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. Camila Quaglio said…
    I am using Omiana and Juice Beauty, what do you think about them? Great post!
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I'm glad you found this post helpful! I'm not familiar with those brands so I can't comment on them.
  2. Julie said…
    I’m using mostly Beautycounter makeup...and love it! I also am a huge fan of 100% Pure and just picked up a new mascara yesterday!! Have you tried anything from Beautycounter? Thoughts?
  3. Joan Farmer said…
    I'm confused. The listings of the ingredients for these lipstick and gloss products say they may contain mica and titanium dioxide. Meghan says those ingredients are toxic. Are they safe to use or not?
  4. Frances said…
    Do you recommend any resources (books or websites) that go over chemicals used in products and their overall safety (or possible negative correlations)?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hi Frances! This is a good resources: Also, if you take a look in the Beauty Care section of my blog I have a number of articles about chemicals in personal care products, fragrances, etc:
  5. Sara said…
    Yes I am also very curious as what your thought are on BeautyCounter? I was told by a rep that they’re the only company that does batch testing before and after distributing (therefore catching chemicals that can leach during bottling process) and most natural or organic products that are labeled paraben or phalate free actually contain it because it gets tainted during distributing. That blew my mind.
  6. Jen said… June 25, 2020
    I love Elate cosmetics. Canadian company and their mascara is incredible.

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