Could You Go Product-Free?


BellaSugar goes off the product grid.


Whenever people hear that I write about eco beauty trends, chemicals in personal care products, and the like, they immediately want to know what products I use and why. (And I have to explain that Beauty Schooled isn’t the right place for product reviews, which you already know because you read this.) Then they want to know if I make my own beauty products. And then they get all puzzled when I start laughing uproariously.

The truth is, I’m rather suspicious of all you homemade beauty groupies, what with your whisking up batches of gluten-free egg white facials and your achieving of obnoxiously shiny hair using only mint tea and pure thoughts. I swear I’m not DIY phobic. I can knit, make granola, and install Elfa shelving before you can say Martha Stewart. But let’s face it, half the fun of beauty products is the pretty packaging. I like the way the yummy chocolate brown Pangea Organic bottles look in my bathroom. (No that wasn’t an endorsement, I didn’t tell you whether they worked, just, let’s all agree that they’ve hired some wicked good bottle designers.) In fact, the packaging might be more than half the fun, considering how often a product doesn’t quite work as well as you hoped it would. “This Mary Kay Satin Lips treatment seems to be making my lips more chapped, not less,” I’ll think. “But damn if it doesn’t look cute in my purse.”

There’s just something so comparatively unglamorous about fussing around with smushed bananas and storing your concoctions in sad little jam jars with peeling labels. Been to that sleepover, have the frozen bra and the acne scars to prove it. Which is why I am so enjoying BellaSugar’s attempt to go cold turkey on cosmetic chemicals for a month. While DIY converts usually can’t stop raving about how their mango smoothie blah-blah-bored-now smells sooo delicious, one week in to this blogger’s experiment, her husband was calling her “little rennet,” as in cheese, and asking if she’s bathed in fish and chips. Yep, that sounds more like it. She posted the week 2 update yesterday and seems to be turning a corner, but is still struggling with greasy hair and under-eye circles. Sigh.

Okay, so let me have it. Parabens, mindless consumerism, unhelpful stereotypes about people who make granola and don’t shower, oh my! I do know, I promise. And I sort of love you for shaving your legs with peanut butter. I’ll even direct you to some helpful resources, like iheartdaily’s review of Ecobeauty by Lauren & Janice Cox, and green JolieNadine correspondent Katherine McKenney’s terrific ItsaNaturalBeauty YouTube channel.

But for the love of Sephora, don’t ask me to do anything with my peanut butter besides eat it.



Filed under Beauty Schooled, Ingredients, products

3 responses to “Could You Go Product-Free?

  1. Katie

    On going product-free and the general concept of social beauty pressures:

    My grandparents live in a remote area and my family stays with them for part of the summer. While we’re there, we go largely product free. It’s not much of a conscious choice. After a day or two, there just seems to be little point. We’re often swimming, so everything washes off quickly. If I could swim every day (the river there can get quite cold, even in July), I would stop showering while there.

    The funny thing is that we all still pack a lot of beauty products to bring with us. Part of it is habit, but most of it is the thought that we might make the hour and a half trip to the closest town and could be SEEN. Once we find out that we’re going to town–or worse, Sturgeon Falls–my sister and I suddenly fight for space in front of our 10 x 18 inch mirror, carefully applying mascara because a whole 10 people might see us. And we want to be pretty.

  2. I agree that the packaging is fun, and cute. But, now, when I see aisle upon aisle of beauty products, all I see are the countless chemicals staring back at me. And I move on.

    I suppose I am largely product free. Just sort of happened. Don’t wear make up with any sort of regularity; don’t use product in my hair; don’t use conventional stuff on my face (wash or moisturize). Oh, I am using the crystal-rock deodorant, though. Does that count?

  3. Pingback: Pretty Price Check (01.07.11) | Beauty Schooled

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