24 February 2014

The Going Green Tag

This is a fun tag that was started by Rachel of All Natural Aspirations.  If you read other green blogs, I'm sure you've seen it making the rounds over the last couple weeks!  I was tagged by the lovely Mary B of Makeup by Mary B.  Keep reading to learn a little more about me and how I got to this point in my green  journey...

Image by Mary B

What started it all off for you?

My story is pretty different from most everyone else's that I've read!  Growing up, my parents were always very into being natural, eating healthy, and using chemical-free products.  I moved away from all this when I started getting into makeup in my early teens and used a lot of drugstore products, but there was always a thought in the back of my mind that those weren't the best choices.  By the end of high school, I'd stopped wearing toxic makeup...really, I wasn't wearing much makeup at all!  Getting back into makeup - and specifically, natural, non-toxic makeup - in my early 20's was a great feeling.  I had more spending money and was able to research and shop online, plus I got to get excited about makeup again without that niggling guilt of using dirty products.  

What was the first thing to go? (Ingredient or product)
Really, the only thing to go has been mainstream makeup.  
My skincare/bodycare/haircare has always been basically clean, although I've gotten more particular over the years about specific ingredients that I will or won't use.  

What are you or what did you struggle to let go of?
Honestly, I don't think I struggled very much.  There were a couple drugstore lip products and a MAC eye shadow that I held onto for a while in the hopes of finding natural dupes.  (I was successful with the MAC, but I ended up giving up on the lippies.)

What has been your best find? (i.e a green product or a tip that you're really glad you've found/learnt)
Face oils!  I was admittedly slow to fully embrace them, but now that I have, I can't imagine ever going back.  My skin is super soft and radiant and looks the best it ever has.

What has been the worst thing about going green? What has been the hardest to transition or find an adequate green replacement of?

For me, the worst thing has been adapting to mainly shopping online.  I'd love to walk into a store and just buy things again, but these days, I purchase probably 90% of my cosmetics/personal care products online.  Even for items I can find locally, I usually hold off and order online, since I know how much cheaper they'll end up being!  (A couple examples: Zuzu Luxe mascara is $16.70 online vs. $29.99 locally.  Desert Essence conditioner is $6.05 on iherb vs. $12.99 in Canadian health food stores.)

The hardest thing to transition was probably nail polish remover.  There are a lot of natural alternatives, but to be blunt, most of them just don't work very well.  I tried several others before discovering Priti NYC's remover, which is amazing.   Natural concealers have also been a challenge, but are something I struggled with before going completely natural too, so I'm not sure they really count!

Anything else to add? Any tips or tricks to pass on?
Nothing revolutionary, I'm sure, but -
1. Research, research, research.  There's so much marketing that goes into any product label that the only thing you can really count on is the ingredients list.  If you're just starting, make yourself a list of ingredients you want to avoid and carry it with you so you can crosscheck it against product ingredients.  Even now, I'll sometimes pull out my phone and google an ingredient if I can't remember what it is or where it falls safety-wise.

2. Go at your own pace.  Don't feel like you have to replace everything all at once, but equally, don't feel like you have to wait for things to run out before replacing them.  Do whichever works for you, your circumstances, and your budget, or even a combination of the two.  

3. Don't be afraid to DIY.  I love luxe beauty products as much as the next girl, but sometimes I find myself reading ingredients lists and thinking "I could make this."  And so, I try.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it's always a fun effort.  It's also a great way to get to know your ingredients and figure out what does and doesn't work for you.

Now to pass it on...I tag: Vivi of Eco Beauty Secrets, Ru of Short, Small & Sweet, and Marcella of Naturally Marcy.  I can't wait to read your answers, ladies! :)


  1. Loved reading this! That's so cool that your parents were always into it. I imagine that even 10 years ago, there wasn't nearly as many green cosmetic options as there is today. Totally agree about buying things online too. Though its nice to support local businesses, when they charge more than twice as much as online, it's hard to justify purchasing from them.

    1. Exactly! I pretty much only buy things in stores now when there are sales :)

  2. Hey Caitie thanks for the tag, but I already did mine! (http://www.shortsmallsweet.net/2014/02/going-green-tag.html) Anyway, I think it's really cool that your parents were already on the green wagon way back in the day. And you know what, I AM afraid to DIY... I did a honey/cinnamon/turmeric mask and got rashes from it, most likely due to the generic grocery store cinnamon. I know it's fun to trial & error, but my skin scars easily so I feel like I can't afford to make any mistakes!

    1. Oops! I'm a little behind on my blog reading, clearly :) I'm generally pretty fearless when attempting DIYs, but more cautious with ingredients like cinnamon! It's so warming and has been known to irritate my skin too. I'm terrible at actually doing this, but it's always a good idea to test on a small spot before slathering something all over :)

  3. Wow! How great is it that your parents were already into clean products. It's really hard to find that!

  4. Interesting answers, I too would love to walk into a store and buy everything I need :-)

  5. I love that your parents were always into a clean lifestyle, my dad loves bleach lol. Brutal! I agree that it would be great to walk into a store and buy what you need at a decent price. Working in the beauty industry (both of us really) we know how crazy the markup is here! xo

    1. Very true. I don't get how our wholesale prices can often be the same as US retail prices, even factoring in shipping/import fees, etc. It's so crazy!

  6. I love reading these going green tags. Your story is definitely a bit more unique. I grew up with a hippie-ish parent, so I understand where you're coming from! :)

    1. Nice! It's pretty rare, I s'pose. I didn't appreciate it growing up, but I (mostly) do now :)


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