Inspiration from Meghan

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Unpacking My Makeup: What I Use and Love


I recently posed a question in the UnDiet Life Facebook group about what you’d like to see more of here on the blog and the answer was clear: Natural home and beauty care. And so I thought I’d start right here with my make-up bag, as this is one of the things that comes up a lot.

In The UnDiet Cookbook, I offer a full chapter of edible beauty care recipes, but I don’t get into making makeup. That’s a whole other beast that I have yet to tackle. I have done a lot of research, and though I rarely ever wear make-up beyond my Living Libations Maiden Fern Blushing Balm, I do put it on for special occasions, filming, photo shoots and that sort of thing.

Living Libations Blushing Balm

Even still, I keep it pretty simple.

Your Makeup Matters

Talc, titanium dioxide, lead, mica, carbon black, and dozens of others are just some of the toxic chemicals found in everyday cosmetic and beauty care products. Though once thought harmless in the relatively small amounts that we use them, they are far from it. What is rarely taken into account when testing for safety is the cumulative effect of all the chemicals that are present when we combine all of the products that we use.

Given that we have very little control over our chemical exposure out in the world, it makes it all the more important that we pay attention to the stuff we can control, and make-up is most certainly one of those areas.

Zuzu Lip Gloss

Detoxing Your Makeup

  1. Use less of it. Of the products you have, what do you actually want to keep using? Are there extra steps, or extra unnecessary products?
  2. Use less often. Reserve makeup for going out or special occasions. Maybe your daily makeup could be as simple as a lip balm and mascara? Or just a lip gloss (Who’s with me on hating to remove mascara?)
  3. Replace with better products. When you use up what you have, replace with chemical-free options.
  4. Do some research. Cosmetic products have ingredient labels, too. Look up what’s in the products you use and see what story those ingredients tell.

To help you along in your research, I decided to unpack my makeup bag and share what I am currently using and loving.

Meghan Telpner's Makeup Kit

Face Powder: Gabriel Cosmetics
Colour- Medium Beige
I didn’t know my face was medium beige in colour, but apparently it is. I’ve been using this product for ten years. It’s super light, doesn’t make my face feel sweaty or itchy and comes off easily. I primarily wear this for filming to avoid the shiny nose syndrome. Normally, I leave the skin of my face bare naked and breathing. This is sort of the opposite of a catch-22. (I don’t know what that would be called) But the less make-up you wear on your face, the healthier your skin will be, and then you would actually need to wear less face makeup. Get it?

Eye Shadow: Zuii Organic
Colour- ‘Rich Gold’
This is a very clean eyeshadow and the colour is the only colour of eyeshadow I’ve ever worn. When I had my make-up done for my grade 12 formal, this was the colour the woman at Mac applied and so it has always been my go-to. #goldeyeshadowsince1998! Who’s with me?

Blush: Zuzu Luxe
Colour: Haze
Zuzu is a division of Gabriel Cosmetics and if there was only one item of make-up I was allowed to wear to a party, it would be blush. I’d probably beg to have two so I could wear mascara as well, but I love a natural rosy cheek. When I haven’t just worked out, been out in the sun, playing in the cold or in the sauna and my cheeks need some help in the rosy glow department, this is my blush of choice.

100% Pure Mascara

Mascara: 100% Pure
Colour: Black
I LOVE this mascara to bits and pieces. You will start to notice a theme here, where if a makeup product doesn’t make me itchy and swollen, than we become lovers for life. This mascara has a fruit-pigment base and doesn’t smudge super easily. Any mascara that doesn’t smudge is a winner for me, as I tend to laugh until I weep often and I would permanently look like I was doing the walk of shame (Don’t look that up if you don’t know what I mean. It’s fine).  The bonus with this product is that it washes off easily with a little light massage with water and a gentle rubbing with coconut oil.

Eyeliner: Gabriel Cosmetics
Colour: Black
I only wear eyeliner when filming, and I am grateful that when we film, you can’t see my eyes close up. I am the absolute worst at applying this stuff and each eye is always uneven and I look a little like I just escaped a bar brawl (or an aforementioned walk of shame). This one is easy to apply, does the job of defining my eyes and that’s that. If I never wore it ever again, I’d be okay with that.

Lipstick: Ilia Beauty
Colour: Arabian Nights (but of course!)
I am not great with lipstick. It’s always just a little bit not fully on my lips, but I try. I love this natural lipstick- it’s certified organic, gluten-free and it’s a Canadian-based company. The colour goes on evenly, offering a little colour, a little gloss and stays on well.

Lip balm: Living Libations
Maiden Fern Blushing Balm
But seriously, if I only had one product, it would be this one. I’ve been known to wear this on my lips and my cheeks. In a base of jojoba with sea buckthorn, rose otto, neroli, cinnamon and so many more beautiful pure essential oils, this is where your lip balm actually deserves to be licked (or kissed!) off and everyone will be healthier for it! This is on me at all times.

Lip gloss: Zuzu Luxe
Colour: Crystal
I love a good lip gloss that is sticky enough to stay on but not so sticky that your hair and food gets stuck to it.

Brushes: Pure Anada
The hairs of the brushes are synthetic and cruelty free. The handles are bamboo and they’re relatively inexpensive. I’m obviously no make-up expert, but these brushes do the trick. They’re also very easy to clean with just a little soap and warm water.

Do you have any brands or specific product you swear by? Post your favourites below!


44 Responses to “Unpacking My Makeup: What I Use and Love”

  1. Great post. I also wanted to add Afterglow Cosmetics to your list. Afterglow is a certified gluten-free cosmetic line. Gluten-derived ingredients are commonly used in cosmetics as a binder to help ingredients stick together and as an emollient in the form of gluten derived oils. Those with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance find that sometimes even minor contact with cosmetics (especially lipstick which often contains gluten) can trigger discomfort or a reaction.
  2. Rachelle Seguin said…
    I just discovered your sighr and am enjoying the education, particularly about cosmetics. However almost none of your links work, especially those to living libations.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Thanks for your message! All of the links have now been updated. Enjoy the content!
  3. Emily Roach said…
    I can't wait to order the mascara. I switched all of my makeup to Beautycounter last year, but their mascara tends to give me that lovely raccoon eye look. The best change I made was starting to use a face oil everyday. It makes my skin feel so healthy I never have to reach for any cover up or foundation. Less is more!
  4. Annie Valente said…
    Hi Meghan! I love it when people show off what they use! Thanks for sharing!
  5. Deanne said…
    Hi Meghan. I went to look up Ilia based on your recommendation and they state that they are now an LA based company. I would prefer trying Canadian products, just based on the US exchange alone. What do you recommend if I want to buy Canadian makeup products?
  6. Yvonne Rahui said…
    Hi Meghan...I went to an Arbor ne Party today & have been pleased to come across your site tonight!Great reading & very helpful. I live in can I purchase Living !ibation products please? Thank you.
  7. Tanya Willis said…
    Love your suggestions. When I started to detox my life about 10 years ago, one of my first steps was skin care. >> I made the switch 10 years ago to Living Libations and also started using Beauty Counter about 2 years ago. Happy knowing I'm geeding my skin with love!
  8. Natalie said…
    I was interested to know which product you use for sunscreen. I clicked on your link ‘I like this product a lot’ but it doesn’t work. Can you please repost?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hi Natalie! It's the Living Libations Everybody Loves Sunshine with Zinc.
  9. Meghan said…
    You should look into Young Living sunscreen. They just launched an SPF 50 and I believe it is entirely plant based and free of yucky toxins. I also use their non-toxic makeup line, Savvy Minerals. It has changed my life!
  10. Eva said…
    Thank you very much for sharing this list. Please keep this type of content coming. It is great to know what has worked for you. Truly natural products are often harder to find and to test or sample... all the research and trial and error takes up so much time and money.

Before you post your comment, please note that I am unable to offer nutritional advice or recommendations via my blog.

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