By Lisa Beyer
For The Towson Flyer
I recently read about a company that wants you to pare down your toiletries to three products. After I laughed for a few minutes, I wondered what these three products would be. Toothpaste, soap and shampoo? Toothpaste, soap and moisturizer? Toothpaste, soap and a magic mirror, to lie about how you look without concealer?
Yet I was curious, so I decided to take a look at my morning routine and see if I could edit it down. The answer is no. Nuh-huh. Not gonna happen.
So much for minimalism.
However, in taking stock of my bathroom shelves, I was pleased to note that my essentials had two things going for them. They were free of harmful chemicals, and were all bought locally right here in the Towson area.
(Yes, drone delivery is nice, but it’s also nice to have actual stores in your neighborhood with actual humans working in them.) And since I’ve tried dozens and dozens of products since my conversion to green products, I’d like to share some of the best with you.
But first let’s take a quick detour and get the “harmful chemicals” thing out of the way. We all know that everything in the world is made of chemicals, including water, your dog and you. And we also know that some of these chemicals (not the dog) are harmful to humans, and these include endocrine disruptors and human carcinogens, which many people wisely choose to avoid.
I got on the “green” bandwagon after reading local author McKay Jenkins’s book, Contamination, and made it my mission to purge as may cancery ingredients from my routine as possible. So, here’s a roundup of some of the ones I’ve tested and come to love.
Acure shampoo and conditioner, Everyone facial cleanser, Dr. Bronner’s (possibly addictive) peppermint soap, Honest conditioning detangler, Acure body lotion, Dr. Roebuck’s FACE moisturizer (best moisturizer in the universe, for which I would pay any amount of money), Bare Republic sunscreen, Juice Beauty Perfecting Concealer, Juice Beauty foundation, Mineral Fusion lip and cheek stain, and Everyone hand soap.
After I took the photo, I fell in love with a lipstick, and I don’t even like lipstick. It’s from … wait for it … Bare Minerals! I agree that mineral makeup is not for everyone. It settles in the lines of mature skin — or so I’m told (wink wink) — but this will make you a convert. Sold at Sephora and Ulta, it comes in a chic, matte-black tube and provides long-lasting coverage. For a lighter, lip-stain look, I blot it on. “Frenchie,” a bright, flattering pink, is my fave.
The only item that doesn’t bring me actual joy (sorry, Marie Kondo) is the Bare Republic sunscreen, Although it’s better than any of the others I’ve tried, including the horrific Green Goddess, it’s watery and a bit of a pain to apply.
Dr. Roebuck’s lovely smelling, six-ingredient, Australian-made moisturizer came from Sephora in “the mall,” as did the Bare Republic sunscreen. Juice Beauty is sold at Ulta, but only in Cockeysville, not Towson.
Juice Beauty is affiliated somehow with the polarizing Gwyneth Paltrow, but don’t let that stop you from using the best concealer known to (wo)man. (They also make a nice lip liner, for when you’re feeling fancy, and a bunch of other stuff.) The concealer is so great I hardly ever use foundation anymore, and I’m dreadfully neurotic about my skin. One caveat: the foundation smells weird—not gross but not pleasant—for the first minute you put it on. But since the products that do smell great often contain cancery artificial fragrance, it’s a worthwhile tradeoff. Besides, what price beauty?, as Shakespeare or somebody said.