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Beauty Vanity for Sensitive Skins

“My top picks for a gorgeous autumnal look” by Yasmina Ykelenstam

I dearly adore any man who has been kind enough to gaze deeply into my eyes and whisper, “but you’re gorgeous without any make up”.
It’s a testament to my skill in artfully applying at least just a few strokes of the good stuff, enough to make it look like I’m not wearing any, and to the age old adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

It all came to a crashing halt when I was diagnosed with a chronic inflammatory medical condition known as histamine intolerance/mast cell activation (read more here) that, thanks to a sudden intolerance to (seemingly) all cosmetics, sadly left me rocking the androgynous look for longer than I care to remember.

Teenage boy is not a good look on me, especially when covered in a head to toe rash for months on end.

I realized that there was now a plethora of beautifully conceived, naturally elegant, adorably packaged, organic, raw, make-up on the market.

Luckily for me, once I was brave enough to try cosmetics again, I realized that there was now a plethora of beautifully conceived, naturally elegant, adorably packaged, organic, raw, make-up on the market.
Things had definitely come a long way since the days of turning up my nose at gruesomely packaged, oily messes in drab olives and khaki on offer at the patchouli scented health food stores of my youth.

And, if you, like me, have been dealing with any kind of immune system issues like allergies, food sensitivities, rashes, eczema, hives, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or any kind of chronic inflammation, you’ll be as interested as I was to find out the following…

Dichlorophenol, a chemical used in tap water chlorination, but also in cosmetics, is associated with an increase in food allergies .1

Pthalates, found in nail polish, are an acknowledged inflammation trigger. 2

SLS – various studies show common scalp irritation and histamine release. 3

Cocamidopropyl betaine (cocamide DEA) – has been associated with contact dermatitis, allergies, and when applied to pregnant mice at concentrations similar to those in shampoos, foetuses showed “inhibited cell growth and increased cell death in the area of the brain responsible for memory.” 4

With up to 60% of what goes on our skin being absorbed into the bloodstream , it makes sense not to absorb any of the hormone disrupting, immune system hampering, cancer causing chemicals that are the norm for most mainstream beauty brands.

It’s not just those of us with make up sensitivities that should care what goes on our bodies. With up to 60% of what goes on our skin being absorbed into the bloodstream (as cited by No More Dirty Looks), it makes sense not to absorb any of the hormone disrupting, immune system hampering, cancer causing chemicals that are the norm for most mainstream beauty brands.
Think that lead in lipsticks is an urban myth? Afraid not my love, it’s a fact (Read more from NYT article)

What’s confusing is that many of these ingredients can be found in “natural” “organic” products. Which brings up an interesting question: when does a natural product cease to be so?

Head over to Victoria’s Secret make-up artist Rose-Marie Swift’s RMS Beauty website for an in depth discussion on why high quality raw products are sometimes a better choice than an “organic” label

To me it begins and ends when fruit is extracted with hexane and other cancer causing chemicals, washed in more chemicals and then packaged. The extraction chemicals don’t end up in the final product (so we’re told), but I have a hard time accepting that any product so tampered with retains any of its original benefits.
Don’t take my word for it – head over to Victoria’s Secret catalogue and fashion show make-up artist Rose-Marie Swift’s RMS Beauty website for an in depth discussion on why high quality raw products are sometimes a better choice than an “organic” label slapped on by an unscrupulous (or unsuspecting) cosmetic brand.

And now, to the good stuff.
My top picks for a gorgeous autumnal look.

RMS Beauty ‘Un’ cover-up
The single most amazing product I have discovered this last decade. This creamy, unscented, gluten and chemical free uber-concealer hides unsightly blemishes and evens out skin tone without any heaviness. I honestly don’t understand how! It might be something to do with the amazing raw, unrefined ingredients that Rose-Marie has sourced from all over: moringa oil, cacao butter, coconut butter and just a little pigment. All of RMS Beauty’s products also work as wrinkle prevention thanks to these lovely oils and butters. Find it here

RMS Beauty lip to cheek in Beloved
This versatile product doubles up to impart a striking vibrant deep strawberry shade to either your lips or cheeks. My absolute top pick for an autumn pick-me-up. Pair with your favourite Diane Von Furstenberg vintage print wrap dress for maximum effect. Find it here

100% Pure Dark Chocolate long last eyeliner
This company has really pulled out all the stops health-wise. I only eat healing foods, so why not do the same for my skin? 100%’s product colours are made from fruit pigments alone. Their ingredient roll call reads like my shopping list: strawberry, grapefruit, rice, cacao, vanilla and black tea. And they really mean it – this is the real deal, no crappy processed, chemically denatured foods. Their cacao-derived eyeliner is Mother Nature approved, giving you the perfect cat’s eye flick. Use responsibly, may set male hearts aflutter.

Inika eyeliner in graphite
If you’re lucky enough to live in London, you can swing by Whole Foods in Kensington or Picadilly for the full range of Inika products. The rest of us mere mortals will have to make do with ordering online. You really can’t go wrong with this brand; even my most sensitive readers have thanked me profusely for turning them onto it. Find it here

Honeybee Gardens lip liner in Island Spice
This incredible MAC cosmetics Spice lip liner doppelganger is a worthy rival to the now iconic shade revered by fashionistas from Hong Kong to Berlin. It literally matches every shade it’s paired with. Find it here

100% Fruit Pigmented Lip Cheek Stain in Cherry
I’m aware this might sound a little shallow, but I was fairly traumatised to throw my Benefit Benetint rose coloured cheek stain in the bin a few years ago. It just had to go. Luckily this cherry and strawberry derived lip and cheek stain is even easier to work with, giving you a fresh faced glow acquired in a dash through Union Square’s famer’s market (or in a somewhat naughtier manner – I leave it to your imagination).

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Black Tea
I get compliments on my lashes all the time, even more so when I share that they’re all natural, as is the mascara on them too. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Cocoa Plum Eye Shadow My absolute favourite. Blends easily, wears long, visually enticing. Find it here

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Make Up Remover
This sweet almond oil make up remover is just what tired eyes need at the end of another fabulous party night. The company motto is: “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.” Find it here

Kosia 100% Pure Morninga Oil
This amazing anti-ageing treatment also works as a smoothing hair treatment, body moisturiser and make-up remover. It’s also an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory, both of which are great in my book. Find it here

You can check the status of your cosmetics on the wonderful Environmental Working Group’s database.

Next up, I’ll be covering natural hair care and antihistamine and anti-inflammatory natural anti-ageing treatments.

Yasmina Ykelenstam

The Low Histamine Chef Yasmina Ykelenstam blogs her adventures in healing from a chronic inflammatory condition. She covers allergy free living, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine recipes, in addition to all the latest developments in nutrition.

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