A Journey Through Non-Toxic Lipstick, Part One
By Denise Vasi
Red lipstick is the little black dress of makeup and it’s no secret that I obsess over a great red lip. A total attitude adjuster and one of my secrets to looking pulled together and awake, I don’t ever leave home without it. However, over the last several years I’ve become more aware of the dangers that lurk in beauty products and I have been on a long, slow but steady mission to clean up the items I use.
Back in 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released “A Poison Kiss,” a report that opened the public’s eyes to the issue of toxic metals in lipstick. Independent lab tests revealed that of 33 well-known brands of lipsticks, 61 percent contained lead. A neurotoxin, lead can be absorbed through contact, inhalation, ingestion, or skin. Even very small amounts of lead are detrimental, especially for children and pregnant women.
A few other harmful toxins potentially in lipsticks are aluminum, cadmium and manganese. Each of these can cause immediate or long-lasting issues for our nervous, gastrointestinal, reproductive, and endocrine systems. If this information is new to you, it might sound surprising and overwhelming but have no fear, we gotchu!
In honor of National Lipstick Day on Sunday, MAED is launching an ongoing search in pursuit for the perfect “clean” red lipstick for every price point. As always, I’m going to keep it 100 with you. Do I still wear my old favorite? I most definitely do. Especially when I need my lip color to stay in place, for example, if I’m hitting a red carpet. But do I wear it when I pick my daughter up from school, right before I shower her with kisses? I most definitely do not. I opt for one of my 4 current favorite non-tox lipsticks.
Written in Blood by Rituel de Fille
With a beautiful saturated deep wine color that stays on well, this lipstick has excellent texture and is also very hydrating. It’s a semi-matte so there is nice coverage with a bit of shine. I found that I needed to use a lip brush to get the perfect pout with this lipstick. The brand prides themselves on making their products with very few ingredients, avoiding fillers and using nothing extraneous. It’s synthetic-dye-free, synthetic-fragrance-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free and sulfate-free. The slim packaging makes this the perfect lipstick to stash in your clutch on a date night.
Napa Vineyard by Burt's Bees
This is the ultimate drugstore find, the OG natural beauty brand got it right. I love how smooth Burt’s Bee Matte Lip Crayon is, and the fact that it’s a pencil keeps things foolproof. It’s creamy, opaque, provides full-coverage and glides right on. Infused with shea butter, kendi oil, and jojoba oil, it won’t dry your lips out like most matte lip products. It also gets a great clean score on from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, and you can’t beat the price.
KW Red by Kjaer Weis
Kjaer Weis was started by celebrity makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis. While the price point is on the high end, you will get a high-performing lipstick with a rich, velvet finish. Not only does Kjaer Weis ensures that all ingredients are Certified Natural or Certified Organic but that their packaging is also luxurious and elevated. On me, the color felt more berry than a true red but I did love the organic meets sophisticated combo.
Wild With Desire, Rebound by RMS
A brand favored by many celebrities, RMS was started by Rose-Marie Swift, a renowned makeup artist who experienced health issues from overexposure to the toxins in regular makeup. She started RMS “to help other women claim their right to healthy beauty.”
The Wild With Desire lipstick in Rebound is by far one my favorites! It is the closest in tone to what I would buy from a traditional makeup brand. It’s vibrant, leaves a beautiful satin finish, feels great and is helpful for chapped lips thanks to all those nourishing oils. It’s natural, fragrance-free, sulfate-free and even gluten-free.