Here’s a glimpse at my natural and long lasting make up kit. I feel like it’s fairly sustainable and a number of the items can be mostly composted when they have finished their life.
My make up brushes I got for myself as a wedding present at my ‘bachelorette party’ (spa day) 10 years ago. The handles are bamboo and the bristles are natural. These babies have held up. They are still in wonderful shape after a decade and they work very well. The brushes could be thrown into a compost pile if you were willing to pick out the metal rings a year or two later. Or you could saw them off at the end of the handle and compost the handles. These brushes came in a natural fiber wrap which I use as a travel case. It is fully compostable.
The outer lining and tag of the Aveda bag can be composted. The fish sake cup is clay. It could go back to the Earth or become garden art once broken. I often use pottery that way. I have had it for a long time and got it second hand from the thrift. It has lived with me for 8-10 years. It’s been around.
Here is the make up that lives in the Making It Happen bag. (The other bag has more assorted toiletries). Making It Happen came to me via the thrift.
Eco Bella powder in a light color (Pale). This base I add color to depending on the time of year and my complexion. I can be pale or tan. Eco Bella is a natural make up brand sold by my local high end natural grocery store. Apart from the mirror and the elastic band that keeps it closed, this case is compostable.
Mineral Fusion bronzer in Sparkle. This is my eye shadow and the darker shade I mix in when my skin grows tan. It can, of course, also be used under the jaw bones to add definition. I only do this if I’m going out at night and really dressing up.
Mineral Fusion blush in Airy. This is my blush, and I also use it on my brow bones over my eye shadow. It can be lightly brushed on the neck and chest to ease the transition from made up face to natural skin tone, and to create an overall healthy glow if you need a little extra. Mineral Fusion is a natural make up brand carried by several local health food stores.
Locally made brand of loose mineral powder in Lime. This is what I use my tiny flat make up brush for. I will lay a thin line of the bright glittery green above my eyeliner, and sometimes out in a line past the eye. I do this on St Patrick’s Day and fun nights out where the light might catch the sparkle. I also sometimes very lightly dust my arms, chest, or cheekbones with this. The light will catch bits of it and give you a glow.
My eyeliner and lip liner are both Mineral Fusion. The eyeliner is a light-ish brown called Rough and the lip liner is a brownish pink called… something. It is entirely rubbed off. That’s because I carry these two pencils with me wherever I go in my purse. If I suddenly need to up my look a bit these are my two main tools. I use them regularly and often in the car. I also have a natural dark brown eye pencil I use for going out at night or fancy occasions when a little more is needed. Simply adding a layer of darker eye pencil can take your look from day to evening.
Lastly I have Mineral Fusion waterproof mascara in a dark brown called Cliff. I choose to go with dark brown mascara these days because it matches my coloring and looks more natural.
I know there are makeup guidelines on how often to throw out makeup. And I think these rules of thumb have their place with wet makeup such as foundation or mascara. There is more potential for bacteria to grow. But almost all the makeup I use is dry (mascara is the exception), and it keeps safely for years. The green mineral powder I got the first year I lived in Portland. That was 13 years ago, and it is the same as when I purchased it. I’ve had eyeliners that last 8 years. I just finished up blush that I bought when my daughter was a baby. Since I don’t wear makeup every day, and go long stretches without it, I am able to keep items for a long time. This feels sustainable to me. Infrequent purchases of high quality, thoughtfully made make up is something I feel good about.
When I turned 35 I gave myself permission to wear makeup every day that I felt like it. I’m enjoying it during this chapter of my life.
Here’s a picture of me with my version of ‘full’ daytime makeup on. With the natural look it can almost look like you don’t have makeup on. It’s just like turning yourself up a notch.