Monday, January 26, 2009

Being An Environmentalist Girly-Girl

I've read with interest la Crunchita's experiment with no-poo, and I have to admit, I was a little relieved when she gave it up.

Because, well, everyone is always going on about how part of being an environmentalist is accepting one's own natural beauty and not worrying about make-up, or dying one's hair, or any of the other superficial things we ladies do to enhance our outer beauty. Environmentalism is all about remembering that it's the INNER beauty that counts.

Yeah, well, eff inner beauty! Sometimes a girl wants to look pretty. You know ON THE OUTSIDE. WHERE EVERYONE CAN SEE HER!!

So yeah, I use Dr. Bronner's bar soap on my hair, but I also throw a dime-size dollop of organic conditioner on it. And because I wash my hair only once or twice a week, I now straighten it (yes using an electric straightening iron) so that it doesn't look frizzy-scary the other 5-6 days.

I use Tom's of Maine deodorant (which I swear doesn't do anything, but luckily I am not that sweaty a person, so I think a deodorant is more of a placebo for me than anything) and organic chapstick (which comes in a plastic tube.)

But I also use M.A.C. lipstick and Estee Lauder eyeliner. 

And while I have given up my lovely liquid body wash, and those nylon spongey things that come with them, I still use a cream face wash in a plastic bottle. And yes, my cream face wash is super non-organic and comes from Neutrogena. Because, folks, I tried all the hippy face washes, and my face kept getting more and more broken out.

And, the fact of the matter is, this little blogger is a wee bit vain. And so I really didn't like living with the acne, especially after years of being told that my skin was amazing. So, I went back to the Neutrogena face wash. And my face immediately cleared up. And I was happy. 

All this to say that there are many things I will do for the environment. I'll give up shaving cream, and shampoo, and I'm not bleaching my hair even though I desperately want red highlights. 

But the face wash stays. And you can pry my eyeliner out of my cold, dead hands.


Farmer's Daughter said...

I hear ya!!!

I may not be dying my hair, but I'm already looking up homemade lighteners. I'm imagining myself getting attacked by bees after putting on one of those homemade concoctions and going out in the sun to lighten it.

I use Honeybee Gardens eyeliner, and I really like it. Like you, giving up eyeliner is a deal breaker for me.

Also like you, I used Neutrogena face wash and quit... since then I've used every kind of natural/organic wash I can find, and I keep breaking out! I used to have really nice skin. I'm currently trying a homemade scrub with coconut oil, brown sugar, vanilla and honey. If it works for me I'll post the recipe. But I'm thinking about going back to Neutrogena now that I hear your face cleared right up!

Katy said...

On the break out note, I have always had acne issues. But when I started using Dr. Bronner's w/tea tree oil my face cleared up. I have never looked this good.

But on the other hand, I gave up on Dr. Bronner's as a shampoo and went back to my old ways. My hair just never "felt" clean. Also with normal shampoo I wash my hair once a week, but with Dr. Bronners I felt like I needed to wash every day.

Sam said...

Well I've whined quite a bit about the deos not working for me nor the shampoo. And now I've decided to focus on this "style" thing that I never did before. I mean, fine the planet is burning up, but I think I want to look good while I'm ranting and composting.

I'm not giving up my eyeliner either (I bought the one that the cosmestics database recommended and the thing flakes off after a few hours. Very annoying).

ruchi said...

Abbie, yeah, sometimes you gotta throw your hands up in the air and go with the Neutrogena and its evil chemical mix.

Katy, interesting. I think it's because my hair is curly and thick that the shampoo thing isn't as big an issue for me. The difference in my hair is more due to after products, like the leave in conditioner I use, than what I wash with.

And Beany, "I mean, fine the planet is burning up, but I think I want to look good while I'm ranting and composting." AHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Laughing my ASS off. This is why I love you.

Jamie D. said...

I switched over to mineral makeup, and that includes eyeliner. That stuff sticks like nothing else - it's the hardest part of my makeup to get off at night! But I'm happy with it, and feel good that it has no chemicals in it. I wear makeup daily, even though the minerals come packaged in...plastic, of course. But I work in an office - sometimes you just have to fit in! And sometimes people are more apt to listen to eco-friendly suggestions when we don't all look like hippies.

I sometimes dye my hair (nice big white streak in front that people tend to comment on), but I use a henna/indigo dye, and finally found one that doesn't itch much (as in not past the next day). I never dyed my hair before just because of the potential health issues, I feel pretty safe with the Henna/indigo mix.

We still have to live with everyone else on the planet - no sense in looking like bums while we do it!

Green Resolutions said...

that's quite a grip on the eyeliner! you and beany are so funny!

i'm not giving up the mascara (and i use the old stuff b/c i haven't been able to justify $20 for the organic/all natural/whatever) especially since i don't know that it will work! but i am willing to try some of the other stuff.

i keep hearing about dr. bronner's. i'm going to have to watch for it... although i have been buying bar soap locally and it smells delicious :)

EcoBurban said...

I with you! Part of feeling super-confident and completely knowledgable when I'm up in front of a room of 100 people? Knowing my eye liner is on straight and my hair isn't a frizz-a-riffic helmet. I know, that's shallow, but I'm comfy with it.

My moisturizer is Burts Bees, my body wash went out the door for handmade bar soap and I completely gave up on shaving cream. The Aveda shampoo and conditioner stays. So does the liquid eyeliner and mascara. I won't leave the house without "putting my eyes on" as my kids say!

Oh, and, just so ya know? I dye my hair. Vanity... What a girl won't do!

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

I wear make-up like once every few years... I've just never got into the habit, and I'm far too old now to start experimenting and looking like an idiot the way I should have done when I was 13! And I've always been lucky with my skin. BUT I will not give up my Factor 15moisturiser - I have Celtic skin and have already had to have a mole removed from my arm, so yeah, don't take away my sun screen in the summer either. And my hair needs the leave-in products too.

Spot-On said...

I used Dr Bronner bars for shampoo but use envio friendly conditioner otherwise I just can't put a brush through it after. I do water the conditioner down, so I don't have to use as much.
Don't wear make-up often, on the occasions I do I use the stuff I've had for ages. Recently got new foundation/powder as my coloring has changed living in the sunshine, and like Cath I like mine to have SPF etc.
I also use SPF cream in summer here, spray-on, water resistant in plastic containers cos whats the point otherwise? I don't want cancer (again). I do see that there are green ones now which I may try this year once the other one runs out.
Face wash, currently I don't use any and my face is clearer than it has been in YEARS. If I do break out I use desert essence tea tree oil and awumphui face wash, excellent stuff!
Deodorant, I use Secret. Cos it's leftover from my pre-green days. I have 2 left. Once gone I'll be searching out green options. Gonna have to be good to compete in the summer here though!

Jennifer said...

I found Tom's of Maine did nothing for me, either... but I AM a sweaty, stinky woman. I'm using men's deoderant (not antipersperant) right now, but would try something else out if I could find it cheap.

For me, you will pry my hair junk/pomade stuff out of my fingers. I just love my hair 1 inch long, and it needs texture!

Willo said...

It's great to hear another (very funny) perspective. I think sometimes we forget to be proud of what we DO do.

Kim said...

I was also a die-hard neutrogena girl, and felt very conflicted when I gave it up and nothing else was working. I started breaking out like crazy. So then I went back to the neutrogena (and was feeling really neurotic about it, how bad all the chemicals are, the plastic, etc...) but I kept with it until I discovered Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Cleansing Cream-- And, I LOVE IT! It still comes in the dreaded plastic container, but is less nefarious than neutrogena (though they are now owned by Clorox :-/)

I might be crazy, but the plastic was getting to me again, so I picked up a bar of Burt's Bees Garden Tomatoe Complexion Soap. I haven't used it yet, but I'm almost out of the cream, and when I am, I'm going to give the bar a go for a while. Maybe it will work well and I'll be down one more plastic container!

If it doesn't work...well, I'll probably go back to the cream, plastic container and all...

Meg said...

LOL! I'm an environmentalist girly-girl, too -- and a girly-girly frugalite, too. So I definitely feel your pain! The way I see it, yes I want to do my part and be an example to others but an example that other people feel that they can follow without too many sacrifices (I don't mind some sacrifices, but I prefer tradeoffs to sacrifices any day).

I buy a local tea-tree oil shampoo that's all natural and that's all I use in my hair. I don't use conditioner (except once I did use coconut oil for deep conditioning and that stuff is great if you can get most of it out afterwards). I wish they sold it nationally because my hair has never been in better shape even though I do blow-dry and iron it sometimes.

I also use the shampoo for other things. For example, I use it to remove makeup (from self and brushes) and to shave, too. I use some on my body and face as needed, but I've learned that most of the time you really don't have to suds up all over by the time you're done washing your hair.

For deodorant, I use one of those salt block things. If you haven't, you should try one. In a pinch, I've gotten a few days use out of one use and they do last a loooooong time.

For teeth, I use Ipsab powder. It also lasts forever it seems. My mouth has never felt cleaner and my teeth have stayed white even though I drink lots of tea.

Fortunately, I don't have very dry skin (and I don't overwash), so I generally don't moisturize except as part of the tinted moisturizer I use.

I tried to switch to more organic makeups, but I was sadly disappointed by several products. I might try some more later, but right now I'm content to use regular makeup, especially since I don't wear it every single day. When I go out, though, I do like wearing makeup because I know that I look better and especially less tired -- and that makes me feel better. It's not that I look horrible without it, but there is a notable difference -- and yes, people treat me a little differently, too.

Robj98168 said...

LOL Ruchi you are too funny. I would never have thought someone could use Chuck Heston's NRA speech for eyeliner. But I hear ya- I am not giving up my Dr. Bonner's Soap (I son;'t use shampoo on my bald head or am I giving up my fridgidaire- I need cold milk! If someone comes out with some type of solar powered super fridge then no question.

Green Bean said...

Oh yeah, sister! I've given up some stuff but, really, there are some pretty decent alternatives out there and I don't want to look like a total dowd. I have a few homemade natural alteratives and I've given up a few things. For mascara and powder - which I only wear every so often - I found ones that work pretty well and, packaging aside, are fairly environmentally friendly. My contact lenses? So keeping those.

Eliane said...

I'm not too bad I suppose, but mostly because I don't wear makeup often, can't be bothered to do much to my hair apart from wash it, and don't spend enough time in the shower or bath to justify scrubs etc. Stuff like that lasts a long time round here, and fortunately I'm in the country, where mud and wellies rule.

But I'm not giving up my daily disposable contact lenses, or my Shalimar perfume, or my super-strength sun cream in the summer.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Contact lenses! I am NOT going back to glasses. I have the ones I can wear for 14 days in a row.

Anonymous said...

We all have our own ways of making a lower impact, Ruchi. For me, using straight soap doesn't work. My hair feels so ick. But the baking soda works like a charm, and I look BETTER using it.

And my face is happier using straight liquid soap than anything else. And that same soap works better for shaving cream than any shaving cream I've ever used. And I like to think I look better without eyeliner, too. I'm just sayin' - we're all vain but in different ways.

Stephanie said...

I'm way late to the party but YES. I was advised a while ago to not wear make up because it'll make me break out !!1!1! and my skin might not adjust! and I should just use plain soap and water for my acne! but seriously, nothing works to keep my face from breaking out so why bother? If I want to wear some mascara and lip gloss for an evening out, I am going to do it even if it isn't environmentally friendly. At least I use jojoba oil to take off the mascara later (because I would never buy makeup remover since I don't wear it often enough).

Buy Tamiflu said...

There are a lot of women with inferiority complex. Make up is just an attempt to defend yourself from the world