Apparently the average lipstick-wearing woman ingests up to 2.4kg of lippy over the course of her life. So if you’re a devotee of natural skincare, it makes sense to extend that philosophy to your lipstick too.
Why go natural?
Beauty companies stand by the safety of their products despite the scare stories about synthetic ingredients. But if you have super-sensitive skin, want to reduce your exposure to things like parabens and petroleum by-products, or are concerned about animal testing, then the natural alternative will appeal. Synthetic-free lipsticks have been around for ages but in the past came mostly in neutral, unexciting shades. Now there’s a new generation of bolder colours emerging.
What's in them?
Natural lipsticks are based on ingredients such as waxes, in particular carnauba wax, which comes from a south American palm tree and is especially nurturing for lips. Beeswax is another commonly used ingredient, along with fatty acids from coconut, natural pigments such as iron oxides and ultramarine and in some cases carmine, which you’ll want to avoid if you’re a strict vegan as it’s derived from insects – so read the fine print.
Are they as good?
You won’t find an ultra long-lasting natural lipstick, although formulas are improving all the time. Some are very creamy so they tend to bleed a bit – the solution is not to apply too much and/or to blot with a tissue. As makeup artist Rae Morris says, “Too much on the mouth, goes south!” Other than that, most natural lipsticks wear as well as their synthetic counterparts. The range of shades are still a little limited but it’s gradually expanding. Most of the ingredients have natural moisturising and nourishing powers, the packaging is often environmentally friendly and recyclable, and the prices – while not at the super-cheap end of the scale – tend to be affordable.
Why is it tricky to make brighter, bolder shades?
Megan Douglas of The Organic Skin Co tells me the issue with colour in natural shades is that bright pigments can be a source of naturally occurring heavy metals such as lead – this is in pinks and reds especially. So extra testing is necessary to ensure complete safety.
8 TO TRY
- The Organic Skin Co Lipstick in Flame $33 is a wearable pinky orange.
- Antipodes Aroha Natural Lipstick in Boom Rock Bronze $35 is a flattering creamy brown/bronze.
- The Organic Skin Co Lipstick in Star Dust $33 is a versatile pinky brown.
4. Karen Murrell Lipstick in Fuchsia Shock $29.95 is perfect for the party season.
- Living Nature Lipstick in Summer Rain $39.50 is a softer, everyday pink.
- Jane Iredale PureMoist Lipcolour in Carrie red $46.45 is a pinky red that was created especially for Sarah Jessica Parker.
- Dr Hauschka Inner Glow Lipstick in Violet Marble $49 is a rich semi-matte berry tone.
8. Karen Murrell Lipstick in Coral Dawn $29.95 is an intense tangerine.