I was never the type to wear lipstick. Even on special occasions, I thought a good lick of balm would do. I guess as far as makeup was concerned, I just had bigger problems (when you're trying to stop a mid-afternoon oil spill from ruining your foundation, getting the perfect matte lip is a laughable pipe dream). But then I moved from the (relative) tropics to London, where my skin promptly dried up and forget it ever had adult acne.
Right?! I was Jasmine meets flying carpet. A whole new world, people! Now I could experiment. After seeing a well-timed Glossier Insta post, with those models and their gorgeous pouts, I thought to myself, 'Can I do it? Is it possible?' Well, I was willing to find out. But there was that small issue of money. You see, the Rand-Pound exchange doesn't exactly allow for luxury...or vegetables, come to think of it.
Then I was strolling along Oxford Street* and came across a Boots. It was in that fateful store that I found the Boots' Natural Collection - an affordable, cruelty-free, vegan-friendly makeup line. All of the shades, you guys! 'Wait, this says it's £2.' They all said £2. £1.99 to be exact. I googled. 'Cruelty-free, huh.' I googled some more. 'Vegan friendly, hm.' Even more googling. 'Made in the EU.' I took three babies home.
Two moisturising lippies, one in 'Heather', another 'Rose Petal', and a tinted lip balm in 'Passionfruit Punch'. Now apart from being super inexpensive, these prods also look pretty, and wear well. Good colour, not cakey, just right. The downside? The lipsticks contain an EWG database 'moderately hazardous' ingredient, the preservative BHT. Also, Boots don't seem to have done enough front-facing marketing on this collection, so a lot of what we know about its ethical policies come from outside sources, from extrapolations on statements made about their other makeup ranges, and from the limited info that's on their website.
Their makeup also contains mica, which may not be mined responsibly (making Boots like many popular brands), though they have made this positive statement online. Then, it's important to note, too, that while these goodies contain ingredients like shea butter and castor oil, these aren't truly 'natural' products.
I don't reckon the last point is a convincing reason to shy from this collection. Natural doesn't equal safe, nor does it always mean 'better'. But that said, you might want to check your skin for a reaction to BHT, and pop Boots a line for further deets on their beliefs on social justice issues. You can reach them at email@example.com. This is what they have sent me:
Since last month, toofufu has committed to letting its readers know more about the products we feature on the blog. If an ingredient doesn't sit right with good, peer-reviewed sources, you'll know about it. In this post, you'll want to watch out for BHT, which gets a 'moderate' harm score on EWG. Learn more about it here.