Nothing brings this into sharper focus than my morning mall walking sojourns down at the giant South Shore Plaza,
There are the huge cosmetic departments at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Sears and Target. The higher end stores are staffed by aggressive make up sales pros, out to transform us into a new ravishing specimens, all whilst capturing our dimes.
The reek of a thousand spritzed perfumes combined with the invisible chemical fog, shimmering off the cakes of foundation, mascara, eye shadow and lip sticks, invariably trigger a wee asthma attack. Who can breathe in this soup of toxins?
I take a pull off my inhaler and race past display case city, casting a “don’t approach me” glare at the heavily painted, eager beaver squadron of makeup hustlers. They leave me alone.
Now, mind you, I don’t object to a bit of added color—I’ve waxed on about this already. No, my gripe is with the heavy duty sales techniques, the implication (sometimes stated outright) that we can’t be beautiful without artifice.
I imagine you’ve seen the web pages, there’s certainly a ton of them, hawking pics of gorgeous female celebs without makeup. Guess what, sans shellacking, they’re still attractive. OK, sometimes not BUT, are they really all that and a bag of chips with the face paint and Photoshopping?
I love this one, 30 Fairly Shocking Pictures of Celebrities Without Makeup. In the cosmeticked shots, the perfectly coiffed pretty women are all sporting big smiles for the camera. In the sans shots they’re often scowling and look like they just rolled out of bed. There’s big dough in catching the icons of beauty looking less than close up ready.
Put ‘em up on a pedestal and then knock ‘em down. That’s how we roll apparently.
Scroll through and I think you might agree—the folks who are smiling in the before shots, look every bit as attractive as they do in the post paint job pics—maybe even more so.
Back to the mall though...
Ground zero for horror show Makeup-Or-Die stores is Sephora. Even if I wanted to, I can’t go in there. The pervasive, saccharine, cloying chemical stink wafting off all the product would send me straight into anaphylactic shock.
Then there’s Lush.
I was put off by their tag line “fresh handmade cosmetics.” Seemed like they were capitalizing on the greenwashing and “artisnal” marketing cons.
I’ve not been inside the shop but I'm def intrigued. They carry a lot of skin cleansers, soaps and moisturizers in addition to eyeliners and lip colors.
I read more about them—from their planet mindfulness to their animal testing position.
We operate our own unique Supplier Specific Boycott, which states we will not buy any ingredient from any manufacturer or supplier that tests anything they produce on any animals for any reason
We Believe in making effective products from fresh organic* fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics.Interesting. The eye makeup page on the website talks about getting creative. The impression I get is that they see cosmetics as fun versus oh-my-god-don't-go-out-of-the-house-without-your-face-on necessities.
*We also believe words like “fresh” and “organic” have an honest meaning beyond marketing.
Huh. I guess all makeup manufacturers aren’t in the ego shaking, planet killing biz.