Look Beautiful Naturally


The packaging is refillable and recyclable. The company is also going green in ways you can't even see.

"In Ohio, we just moved into a warehouse, where the energy sources, lights and building materials are all green-conscious," Reilly said.

Buy A Green Product, Get Tree Planted

Other companies are getting into the green act in smaller, but still significant, ways.

Smashbox cosmetics introduced a line of products this spring built around the Moringa Tree. Extracts from the tree contain antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A, according to Smashbox. The Green Room Collection includes a lip gloss, eye shadow and a bronzer, all made with Moringa seed extract. And the company has pledged to plant a Moringa tree in a developing country for each Green Room product sold.

Yum Gourmet Skincare (that's Yum, as in the Tibetan word for mother, not yum as in yummy) sells a line of products containing "fresh organic and natural ingredients, such as juices, oils, herbs and pulp." The makeup remover, for instance, is made from cucumber.

Kopali Organics also offers a skin care line derived from cacao butter. The line includes moisturizers, face creams, lip balms and skin rejuvenators. The ingredients are certified organic, cruelty-free and vegan. And, according to its Web site, "these products help rescue sustainable cacao farming in Central America and the Caribbean."

And, if you're looking for some "green" red or pink lipstick, you might want to check out Toronto-based Cargo. The company has developed a compostable lipstick case made of corn, a renewable resource. The lipstick comes in a seed-embedded box — just add a little water and you can grow some wildflowers. What could be greener than that? So far, more than 5,000 flowers have been planted.

Marj Melchiors, president of Cosmetics Without Synthetics, says the sudden "greening" of the beauty industry is an interesting development since she started her business.

"When I started this business 11 years ago, it was very, very difficult to find product lines that met organic standards or contained natural ingredients, and now it's really easy," Melchiors said.

The Arizona-based company sells more than 500 beauty products from its Web site AllNaturalCosmetics.com. The most popular lines are Miessence, from Australia, an organic company that sells cosmetics and skin care products, and NVEY Eco Organic Makeup, also from Australia. Melchiors said her biggest problem is convincing her customers that natural cosmetics aren't boring.

"I think some people think that natural makeup is kind of limited ... but I have had clients who send me commercially made lipstick or blush, and they would ask me to match it with something more natural, and nine times out of 10 we do," Melchiors said.

There are a couple of caveats to remember, said Houlihan. She points out that just because a beauty company markets its product as natural and organic, that doesn't mean it's necessarily safe, mostly because there are so few set standards in how makeup and skin care are tested.

All of the companies we talked to for this article insisted they put product testing and consumer safety first and foremost.

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