No More Dirty Looks | The book that inspired me to clean up my beauty kit
Guest post by makeup artist and organic beauty expert Lou Dartford
I’ve had a keen interest in healthy and green living since my early teenage years.
I have a thing for health shops – I could quite easily spend a lot of my time and money in them.
I remember my first natural beauty product. It was a body lotion and it took ages to rub into the skin, and even then it didn’t absorb properly. Undeterred I continued to experiment with natural and organic products on myself. In recent years, I started to notice a difference in the quality and the textures. The products were becoming more refined to the point that I started to use natural skincare in my professional make-up kit. The one that I use for People Tree shoots today!
As I experienced the possibilities of the natural products, I also started to see the darker side to the conventional beauty industry. Surrounded by make-up every day, I started to question what I was using. I realised that the key elements of many products in my kit had unsavoury ingredients and disregard for the environment.
I made a conscious decision to try and make my kit as clean, green and ethical as possible. It hasn’t been an easy task, but green technology is advancing and the performance of the cleaner brands is getting better and better. There has been a significant improvement in make-up over the last couple of years. Natural and organic brands are becoming more mainstream. I think this is partly due to the increased awareness of suspect ingredients, but also these products can now compete with the other mainstream brands.
As I’ve been building my greener kit, I’ve met many women along the way who are also trying to use cleaner beauty products. One book I always recommend to help the process is ‘No More Dirty Looks’ by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt. The book reveals ‘The truth about your beauty products and the ultimate guide to safe and clean cosmetics’. For those that haven’t started the switch yet, this book is often the catalyst.
After an introduction to the not-so-wonderful fact that the beauty industry is ridiculously unregulated, Siobhan and Alexandra give a list of what they deem to be dirty ingredients, explaining why and what they are used for. The rest of the book is then split into sections with more in-depth information and good quality alternative products to use on your hair, skin and nails. When I first discovered it, I read it cover to cover and then again. I continue to read it, dipping in and out of chapters, using it as a refresher and a reference book.
I like it because it is extremely informative, offering essential advice that every women should know. The book takes a realistic approach and gives many options to suit all. On writing the book, Siobhan and Alexandra enlisted four experts – two toxicologists, a chemist and a dermatologist. Each comes from a different school of thought. The book offers a balanced view from all sides of the debate.
Alongside the book, sits the extremely popular ‘No More Dirty Looks’ blog, featuring regular product reviews as well as ingredient and research updates.
Don’t just read the posts though, cast your eyes down through the comments thread and you’ll find lots of interesting views and information from other like-minded women, all on the search for cleaner beauty, the way it should be.