The Ethics of Makeup

It used to be that when you bought makeup, whether at a drug store or a makeup counter in a department store, your main concern was whether the color looked good on you. That's still a primary concern; after all, who wants makeup that looks bad on them?

Increasingly, though, makeup manufacturers lead the way toward more ethical living. This doesn't have to mean GOOP-level changes in your life. One of the key ideas I came away from the Indie Beauty Expo with was how simple it is to incorporate more ethical choices into your beauty routine.

A long time ago — like a decade ago — "cruelty-free" and "not tested on animals" were makeup's buzz words. We've gotten to a place where that's now the minimum bar for acceptable ethics, though. Today's cosmetics companies, especially the indie ones, pay attention to social causes and ingredients.

It's become easy to find vegan-friendly products, like B'Livinn nail polish, which we started carrying this week, and Clove+Hallow cosmetics, which we are ordering soon. And we did a Facebook Live video last week demonstrating My Magic Mud charcoal toothpaste, which has taken out chemicals like triclosan and fluoride to make a better toothpaste. Bitchstix, a new skin care company with whom we hope to start working, creates their products with 100% renewable energy offsets. They're also dedicated to raising awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault, which is why they not only donate some of their profits to those causes but also partner at the local level with retailers to support local organizations. See why we want to work with them?

There's still the question of whether it looks good or not. We'll let you be the judge of that. But every vendor I spoke to at IBE was adamant that their product has to work. They know that. You don't have to become a dirty hippie in your quest for more ethical cosmetics. More on that next week, though (dirty hippies).

Read Part 1: "What Is Clean Beauty?" and Part 3: Let's Talk About Sweat, Baby