Your Guide To Creating A Sustainable Make-Up Kit | Verve Magazine
India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
June 12, 2019

Your Guide To Creating A Sustainable Make-Up Kit

Text by Rushmika Banerjee. Photography by Joshua Navalkar. Product styling by Swati Sinha. Hair and make-up by Guia Bianchi. Model: Namrata Tripathi

There’s a new breed of mindful make-up brands that won’t harm your skin or the environment and still give you that sophisticated finish.

Before delving into the multiple benefits of sustainable make-up products, here’s a question you should answer first – How many cosmetic products do you use every day?

Some people might swear by the #NoMakeup rule, but beauty enthusiasts know that make-up is sacrosanct for people who understand how it works. It can hide and highlight, alter and enhance features, all with a single swipe of the brush. Make-up is also extremely personal. I rarely deviate from my preferred beauty brands. On an average, I use close to 7 products a day, and on days when I am feeling particularly adventurous, the number goes up to 10. This includes basic cosmetic essentials – aloe vera gel, hydrating crème, matte foundation, setting powder, blush, lip balm and lip colour along with a mascara, an eyeliner and a highlighter used sporadically. Since I apply so many artificial chemicals on my face, I try to balance it with an all-natural, toxin-free, night-time ritual, which includes products from certified organic skincare brands. This disparity stems from two common misconceptions:

  • Sustainable beauty is only limited to holistic skincare. For instance, homegrown brands such as Kama Ayurveda and Forest Essentials have successfully captured the all-natural wellness market with their face mists, scrubs, handmade soaps and sheet masks.
  • Sustainable make-up won’t give me a similar glamorous finish that my good ol’ foundation does (the same way people think that sustainable fashion is just drab or non-glamorous).

Switching to organic alternatives
A make-up kit is similar to your wardrobe – you build it over time. In the last few years, conversations around saving the planet have made consumers mindful of their choices. They are well aware of how certain chemicals can adversely affect their skin as well as the environment. This has led the beauty industry to formulate greener substitutes for a glamorous make-up ritual that is both healthy for the skin and doesn’t let you compromise on aesthetic value.

Sustainable make-up contains all-natural, ethically-sourced ingredients, has a cruelty-free and toxin-free composition and does minimal harm to the environment. Additionally, it also promotes a transparent supply chain and ensures fair trade practices, which closes the loop of sustainability. Think herbal lipsticks, ‘farm to face’ primers, handmade loose powders and paraben-free eyeshadow palettes.

We discovered some cool, new, homegrown and international brands that are committed to the cause. Team Verve decided to put these brands to the test and create glamorous looks with make-up artist Guia Bianchi using only sustainable make-up brands that are available in India. Consider this as your holy and wholesome guide of products that you should start investing in now.

The eyes – High Contrast

Ace it with Coola Daydream Mineral Makeup Primer Sunscreen SPF 30 (as the base), The Body Shop Matte Clay Concealer (for the under-eye area), Quinta Essentia Organic Lasting Mineral Eyeshadow Confession and Quinta Essentia Organic Lasting Mineral Eyeshadow Opal (over the eyelids) and SoulTree Pure Black Ayurvedic Mascara (on the eyelashes).

Pro tip
Since the mascara is lightweight and easy to remove, you might have to apply 2-3 coats to achieve the desired result.

Why we love it
has come to India all the way from sunny California (U.S.A.). Rest assured, you can trust their sunscreen formula to be one of the best. What makes it stand out is the use of antioxidant-rich plant protection into their sunscreens, which is a selection of plant-based ingredients to naturally boost their formulas’ efficacy. This means fewer irritating sunscreen actives and more natural protection.

The Body Shop (available on Nykaa) has always been an advocate of sustainable development. This product is enriched with Community Trade tea tree oil from Kenya that helps provide the farmers of the Kenya Organic Oil Farmers’ Association with a steady income, develop sustainable farming systems and fund community projects in the local area. Additionally, we would like to give a shout-out to their new launch – Community Trade recycled plastic from Bengaluru, India, which would be used partly in its packaging. The Body Shop has also launched its in-store recycling programme – BBOB (Bring Back Our Bottles), encouraging customers to return empty plastic packaging to stores for recycling.

Quinta Essentia Organic’s (available on Nykaa) products are 100% natural and chemical-free. This eyeshadow does not contain any preservatives, artificial dyes, pore-clogging oils and bismuth oxychloride and is highly suitable for people with sensitive skin. The product is so versatile that it can be used as an eyeliner when applied with a fine, damp brush.

SoulTree’s (available on Nykaa) mascara is formulated using centuries-old Ayurvedic recipes and natural ingredients castor oil, black seed oil and organic tea leaves. If you wear mascara every day, this product is highly recommended. Besides the two shades of mascara – pure black and soft brown – the brand also offers BB creams, lip gloss, coloured kajals (like bright indigo and subtle teal) and lipsticks.

The lips – Red Alert

Ace it with Neemli Naturals Matcha Lip Scrub, SoulTree Calendula & Honey Lip Balm, Ruby’s Organics Rhubarb Lipstick and Enn’s Closet Plum Enn Matte (applied on the lips in the same order).

Pro tip
Start your lip care routine with a lip scrub that helps to remove dead skin cells. You will find that the lipstick glides effortlessly once you follow this routine regularly.

Why we love it
All products sold under Neemli Naturals (available on Nykaa) are 100% natural, cruelty-free and vegan. This means they only source plant-based ingredients. Based out of Bandra, Mumbai, this brand makes it a point to keep things transparent – just go to their website and check out the ingredients glossary. The packaging is also unusual – recycled glass bottles packed in recycled paper boxes.

Ruby’s Organics (available on Nykaa) has a gamut of COSMOS-certified make-up staples to choose from such as foundations, concealers, eyeshadows, highlighters, blush, lip balms, lipsticks and kohl pencils. This is India’s first organic make-up line and uses naturally-occurring minerals to provide an exciting colour palette like champagne silver eyeshadow, bronze blush and mauve lipstick.

The first thing that will draw you to an Enn’s Closet product is the aromatic scent. Once you get past that, you will discover paraben-free make-up that clearly discloses its ingredients on the packaging. Their bold range of lipsticks includes shades such as coco, blush and raspberry, which they get using food colour agents.

The cheeks –  Peach Perfect

Ace it with Decléor Aromessence Rose D’orient – Soothing Night Balm (used as base), theBalm Even Steven Whipped foundation (on the face), Gulnare Gold Dust Highlighter (applied on the cheekbones), Bon Organics Wild Rose Lip Stain (on the cheeks) followed by Ruby’s Organics Peach Crème Blush (on the cheeks).

Pro tip
The night balm has been used as an alternate base here because of its lightweight formula. The lip stain’s creamy texture allows it to blend well on the cheeks as well as the lips.

Why we love it
’s Aromessence line offers a range of natural, essential oil-based skincare products like purifying oil serums and face balms.

theBalm (available on Nykaa) has a super lightweight foundation that is a great alternative for everyday use. Fun fact – The brand lets you customise your eyeshadow palette from a variety of sizes, cool designs and pigments. It is paraben-free, cruelty-free and talc-free.

Bon Organics’ (available on Nykaa) range of cosmetics comprises setting powders, lips stains and kohls. It is 100% natural handmade and organic. We love that the products are multi-purpose because of its texture. The colour of the lip stain is derived from dried beetroot powder and saffron.

Gulnare Skincare’s Gold Dust Highlighter is a favourite because of its toxin-free formula and luminous finish. The texture can be suitably used as a cheek stain, crème shadow or lipstick.

The eyebrows – Rounded Arch

Ace it with Ohria Ayurveda Raatrani & Mint Facial Mist (as a toner), Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream or Organic Riot Smog-Block Anit Pollution Moisturiser (can use either as a base), Plum NaturStudio all-day-wear kohl kajal (to lightly fill in the brows), Bon Organics Brown Eyeshadow (on the eyelids).

Why we love it
Egyptian Magic’s
(available on Beauty Source) All-Purpose Skin Cream works as a smooth base and can be applied all over the body. The glossy texture is derived from natural ingredients such as olive oil, beeswax, honey and bee pollen. Here’s something to consider – the cream that was launched in 1991 is the only offering by the brand. It has multiple uses – an amazing moisturiser, relieves burning sensation, can be used as hand and cuticle cream and can also work as a make-up remover.

Organic Riot has already received great reviews on Instagram from beauty editors and bloggers. The Smog-Block Anti-Pollution cream is a great substitute for a daily moisturiser, if you are out in the sun often. The brand offers three other skincare products – Anti-Acne Serum, Anti-Pigmentation Serum and Body Moisturiser.

Plum (available on Nykaa) NaturStudio Kohl is smudge-proof, preservative free and has a gel-like finish. The brand’s range of 100% vegan products offers 100% transparency at its core and no fairness creams as it believes in promoting natural goodness.

Ohria Ayurveda’s (available on Nykaa) organic mist is a natural antiseptic, has anti-inflammatory properties and comes packed with antioxidants. A great alternative to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.

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