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July 28, 2010 at 5:02 PMComments: 2 Faves: 1

DIY Beauty: Lipstick, Gloss, Shampoo, and the 1930's Mani

By Claire Franklin More Blogs by This Author

The beauty industry is vast, reaching millions of women everyday with products slated to make them look younger, healthier and more attractive. Trendy packaging and free bonus gifts only serve to enhance the appeal of these products. However, emerging evidence indicates that the beauty industry, which is largely unregulated, is not as lovely as it seems. Toxic ingredients are often included in everyday cosmetic items. Here are the top four offenders and how to avoid them!


GO NATURAL TIP: Avoid lead and other toxic lipstick ingredients when you make your own natural glosses and lipstick!

One of the most alarming findings with women's beauty products is lead in lipstick. In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics conducted tests on a number of lipsticks and found that they contain varying amounts of carcinogenic, neurotoxic poison! In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a follow-up study that yielded the same results. As of yet, the FDA has not applied pressure to cosmetic companies that requires they change this factor.

Cranberry Lip Gloss

Tools: Heat-Resistant Bowl, Strainer or Sieve, Cute Storage Container

Ingredients: 1 tbsp Almond Oil, 10 Fresh Cranberries, 1 tsp Honey, For Added Shine - 1 tsp Petroleum Jelly

  1. Mix all ingredients together and microwave in your heat-resistant bowl until it begins to boil.
  2. Mash and stir well. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain through strainer or sieve to remove cranberry pieces, stir once more and let cool.
  4. Once cool, spoon into your cute storage container.

Vanilla Lip Gloss

Tools: Heat Resistant Bowl, Cute Storage Container 

Ingredients: 1 tbsp Grated Beeswax, 1 tbsp Coconut Oil, 1/8 tsp Thick Olive Oil, 1/8 tsp Vanilla Extract)

  1. Mix beeswax, coconut and olive oil in your heat resistant bowl.
  2. Microwave until melted. Stir in vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. Pour into your cute storage container and let it cool completely before using.

Beet Red Lipstick

Tools: Mixing Dish, Cute Storage Container

Ingredients: 1tsp Beetroot Powder, 1 tsp Vegetable Glycerin,  tsp Very Thick Olive Oil)

  1. Mix vegetable glycerin and beetroot powder in your mixing dish until smooth.
  2. Add very thick olive oil, spoon into your cute storage container.
  3. Apply with a finger or lipstick brush.

Nail Polish

GO NATURAL TIP: The easiest way to avoid nail polish toxins? Avoid nail polish. Get beautiful nails the old-fashioned way!

Nail polish is another beauty product that poses substantial danger to women and children. Research conducted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has found a variety of toxic chemicals in nail polish, the most toxic of which are dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene. This toxic trio is not only associated with short-term symptoms like headaches, dizziness and allergic skin rashes, but has also been linked to cancer, reproductive damage and asthma!

The 1930's French Manicure

Tools: Emery Board, Olive Oil, Manicure Stick, Fine Pumice Sand Stone, Buffing Chamois, Nail Whitening Pencil

  1. Use the emery board to file your dry nails in to shape. Filing wet nails may cause breakage.
  2. Wash hands and soak in soap and water, rub cuticles with olive oil to soften.
  3. Shape cuticles with the blunt end of your manicure stick.
  4. Dry hands and buff nails  to polish and remove ridges, start with a fine pumice stick. Repeat with a fine grit block and finish with the buffing chamois for an extra shiny look.
  5. Run your nail whitening pencil underneath the edge of each nail to complete the look. Beautiful and toxins free!


GO NATURAL TIP: If you go looking, you'll find there is no shortage of natural shampoo recipes available. However, here are two basic recipes I like.

Shampoo is known to be one of the most chemically-laden beauty products sold today. A variety of toxins are commonly found in both adult and childrens shampoo brands. Their effects vary, but have been known to disrupt a persons endocrine system, reproductive system, nervous system, damage their kidney and bladder - even cause cancer, birth defects, and ironically, hair loss.

Rosemary Herbal Shampoo

Tools: Any Stovetop Pan, Strainer of Sieve, Cute Storage Bottle

Ingredients: 1 Cup Distilled Water,  1 Cup Unscented Castile Soap, 1 tsp Jojoba or Other Light Vegetable Oil, 3 tbsp Rosemary, 1 tbsp Lemon Grass, 2 tsp Tea Tree Oil,  Tsp Vanilla Extract

  1. Bring distilled water to a boil and add rosemary and lemon grass. Steep until fragrant in about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Strain leaves and let mixture cool. Stir well.
  3. Mix in tea tree oil and vanilla extract. Add castile soap.
  4. Pour into cute storage bottle, cap bottle after mixture has cooled.

Moisturizing Aloe Shampoo

Tools: Mixing Bowl, Cute Storage Bottle

Ingredients: Cup Distilled Water,  Cup Liquid Castile Soap,  Cup Aloe Vera Gel, 1 tsp Glycerin, tsp Avocado or Jojoba oil

  1. Mix all ingredients in your mixing bowl and pour into your cute storage bottle. It's as easy as that!
  2. Always shake before using and allow shampoo to sit in your hair a few minutes. This will allow moisture to penetrate fully.


GO NATURAL TIP: Ditch the expensive toxin-filled perfume blends for the natural, therapeutic scent of essential oils!

In 2010, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 17 different fragrance products. Of those, 12 were found to contain phthalate, a class of chemicals associated with hormone disruption. Such disruption can negatively impact development and fertility. In addition, fragrances are considered by health officials to be within the top five acknowledged allergens and are also linked to asthma. Neurotoxins, or chemicals known to be toxic to the brain, are also among those ingredients in fragrances. Currently, "fragrance" ingredients are protected by trade secret laws and many companies have abused this privilege hiding toxic chemicals by claiming they are part of the "fragrance". Since 1986, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has asked the FDA to demand that companies clearly list fragrance ingredients. However, the FDA has not yet responded.

Basics of Aromatherapy Guide

  • Lavender: Balancing, soothing, clarifying, normalizing
  • Eucalyptus: Purifying, invigorating, balancing, cooling
  • Peppermint: Revitalizing, refreshing, energizing, cooling
  • Rosemary: Clarifying, warming, invigorating
  • Ylang Ylang: Sensual, euphoric, romantic, alluring, exotic
  • Sweet Orange: Cheering, refreshing, uplifting
  • Bergamot: Uplifting, normalizing, confidence building
  • Lemon: Energizing, uplifting, refreshing, strengthening
  • Geranium: Uplifting, balancing, relaxing, normalizing
  • Patchouli: Romantic, uplifting, soothing


Before You Buy

The foremost way for consumers to avoid toxic ingredients in cosmetics is to read the labels of their favorite products. When suspected ingredients are listed, alternative products should be selected. All-natural shampoos and organic skin moisturizers are far more likely to contain safe ingredients without the potential for health complications. In addition, organic products should be selected whenever possible. Beauty counters in department store chains often feature products that are less toxic than those sold in retail outlets and drug stores. Below is a wallet guide to help you avoid toxic cosmetic ingredients on your next shopping trip!

CLICK HERE To Download Our FREE Printable Wallet Guide!

Women are encouraged to write letters to their state officials asking for more stringent cosmetic regulations. Consumers that take a stand together have the power to change an industry!

Photo Credit:

Crafty Goat


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