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Green Your Beauty Routine: Organic Eyeshadows

by Rebecca Casciano

Sustainable beauty is a result of what we eat, drink and think, as well as what we apply to our skin. Just as our food can nourish us from the inside, the skincare, makeup and personal care products we choose can nourish us from the outside. The good news is we don’t have to compromise the health of our bodies or our environment to look and feel our best. We also don’t have to compromise glamour, luxury or style to live in a more natural and organic way. In this monthly feature, we will explore what’s in our beauty products. Please join me in my quest for the most natural, yet effective cosmetics!

“The eyes are the window to soul”—and the most fun feature to make up, wouldn’t you agree? With their fascinating shapes and contours, I can just spend hours painting my clients’ eyes with highlights and shadows. Of course, even makeup artists don’t have that kind of time to beautify, but you get my point! Aside from the natural beauty and expressiveness of the eyes, there are so many different types of products and techniques you can apply. Organic Eyeshadows of all hues and textures can be used to enhance and even transform the shape, position and color of the eyes.

The origins of eye makeup dates back to the Egyptians, who used mineral pigments such as lead, malachite and ochre, to create green and black eye paint known as kohl. The Egyptians believed that the lead in kohl would help protect their eyes from the sun’s glare, reduce eye infection and improve eyesight. The also wore it for spiritual purposes as protection against the evil eye and in rituals for the deceased. While the Egyptians were certainly trailblazers in the world of cosmetics, today we know ingredients like lead are toxic to the body. Unfortunately, it is still found in some cosmetics, along with some other undesirable ingredients.

Here are a few to look out for, and avoid, in our eyeshadow:

BHT and BHA These chemicals are commonly used as preservatives in both food and cosmetics. They are linked to several health concerns including organ toxicity, hormone disruption and cancer. While the Food & Drug Administration has deemed them safe, they have been banned by the European Union.

Ethanolamines (Found on labels as diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), monoethanolamine (MEA) and ethanolamine (ETA).) The National Toxicology Program found connections between topical DEA and cancer in lab studies. In some combinations, they have been found to produce nitrosamines, many of which are carcinogens.

Parabens, fragrance and petrochemicals I mentioned these in my last articles and, yes, they are amongst the top ingredients to avoid in eyeshadows, too! 

Thankfully, there are a wide variety of greener alternatives in the eyeshadow category. You can really have fun with all the different colors and finishes—such as matte, which is a flat, non-reflective pigment, and shimmer, which contains metallic pigments that reflect the light. Eyeshadow can be found in powder or cream formulas. Powders are loose or pressed (which require binders), and creams are available in sticks or pots. Powders are definitely longer-wearing, as creams will always crease due to their emollient nature. Your choice really depends on your personal preference—here are a few of my healthy beauty picks!

Alima Pure Eyeshadow (alimapure.com)

The epitome of pure, rich, deep pigments made with just four ingredients. What I love about Alima Pure Eyeshadows is that they come in a vast array of gorgeous colors, including harder-to-find hues like deep purple and blue, plus three different finishes: Luminous Shimmer, Pearluster and Satin Matte. These shadows look as beautiful and vibrant on the eyes as they do in their pots. They are very easy to blend and, when applied with a damp brush, can be made very opaque.



rms beauty Cream Eye Polish (rmsbeauty.com)

Coconut oil based eyeshadow? Yes, please! Not only is the Eye Polish extremely nourishing to your delicate lids, but it feels good going on. The subtle shimmer and glowing ingredients impart a sexy, glossy finish like no other cream eyeshadow I’ve tried. I must admit, I’m not usually a fan of creams, but this one is worth the extra effort. When it creases, simply blend it over your lid again with a clean finger and you’re good to go. For longer wear, apply a small amount of Eye Polish and dust a powder shadow in a similar shade over it.

Jane Iredale PurePressed Eye Shadow (janeiredale.com)

If you’re anything like me and desire a wide range of eyeshadow colors in pretty, travel-friendly packaging, look no further. Jane Iredale’s collection has everything from everyday basics to funky brights. The Daytime Eyeshadow Kit (pictured above) is a staple in my makeup kit. Both my clients and I love having these highly pigmented, blendable shadows together in a lightweight palette.

jane iredale

Are you ready to find the right eyeshadows for your Green Beauty Routine? I would love to help! Contact me at beauty@rebeccacasciano.com to book a one-on-one lesson or a group workshop. I welcome your comments and feedback below!

Connect with Rebecca @RebeccaCasciano

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