5 Secrets To Choosing Make-Up Every Green Mom Should Know

Pure Anada Natural Cosmetics for Green beauty

Photo: Pure Anada

During my first trimester of pregnancy with my oldest son, I became distinctly aware that there was something not so pleasant in my makeup. I’d be getting ready for work, “putting on my face” and get nauseated. The smell was so unbearable, I stopped wearing makeup for most of my pregnancy and didn’t start seriously thinking about wearing again until after the birth of my youngest son, two and half years later. In that time, I’d learned to question what was in my cosmetics. I like to think my pregnant body was protecting my baby and I from the potential dangers found in the conventional beauty brands I was wearing.

On my personal mission to clean up my beauty bag, I was introduced to Pure Anada on separate occasions from the green beauty experts at Toronto retailers, The Big Carrot and Alma Natural Spa. I started out by trying Pure Anada’s moisturizer. Impressed with the quality and reasonable price, I’ve since added a mascara, their Cucumber and Aloe eye make-up remover, bronzer and a lip gloss to my eco-beauty collection.

I contacted Candace Grenier, the founder of Pure Anada, to ask her to join Green Moms Collective to to raise awareness about the toxins found in personal care products. Many of the ingredients found in beauty products are linked to breast cancer and we wanted to help women everywhere reconsider what is in the items that they use each day.

5 secrets to choosing green beauty products

1. Look For Full Disclosure: Don’t shop from brands with something to hide. Green beauty companies like Pure Anada are proud of their ingredients and will show you exactly what you are putting on your skin thus into your body. It’s empowering to be able to decide for yourself if you are comfortable with the ingredient, particularly if you have fragrance sensitivity or a gluten allergy.

2. Know The Toxic Ten: Learning these ingredients while help you narrow down your choices by eliminating those which are toxic and make shopping for beauty products much easier. Carry this wallet-sized green beauty guide with you or use the Think Dirty app to screen a product right at the store. Don’t forget to give yourself a beauty product audit before shopping to know which products may need to be upgraded to a more healthful choice.

3. Don’t Fall For Greenwashing: Be careful of products with pretty leaves and earthy colours. Watch out for claims of natural or organic without evidence to back it up, like the transparency of the ingredients. Ask yourself if the ingredients are recognizable do they actually come from the earth (like minerals and plants) or whether they are synthetic.

4. Shop Small: The reality is that most green beauty brands that you can feel good about wearing are small businesses. Their natural cosmetics and skin care lines will be carried by your local health and eco-conscientious retailers or sold online via their website shops. If you’re ordering beauty products online, don’t hesitate to send the company an email asking for help choosing a colour. I find the customer service and quick response is one of the best parts of shopping from small businesses!

Pure Anada Make Up Tips For Green Moms

5. Love Your Choices: Find a brand you like and stick with it. Just doing this step measurably reduced my overwhelm! Putting your time into researching eco-beauty products will be well worth it when you discover products that look and feel good.

What do you look for when choosing makeup?

Disclosure: I received compensation to write this blog post as part our eco-beauty education campaign. I only work with companies whose eco-friendly standards match my own. All opinions and products are mine!


  • lindsay says:

    This is such an important topic. One thing I’d warn however, is just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s safe. Mineral cosmetics have been found to have high levels of heavy metals, which occur naturally in the earth and are used to color many cosmetics. Sometimes a synthetic color can be more safe than a natural one. I urge people to shop with company’s that are fully transparent and have a clear policy about how they routinely test for heavy metals. Great post Sara!

    • Sara Vartanian says:

      Thanks, Lindsday. You raised a great point about questions to ask when shopping for products. I think that would be a helpful future post!

  • jenny B says:

    Just downloaded the Think Dirty app & hope to use it soon, thanks!

  • Anne says:

    This is wonderful to see more choices in cosmetics! I hope to have this beauty product thing figured out before my girls start asking to wear makeup, because if I can’t feel sure about its safety, I don’t want them to wear it.

    • Sara Vartanian says:

      I understand, Anne. As mentioned, I stopped wearing makeup for awhile because of this! It’s nice to have a variety of choices to meet our personal requirements!

  • Sandee says:

    Great article. I absolutely love and use Pure Anada Products!
    When will your Think Dirty app be available for android? It seems like I’ve been waiting forever for it!

  • Sandi says:

    Yes, such an important topic! Curious, did Think Dirty endorse this post as well? There are so many resources available like Environmental Defence’s Just Beautiful Campaign (which you linked to but didn’t give explicit credit to..), Clean Care and its Seal, EWG’s database & app, Adria Vasil’s picks, and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics just to name a few…

    • Sara Vartanian says:

      HI Sandi, No, Think Dirty did not endorse this post (I would have mentioned if they did), I just opted to refer to them as I use them regularly. I have several other posts with resources where I have explicitly mentioned other resources such as EWG database/app as well as Environmental Defence Just Beautiful Campaign. I’ve partnered with Environmental Defence twice to have twitter chats about their campaign and eco-beauty to spread the word about the work as well as the resources they have available. I am aware of the other resources as well and perhaps will consider a future post about the variety of resources we have to help us choose safer products. I’m grateful we have a growing number.