After working in the entertainment industry and witnessing firsthand the negative effects of makeup, Jane Iredale, founder and president of Great Barrington, Mass.-based Iredale Mineral Cosmetics Ltd., was determined to create a healthy, safe alternative beauty line that works well and is cruelty-free. Her brand, jane iredale, is recognized by Leaping Bunny, the gold standard in cruelty-free certification. Leaping Bunny monitors companies for their efficacy and is a valid resource for eco-friendly/cruelty-free cosmetics.
“The consumer is now more conscious about how her products are made, and she makes demands from brands. The challenge for brands is to straddle both worlds effectively: provide products that work and are responsibly made at the same time,” Iredale explains.
The jane iredale line includes more than 450 makeup, supplement and skin-care products made from ingredients that are good for the skin and kind to the environment. Not only are the ingredients sustainably and fairly sourced, but many are harvested through organic farming.
Venturing into the eco-friendly product makeup category doesn’t have to be difficult. Iredale uses the simple phrase, “Feed, fortify, finish.”
“Feed your body nutrients through food and skin care supplements to help encourage skin health. Fortify your skin with gentle cleansers and nourishing moisturizers to set a good base for your makeup,” Iredale explains. “Finish your look with clean makeup that has skin care benefits to round out your healthy daily beauty routine.”
jane iredale products are packaged using recycled materials, and the packaging itself is recyclable and printed with vegetable inks.
“Rather than selling our makeup in compacts, we offer refillable compacts that can be used over and over again with our PurePressed Base, Bronzers and PureMatte Finish Powder Refills,” Iredale says.
Manny Shah, manager of Achorn Pharmacy in Westport, has observed an increase in customers looking for organic makeup.
“We have a lot of requests for [organic] and we have a couple of lines of skin care, makeup, and hair care,” Shah says. Achorn carries Bare Minerals makeup, and hair care lines include Klorane,
Rene Furterer, and V76. For skin care, the store has Origins, Avène, and Kat Burki, which is made locally in Westport.
“Sometimes it is expensive, depending on the different ingredients. Origins is a good price point,” Shah says. “Consider buying local and try Kat Burki.”
There are many benefits to going organic. “People are more aware now and have had trouble with chemicals. People try organic, like it, and then come back for more,” Shah notes.
For Stephanie Blanco, a Fairfield County-based freelance makeup artist, the decision to use only cruelty-free makeup and skin care products came when she got her beagle. “I couldn’t look at him and then use products that were tested on animals,” Blanco recounts.
According to Blanco, many products that are cruelty-free and eco-friendly have better ingredients, better packaging, and a lot fewer chemicals, such as no parabens or sulfates.
“It’s easier on your skin. Your skin is your foundation, so the less damage the better,” Blanco contends.
More of Blanco’s clients are asking her what’s in the products she uses and if they’re safe for sensitive skin.
“There’s a huge shift in a more professional sense,” says Blanco, in regard to companies that are making more conscious efforts to be green. “For example, Dior has switched up products to be more plant-based. They are placing what plants they use on their packaging of perfumes. Marc Jacobs is also cruelty-free.”
Blanco prefers using vegan and cruelty-free products on her clients. Her favorite makeup brands include Josie Maran, Tarte, Kat Von D, and Bite, and for skin care, Beauty Bioscience and Farmacy. Blanco also suggests looking into natural remedies: Avocado oil helps with lash growth and coconut oil is a good hair mask.
Shine, an Aveda salon in Ridgefield, uses products that are good for both its clients and the environment.
“We only use Aveda products — everything from styling products to treatments and masks,” explains Kiki Trombino, a hairstylist, makeup artist and the Aveda ambassador at Shine. [Aveda] prides [itself] on being sustainable and uses all botanical-based ingredients that make it healthier and environmentally friendly. We’re maintaining the integrity of the hair and supporting a mission we believe in. We’re not depleting any resources and we’re making sure our carbon footprint is as good as possible.”
To reduce your carbon footprint, Trombino suggests switching out one product at a time.
“Anything that you are putting on your hair or skin you are ultimately absorbing into your body, so you want to be using the best products possible,” she states.
The best cosmetic you can wear is a healthy skin. “The personal benefit to choosing clean makeup is a healthy, skin-friendly product that helps you look and feel your best,” Iredale concludes. “The larger benefit is that by aligning with brands that make the world a better place, you are reducing your carbon footprint and can feel confident the purchases you make are not harming people, animals or landscapes around you.”