Thursday, September 17, 2009

Less makeup = more money in your purse

eye make-up

If reuse is a tenant of a green lifestyle, buying products that serve dual purposes should be one too. One area of my life where this has become commonplace is in my makeup bag.

Not only do products that serve more than one purpose save money, they save space. Where I used to juggle products and run back and forth between the bathroom and bedroom when I primped to go out at night, now I have one drawer that contains all of my cosmetics and hair care products (with the exception of my shampoo and conditioner, of course).

In this economy and with so many families either downsizing or unable to upgrade their families’ living quarters, being able to cull the clutter is just as valuable as the money you’ll save at the register.

Everything I recommend here is paraben-free, petroleum-free, and cruelty-free, not to mention minimally packaged in recyclable containers. Here is a list of my favorite healthy products that have saved me time, space, and money:

tinted moisturizers

Tinted moisturizers are a beautiful way to save money and time. I am obsessive about moisturizing, and the older I get the more a radiant complexion means more than just some lotion. Rather than toting around -- and paying for -- a face cream and base makeup, my go-to product is now Kiss My Face’s Tinted Moisturizer.

It smooths on like a lotion but provides the sheer coverage that I need to even out my erratic complexion. With a dusting of talc-free and paraben-free powder on top, my skin looks as dewy as it did when it actually was dewy. Kiss Your Face’s Tinted Moisturizer retails for $10.

Finger Paints

I don’t have the time or the inclination to head home to freshen up between all of my work and social events, so my favorite compact to tote with me is Josie Maran Cosmetics’s Finger Paints.

I use Finger Paints in Sweet, which are pinks and apricot shades of multi-use creams for lips, cheeks, and eyes. Or choose Finger Paints in Lovely, which are earthier browns and bronzes. Finger Paints retail for $36.


To save money in the shower and out, one of my favorite (two) products come from vonNatur. The company’s Complete Hair & Body Wash and Complete Hair & Body Conditioner are the real deal in the two-for-one game.

Use the wash head to toe, replacing the need for a shampoo and a soap, and use the conditioner head to toe in lieu of a conditioner and a separate moisturizer. Each product retails for $17.

three-way color

Kiss My Face makes my list twice with its 3-Way Color. I own it in heather (no surprise!) and ruby. While I mainly use it as a lip gloss, it also serves well as a blush. Being cosmetically challenged, I like to dab a dollop into some moisturizer to make it creamier before applying to my cheeks. 3-Way Color retails for $9.


To highlight all of this gorgeousness, I love Jane Iredale’s Pencil in White. I use it on the inside corners of my eyes to brighten me up on those dark days, blended well under my eyebrows for a lightening lift, and to lightly line my lips -- lightly ladies, this isn’t Culture Club -- to make my lip gloss sparkle. Jane Iredale’s Pencil in White retails for $9.


Finally, for all-over moisture, I take Trilogy’s Everything Balm everywhere I go. The balm, which comes in an easy-to-tote 1.5-ounce jar, can be used on lips, face, hands, and even as a massage oil.

Just warm a dab in the palm of your hand and the balm melts for easy absorption. Trilogy’s Everything Balm is available at beautorium and retails for $18.

Heather O’Neill is the founder of Eco to the People, a green living blog. You can email her at

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