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Beauty without compromise

A little while ago, I wrote about the fact that my little girl had uttered the words “I’m not a pretty girl.”

This really concerned me because I’m terrible at taking pride in my own appearance and I worry that she’s picked up on that.

Only this week, we had a photo shoot with a professional photographer and I’d assumed that the camera wouldn’t go anywhere near me.

So I ended up having a photo taken with no makeup on. And whilst it’s a great keepsake, I looked fairly dreadful.

The problem is, commercial makeup doesn’t sit comfortably with me from an ethical point of view.

There is virtually no makeup that isn’t cruel in some way.

Although testing on animals is no longer legal for cosmetics in the UK, it’s not the same elsewhere, so large companies go further afield for their testing.

Many companies that make cosmetics also make clothing that contains fur or is produced in sweat shops.

And perhaps most importantly, makeup contains chemicals, polluting nasties and – almost without exception – palm oil.

So, what’s the alternative?

Well it turns out, there is a fabulous alternative.

Inspired by this blog post from Jenny at Monkey and Mouse, I did some research.

Jenny no longer uses shampoo. And she’s not the only one either, it’s a whole new movement.

People are using natural things to wash their hair. Water, egg, honey, lemon, essential oils (not all together).

And do you know what? Their hair looks fabulous. Much better than mine does from using conventional shampoo.

But here’s the thing, it’s not just shampoo.

People are making foundation, concealer, mascara, eyeliner, blusher and all the other things that people who wear makeup use (it’s all a bit of a foreign language to me).

It costs next to nothing. They use powder bases like ground arrowroot. Cocoa powder, nutmeg and other spices are used for colouring.

Pure aloe vera is used as a base for mascara, liquid foundation, concealer and liquid eyeliner.

They look amazing because you mix them to exactly the colour you want. They benefit your skin instead of wrecking it.

And most importantly, they are ethically sound.

So from now on, I intend to start wearing makeup. But none of it will be commercially purchased.

I will share my recipes and results on here, complete with the odd photo here and there.

If you make any of your own beauty or hair products, or know anyone who does, please do get in touch, I’d absolutely love to hear from you.

I hope to discover and share gorgeous, ethical makeup recipes that can be made at minimal cost.

And as a happy side product, I’d like this little girl and her sister to realise that they are beautiful and not be negatively influenced by their mum. 2015-07-04 14.25.13



  1. Izzie Anderton
    July 5, 2015 / 10:09 am

    I don’t make any of my own beauty products but I do worry about what goes into the products I use and have to avoid certain ingredients as I’m allergic to them. Good luck with your recipes – I look forward to hearing about them x

    • July 5, 2015 / 10:16 am

      Thank you Izzie, I’m really excited about it. If you see me looking orange it’s all gone horribly wrong 😉

  2. July 5, 2015 / 7:00 pm

    Ah thank you Zoe, that’s really helpful, I will definitely check them out, what a brilliant idea 🙂

  3. July 5, 2015 / 9:59 pm

    I used to work for Lush, gift wrapping in their factory in Poole. If you want to get an idea of what can be made with real ingredients you’ve heard of they do a range of cosmetics including mascara, although I love that you are going to be making your own. I do an awesome hand/nappy/everything beeswax balm for friends and family that I seriously need to start selling because I can’t keep up with demand 🙂 I’ll send you the recipe if you want it as a lip gloss.

    • July 5, 2015 / 10:01 pm

      Oh that would be amazing Maz, I’d love your recipe please 🙂 Lush actually use palm oil derivatives so I’m avoiding them.xx

  4. Rose
    July 6, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    Yay! Making my own beauty products is my new hobby! Much cheaper and healthier (for you and the environment!). I make my own moisturiser following this recipe:

    It’s very easy to make, once you know what you’re doing! I use a mixture of oils, including vitamin E oil, almond oil and avocado oil – and I use about half the amount of water as she uses in the recipe. The texture is lovely and it works a treat!

    I also make my own toothpaste, using baking soda, xylitol, kaolin clay, peppermint extract, lemon essential oil and water. I made this one up myself after researching loads of different recipes. If you’re interested, I can give you the measurements I use!

    • July 6, 2015 / 5:36 pm

      Ah that’s so good to hear Rose 🙂 I’m going to check out your recipes, I’d love the toothpaste recipe please, that’s so exciting! Thank you for sharing, I’m looking forward to checking out your blog.x

  5. Rose
    July 7, 2015 / 11:02 am

    Here’s the toothpaste recipe:

    8 tbsp kaolin clay powder
    3 tsp xylitol
    3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    3 tsp peppermint extract
    10 drops of lemon essential oil
    2.5 tbsp filtered water
    1 tbsp liquid minerals (or just filtered water)

    Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth, then scoop into a GoToob tube (I use an 89ml one). GoToobs are awesome for stuff like this, or for travelling.

    The ingredients all play a useful role: kaolin clay contains calcium (to strengthen your teeth), bicarbonate of soda (for gentle whitening and to alkilinise your mouth), lemon oil (gentle antibacterial action), xylitol (prevents cavities) and optional extra minerals (to strengthen your teeth). It’s also flouride free (better for your thyroid) and glycerine free (glycerine apparently prevents tooth re-mineralisation). I’ve purposefully left out coconut oil, which a lot of people use in home made toothpastes – because I don’t want it blocking up my drains.

    There’s another really helpful blog for this kind of stuff, called Wellness Mama – loads and loads of recipes for home made home and beauty products.

    P.S. I’ve realised that it looks like the Root Simple blog is mine – apologies, when it said website, I just entered the web address for the moisturiser recipe. Looking at it now, it makes much more sense! So sorry if I’ve caused any confusion. I don’t have a blog – I’m just an avid blog reader. x

    • July 7, 2015 / 10:03 pm

      Hi Rose, thank you so much for the recipe, that’s so helpful. And also for the website recommendations. Sorry for the confusion about the blog. Perhaps you should start one, it sounds like you have lots of inspiration to share. I look forward to sharing my beauty product making journey too.x

  6. July 8, 2015 / 8:44 pm

    This is so fab. Look forward to hearing all about it. My SIL told off my FIL for using swarfega for cleaning his hands the other day because of the exfoliating beads in it. If you find a recipe for a good hand scrub for manual workers let me know lol.

    I’m terrible because I know how bad those tiny plastic beads are but my skin is so bad I need to exfoliate so I need to find some recipes too! I started using up a half empty old shower gel (which has SLS in) and my skin is worse than its been in ages so perhaps going homemade and natural might be the best move!

    My ultimate downfall is the red hair dye though!

    • July 9, 2015 / 10:56 pm

      Ooh, actually I think I might have a hand scrub recipe, I’ll let you know! I’ll see if I can come up with any hair dye ideas too 😉

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