'Raw Beauty': All About Makeup
In the second chapter of our "Raw Beauty" series, London-based make-up artist and green beauty maven Khandiz Joni outlines the principles behind clean and healthy makeup and compiles a multitude of beauty wisdom to advise you on what works best for your skin. And she's curated a selection of brands and products, outstanding equally in their quality and aesthetics.
Chapter Two: All About Makeup, by Khandiz Joni:
If you’ve read our previous chapter on skincare, you will know that our faces are true indicators of what is really going on in our bodies. So many factors affect how our skin is behaving. Which is why, throughout this series, I will repeat this sentiment. It’s easy to forget. These factors include your diet, stress, dehydration, pollution, and makeup. Yes, you’ve read right, makeup can really affect your skin’s appearance. Many commercial brands contain comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients, synthetic fragrances and other allergy causing additives that can cause the skin to break out.
One of the biggest benefits of switching to natural and organic colour cosmetics – besides the obvious health factors – is that your makeup now has skincare ingredients as their base. The other big plus is that a lot of natural and organic cosmetics have been designed to be multi-functional. The products' impact on the planet during manufacturing and packaging processes are factored into the approach.
There is still a prejudice that natural and organic makeup is inferior to its mainstream counterparts, but that simply isn’t the case anymore. The advancement of science has lead to some groundbreaking formulations. There are countless colours, textures and finishes to suit every desire. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that EVERYTHING that you find in conventional products ranges is available – but it is simply a matter of time. We just need to put into perspective how much the natural and organic beauty industry has grown in the last few years. It’s mind blowing to think that when I started on my journey into clean cosmetics four and a half years ago, organic colour cosmetics were few and far between. They are now going mainstream!
In this chapter, I will look at some of the different textures and finishes of numerous products available, as well as offer you some tips and tricks on how to choose the right product for you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it the length and breadth of the products I use on a daily basis in my work, but rather a curated selection of brands that have factored in both the inside and the outside of their product, much in line with The Lissome’s discerning reader.
FOUNDATIONS / CONCEALERS / CORRECTORS
Vapour Organic Beauty: Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation
Zao Makeup: Compact Foundation & Loose Mineral Foundation
Und Gretel: Leith Foundation
RMS Beauty: Un-Coverup & Master Mixer & Living Luminizer
Hiro Cosmetics via Amazingy: Space Balm & Loose Mineral Foundation
Ilia Beauty: Vivid Foundation & Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturiser SPF20
Absolution: La Crème Du Teint
Tips for choosing the right concealer/foundation/corrector:
When it comes to choosing a foundation, the first thing you need to consider is what kind of finish you prefer. Do you like a dewy look? Or perhaps you prefer a more matte finish? If you like that glowy skin, choosing an emollient cream foundation with lots of natural oils and waxes, will allow you to achieve this kind of result. Products like the RMS Un-Coverup range is excellent, as is Vapour Organic Beauty’s Atmosphere Soft Focus range. If you are after something a little more matte, then look out for products with a water base, such as Und Gretel’s Leith Foundation or Zao Makeup’s Compact Foundation (which covers nearly every skin tone).
The next thing you need to factor is how much coverage you are after. Is it a barely-there-wash-over cover just to even out your skin tone? Or do you feel naked unless you have your foundation an inch thick? If you like a very light coverage, a tinted moisture is a great option. Ilia Beauty’s Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturizer SPF20 is a great option. Truth be told, clean beauty products, by their very nature, will never provide a heavy coverage. But that does not mean that you can’t achieve a full coverage - simply use buildable products like Absolution’s La Crème du Teint or HIRO’s Space Balms. If I need to create a full coverage finish for a client or a shoot, I will tend to use a few light-weight products layered up and finished off with a pressed mineral powder like Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Base.
Remember there are two different considerations here. Sometimes, you will simply need to hide a blemish. Here you can use a concealer the same colour as your skin: Apply a very small dot to the blemish, and using a clean ring finger, gently tap the product into the skin. When it comes to covering up dark circles, you will need to take a different approach – because what you actually need to do is to correct the colour. We do this by neutralising the blue or purple colour showing through the fine skin beneath your eyes. Very simply, if you have very blue dark circles, you will need to use a more orange toned corrector, and for more purple coloured dark circles, you will neutralise the colour with a more yellow toned concealer. The old fashioned approach of using a concealer two shades lighter than your skin tone does nothing but give you grey panda eyes. Think back to the colour wheel you learned about in elementary school art class. It’s all about opposite colours.
On choosing your colour:
Lastly, you need to take note of your skin’s undertone. Do you have a more rosy/warm colouring? Are you more yellow? Or are you neutral? While most of us actually have a more yellow undertone, there are still far too many brands (organic/natural and conventional) that seem to think that we all want to look pink. Fortunately, more and more brands are starting to offer shades that suit all skin tones.
Ingredients to look out for:
Silica (which is different to silicon) is an incredible ingredient. It’s used as a mattifier and provides a silky feel to the product that helps it glide on and adhere to the skin.
Jojoba Oil is wonderful – it’s non-comedogenic and won’t clog the pores.
Titanium Dioxide is a staple ingredient in colour cosmetics. It provides an excellent white base in which iron oxides and micas are added to create an entire spectrum of coloured products. Avoid products with nanoparticles and be careful with loose powders, as they are the only way in which Titanium Dioxide is a cause for concern.
Kjaer Weis: Cream Blush in Happy & Precious
RMS Beauty: Lip 2 Cheek in Demure
Ere Perez: Beautiful Beetroot Cheek & Lip Tint in Joy
Hiro Cosmetics via Amazingy: Mineral Blush in A Clockwork Peaches & From Fuchsia with Love
Und Gretel: Sunne Lifting Modelling Powder in Leve
Ilia Beauty: Multi-Stick in All of Me & Polka Dots and Moonbeams
Jane Iredale: Just Been Kissed Lip & Cheek Stains in Forever Red, Forever Peach & Forever Pink
Studio 78 Paris: Bronzing Powder in No1 White Sand
There are an endless array of colours and products in this category, and we have only just touched the surface with the products we have listed above.
On choosing the right pop of colour, bronzer, highlighter:
As with any makeup that you choose to wear on your skin, first and foremost, you need to identify what texture you like. If you like a delicate pop of colour, Jane Iredale Just Been Kissed Lip & Cheek Stains are ideal. If you want something a little more intense, with great staying power, look for products with vegetable pigments like Ere Perez Beautiful Beetroot Cheek & Lip Tint. With tints, a little goes a long way, and once they are on, they are on! Tints are essentially semi-permanent pigments that “stain” the skin. (They come off easily enough with a cleanser and little face wash and warm water).
If you prefer a buildable, but dewy colour, cream blushes are ideal. They are slightly heavier than a tint and don’t last quite as long. Cream blushes sit on the surface of the skin and contain minerals, micas, plant butter and waxes.
For those of you who have been using powder blushes, both loose and pressed mineral blushers are ideal. These blushes usually have a little shimmer to them because of their high mica content. Powders are great for contouring and adding a warm wash of colour to the high points of the face (bronzing).
A simple rule to remember when applying blusher: Colour on the apple of the cheeks will make the face appear rounder (more youthful) and colour/contour below the cheekbone, elongates a face (more elegant).
Kjaer Weis: Eyeshadow in Blue Wonder, Magnetic & Cloud Nine
RMS Beauty: Eye Polish in Magnetic
Ilia Beauty: Mascara in Macao, Eyeliner in Night Clubbing, Shadow Play & Rebel Rebel
Zao: Pearly Eyeshadow in 116 Peacock Blue
Hiro Cosmetics via Amazingy: Loose Eyeshadow Powders
Jane Iredale: Just Been Kissed Lip & Cheek Stains
Green People: Organic Volumising Mascara in Black
Und Gretel: Imbe Eyeshadow in Bark
Again, eyeshadows in the clean beauty arena are not in short supply! They come in various different textures – as creams, pressed powders and loose powders. In the past, natural eyeshadows didn’t have nearly as much “punch” as conventional colours, but as demand has increased and formulations have been improved, there is no excuse.
On choosing your texture:
Cream eyeshadows are great for a modern, editorial look, but they do not have great staying power (regardless if they are clean or conventional products). As you would expect, creams tend to well up in the creases of the eye. You can, of course, help this creasing by using a translucent powder or a loose/pressed eye shadow in the same or similar colour.
Personally, I am still a fan of the traditional, pressed eyeshadow when it comes to intensity and longevity. Und Gretel’s Imbe Eyeshadow is an excellent example of a highly pigmented pressed shadow with outstanding staying power.
Loose mineral eyeshadows are great to blend with and build up more dimension to the eyes. Its very nature means that they are usually more shimmery than pressed powders (because of their high mica content). That being said, by mixing a little water into the loose powder, you have a very intense finish.
The sky is the limit here really – eyeshadows are a great opportunity to play with colour in your makeup. Use a light wash of single colour swept across your lids for an easy, fresh daytime look or add some drama with some deeper tones for an evening look.
On using mascara:
As natural mascaras don’t contain the synthetic ingredients of conventional brands, you will not find a waterproof mascara in the clean beauty remit. That’s not to say that there aren’t some other excellent choices. Like with any mascara though, it’s trial and error, I’m afraid. Personally, I love the Green People Organic Volumising Mascara because I find that is what works for me.
If you have oily eyelids, add a creamy concealer and a little translucent powder to your eyelid and under your eye before applying the mascara to avoid smudging.
Note: If you are using any kind of mineral makeup and suffer from sensitive skin, make sure to check the ingredients list for an ingredient called bismuth oxychloride. This is a mineral additive that is used to add extra shimmer to products but can cause allergic reactions. Truly natural and organic brands will not contain this ingredient.
Absolution Cosmetics: Organic Lipstick in Rouge Theatre, Rose Franc, Rouge Coquelicot & Rouge Bordeaux
Kjaer Weis: Lip Tint in Sensuous Plum & Goddess
Ilia Beauty: Lip Crayons in Iko Iko, Dress You Up & Come Undone,
Lipsticks in Femme Fatal & In My Room, Tinted Lip Conditioner in In Paradise
Zao Makeup: Liquid Lip Balm in Translucent, Lip Polish in Burgundy and Lip Pencils in Red Copper and Crimson
RMS Beauty: Lip Shine inRoyal, Lip2Cheek in Demure & Illusive
Jane Iredale: Lip Pencils in Peach, Nude & Pink
Green People: Enrich and Enhance Lip Primer and Matte Lipstick in Damask Rose
Vapour: Elixir Lip Plumping Gloss in Entice & Honour
Matte, gloss, stain or satin – these are the four most common textures that you find in lipsticks. Much like with eyeshadows, finding a lipstick to replace your conventional brand is easier than you think. Yes, even MAC’s Lady Danger and Russian Red!
On choosing a lipstick:
If you like a bold mouth with a matte finish, the Absolution Cosmetics Organic Lipstick range is my go-to for bright poppy colours. For a more sophisticated velvet finish, Kjaer Weis’ range of lipsticks is a must. Ilia Beauty does the most delicious range of sheer colours, which are incredibly nourishing and ideal for those who don’t like such a solid colour. Or for those who want to wear a bit of colour but have very dry lips – in which case, a more matte lipstick would usually show up the lip condition.
When choosing a lipstick, consider your skin tone. If you have fair skin with a cool undertone, blue-based browns, reds and pinks (cool tones) are more flattering. If you have a warmer undertone, orange and peachy based colours (warm tones) will really pop. I always suggest starting with this approach. But make sure to try out a “wild card” colour because more often than not, you will find that something that you thought would never suit you, is actually a wonderful compliment to your face.
A lot of clean beauty brands offer multi-purpose lip and cheek tints that, as the name suggests, can be worn on the mouth and face for a fresh flattering colour. These products usually provide a much sheerer wash of colour in contrast to the lipstick types mentioned above. RMS Beauty does a wonderful range of colours Lip 2 Cheek that suit every skin tone called. If you are preferable to a lipliner, Jane Iredale has some great classic shades that work with lots of different lipstick shades. You might have noticed that throughout the series, we have chosen to photograph products in various stages of use. This was done intentionally – to subtly remind us all, that product is there to be used. Buy what suits you and use it until it’s finished.
One of the hurdles in switching to natural and organic cosmetics is that many of them are sold online, and it might feel like a big investment to lay out your hard earned cash by picking a colour off the screen. Fear not – nearly all online cosmetic retailers offer sample sizes with enough product for you to use a few times so that you are able to make an informed decision.