Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Green Makeup Bag Challenge!!

I raised the GoodGuide rating of my makeup bag from a 5.1 to a 6.9 with one trip to Target!  Here's how I did it and why you should challenge yourself to do the same:

In case you don't know, GoodGuide is a website that rates thousands of household and beauty products on a scale of 0-10 based on safety, health and greenness.  The higher the rating, the better the product is for you and the environment.  

The website has a very user-friendly format and simple ratings that you can choose to expand if you feel like reading all the scientific junk.  If you don't like the rating that your current brand has, you can search through the recommended replacement products for a similar item that has a better rating.    

My face.

HONESTY TIME:  I haven't really changed my makeup regime since high school.  My palette is neutral, so doesn't go out of style and I pride myself on efficiency so love that I can apply my makeup without really looking and be fairly put together in under 15 minutes.

In addition to phoning it in on the application of the makeup, I've also slacked on reading the labels.  That's where GoodGuide comes in.  I ran all of my beauty products through their website and discovered that some of products I've been loyal to for over a decade contain ingredients that are harming me AND are made in factories that are a big bummer to the environment.


6.8  Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner
3.0  Benefit Cosmetics Play Stick, Tea Party
5.8  Maybelline Pure Stay Powder
4.3  Earth Science Almond-Aloe Moisturizer SPF 15
5.4  Cover Girl Classic Color Blush


By using the GoodGuide website as, well, my guide, I swapped out a few of the items to ditch those yucky ingredients.  Most of the items I picked up at Target yesterday.  The remaining two, The Body Shop cream and Kinesys Sun Protection Stick, I ordered from Amazon and they should be here by the end of the week.

7.1  Maybelline Fit Me Pressed Powder
4.8  e.l.f. All Over Color Stick*
7.1  L'oreal Paris Pencil Perfect Eyeliner
6.8  Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment
7.8  The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Day Cream
8.0  Kinesys SPF 30 Sun Protection Stick
*The e.l.f. All Over Color Stick actually gets a great health rating but loses big time points for the company's culture.  That said, the stick is $1 (yes, one dollar) and my green side gave into my cheap side and I decided to buy it.  Buyers remorse is setting in knowing that I am allowing a river somewhere to be polluted because I bought cheap makeup.  So, when this stick is done, I'll seek out a blush that is both healthy AND good for the environment, even if that means paying more.
Here are the three biggest lessons I learned from this makeup auditing exercise: 

from stylite.com

LESSON 1:  You don't have to spend a lot to get quality beauty products.

While the Benefit stick is the most expensive item in my bag, it's also the least healthy.  Upon further study of the GoodGuide website, I conclude that there is absolutely no positive relationship between price and healthiness of beauty products.  Some expensive lines are great, but so are plenty of cheap ones.  As an example, Urban Decay items ranked poorly while Suave products ranked rather high.

LESSON 2:  Don't blindly trust Whole Foods Market.

I bought that Earth Science SPF lotion from Whole Foods.  Rather blindly, I must admit.  I like to think that the store is looking out for my health and that of the environment's (they do tend to suggest such claims) so would only offer me healthy, green products.  But they sell Earth Science, a brand that not only puts shady ingredients in their products but also operates a factory that pollutes.  BAD.  Even at Whole Foods, you need to read the labels and do your homework before purchasing. 

LESSON 3:  Don't be fooled by a name.

There are plenty of brands out there that use variations of the words "organic," "natural," "herbal," and "green," to imply their products are any of those things.  But they aren't always.  There is a brand called "Organix" which gives you the impression they make healthy products.  But if you look at their GoodGuide ratings, they aren't that great.  On the flipside, I have always thought that Suave was a junk grocery brand and would never consider purchasing any of their stuff.  But lo and behold, their hairspray actually ranks as one of the highest on GoodGuide.  Go figure.

Now, for the challenge!

I challenge you to go to GoodGuide.com and audit the contents of your makeup bag and report back here on how it went by answering these questions:
  • What was the lowest rated item in your makeup bag?  
  • How much did your makeup bag's average rating improve when you swapped out the lowest rated items?
  • What surprised you most about conducting an audit of your makeup bag?
1, 2, 3... GO!


  1. I don't always agree with Good Guide--they're far more tolerant of parabens & phenoxyethanol than I am--but I love the site and frequently consult it! I like to look at their rankings & then check out the ingredients on Skin Deep. I also really have come to appreciate the Truth in Aging blog. I usually start with these three sources--and then keep reading, always including a scientific journal or two. Your comment about not trusting the "natural" labels--or even the point of origin (e.g. Whole Foods) is dead on! Nothing substitutes for reading the labels. (That includes GoodGuide :)

  2. L'Oreal tests on animals. I don't think you want that!

    I, too, trust Skin Deep for the safest cosmetics. I will use Good Guide but will verify any product with Skin Deep before commiting to it.

  3. Apparently, I've been using 2 very terrible face washes for years. :-( On a good note, my Bare Escentuals make-up is in the safe zone. Glad you found this site and shared it!

  4. I'm hopping around all the blogs who visited me during the 5 Minutes for Mom blog party. Thanks for stopping by!

    I like the cowl you're wearing in your photo. A pretty green. I don't wear makeup very often, but if I ever do, I'll keep Good Guides in mind.

  5. I have just been searching for info about this topic for a while and yours is the best I have found out so far.

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