I know that there are plenty of women out there who don’t see wearing make-up as a way of life.
And if you’re one of those people, I’m mad with jealousy. Because I’ve honestly really tried to stop wearing it regularly, but in the end I always keep going back.
I currently own more make-up than Boots, and I’m quite ashamed to admit to not really putting much thought into what’s in the make-up I plaster all over my face every day.
But alarmingly, after conducting a study, Bionsen, a company based in the UK, found that women apply a staggering 515 chemicals to their faces every single day.
When I read up about it, I discovered that the cosmetics industry uses thousands of synthetic chemicals in its products, in everything from lipstick and lotion to shampoo and shaving cream.
Many environmental safety groups encourage consumers to stop using cosmetic products that contain chemical ingredients like parabens and phalates, claiming that they are linked to adverse health effects like cancer and birth defects, but I am not here to scare-monger, I just find it an interesting subject.
There are so many cosmetic products available to us on the market, but dangerous or not, what do we really know about what’s in them?
My interest was furthered when I heard about a young Chester woman who regularly makes her own vegan make-up.
Natalie Pierce-Jones, 28, says she has always been ‘obsessed’ with cosmetics, ever since she started working at Superdrug while at university.
Six years ago she was making jewellery and selling it at Chester Market when she found a recipe for vegan lip balm, and at the time, thought she’d found ‘the holy grail’.
“At first I made a couple of batches just to fuel my own needs, but I ended up with a lot of extras so I gave them away to friends and family and was overwhelmed by the positive feedback,” explains Natalie.
“That compelled me to I start looking into the legalities of selling cosmetics, so after talking to the council, getting recipes and ingredients tested in a lab, I thought I’d go for it.”
Her online make-up business Fairypants was born, and after a year of successfully selling lip balm, Natalie gradually started widening her range, and now she adds an average of 3-5 new product lines each year, which includes lip balm, eyeshadows, nail varnish, perfume, lip scrub, lip paint and skincare items.”
Interestingly, Natalie says she doesn’t make her vegan products because of her own beliefs, but because she believes the high street does not offer enough diversity.
“It’s important for me that all my products are vegan and cruelty free,” she said.
“I try to make things that you can’t find in the shops – for example, I have never seen Rhubarb and Custard perfume before, and that is shocking!
“Which is exactly why Fairypants should be available on the high street – I sell mostly online, but I know I’m still not reaching all the people I could.
“And I think it’s about time anyone who does think carefully about what they put on their skin should be able to get them locally, on their own high street where they can touch them, smell them and try them on.”
Natalie gets all her ingredients from UK suppliers, and ensures they are all vegan, cruelty free and contain no nasties. She makes all the products herself, working around her full time job working at a local childrens hospice.
She said: “I’m planning on getting UK manufacturers this year to help me with demand, and I’m already working with a small business who will be helping me make all my nail varnishes.
“Our most popular product is our nail varnish, and we’ve just secured a relationship with a small factory here in the UK who have agreed to make them for us.
“We’re starting just with the one shade range – our speckly pastels. But as time goes on and we’re sure that it’s the right thing to do, we’ll invest more money in manufacturing.
“It’s very tiring sometimes, but I love it and can’t imagine doing anything else.”
- You can buy Natalie’s products at Chester Health Store on Bridge Street Row and Natalie also writes a blog about her products. Follow it here: fairypantshandmadeclothing.blogspot.co.uk.