I quit using powdered mineral make up. Despite flawless coverage, I got sick of the mess on my vanity and concerned about inhaling the dust. If it can travel from my bathroom all the way to the other side of the house (I was finding traces of it everywhere), then I'm not sure I want to breathe it in twice a day. It has to be coating my lungs as I swirl and buff away!
Just because a particular product is marketed as "green" or "natural" doesn't mean it is healthy, and we must be diligent in checking the labels of what we eat and slather on our bodies! A good rule of thumb is not to buy a product if the manufacturer or vendor does not list the ingredients -- they, like many companies probably have something to hide!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fall Deals on Natural Cosmetics

Fall Deals on Natural Cosmetics:
From, purveyors of such kitty-tastic green brands like Jurlique, Boscia, Caudalie, and more:
and also zippy service:
I love because I can combine products from so many hard to find natural brands. I have neither the time nor the inclination to drive all over the city trying to pick up staple items. Their website is slick and easy to operate.

As soon as I get this posted for you kittens, I'm hopping over to Beautorium to get my paws on some John Masters detangler. My darling cub is using it by the quart on his moptop! He is prone to allergies, rashes and itchy scalp. Coupled with his extreme tenderheadedness, combing out the ringlets is never a fun job for either one of us! I insist on 100% natural for him, and John Masters Organics fit the bill. I can combine shopping hair and moisturizers (you know how I love my Dr. Hauschka). Free Ship

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Great Natural Foundation and Blush by Korres

(Image above, Sephora)

Hello and Happy September, kittens! Just wanted to check in and tell you about my latest favorite natural makeup! First, however, I have to apologize for not posting recently on Organic Orgy. I've been working on the Kitty Mothership, as well as my two other blogs, Zen of Homekeeping and Shin-digs and Soirees (check my profile if you'd like to take a look).
Korres is a fabulous natural makeup brand. In the words of Sephora, "The goal of Korres was simple: To develop affordable skin, hair, and personal care products using essential oils, high quality herbs, and plant extracts, and to deliver safe and beneficial results without making false promises or using synthetic ingredients." Synthetic ingredients like yucky mineral oils, silicone, and other nasty chemicals are verboten.
Basically, if it says "Korres" on the bottle, I will use it. My favorite products include: Ginger and Vitamins SPF 10 Foundation (which is fresh, dewy, and seamlessly blendable), Korres blush (available in great neutral, modern colors), and Milk Proteins 3 in 1 Cleanser. These are all available at Sephora, including the local "convenience" counters inside Indy-area JC Penneys. Think I'll pop in later this afternoon to try out some of the eye shadows and mascara!