Quantcast

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

231

The Natural Beauty and Cosmetics Advocate: Jessa Blades

It's hard to pinpoint when exactly natural beauty products started seeming more logical. Maybe it was the stories about Keratin hair smoothing treatments full of formaldehyde, or reading about the unregulated billion-dollar beauty industry in books like 'Not Just a Pretty Face' (Stacy Malkan) and 'No More Dirty Looks' (Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt), or maybe it was just a natural result of knowing someone in chemotherapy, and how they had to treat themselves like a person in a bubble, sensitive to all sorts of toxins.

I switched to a more holistic beauty lifestyle about a year ago, and recently discussed it with makeup artist, herbalist, and small-business owner Jessa Blades, who sells clean beauty and lifestyle products through Blades Natural Beauty, the website she started in 2008.

What is Blades Natural Beauty? What is "natural beauty"?

I am a natural beauty expert and a makeup artist. I've been a professional makeup artist for about nine years, and in that time have been exposed to many different interpretations of beauty and health. I came into the world of natural beauty because I was drawn to the idea that being beautiful and feeling beautiful don't require sacrificing anything, hiding anything, or, most relevantly, unknowingly harming our bodies. The natural beauty part of Blades Natural Beauty speaks to my interest in helping people to understand what healthy products are and how they relate to makeup, skincare, and the idea of wellness. When I learned that many of the ingredients in products most commonly used aren't, in fact, seeming to be doing our skin any favors, I made it my mission to discover what ingredients are good, and what ingredients to avoid. The current beauty industry can appear very confusing, with buzzwords, marketing, and greenwashing (i.e. posing a product as “natural” when it's not). My goal, and my passion, is to do all the hard work of weeding through this sometimes deceptive world of makeup and skincare and offer people the information they need to make healthier choices, that help them to feel like the best version of themselves.

That is why I got into the business: I was an expert in the beauty industry, and even I didn't know that there were toxins in products. There's really a need for somebody to cut through all this confusion, be a bit of a “tour guide,” and hold some hands through the process of detoxifying the world of beauty — because it is confusing! I like doing the work and the research and learning about these ingredients that I can't pronounce and telling the stories of people who are making these amazing products, instead of these companies that are knowingly putting chemicals in their products and women's bodies. 

When did you get that moment of inspiration that sent you out on the route to natural beauty?

I think it was a perfect storm of experiences — I studied art and psychology in college, then went to makeup school in Canada. I got into makeup because I was interested in the psychology of beauty and how I might be able to help women look good, which in turn helps them feel good. I saw this as really powerful work. At the same time, I was eating really healthy and walking my compost to the farmer's market in Union Square, learning about organic farming, and I was interested in health — but I had no idea that I was potentially compromising my health and my beliefs in my job, and as a woman. I was also hearing things on the news like "there's lead in lipstick" and “there's mercury in mascara” … I started researching it and was dumbfounded when I realized there were toxic ingredients in my beauty products, and in the tools that I used as a makeup artist. Looking back I wonder: why did I think I could trust the beauty industry, as I don’t blindly trust any other industry?

What also happened at that time was that I had kind of given up on my own skin. I had the most sensitive, dry, irritated skin, and it would burn. The wind would blow, and I'd get a rash. I thought that there had to be something going on, because I couldn’t find any products that worked, and the dermatologists and allergists I saw were no help, either. So, I pared down my face-washing and moisturizing process to really basic ingredients, like coconut oil and olive oil. I left my skin alone and let it get back into balance. That was when I realized that my skin wasn't sensitive — it was communicating, and it was saying, “Hey Jessa, there's something here that isn't right.” At the time I was reading Not Just a Pretty Face, a wonderful book that I strongly recommend, and it just dawned on me that there was a much bigger picture. What I learned was that a lot of the products I had been using weren't as "beautiful" as I had thought, and that they wouldn't inspire me to help women feel good.

A selection from Blades Natural Beauty online shop.

What's your typical workday like?

I work as a makeup artist for celebrity/fashion clients, and I teach classes about how to apply makeup and how women can detox their beauty drawers and makeup bags. I really try to listen to women, helping them find really good products that they're comfortable using and excited about because they're healing their skin. I also make a line of products — handmade skin care and healing herbal teas — and sell them, too, as well as curated beauty products made by companies that I can say that I trust. I don't think you need the choice of 20 different mascaras. Sephora seems to think that selling all these mascaras is liberating, but I find it overwhelming. On my site, you don't need to do the research, because I've already done the work, and I hope that readers feel comfortable trusting me. After you learn this information about the once-trusted products you’ve been using, you may not know where to go and you may be even a bit scared. And that’s okay — but that’s why I do what I do. I want to buffer that transition.

I founded my online store to share amazing products that work, and I’m always looking for new makers with great stories to tell. I really think the future of beauty is that what you do on the inside can truly help you on the outside.

You've been getting more into plant medicine lately, right?

Yes, I’ve been studying herbal healing and plant medicine for the past four years. I’m passionate about helping people get back in touch with the simple healing and folk traditions that our ancestors used and understood as powerful medicine. Most other cultures use herbs for their first line of defense against disease, and I think it's time we remember how to do that here. New Yorkers are so stressed, and our nervous systems are totally fatigued. Teas like nettle, oat straw, and passionflower are easy ways we can get ourselves back to a balanced mental state, letting our bodies take care of themselves.

Sometimes these natural products seem prohibitively expensive — like Dr. Hauschka's stuff, for example. Is there a way to approach greening your makeup/beauty routine affordably?

I think people sometimes have inappropriate expectations for natural products. You can’t expect the products will cost the same as what you're used to buying at CVS. Natural products also have a different shelf life compared to normal products. Using healthy, non-toxic products can require a change in expectations, but it is an important and beneficial shift. I have products on my site that range in price from very affordable to expensive, but the truth is, well sourced, high quality ingredients are expensive. But I think they're worth the price. There are ways to cut costs, though — for instance, use apple cider vinegar as a clarifying rinse and save money on buying a clarifying shampoo. Or use raw, organic coconut oil as your body moisturizer and save money on buying an expensive lotion and a foot cream.

What are some of the most interesting stories that you've found out about through your site?

There's a great line called CV Skin Labs, started by a woman named Britta Aragon. Britta was inspired to create this line of skincare products after watching her father battle cancer, and after she went through chemotherapy and her own fight with cancer. Her mission was to create products that are safe and clean enough for people with compromised skin, people going through chemotherapy and experiencing the side effects of radiation, or medications, or who experience difficult skin conditions like eczema and chronic dryness. The ingredients are so amazing and safe, and I've found that the products work beautifully. The skin balm is basically like a new Neosporin, without petroleum; it's the balm that seems to help with everything. She created her products to be without toxins, to heal and protect the skin. It seemed crazy to her to put chemicals on a compromised body, and I couldn’t agree more.

What is your proudest makeup achievement?

My best makeup jobs have been when I work with "normal" women, do their makeup, and they're like, “Are you serious? I look that good? What you did was so easy, and I can do that?” You can see their posture change, see a smile take over their, face and feel their excitment. I think my style of doing makeup is to recreate the look that people have in August, when they're on vacation, have just eaten a bunch of strawberries, and are looking healthy — that's the beauty of makeup: helping people active that healthy glow. Teaching women that they can achieve that glow using healthy products that I believe in — that's my favorite thing that I do.

What would you recommend as an easy makeup look in the winter?

One makeup look for winter that I love often involves bronzer. Choose one that's a matte brown, without glitter. I love swiping a bit on the cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead. This will help bring a bit of life into your face. Top off with two coats of black mascara and a poppy lip. A hydrating lip balm with a pop of color complements the bronzer and "wakes up" the face. Winter is boring enough, so don't be afraid of color, on both your lips and cheeks!

As a small-business owner, what kind of advice would you give to others?

Running my own business, it just doesn't feel like it's work. I feel like it's something I'm lucky do every day, I forget that it's work because I feel so passionate about it. I blurred the line between where my hobby starts — where work is and where my hobby is. I feel like that’s everybody's dream, that they don't feel like they're working, that they get to play. I know a lot of people think that's cheating. But I did makeup when I was 18 for all my friends and thought "this is so fun," and I realized it could be a job. I never knew that liking to apply makeup and helping people look good and feel good would turn into something that is what it is today. A lot of people want to see what the end will be; but I say just start your project. You can't teach or learn passion, but what you're passionate about is contagious and can make people want to trust and learn from you. Life's too short to be miserable — then again, I'm a hypocrite, I work seven days a week and it’s amazing, but I don't always take good care of myself. I make my clients tea and relax them and I don't always do that for myself.

 
Updated to include:
- The Environmental Working Group's 'Skin Deep' cosmetics database
- "Cosmetic Wars," New York Times
- SafeCosmetics.org
- "The Story of Cosmetics," The Story of Stuff

Elisabeth Donnelly's greatest makeup moment involved a full-on David Bowie lightning bolt at a costume party in Stockholm.

231 Comments / Post A Comment

fondue with cheddar

This sounds fantastic, and sorely needed. Thanks, Jessa! I can't wait to check out the site on my lunch break.

PatatasBravas

ALSO I LOVE THE UPDATES

thanks editors!

allendaniel

Yum yum ^^@a

Kristen

Hmmmm. The science behind the "toxins" and "chemicals" in regular CVS makeup seems a bit squishy to me. If I am not going through chemotherapy, nor have any underlying health condition, I do not see any convincing evidence here that I should pay someone to tell me to pay a great deal more money to buy natural products. I'd be more likely to believe that the conventional makeup industry does a great deal of large-scale environmental damage, but again, there's not really much evidence about that here. However, I need no convincing that the makeup industry does a great deal of damage, every day, in persuading women that there is a direct equivalence between looking good and feeling good, and that the route to both feeling and looking good is wasting a ton of money on fancy beauty products, natural or otherwise. Unfortunately, while there is some good stuff here, much of this article seems to slide very neatly into that mold.

@Kristen The whole thing reads like a sales pitch. Oh wait, it is!

RK
RK

@Kristen Thank you, Kristen. There are absolutely bigger problems here than "toxins."

travelmugs

@Kristen Seriously, this entire thing read like the Facebook statuses of my sad, Midwestern friends who are involved in MLM schemes that prey on people's vague fear of "chemicals" using pseudo-science.

H.E. Ladypants

@Kristen No, no, you don't get it. You NEED bronzer to look alive. Just being alive doesn't cut it.

Luckily for men, they naturally produce small amounts of bronzer on their skin and therefore look alive without applying it.

travelmugs

@H.E. Ladypants Why don't you WANT to be healthy and wealthy like me? Let me tell you about an opportunity . . .

dotcommie

@Kristen THIS. natural <> good for you. cyanide is natural! also, there's a spectrum of what's natural and what's not. petrolatum is a highly effective skin care ingredient! i'm a dry skinned person and have tried many "natural" alternatives and none have been as effective as products that contain petrolatum. BLARG!

i like paula begoun's research on cosmetics better. she has a much more nuanced view of the benefits of "natural" products. and yeah, she makes her own line, but generally doesn't refer to it in her reviews of other products (and her skincare stuff is the BOMB).

@travelmugs YES! I thought that when I was reading it... like, oh a pyramid scheme for natural makeup that probably looks weirdly ashy and gray and powdery. Awesome!

dj pomegranate

@Kristen So, I agree that the overall industry is incredibly damaging and that the fear of unnamed "toxins" and "chemicals" is aggravating and unscientific--no argument there. But I think that being aware of what you're prioritizing, how/where you spend your money, how products are made, what different definitions of "natural" mean, etc., is a good step in even approaching some of those larger questions.

Obvs I just speak for myself, but as I've started thinking about "natural" products vs, "unnatural", I've re-evaluated a lot of my feelings about/uses of makeup. I used to wear a lot more but have now become quite comfortable wearing hardly any and finding self-confidence in something other than my looks/makeup/clothes--for me, that was a big step in self-awareness. (Obviously not everyone's experience and I have nothing against lots of makeup!) But I am going to buy mascara whether it's "natural" or not. If someone can offer a mascara that works well and is "natural" and can convince me that I should give it a shot, then I probably will because I like the idea of sticking to more basic ingredients and, in my experience, my skin reacts better to more natural products. I mean, yeah, this is pretty obviously a sales pitch, but I think there's room for sales pitches in the overall discussion.

PatatasBravas

@dj pomegranate Yeah, I almost never wear lipstick, but when I do I would prefer it not have lead in it. So it would be nice to have non-lead options.

But I don't mind doing the research for that, and also this article did read like a sales pitch. Which, if it were a sponsored post, I'd be more into. This reminds me of the Soapwalla articles which are interesting, but feel more like a sponsored post/endorsement thing than a Pinner Party Thang.

OhMarie

@dotcommie Totally--petroleum does it for me where many "natural" products are loaded with things that piss my skin off, like peppermint or eucalyptus or whatever.

smidge

@Kristen This is where I plug Natalie Dee's blog post "Who Put Guilt and Shame in my Lotion?" and thank the pinner @Dullhypothesis who pointed it out.

dj pomegranate

@PatatasBravas Yeah, I get that. I'm just surprised at the negativity in the comments when, on my reading, this was a lightweight sales pitch article (not intended to be a commentary on the beauty industrial complex, but probably inspiring thoughtful comments about it). Re-reading it I see what people are reacting to, since it comes across as more of a "Natural Beauty 101"/sales pitch without digging deeper into the complexities of the industry. I still find it more good than bad, though, and think that we need more people who are consciously creating (...and pitching) alternative/more responsible beauty products.

OhMyGoshYouGuys

@travelmugs Did you really just say "sad Midwestern friends"?

The Lady of Shalott

@OhMyGoshYouGuys Yeah. I know it's trendy to live on the coasts but could we please not use "Midwestern" as a synonym for "dumb?" Because hey, that's really offensive!

travelmugs

@The Lady of Shalott Sorry to hit a nerve! I'm Midwestern. I've just observed the MLM thing popping up more among friends in areas with fewer economic opportunities. Should have phrased that more carefully.

Mae
Mae

@OhMarie Anyone who tells me my skin would be radiant if only I used "natural" products can bite me.

@dj pomegranate I just don't think sales pitches make awesome articles, especially when they're not sponsored posts. It comes across as really gimmicky and desperate.

Better articles would be:
-My Journey: Natural Makeup
-Best Time I Started By Own Business
-a research piece on chemicals and cosmetics that's legit and researched
-Ask A Natural Makeup Artist
-an article comparing the quality and application of "natural" vs. Sephora vs. CVS makeup
-a conversation between Jane and this lady about their makeup priorities
-a discussion about class/status/money and the intersection of class and organic/natural movements

But trying to scare women into buying (possibly very crappy) new mascara? I find that obnoxious.

geek_tragedy

@S. Elizabeth

Yes! Also, what about answering the question about affordability a bit more honestly? Or actually taking the time to think about making safer products (if indeed natural makeup is less 'toxic'/safer) that are affordable for young women who aren't rolling in cash.

The Lady of Shalott

@geek_tragedy At $38 for body butter, it sure does feel like "you can have awesome products if you're rich."

@geek_tragedy YES! You know what? It's really expensive to get supplies that aren't full of additives. I find it really shitty that buying a whole chicken that doesn't have a bunch of extra shit injected into it or fed to it is EXPENSIVE.

But the way to answer that question is not "omg it's WORTH IT!" Hint, Jessa: the way to answer that question is along the lines of "it is very difficult to get the items and ingredients we like to use. Unfortunately, we need to stay in business, and while we strive to minimize the mark-up of our products, it's just expensive to make this stuff. We are dedicated to having a certain standard for everything included in our products, and we're not willing to budge there because it is our mission. We, as a company, understand that this means our products aren't available to everyone at every income level, and it's something we think about often and are trying to address without altering the formulas of our favorite products."

dj pomegranate

@S. Elizabeth Yeah, all of those would have been more Hairpinny and more informative, and sales pitches do not make awesome articles. It just seems to me that the level of snark in the comments is disproportionate to the (I think relatively benign, although clearly others disagree) content in the article.

@dj pomegranate I think the "Hairpinny" comment is what's important and hits the nail on the head. And I think the snark is specifically because this article was on the Hairpin; after a solid 2+ years of The Hairpin, the readership expects the long articles to be good, nuanced, and well-reasoned. This fell flat, and because the expectations are high, there was response.

lasso tabasco

@The Lady of Shalott I just tried to "like" this seven times. Midwest represent! We're real! We're cool! We're just like everybody else and we have running water too!

Amphora

@dotcommie Paula Begoun's store at least has citations to the research to back up her claims that her products are better for your skin.

cupcakecore@twitter

@dotcommie YES. Everyone harshes on petrolatum but nothing else works for my super super dry lips.

Urwelt

@smidge She some good points, but I took issue with that post. She totally dismissed concerns about animal testing because "so many of the ingredients in cruelty-free products were animal tested years ago", which is an idiotic argument. Just because you care about the products you're using not actively contributing to more animal testing doesn't mean you're an irrational hippie who won't use something "tainted" by animal tests that were done (rightly or wrongly) 100 years ago. And she was just really condensing and smug about the whole thing. Breaking news, people have all the same facts you do and still have different priorities!

Sorry, I didn't really mean to direct that at you, it's just been bugging me since I first read it.

smidge

@Urwelt No worries--those are totally valid criticisms.

dj pomegranate

This is wonderful. I have been trying to slowly move over to natural products, mostly by replacing things as they run out. I am now in the market for a natural mascara...anyone have any recommendations? (Also, just put Blades' mascara in my online shopping cart...)

queenofbithynia

On my site, you don't need to do the research, because I've already done the work, and I hope that readers feel comfortable trusting me. After you learn this information about the once-trusted products you’ve been using, you may not know where to go and you may be even a bit scared.

omfg & jfc

credulous, ignorant and scared, that's how I like my customers too.

I’m passionate about helping people get back in touch with the simple healing and folk traditions that our ancestors used and understood as powerful medicine. Most other cultures use herbs for their first line of defense against disease, and I think it's time we remember how to do that here.

Awesome! Herbs don't have any chemicals in them, right?

RK
RK

@queenofbithynia Naturalistic fallacy FTW! Your commentary made me chortle.

H.E. Ladypants

@queenofbithynia Are you suggesting that herbs might contain chemical compounds that might be responsible for their medicinal effects? GASP. My willow bark and I are well and truly shocked.

polka dots vs stripes

@queenofbithynia Also: where did you get this technical scientific knowledge/medical degree from?

While I believe there is some value in "natural" herbs (ie, chamomile tea before bed or something), I have no interest in going back to the way our ancestors treated disease. Modern medicine all day every day, thank you.

Lisa Frank

@queenofbithynia The snot nose 12 year old in me read this thinking, "Water is a chemical, you know."

queenofbithynia

@RK I don't know about you but I am going to go stick some belladonna drops in my eyes to give them that summery 'wide-awake' look I like so much. This preparation is 1. herbal (no chemicals!) 2. all-natural (so important) 3. used by my ancestors -- they understood powerful medicine, and I think it's time we reconnect with our elders and foremothers in these small ways that really add up! (Fun fact: it's also a crucial ingredient in flying ointment! Why walk when you can fly?)

[Please note that I have done all the weeding through the Wikipedia article on atropine already so there is no need to do your own research.]

@queenofbithynia Also natural: Botox. A wee bit of nature's own botulism, injected into your body! Wheeeee!

wee_ramekin

@queenofbithynia Please also note that that flying ointment was applied via dildo to the vagina, witch is just really great.

D.@twitter

@Lisa Frank http://www.dhmo.org/

wee_ramekin

@wee_ramekin DILDO TO THE VAGINA - The Most Natural Way of Applying Anything, Ever™

I have did the hard work and took one for the team on this, so I hope you guys will feel comfortable trusting me.

wee_ramekin

@wee_ramekin Aw man..."have did". That is what reading fanfic until 6:00 in the morning and getting up at 8:30 will do for your typing skillz.

skyslang

@queenofbithynia When someone says we need to "get back to the way our ancestors treated disease" with herbs and shit ... uh, no. They died at much younger ages, from diseases we now treat EFFECTIVELY with modern medicine. I mean, if everything is so toxic nowadays and western medicine is so bad for you, why are we living longer (and living healthier I would argue) than we were then?

PistolPackinMama

@die_auflaufformchen, I do adore you, you know.

Also I am sort of howling with laughter at the idea of all hairpinners everywhere wearing ashy makeup and causing a zombie apocalypse scare.

wee_ramekin

@Megano! Speaking of evil plants: did you know that there is an EVIL PLANT called Giant Hogweed that has toxins that are photosensitive? So okay, what happens is that you brush up against it, and then the toxins in it respond to the sun and cause this AWFUL painful, oozing, red rash (it's worse than poison ivy).

The worst part? THE RASH SCARS YOU. I'm not even joking. I still have a faint scar on my tum from when I was landscaping and had a run-in with giant hogweed the summer after my sophomore year of college (so...almost ten years ago).

Stay away from the DEMON WEED! It is common to southern Canada and the northern US. The more you knooooooooooooow...!

wee_ramekin

@wee_ramekin ETA: Woah, okay, the actual worst part is that this can cause permanent blindness if your eyes/face come into contact with Giant Hogweed.

redheaded&crazy

@wee_ramekin toronto actually had an outbreak of giant hogweed last summer! there were two of them that grew on a path between my house and the park that people would go to for fireworks celebrations. Well-used path. City of Toronto sectioned off the plants with a warning sign but didn't cut them down for weeks! Maybe they figured since they had already flowered the damage was already done wrt growing again the next year so they could take their sweet ass time?

Filthyknitter

@wee_ramekin Huh. Somebody told me this when I was a kid and I thought they'd invented it to scare me. (Ahhh, the egotism of children.) Thank you for scaring me anew! *scurries off to look up Giant Hogweed in her Bumper Bump of Mean/Potentially Fatal Plants*

travelmugs

Your 2013 Baby Name Guide: Snake Oil Peddler Edition
Britta Aragon

juksie

Although parts of this were interesting, I just had to stop at the part where she refused to admit that there are definite connections between class and the ability to take part in the natural beauty movement. Why can't anybody who is asked about the cost-prohibitiveness of the organic/natural movement not say "yes, this is true, and it is a problem that I want to try and solve" instead of "well sourced, high quality ingredients are expensive."??

@juksie And if I'm going to drop that kind of dough on moisturizer, it's going to be Chanel and it's going to be awesome. (Hydromax = the bomb diggity)

PatatasBravas

@juksie Yeah I am kind of curious about how expensive this stuff is. Did anyone click through and look around?

the ghost of amy lee

@juksie Yeah her complete ignorance of class in this movement, combined with scare tactics about the beauty industry completely ruined the article for me. I don't think I'll ever be able to comfortably afford any of these products (well, besides tea since I work in a tea shop), but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to look/feel good. She can just try to pry my $3 WetnWild megaliner out of my cold dead hands.

A. Louise

@juksie Yeah, she was totally holier-than-thou about natural products costing more. "Well they SHOULD cost more!" But then her last sentence was what the rest of the paragraph should have been - buy inexpensive raw ingredients and swap them out if they're applicable & work as well.

But I guess that renders her product line sort of null and void.

The Lady of Shalott

@PatatasBravas Not prohibitively so, but pretty damn pricey. http://goodsie.com/store/BladesNaturalBeauty/makeup $21 for a lip stain, $38 for body butter, $25 mascara, $48 for essential oils?

FulanaDeTallcan

@juksie I hella feel you on your critique in re: to "natural/organicky/fancyshmance" branded stuff. The only thing I would add is that truly natural stuff (not branded) IS actually cheaper- as in, washing face with honey (and maybe lemon and baking soda, if you need to remove makeup), cider vinegar (and sometimes tea) toner, straight up oil for moisture & you're done. I was complaining to my elders about how I started to get really bad breakout when I hit 28 cuz of hormonal changes, and I took most of their advice (except I did jojoba instead of olive oil) and it cured my skin forreals. It's true that these kinds of things are wildly embraced by people with class privilege and internet access and nearby Whole Foods NOW, but all of those things were also very popular with many of our grammas who didn't have the extra plata or see the sense in spending mad loot on cold creams when the stuff they already had could work better. I agree with many other posters that all natural remedies are not magic, but I do object when this kind of knowledge is appropriated, filled with unnecessary stabilizers and resold at ridiculous prices. Capitalism ruins complexions, UGHHHH. I guess it's kinda like how yuppie moms are all into wearing babies in rebozos now as part of attachment parenting, but many of our ancestors been had-BEEN HAD wearing their babies in some form or another because strollers are expensive/they get in the way a lot/hadn't been invented yet... and because they knew it was beneficial for the baby even without a mommyblog or organicvagina moonlady to tell them to buy one for 150 bucks.

Blushingflwr

@FulanaDeTallcan I'm waiting for the day a cosmetics company puts straight ACV in a bottle, slaps a label on it, and charges 2x/ounce to buy it in the health/beauty aisle instead of in the cooking aisle (if they haven't already done so).

FulanaDeTallcan

@Blushingflwr Dude! My friend swears by this Brooklyn-based (of course?) skin care line whose whole thing is that they don't add any liquid into their face cleansers so they don't need stabilizers. Yay, right? NOPE. It means that although they do add some small amounts of other herbs (turmeric, coriander, elderflower- all of which are extremely cheap to buy as food products or teas) she is basically paying almost 60 dollars for half a cup of oatmeal in a mason jar. P.S. If anyone does want to start making their own face products, I swear by Crunchy Betty's recipes- most of the things she suggests are things many people keep on hand in the kitchen anyways. P.P.S. Enough with the freakin' mason jars already.

babs

@juksie mic drop!

also, how is "organicvagina moonlady" NOT a hairpin commenter already?

A. Louise

If she hadn't already lost me, she would have at bronzer. I HATE the stuff. What's wrong with looking pinup pale in the winter/year round? I am fair and wear all the SPFs so I don't get skin cancer! Can I just rock that?

I don't want to glow/shimmer/whatever cosmo calls it these days. I just want to look like a slightly more manicured version of myself. Not Kim Kardashian.

queenofbithynia

@A. Louise yeah and I am willing to bet that swiping a tube of matte brown pigment down your nose is advice not intended for those women whose skin is already brown.

noodge

@A. Louise I've finally embraced my see-through fair skin, and feel similarly enraged when people tell me I need to bronze. This is my skin, and you can suck it if you think I need to modify it.

A. Louise

@queenofbithynia TRUTH. It works for nobody!

A. Louise

@noodge If I ever came out with a makeup line it'd be called "This is my skin, and you can suck it."

H.E. Ladypants

@A. Louise I would buy that in bulk.

Lu2
Lu2

@queenofbithynia --I am white, and that is the first thing that popped into my mind when I read that. Jeez.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@A. Louise YES. NO TO BRONZER FOREVERRRRR! I am pale and I am AT PEACE with my paleness. And if I'm going to be putting any shade of anything on my face, it's going to be bright pink.

RK Fire

@queenofbithynia Haha, yes, I was definitely thinking "well, I already have a slightly bronze-y complexion..."

melis

"What is a toxin? It may surprise you to learn how many toxins we come in contact with during the course of an ordinary day: Sitting, computers, materialism, smelling, desserts (Japanese), metal, not saying yes to yourself, hesitation, textiles, cooking, recession, texting, chewing, desserts (Western), low self-esteem, tight hamstrings, suffering, parents, yoga (non-Bikram), yoga (all other kinds), shoes, vaccines, doctors, books, driving, cooking, shameful sex dreams, exciting sex dreams, and folding."

PatatasBravas

@melis YES I was waiting for this to surface.

@melis MOOSE CLEANSE.

Lu2
Lu2

@melis Talking, not talking ... soup....

wee_ramekin

@Lu2 Pinenuts, peanuts, walnuts, chestnuts...

PistolPackinMama

@melis Well, I am ready to stop for the day. It will not get any more satisfying than it is right now.

metabolizing, turning widdershins, yogurt, ennui, medieval art (supplies), medieval art (auctioneers).

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@melis I was going to say we need more pondweed in this article...

Lu2
Lu2

@PistolPackinMama Catherine wheels, Morris dancing, stepping on a Lego, wind chimes, animal crackers, salt as a preservative (but, strangely, not formaldehyde)

RK Fire

@melis That article is a work of art. Bravo!

HeyThatsMyBike

@melis Moose rarely do interviews about their small businesses.

MoonBat

@melis Ohhhh, how I've missed you! I cry over you constantly .....but maybe you can't hear in that frequency ....

zeytin

This piece rubbed me the wrong way as well. I also would like to avoid products that contain ingredients that have been shown to cause health problems. But this does not mean that I need everything to be "plant derived" whatever that means. It means I want products which have ingredients that have been carefully vetted. Just because something is plant based doesn't mean it's not irritating and just because something was made in a lab doesn't make it poisonous by definition.

Beyond that there is this kind of message that if you use "natural" products, its like you you are not really using makeup! It just brings out your natural beauty! Like you've just eaten strawberries! So you're not a faker like those women who slather their face in chemicals. No, it's still makeup.

@zeytin Someone needs to write a parody of this article, and it needs to involve poison-ivy oil infused moisturizer.

zeytin

@S. Elizabeth

Also, nothing brings out natural beauty like an expert plastic surgeon.

PatatasBravas

@S. Elizabeth Poison ivy would also be a way to bring a lovely flush to your cheeks in the dead of winter!

Also it is one of the few plants that will totally thrive with climate change so you guys it is organic and a sustainable business venture even when the tsunamis destroy our CVS stores!

PistolPackinMama

@zeytin patlacan!

(Also, I like my lip gloss/balm to be fortified with nightshade. It does give one such a fascinating pale blue skin tone.)

cupcakecore@twitter

@S. Elizabeth YES. I always use poison ivy in my "natural is not always better" argument, but it is certainly not the only "natural" thing that is terribly bad for you.

JanieS

So, you link to the fabulous Moose Cleanse, and then you post this Toxins And Herbs Of Our Ancestors piece FOR REAL??

@JanieS THERE ARE JUST SO MANY TOXINS YOU GUYS.

melis

In fairness, although some of the commenters have already pointed out the very real and necessary criticisms of this article, I don't think it's as wacky/out-there as juice cleanse pieces and what have you.

Like, I definitely hit CTRL+F+toxin at the beginning of this piece and got bummed out by the ratio, BUT I do think in general having more beauty products that aren't made from oil byproducts is a good thing! So, while imperfect, I'd rather see something like this than say, a Mega Beauty Buy company rep extolling the virtues of Paraffin Zest Rub or whatever. You know?

HeyThatsMyBike

@melis I just love Mega Beauty Buy's Paraffin Paraben face wash! Now with more lead!

@melis But I also love making fun of juice cleanses.

RK Fire

@HeyThatsMyBike I hear the carcinogens really help bring out the brightness of your cheeks!

HeyThatsMyBike

@RK Fire They are ALWAYS rosy!

PatatasBravas

On the one hand: I pay more for organic and local foods when I can.
On the other hand: I acknowledge that the American food system is fucked up and there's some serious economic fuckery involved, and I don't support it for reasons, and also some people can't make that choice for reasons, and we should try and change that, okay.
On the third hand: I also avoid really annoying people at the farmer's market, purely because their enthusiasm for hemp annoys me.

WHATEVER I SAY UNTO YOU gonna get my beans somewhere else

my approach is similar with makeups

dj pomegranate

@PatatasBravas Serious economic fuckery indeed. :(

TARDIStime

@PatatasBravas I'm about there with you.
I stopped worrying about parabens/sulfates because there are toxins everywhere and these two "baddies" are in everything ever, so avoiding them in just my makeups seems silly.
Instead, I just buy the most ethically that I can with the money I have (usually from Lush because cruelty-free is a non-negotiable for me and my white female economic privilege).

par_parenthese

@PatatasBravas Imma just hang out here with people who like Doctor Who and say "fuckery" and acknowledge lots of views. Because yes to all of this. K? K.

PatatasBravas

@par_parenthese Yes yes let's be friends!

par_parenthese

@PatatasBravas I raise my last pre-Lenten beer to you, and pour some out on the curb for my dead homiesprevious regenerations.

TARDIStime

@par_parenthese Is that Pre-Lenten beer made from Hemp Seed Extract? I only drink beer with a base of Hemp. :-P

HeyThatsMyBike

This is very well timed, as I just watched "Pink Ribbons, Inc." for the first time on Sunday and am now fully terrified of everything I put on my face.
Good to know there's another resource for makeuppy things that are unlikely to speed up my eventual death out there to add to the others I have heard about!

HeyThatsMyBike

@HeyThatsMyBike ** of course, now that I've looked at how much it all costs, I may continue to be slowly murdered by my makeup until I become a wealthy woman.

par_parenthese

@HeyThatsMyBike Everyday Minerals. SO reasonable, and made from non-scary, cruelty-free stuff. I <3 it.

HeyThatsMyBike

@par_parenthese Will add that to the list! Thanks! :)

The Casual Reader

Oof, I think people are being unnecessarily harsh here. If the "natural" products thing isn't your bag, fine, but she seems to be sincere about it and she's set up her own business doing what she believes in. I think that's pretty inspiring (since I've been having some problems with my TPS reports lately).
Anyhoo, I do like the look of some of these (admittedly pricey) products. I'd also be interesed in a one-stop-cruely-free shop like this.

queenofbithynia

@The Casual Reader I personally don't mind the natural angle so much -- it's selling a brand and an image that is pure fantasy but all makeup does that -- what is gross is the constant repetition of women are stupid, women are scared, women need to feel good, I can make women feel good if they just trust me, women think they need to think and learn and wonder (about makeup) in order to be crafty consumers (of makeup) and good citizens (of the makeup world) but all they really need to do is find a condescending (makeup) guru and trust her and her strawberry-eating August-vacation-time-having benevolence.

I will buy lipstick from a hippie if I really need to smear something on my face but I will not buy it from one who thinks I am dumb.

H.E. Ladypants

@The Casual Reader Yeah, it is the the looks good=feels good thing that really bothers me and the attendant implication that women's faces on their own do not "look good."

But this is something I loath about the beauty industry in general, not just stuff with herbs in it!

wee_ramekin

@H.E. Ladypants Yeah, that quote in particular actually made me really sad.

"I got into makeup because I was interested in the psychology of beauty and how I might be able to help women look good, which in turn helps them feel good. I saw this as really powerful work."

I can't deny that it DOES feel good to put on a face of make-up sometimes, because I know that I look "better" by cultural standards. But it makes me really sad that this is even a thing, ya know?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: wouldn't it be great if people like Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Oprah, or any other female public figure, didn't have to worry about putting on make-up in order to do her damn job?

Sigh.

JanieS

@wee_ramekin I have come to the great epiphany that the reason I don't feel good is the fact that I haven't smeared my face with enough matte brown powder. So I dunked my whole head into a can of hot cocoa mix.

H.E. Ladypants

@wee_ramekin Yeah. I am not actually against make-up in general. I like being able to paint up our faces and look like different things! I wish men got to do this, too!

But once it veers past playtime into something required or something that makes a woman wearing her own skin just not good enough? No thank you.

A. Louise

@JanieS I think this might make me feel good about myself. I'd be delicious!

RK Fire

@A. Louise It works great as a perfume. "What is that delicious smell? Oh, it's me!"

planforamiracle

@JanieS I have actually attempted to use cocoa powder on my face/head. It was truly a mess. I mixed a tiny amount into the cornstarch I was going to use as face powder and dry shampoo, to mitigate the pure whiteness. My head was kind of gross-feeling all day, but I did smell awesome. Luckily the only place I was going was the laundromat.. then I came to my senses and washed it all away. Watching cocoa-cornstarch-water go down the shower drain was a bit disturbing...

squishycat

Really? Toxins? Really?

christonacracker

I think I'm gonna keep slathering retin-a on my face and just go on the moose cleanse when I need to work on my natural glow.

melis

@christonacracker The secret is getting the freshest pondweed available. How fresh? Let me just put it this way: if you're not still in the pond, it isn't.

christonacracker

@melis I had to put my computer in the hallway because the birchbark filled my office.

area@twitter

@melis but can I buy pondweed and algae smoothies for $10 a bottle from the local health food store? ISN'T THAT EVEN BETTER FOR ME

PatatasBravas

@melis If we're still in the pond, we can also be consuming our eight glasses of water a day, and hydrating ourselves to bliss and enlightenment!

The Lady of Shalott

I’m passionate about helping people get back in touch with the simple healing and folk traditions that our ancestors used and understood as powerful medicine. Most other cultures use herbs for their first line of defense against disease, and I think it's time we remember how to do that here

I don't think it was that powerful of medicine considering that, you know, PEOPLE GOT SICK ALL THE GODDAMNED TIME. What are these mysterious folk traditions? Can you be more specific? Can you tell me at what point in the lovely mythic past we were all sitting around enjoying cups of tea in the woods where nobody was sick with a fever or an infected wound and nobody's babies had the measles or the mumps or whatever?

Please step away from your noble savage myth and your "history was clean and pretty and organic" myth and into the real world with us, please.

katiemcgillicuddy

@The Lady of Shalott THANK YOU.

@The Lady of Shalott "I'm passionate about helping people get back in touch with the simple healing and folk traditions that allowed entire populations of people to die of diseases that are now easily cured or prevented."

anachronistique

@The Lady of Shalott FUCK YEAH ANTIBIOTICS

skyslang

@The Lady of Shalott THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I commented on this above, but you did it much more effectively.

D.@twitter

@The Lady of Shalott
Ancient doctor: Well, have you been taking the mercury, like I told you?
Patient: Yes, doctor, but I still feel ill.
Doctor: Hmn. Well, it's probably a demon. Is your daughter still a virgin?
Patient: Yes, doctor.
Doctor: Well, tell her to conserve her first morning's water for you to imbibe each day. Her pureness ought to draw the demon out of its hiding place. If THAT doesn't work, then you'll know that your daughter has been defiled.
Before you go, I'll let the leeches balance your humors, just to be safe.

area@twitter

@The Lady of Shalott YES. Motherfuckers I am RIDING this scientific advancement wave all the way to Replacement Organville.

TARDIStime

@The Lady of Shalott While I agree that modern medicine is amazing and totally vital and I love it, she didn't say anything inherently incorrect in this quote.
She mentions herbs being used AS A FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE against disease. Not a cure-all. She doesn't say anything about willow tree bark being the cure for cancer or that people in the Ancient of Days got the fucking mumps cured with powdered ginger root or something.

I think it's pretty clear this woman means that treatment for minor ailments derived from oral tradition can be used as a starting point for treatment in the modern era. Eg: Instead of pumping a patient who has trouble sleeping with sleeping pills as first option, why not try getting them to do some exercise, cut down on caffeine and get them to drink some camomile before bed first? If, after a few weeks, there is no change, maybe THEN with the pills.

I think this woman needs to check her privilege and some other stuff, but she does not deserve this burning with fire you're instigating.

The Lady of Shalott

@TARDIStime Please don't put words in my mouth, for starters. I didn't say jack about burning it with fire. So calm down.

Having this woman tell us that simple healing and folk traditions are The Right Way is irritating, and when coupled with the rest of her article ("You don't have to be worried because I've done the work!") is really skirting the line of "I know best so you should listen to me just because." Look, if herbs work for an individual, that is great and they should keep on doing it. But telling me that nettle tea is going to heal my body and let my nervous system cure itself is...irritating. I'm not saying NOBODY SHOULD USE HERBS EVER DRUGS ALWAYS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS. But this article and sentiments like this are REALLY symptomatic of this natural folksy "herbs can fix it" culture that seems to believe that our ancestors had all the answers in their unhurried, whole, non-stressed lives. Which is factually incorrect and really reflects poorly on the entire rest of her article.

TARDIStime

@The Lady of Shalott I totally agree, actually. I know that none of her claims can be substantiated with any kind of relevant qualifications/degrees/study she has (or in this case, hasn't) done. I agree that the belief that our ancient ancestors had all the answers is incorrect and anyone who says otherwise is creating an incorrect, elaborate and romantic fantasy. I also find it painful when people tell me they know best just because and I should listen to them and them alone (also just because).
But this woman isn't actually doling out medical advice. She didn't say anything about nettle tea being a cure/treatment for your nervous system - just something that assists with a balanced and calming mental state (now who's putting words in mouths?).
She also never outright accused Western Medicine of being Wrong and herbs being Right and that this should be applied to everyone. Just that this hasn't 100% worked for her and that herbs/natural stuff can be more of a viable alternative than some people realize.

But don't listen to me just because - do your own research, I am not an authority on the matter and you are a grown-ass adult who can make her own decisions.

The Lady of Shalott

@TARDIStime I am pretty confident that the Hairpin commenters are intelligent enough to realize that while I don't particularly like what this woman is saying, I am not trashing on herbal remedies if they work for you. I am pretty sure that as a rule people understood the gist of my comment to say that listening to statements like that can be incredibly frustrating, irritating, and condescending. I didn't think I'd have to spell it out that obviously herbal remedies can work sometimes for some people.

TARDIStime

@The Lady of Shalott I was also intelligent enough to see that you weren't ragging on herbs.
You were ragging on Elisabeth's/Jessa Blades' comments, and that was what I was taking issue with, because you seem to be projecting meanings onto their words that aren't there ("nettle tea can be good for a balanced mental state" does not equal "@The Lady of Shalott, you should let your nervous system fix itself and drink some nettle tea - it's all good, I've done the research so you don't have to, don't worry where I got the info, I just know").

The Lady of Shalott

@TARDIStime We'll just have to agree to disagree. I took exception with the tone of the article and these sentences in particular sounding like twaddle. I have no idea what she believes about western medicine. But I was referring to the general idea of "herbs will fix you" that predominates the "natural beauty" industry and this looks like more of the same.

D.@twitter

Hmn. You know who doesn't need a bunch of makeup to look in the mirror and go, "WOW, I look THAT good!?!"

Men.

Also, I would be more supportive of this endeavor if it were actually being conducted by someone who had a background in science. Like, being scared of all the big "names I can't pronounce"? Someone w/ even basic training would realize that most chemical names simply refer to the compound's molecular structure (the exceptions being compounds we've known about for a long time that may be more often referred to by their common names, e.g. formic acid). Success would further require interest in chemical kinetics and enough knowledge of organic chemistry to know how the molecules of the putative "toxins" in makeup could potentially interact w/ a) our skin/membranous tissues or b) our digestive systems. Otherwise, it's just exploitation of people's fear.

@D.@twitter It's like the "OMG don't eat anything you can't pronounce" people.

I took organic chem in undergrad. I can pronounce the crap out of AND DRAW THE STRUCTURE of those chemicals. Crappy literacy rates should not be used for establishing the baseline of what you can eat.

wallsdonotfall

@D.@twitter See also this article Slate ran a few days ago about "chemophobia," dealing more with medicines instead of cosmetics.

area@twitter

@wallsdonotfall Seconding the Slate article- it's pretty much perfect.

Miss Maszkerádi

@S. Elizabeth It's a little-known secret that taking one semester of Latin or Greek will expand the list of ingredients you can eat a hundredfold.

dj pomegranate

@Countess Maritza "The Mediterranean Diet!"

Blushingflwr

Honey, I live in DC. Please don't recreate with make-up the way I look in August.

The thing about beauty products is the same thing that is true of so many other choices we make in life: what works for one person doesn't always work for another. We have different bodies, different priorities and different budgets. I do think it's a good idea to be aware of how the things you used got made and what impact they have on your body personally but also on society and the environment at large, and also to be aware of how industries exist that prey on our fears about those things. Sometimes you want to buy sustainable organic stuff cosmetics and sometimes you just want WetNWild in whore red for a costume party.

steph_cathleen

I'm kinda taken aback by all the snark in here- yikes. I went through a very similar transition about a year ago, when I began researching the types of chemicals used in commercial cosmetics (i.e. everything I was using at the time). I accept the skepticism of people who think it's ridiculous to freak out about shampoo and mascara, but I don't understand why there seems to be so much acceptance of these potentially harmful chemicals in things we put on our bodies every day. "The Body Toxic" by Nena Baker was a great starting point for me in terms of learning what a chemical body burden is, and how it can affect our health.

To each their own, use what works for you. But why so much hate for those who want to use things WITHOUT synthetic foaming agents/preservatives/artificial dyes and fragrances/petroleum biproducts? I find that I have the same arguments with people over buying organic produce- it's not about being "fancy" (though organic food can be expensive), it's about doing what I can to protect my health AND support economies I believe in. I'd prefer that a seller on Etsy (a great source for homemade non-toxic stuff) succeed in favor of Proctor & Gamble for a ton of reasons- a big one being the environment.

Just hoping people can be a bit more open minded in here. I rarely proselytize for my lifestyle, but truly believe that when we know better, we do better.

@steph_cathleen I don't think people are upset about natural makeup. They're just not a fan of her tone.

The Lady of Shalott

@steph_cathleen It's not that we have a problem with natural stuff. Natural stuff can be awesome! It's that this specific article is couched in a weirdly fear-mongering sort of language that feels like talking down to people. And it comes with a side of weird "everything can be cured with herbs" and this seems like a sales pitch rather than an article.

zeytin

@steph_cathleen

I have no problem with trying to reduce exposure to potentially harmful substances. I try to do that myself (BPA seems to be in everything! Gah!) It think people were bothered by the combination of the simplistic presentation of what non-toxic ("natural!") means, the corollary assumption that women are stupid and scared and just want to be told what to buy, the sales-pitchy aspect associated with that, the cheesy romanticization of a mythical past of natural herb-based medicine, and also the idea that the best way to help women feel good about themselves is through making them look more conventionally attractive with makeup (while insinuating that because it is natural makeup it magically brings out your inner beauty, unlike regular makeup).

PistolPackinMama

@zeytin Yup. Wanting health-non-damaging products is awesome. Wanting to make them is awesome.

The context in which these values are shared here is... a problem.

dj pomegranate

@steph_cathleen I think most 'Pinners have thought this stuff through and have come to well-reasoned conclusions and are interested in a more complex discussion; this article can therefore read as a condescending Natural Makeup 101 (Buy My Stuff!) instead of a jumping off point for a discussion of the ethics of makeup (etc.) So the snark is directed the problematic language and tone, but is being misapplied/misinterpreted to include the products and "natural" beauty ethos. (It's snark-creep!)

RK Fire

@dj pomegranate Also, snark is so infectious! I honestly agreed with most of your comments but also thought that everyone snarking on the nostalgic overtones was right on the money.

JanieS

@steph_cathleen It's a messenger vs. message thing. I have no problem with natural beauty products. I have a big problem with self-proclaimed "herbalists" spreading willfully ignorant twaddle about how much better everything was in Ye Oldene Tymes.

PatatasBravas

I am all for snark, but I draw the line at the snake oil hatin' for someone who (as we learned second-hand, from someone else's sales pitch, for a different line) decided to create makeup that worked better for her already-stressed skin. I mean, yeah! Make fun of the tone here! It's genuinely problematic, and I think sales pitches not labeled as sponsored posts are super annoying! But the people who were thumbs-upping the dig at "yo, my chemo skin wants a gentler lotion" Britta Aragon irritated me.

dotcommie

@steph_cathleen because it's bad science based on hokum and fearmongering. i don't want to put harmful things on my face, but that doesn't follow a natural/synthetic divide.

mochi

@dj pomegranate I think you're right about the snark-creep. I kind of missed the slickness of the tone the first time I read the post because I skimmed it a bit (my job interferes with my Hairpin habit) and I was wondering why it was generating such a strong reaction in the comments.

mochi

Regulation for makeup is practically nonexistent. I welcome anyone trying to make cosmetics containing fewer carcinogens more available because it is certainly not a priority of the FDA. :|

D.@twitter

@WILLOWW "The dose makes the poison."--attributed to Paracelsus.

Lots of things are carcinogens. It's all about the amount/duration of exposure, the idea of hazard vs. risk. In all likelihood, when it comes to cancer, one should be much more worried about UV rays (sunlight) than a little bit of formaldehyde in nail polish.

mochi

I don't really use nail polish but I definitely use moisturizers, make up, and a few other products allll over my body. Your skin absorbs much of what's applied to it. If I wouldn't feel safe eating it I don't want it on my skin. Hardly seems like a radical idea to me. Better for the environment, too.

muralgirl

@WILLOWW Your skin doesn't actually absorb all that much though. That's why we can go swimming without turning into giant mushy blobs. It's also why you do, in fact, have to eat rather than just touching food and letting it absorb through your skin. Or take medicines internally. Transdermal drugs have a very specific formula that lets them get in that way, because normally the skin's job is to keep things out.

mochi

@muralgirl I hear you, but I still don't want toxic chemicals on my skin, hair, eyes, lips, or water supply (where it all goes after we shower) if it can be avoided. And I still I wish beauty care products were better-regulated.

muralgirl

@WILLOWW Of course. Especially the regulation part. But I don't want people to worry unnecessarily about makeup or lotions, etc., penetrating the surface of their skin and poisoning their bloodstreams. We have plenty of other things to worry about.

melmuu

Everyone's all het up in here.

PatatasBravas

@melmuu I kept expecting the Oil Cleansers to march forth!

Susanna

Oh goodie, I can't wait to die in childbirth,natural-folk-remedy stylee.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@Susanna AHHHHH, this is how I feel whenever people argue for the magic of the all-natural drug-free home birth! Yessss, women have been having babies naturally for thousands of years, but women have also historically been dying in childbirth for thousands of years. IT IS 2013, LET ME HAVE MY MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS IN PEACE.

Susanna

@werewolfbarmitzvah What swung it for me was reading about the all-natural birth process of the spotted hyaena. Nature: not always the best way.

http://www.livescience.com/699-painful-realities-hyena-sex.html

smidge

Something is going to kill me eventually, so I am going to keep eating cheese and drinking wine and buying cheap makeup and see which one kills me first.
I don't mean to sound snarky (maybe a little) and I do respect people who want to make healthy choices. But I am not rich, and I don't have time to make my own soap from natural things, so to CVS I go.

@smidge My partner just kicked cancer's ass. I'm still wearing Smashbox bronzer.

skyslang

@smidge I don't think we have to worry about makeup causing cancer. I mean, where is the link between makeup ingredients and cancer? Seriously, I'd settle for a correlation between an ingredient and a higher rate of facial skin cancer in women. There's not even that!
So...I don't know, just trying to think critically here.

MilesofMountains

@skyslang I don't really worry about makeup causing cancer, because I do a dozen more cancerous things a day, probably, but there are definitely carcinogens in some cosmetics, and it looks like there's been some back and forth on whether talc is associated with higher rates of ovarian cancer, multiple instances of lead poisoning as a result of using kohl too often, mercury poisoning from facial cream, etc. I don't think natural products are necessarily any better, but I would be all over well-researched info on avoiding harmful cosmetic ingredients, if that was what she was selling (which I'm not sure she is).

The Hons

So this is basically that article about how we should all buy that $500 "ethically sourced" sweatshirt with holes in it and like it because the designers care so much?
#luxurysplaining

maybe partying will help

@The Hons

LUXURY. SPLAINING.

yes.

OhMyGoshYouGuys

I'm all for using natural products that work and don't support Big Beauty. The issue I have with companies like this is the owner labels herself an herbalist, but doesn't give her credentials, which according to LinkedIn is a psychology and art degree from Skidmore College. I'd be more interested in hearing from a scientist or researcher on what chemicals/products may actually be causing us harm vs. what is hype.

TARDIStime

@OhMyGoshYouGuys Your comment made me breathe again. Thank you for putting out some reason into the 'pinteriat.

Clare

Needs more #advertorial tag.

Miss Maszkerádi

So, I know we're all having fun snarking on hippies/chemophobics/the scientifically illiterate/rich fuckers/Upper West Side yoga junkies here. And I can't afford any of this all-natural artisanal small batch shit either. But...
Has no one mentioned the fact that, while obviously plants have Chemicals in them too, and synthetic compounds originally come from nature too - certain compounds ARE actually just fucking terrible for the planet? Like, ok, I agree that all the upper-class fainting around about mysterious "toxins" is kind of stupid, but can we also agree that there's a lot of stuff in lots of commercially available cosmetics that isn't exactly the best stuff to let get into the water supply/general ecosystem? So while obviously there's a lot of stupidity surrounding this issue, the general desire to move to a more planet-friendly set of chemicals doesn't need to be snarked at? Am I being horribly sanctimonious today?

OhMyGoshYouGuys

@Countess Maritza Agreed. And let's also remember that while a lot of people don't care about coming into contact with possibly hazardous chemicals, the people who work in factories actually making this stuff are the ones most at risk of becoming ill from exposure to said chemicals.

Miss Maszkerádi

@OhMyGoshYouGuys Good point, that actually hadn't occurred to me.

RK Fire

@Countess Maritza Definitely. My own foray into this stuff has been somewhat driven by the water quality/general ecosystem bit.

H.E. Ladypants

@Countess Maritza And as noted above, people are snarking on the woman's tone not better for you and the planet cosmetics!

Miss Maszkerádi

@H.E. Ladypants True. I scrolled down to post when I got only halfway through the whole comment thread, mea culpa :-/

mochi

@Countess Maritza and @OhMyGoshYouGuys Just wanted to say that I thought both your points about the effect of chemical compounds on the environment and workers were great. I think a lot about those issues too.

Miss Maszkerádi

Also, general plea for balance? Modern medicine is a great thing and I have no interest in kicking it out the door but traditional herbal remedies are not all baseless snake oil. It's not as if people were complete superstition-ruled idiots until the discovery of penicillin suddenly created scientific reasoning and empirical observation. Some plants actually work for some things, and are just as useful in the year 2013 as they were in 1613. Anecdata: I had TWO colds in the past month (lucky me.) The first one, I treated with a steady regimen of various NyQuil and Tylenol Cold pills, the second I decided to use as an experiment and treated almost exclusively with traditional herbal teas. I recovered from the second one faster. Again, YMMV, anecdata, probably different strains of the virus, etc. But there it was.
Can't we agree for peace and cooperation between the doctor in the white lab coat with the modern gadgets and the witchy lady with her herb garden and folk wisdom?

PatatasBravas

@Countess Maritza WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE IS NO TRUE WAY

Miss Maszkerádi

@PatatasBravas I'm sorry, I'm a heretic. :D

ETA: also does your username actually mean "brave potatoes"? Because that is amazing and wonderful.

H.E. Ladypants

@Countess Maritza Er, not to knock your argument (because I agree in principle) but over-the-counter cold medications have actually been shown in multiple studies to prolong colds. The reason, I believe is that they just mask the symptoms and you therefore push your body harder than you would otherwise, making yourself heal slower. NyQuil has basically never been (and should not) be marketed at shortening colds.

Frequent hydration, however, has been shown to be helpful.

Miss Maszkerádi

@H.E. Ladypants WELL THAT IS GOOD TO KNOW. *rage at being misinformed my entire life*
And whether it was placebo or not the witchy herb stuff helped a LOT. So, fuck NyQuil in the eye. Also for making me completely stoned and loopy ALL DAY after I take it the night before.

dj pomegranate

@Countess Maritza every time I see @PatatasBravas on here, I imagine the Doctor summoning a new race of Brave Potatoes with his sonic screwdriver. It never fails to lighten my mood.

PatatasBravas

@H.E. Ladypants CITE YOUR SOURCES IF YOUR COMMENT IS NOT FOLLOWED BY AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY WE DISCOUNT IT ALTOGETHER

WHICH STUDIES

WHO PAID FOR THEM

WAS IT A PERSON WHO APPLIED HERBS TO THEIR VAGINA VIA DILDO?

PatatasBravas

@dj pomegranate Oh god the Doctor had nothing to do with the comment immediately above, sorry, BBC tries to keep it more PG I think.

nom nom nom

dj pomegranate

@PatatasBravas Ahhhh but it's funnier if the Doctor is summoning the Brave Potatoes while yelling, "CITE YOUR SOURCES!"

SuperGogo

@Countess Maritza A lot of modern drugs are derived from herbal remedies to begin with anyway. As that chemophobia article pointed out, naproxen is derived from willow bark extract. The problem is that the ingredients and dosages of herbal and supplemental remedies are completely unregulated. By anybody. At least the modern medicine, at least insofar as we're talking about drugs that the FDA monitors, are known quantities when it comes to effects (both short- and long-term), side effects, and dosages. I'm not saying that the development of "official" drugs is a perfect system--far from it. A lot of possible remedies are overlooked or undertested as pharmaceutical companies devote their R&D money toward drugs that are going to be huge moneymakers. But there's a logical advantage to treating medical problems with remedies that have withstood rigorous testing and exploration into the way they should safely be used.

SuperGogo

@PatatasBravas Your combined name and image always make me think, "Allonsy to tapas!"

H.E. Ladypants

@PatatasBravas Um, can I cite the Mayo Clinic?

"Over-the-counter cold and cough medications in older children and adults. Nonprescription decongestants and pain relievers offer some symptom relief, but they won't prevent a cold or shorten its duration, and most have some side effects. If used for more than a few days, they can actually make symptoms worse."

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-remedies/ID00036

I'd go more in-depth but I'm at work and don't have a lot of time. However, if the Doctor would like to give me a wee ride in the TARDIS and buy me some spare minutes...

PatatasBravas

@H.E. Ladypants You can cite @melis if you want! I was teasing :)

@SuperGogo That shall be emblazoned on my Coat of Arms, which is TARDIS blue obviously.

@dj pomegranate I imagine they would look a bit like cuter Sontarans?

H.E. Ladypants

@PatatasBravas I think the vagina herbs tipped me off on the teasing. :P Still, I have do have a boner for citations, so I couldn't resist.

itiresias

@Countess Maritza I get sick pretty easily, and though I love natural and holistic bullshit I usually need antibiotics to fight things off when shit really goes down. Recently I had the flu, and for a month after my immune system was "wiped out" (quoth my doctor) and I had pretty much every cold that passed my way. My boyfriend had strep throat at this time. I woke up one morning with that dreaded tickle in my throat and googled "HOW TO STOP STREP THROAT BEFORE IT STARTS," and I got an article advising me to eat a clove of raw garlic. I did it and I WAS CURED. The tickle stopped overnight, i kept doing it for two more days and I got better. It was fucking amazing. I don't love the tone here either, and I avoid speaking to other people in Whole Foods, but I swear to god there's some merit in plants n' stuff.

sandwiches

@Countess Maritza There can totally be balance between the two - unfortunately, just like the medical/scientific establishment, the all-natural/all-herbal/homeopathic quackery establishment tends to want you to only use their products to the exclusion of the other. And the problem then becomes that "natural"/herbal/quack solutions don't actually work (for example, vitamin C has been proven to have zero effect re: boosting your immune system, so if you're not getting a flu shot and instead you're just knocking back lots of airborne/emergenC...you're not doing much to protect yourself/those around you; echinacea has been shown to prolong colds much like Nyquil), and can in fact be downright harmful if you're avoiding actually effective treatment (paying thousands of dollars for a wet cell battery to "cure" ALS rather than using the one treatment proven to slow progression of that disease). So there could be balance, if herbal/natural remedies were regulated and demonstrated repeatable, statistically reliable data for their purported therapeutic qualities - but so far they aren't, and they don't.

commanderbanana

I would buy more natural makeup if it wasn't so, you know, natural looking. I don't want the natural, glowy, no-makeup makeup look. If I'm going to take the time to put it on, I want it to be obvious, darnit!

Pound of Salt

I understand why people are turned off by the tone and salesy-ness of this article, but I think it's annoying when people scoff at descriptors like "natural" or say YOU IDIOTS EVERYTHING IS A CHEMICAL!
Like, yes, literally 'chemical' is not the right word to use, and plenty of toxins are natural, but you know they mean 'toxic chemicals.' And when someone says 'natural products' you know what they mean. They know what they mean. Let's instead have a more nuanced discussion of product labeling!

Lisa Frank

@Pound of Salt I object to not only the salesy-ness of this article, but more toward the trend of "organic" and "natural" products that might be marginally better for the individuals who can afford them but are not anymore sustainable than the "toxic" products they are competing with. There's a lot of jargon in this article and very little evidence or science about how exactly these products are better for me or the environment (instead we're told not to worry about it because she's "done all the research." It's just marketing to first world people who want to feel better about themselves by buying a product. It's the same problem I have with Whole Foods selling "organic" tomatoes that have been flown in South America.

synchronized
synchronized

@Pound of Salt Wouldn't using the precise terminology help make these discussions more nuanced, though? I'd rather not paper over the differences.

It sucks that lots of articles/interviews like this automatically assign a negative connotation to works like "chemical," and I'm heartened to see commenters here fighting that mentality.

Pound of Salt

@Lisa Frank I totally agree. I guess I was just surprised because (in my insular world) most people I know have done their research and seen the evidence (I work for a physicians org), so I didn't feel like I had to trust her (also - I agree there's no way I'm going to just take her word for it before I buy a product - I'm def checking out the ingredients). But it's good to be reminded that this is not on everyone's radar. Also, yeah, if you have to choose local OR organic, which do you go for?? I don't have a good answer for myself.

Pound of Salt

@synchronized Yeah, what I mean is, let's not be unnecessarily smug at each other for not being precise. We're hairpinners! We're smart, we understand that mercury is natural. But you are right that using the correct terminology would make everything clearer and accountable.

leighleigh

I have to say that I’m actually a huge fan of ‘natural’ beauty products! I think buzzwords like “toxins” and “chemicals” and “organic” and “natural” get tossed around a lot...especially in the beauty industry, and based off many of the comments here I’m not the only one tired of hearing them! I have very, very sensitive skin and that’s the main reason I finally decided to start looking into the ingredients that were in the various lotions, creams, soaps, etc I was using, and for the past few years I’ve been trying to eliminate certain ingredients from my products (really perfume-y lotions, alcohol-based toners, body wash and shampoo with SLS in them) and it’s really helped in decreasing the number of skin rashes/sensitivities/general skin yuckiness I have. So from my perspective, it’s not so much about chemical and toxic panic, but just finding ingredients that help my skin. I prefer to buy products with simple ingredients lists or just raw ingredients and mix up my own stuff (during my “natural” beauty research, I was definitely put off by the cost of many product lines like Tata Harper, Marie Veronique Organics, RMS, etc). So if anyone’s interested here’s some of my favorite (cheapish) skincare items: Trader Joe’s Raw Organic Honey for washing my face in the morning ($6 and I swear it does not leave your face sticky), my own mixture of olive oil, castor oil, and jojoba oil for removing make up and washing my face at night, Thayer’s Witch Hazel and Rose Petal toner (a huge 12 oz bottle is about $8 and it’s alcohol-free and smells heavenly!), Now Foods and Aura Cacia both have really well-priced oils that I use for various things (I use a mixture or pure rosehip oil and tamanu oil on my face before I go to bed, almond oil or apricot kernel oil on my body right out of the shower, and pure shea butter on elbows and heels), Dr. Bronner’s liquid and bar soaps to wash my body, and I wash my hair using a natural shampoo bar from a really cool little company called Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve and then do a conditioning rinse with apple cider vinegar and then an occasional pre-shampoo hair mask of coconut oil all over with a little bit of jojoba + tea tree oil if my scalp is itchy.

mochi

@leighleigh Thayer's Witch Hazel Toner is amazing! I order the toner (and lots of other stuff) from Vitacost (I wait until I have to buy enough so that I can meet the $49 minimum needed for free shipping). Vitacost sells most items for $2-5 less than Whole Foods and the other stores.

leighleigh

@WILLOWW YES! Vitacost is amazing! I used to buy all of my stuff from Whole Foods or the natural section of my HEB until I found Vitacost & iHerb (which has a $25 minimum for free shipping but I think a lot of their discounts aren't as good as Vitacost)

mochi

@leighleigh I've never heard of iHerb, checking it out now!
Do you use Ebates? You can get cash back on every purchase if you sign up with them. I usually get 4% back on my Vitacost orders, but they occasionally have 8% cash back specials.

mochi

@leighleigh I've started making my own fragrances using grain alcohol and... whatever I want to smell like. I was sick of trying to find perfume that was free of synthetics and didn't smell like patchouli. Chai tea was my first "blend" and I have to say it smells GREAT. Super cheap to make, too.

leighleigh

@WILLOWW Must investigate Ebates! Perfume has been a tricky product to find a natural/clean replacement. After staying away from using anything with a synthetic fragrance for nearly a year now, it saddens me to say that my once-beloved Miss Dior perfume smells so strong and weird and gives me a headache now! I'd eventually like to experiment with making my own perfume oil because even just looking at the fragrance section on Spirit Beauty Lounge's website hurts my wallet!

frenz.lo

Eh, I don't care to pay umpty-ump dollars for beauty products in general, but I work in the beauty industry, and toxic shit in your products ain't no joke. Is it more credible if I call it toxic shit rather than "toxins?" Because, I am not referring to ingredients that were not sufficiently healed with a crystal, but actual toxic shit. I think of a lot of this from more of an occupational safety standpoint than from a purify your boddeeee standpoint, but I think there are real consumer safety issues in re: common products including ingredients that may be/ definitely are harmful to some or all people.

cupcakecore@twitter

I'm totally happy to have a conversation about natural beauty but just the opening of this article rubbed me the wrong way.

"reading about the unregulated billion-dollar beauty industry"

Natural beauty products are just as unregulated as regular beauty products. "Organic" labels doesn't actually mean anything, and just as with food, "natural" means even less.

I burned my arm a few months ago, and had 1st & 2nd degree burns with some fairly serious scarring. And the lotion I use every day (plus vitamin e oil) is the generic version of Vaseline's hypoallergenic lotion. Which I use because a. fragrances/dyes are off limits, dr.'s orders and b. the "hypoallergenic" label is actually regulated, ergo I know it will not give me a crazy rash that makes me want to chop my arm off. It's not "natural" but it works. And I feel like especially for people with sensitive skin "natural" products are sometimes much much worse than regular products.

Ultimately this post would have been way better if it more clearly indicated it was an advertorial, because that is very obviously what it is. And regardless of the links posted at the end of the article this is still "product shaming" and that's consumerist b.s. and not okay.

The Lady of Shalott

@cupcakecore@twitter A good point and I'm glad you brought it up. Putting "organic" on your label doesn't mean squat.

cupcakecore@twitter

@The Lady of Shalott Thanks! I would be way less cranky with the natural beauty movement if it concentrated more on overall industry regulation. The current argument just feels like it's trying to sell me something by telling me I'm doing something wrong.

"maybe it was just a natural result of knowing someone in chemotherapy, and how they had to treat themselves like a person in a bubble, sensitive to all sorts of toxins."

I think you mean "germs." Jessa darling, people undergoing chemotherapy are sensitive to germs and viruses and sometimes scents (though not always). Being immunocompromised means you need to avoid germs. And just to remind you, chemotherapy is legitimately a toxin itself.

Science. It's a good thing.

TARDIStime

@S. Elizabeth
Elisabeth was the one who said that, actually, isn't she just such a darling?

@TARDIStime Sure, darling and ill-informed.

tofutticutie

@S. Elizabeth Actually, chemo can make people much more sensitive to certain cosmetic ingredients. I watched it happen with my mother. And since someone going through chemo wants badly to look and feel like herself again, it's a real kick in the teeth to find out that your old makeup makes you break out in painful rashes.

babs

@S. Elizabeth This article feels like it came from something like Refinery29, knowhatimean?

But! I'm stoked that she started her own business, and that it's going well. I think that it's unfair to castigate her for saying, "Hey, pretty make-up helps some ladies feel better." We all love Jane's beauty column, and it's true! Looking fierce DOES feel awesome, whether looking fierce for you means no makeup or lots of makeup or whatever does it for you.

Sometimes I think people that don't use the voice of the Hairpin commentariat - this sort of equivocalizing tone, you know? - I think we shut em out, and maybe it's not so cool? The tone is like an in-group thing; we can't see each other, so we have to kind of police how we sound, and I don't mean that in a, "Hey, you being a sexist/racist whatever," more like, "Hey, do you SOUND LIKE YOU BELONG here?"

Then again, I love to stand in opposition myself, so snark on lil doggie snark on.

@babs Yeah, I don't really care where she posted, I think this article is self-congratulatory fluff. I was explaining the reason for the snark in the context of the Hairpin and why I think it's received the response it has. I don't think she needed to write in the Hairpin tone -- she needed to not sound like an infomercial and write to her audience.

tiptoemammal

Um, wow. I can't believe all the snark re: natural products. I mean, sure, you don't have to buy her expensive stuff, okay. But the cosmetics industry is horribly unregulated, and is getting away with murder. Even supposedly natural cosmetics are generally full of harmful chemicals. Parabens mimic estrogen; this is documented and you can feel free to google that shit if you don't believe me. Do you actually need to lather your face with synthetic estrogen every day to get it clean or soft? No! Do you think that's going to have positive long term effects on your health as a woman? Maybe read some science!

This industry is selling us a bunch of garbage that we don't need to be healthy or beautiful, and which might actually be making us unhealthy and less beautiful! And women everywhere are continuing to buy this garbage because it's dressed up in pretty packaging; it has a nice fragrance or color. Because we want to believe the lie they are selling, that this vat of harmful chemicals is actually a tiny affordable luxury that we can buy to feel happier and prettier. We're buying the lifestyle. It is a lie.

This isn't some chemophobic, "natural is better" scientifically unsound thinking. This is highly documented, folks! But you have to seek out that information on your own, because the companies getting rich selling you this shit are certainly not advertising it. It's not being regulated by journalism, or by orgs like the FDA or EPA. You are on your own in terms of arming yourself with info, but the info is available.

I'm truly shocked to see how many people apparently aren't aware of this fact and trying to find personal solutions for it on a daily basis.

tiptoemammal

And re: "natural" doesn't mean better and "chemical" doesn't mean bad, yes, we learned that in the '90's. We're all right there with you. That doesn't mean that some chemicals (and particularly petro-derivatives) aren't harmful to humans and planet. And that doesn't mean that it's not a good idea to seek out alternatives to these products. And it is not incorrect to call these alternatives "natural," when that refers to using options which occur in nature as part of a natural process (like using lactofermentation rather artificial preservatives) rather than being created as an industrial byproduct and tested on animals to find ways to profit from them by selling them as cosmetic ingredients, which is the current norm. In many cases the old-fashioned "natural" method is in fact healthier than the artificial manufactured "product." Cynicism is not a good substitute for critical thought.

tiptoemammal

And having said all of that, that "natural" mascara still contains Sodium Hydroxide, which is LYE!!! Having fun rubbing lye into your eyelashes! /shakes head

K48d

The use of make-up in and of itself, regardless of its contents, undermines the basic definition of 'natural beauty'.

The fact that my mascara is brown and made of beeswax does not deter from the fact that without it my lashes would look thinner and shorter. It's still mascara, which is a product I apply to myself to create an illusion of having better lashes. Convenient and effective? Yes. Natural? Nope.

tofutticutie

I'm sorry, but some of the comments on here don't even seem aimed at the article at all. All she's talking about is makeup, not medicine. And while I agree that "toxins" can sound vague, it is absolutely true that women in the United States are being sold products that contain lead and formaldehyde. Which, regardless of your affinity for things all-natural, you should probably try to avoid.
One last thing, then I'm off my soap box - this is definitely not the only promotional piece the Hairpin has ever posted - see the article pushing natural deodorant from etsy, or just about any author pushing their newest publication.

nicolarz

When it comes to beauty products, I'd rather go with the Dolly Parton regimen.

marissa_nunez

First of all, if any of you were to dig a little deeper than what is conveniently promised to you in beauty advertisements, you would soon learn that "beauty" or what Jessa mentions as "that healthy glow" directly relates to what you put into and onto your body. Whether you have hostility towards the natural/organic movement that is steadily informing the American population or not---you cannot deny that the simpler ANYTHING (food, makeup, life) is-- the better it is for your overall health. So before you so righteously accuse the author of feeding you a "sales pitch", you should open your minds enough to learn an alternative way to obtaining your goal idea of "beauty". Not everything the larger companies you've mentioned (carried in convenient places such as CVS) feed you is in your best interest.

Edmon

A person necessarily assist to make severely posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and up to now? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual put up incredible. Wonderful task! vigrx reviews

Edmon

Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others such as you helped me. vigrx side effects

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account