How to be a conscious consumer while avoiding the ‘seller stare’ (Love the Label)

A few months ago I found myself in the Georgian mall in Barrie, ON. While shopping, I came across a kiosk named “Micabella.” Always on the lookout for organic, mineral makeup, I decided to ask the salesperson for clarification of their guaranteed “100% natural mineral makeup."

I understand completely that the words “organic” “natural” and “pure” are not regulated by any industry or governmental organization; therefore I was skeptical when I read this Micabella guarantee. The saleslady went on to explain that mica is a mineral from rocks, basically, that is used as a colorant in cosmetics. She wasn’t far off.

The Skin Deep Database lists “mica” as a “type of highly brittle silicate mineral with diverse chemical composition.” It is rated a ‘3’ on the database, linked to allergies with some other moderate concerns. I asked the saleslady for one of the many incredibly high pigmented and sparkly eye shadows to check the ingredients list. There was only 1 ingredient: mica; however the makeup may contain titanium dioxide and carmine. Titanium dioxide is a “low hazard” chemical unless airborne, and carmine was also listed as low hazard. To be honest, this claim of “100% mineral makeup” didn’t seem so far off. The ingredients were not linked to cancer or developmental toxicity. The worst thing associated with it was the potential for an allergic reaction. I decided to purchase 3 of these eyeshadows. I also explained to the saleslady about the Love the Label campaign and how we wish to support Canadian Organic companies that sell toxin-free cosmetics and personal care products. The saleslady gave me her contact number, and seemed very excited about the campaign. I left with a good feeling: I felt I made a healthy purchase and also found a healthy company to purchase makeup from …

In late October, I found myself travelling down south again, and decided to stop in to the Georgian Mall. I thought it would be nice to stop by the Micabella kiosk. I was very quickly approached by a new saleslady who in a blink of an eye had coated my hand with at least 10 different shades from the various eyeshadows. She hastily ignored my explanation of my campaign, and continued to push the Micabella products down my throat! She tried to enhance her sale by cutting me a deal: if I purchased a $55 eye primer, she would give me 2 eyeshadows for free. I quickly asked to see the ingredients in the eye primer. The first ingredient was a siloxane! I had to refuse this product.

She then quickly moved on to another product: a “vita-c exfoliating peeling gel.” Well, what could that possibly be? She pulled my hand out and began rubbing this unknown substance onto my hand. I grabbed the bottle and found out she was lathering me with butylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, polysorbates, parabens, disodium EDTA, and more! I explained that these chemicals were the farthest from being “all-natural.”

The manager, a man, then came up and explained to me that things like parabens aren’t in fact dangerous because they only sit on your skin for a short period of time. I had enough! I was sick of this parade of chemicals being danced in front of me.

I must admit, since working on the Love the Label campaign, I have become increasingly aware of good and bad ingredients, not to mention marketing gimmicks! And yet I still felt pressured by this “seller stare.” I was knowledgeable enough to refuse her attempts to sell me these questionable products, but then I realized that the majority of men and women hoping to make a decent purchase may fall victim to the pressures placed on them by salespeople. And this is the job of salespeople: to make a sale! That Micabella saleslady did not care at all about what I was explaining to her and what products I didn’t want to buy. She needed to make money, but because of my understanding of cosmetic ingredients I was able to avoid making a bad purchase.

This is the wisdom I wish to impart to everyone: do your research and read your labels! When you purchase a product, you are voting with your dollar. You are choosing that company for their products and investing in chemicals you may not even know are there, not to mention how they can affect your health. It is now more important than ever to be a skeptical and conscious consumer. Our laws are not strong enough yet to protect us, therefore our health is in our hands. I encourage you to check the “Toxic Twenty” list on and see if these chemicals are in your products. If they are, throw those products away!

Love the Label … xoxo

Advocated for Truth and Nature


More on mineral makeup

Great article Marina!

While mica may only get a 3, however, you should check out what Dr.Oz has to say about mineral makeup in general. He rates it in the TOP 3 cosmetics to avoid.

He says this:

"Mineral makeup is a big trend. Made from minerals such as mica, which are used for industrial purposes as well, these tiny particles are a thousand times smaller than predecessors from even 10 years ago. Their small size makes for a smoother, more flawless look, but it has one serious unintended consequence. The particles are so tiny they fall quickly through the air and can be inhaled easily into your lungs. When construction workers use mica in products such as spackle, they wear masks to protect their lungs from scarring over time. Though there are no studies showing damage from makeup use to date, experts say the long-term use and inhalation of minerals in makeup can lead to inflammation, irritation and lung disease in women and girls."

Dr. Oz suggests choosing liquid-based foundation with shimmer or a cream blush or bronzer to get the same effect. If you must use powder, select a pressed powder and open a window when you apply it.

You can find more about his recommendations here in The Price of Beauty.

Thanks for the great post!

Thanks for the reply!

That's very interesting. The majority of articles and books I've read of the subject of Green Beauty actually tell us to avoid any kind of cream-based makeup and foundation based on the preservatives that have to keep them going. Although I totally understand the implications of the 'dust' that mineral makeup creates, the makeup I use is separated by two barriers: an underlayer with the makeup, and then 3 tiny holes that dispense the mineral makeup on top. I do not normally have a problem with it "bursting" in my face, so to say, when I open the lid. I'll definitely look more into it, I did remember hearing that Mica-based products can be tainted if handled improperly, by the manufacturer, but since my Micabella crisis, I've turned to homemade independent mineral makeup from British Columbia that I know is not tainted in the manufacturing process (mostly because she makes it in her home!).

Interesting article but...

Indeed micas do not come in a myriad of saturated fashionable colors naturally. The truth is that the process used to coat micas to offer a variety of colors involves many additives which you will never see on ingredient lists lol The other important factor to consider is that the fine powder of micas does not need to "burst" in your face for you to be breathing it is. If things were so simple, life life would be a dream hehehe The fact is that minute amounts are in the air, smaller than you can see them and that is what you will breathe in, It does not matter how carefully you open the container either. The traditional make-up has a much longer safety assesment and though many people do not want to hear it, GREEN WASHING is a big industry now and it loves to make money out of exploiting your fears.

What makeup do you use then?

What makeup do you use then?

the price of beauty

It is a well known fact that many women like to wear make up but as the blog post suggests we are wise to investigate ingredients and choose the safest you can afford. I use Miessence cosmetics which I offer to clients when helping them detox synthetic chemicals from their life. I use their mineral blusher and whilst it does contains mica I feel it is a choice that sits well with me as I would prefer mica to many silicone derivatives such as dimethicone or cyclomethicone often found in regular foundation, for example. I have even seen some foundations with PFTE (non-stick coating)! We can ultimately only do our best and becoming an ingredient detective is a great way to empower yourself and avoid being duped by slick marketing.

You are right! We all need to

You are right! We all need to become chemical detectives because the companies are not making it easy for you, and they do lots of things to obfuscate the truth!

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