Monday, August 13, 2007

The road to hell is paved with lip balm.


I intend to buy absolutely nothing, but life has other ideas. I invariably make it almost one week before realizing that I have run out of some little necessity. This week it was Carmex. Some might argue that cosmetics are not a necessity, but my flaky, cracked lips beg to differ.

The preferred lip remedy of the outdoorsy set, Carmex is easy to find here in the Pacific Northwest, even if you refuse to patronize the Walmart/Target/ShopKo sort of establishment. It took me a grand total of one stop at a locally owned grocery store less than five blocks from my home. Not exactly the quest for the holy grail. I was in line with a handful of the yellow plastic tubes before I thought to check where Carmex is made. Hint: it’s not Yakima. Duh. Well, I can live that if there is no local alternative, but it’s not organic either, and I have no idea how it is manufactured. For all I knew, the stuff is made by Exxon-Mobil and tested on genetically modified baby bunnies that are then dumped into Lake Tahoe. So I put it back.

(For the record, later research revealed that Carmex is small family-owned business that tests its products on said family, but you cannot be too careful! Read before you buy!)

Luckily I was in Rosauer’s, which is my absolute favoritest grocery store because it is local and has a HUGE organic section. That’s where I discovered Burt’s Bees. Of course we’ve all seen the brand before, but it hadn’t made a blip on my radar until then. I grabbed one of their tinted lip shimmers--oooh, pretty!--and balked at the price before buying it anyway. With all the tingly moisture of Carmex plus just enough color to ensure my husband and stepsons don’t steal it, this stuff is worth every one of those four hundred pennies. Burt and his apian friends also make baby supplies and just about everything my family keeps in our bathroom cupboard. The products are not made in Yakima, but they are organic, and I don’t care how the bees are treated because I am allergic to the little buggers. In fact, I get a sick pleasure out of using the fruits of their labor to my own benefit.

Of course Woman cannot live on lip shimmers alone. I wear mineral face powder and mascara on a daily basis, plus eyeliner and various lip/cheek/eyelid/whatever coloring products when I leave the house. Because I’ve never met a Sephora I didn’t like, I will probably make it to the end of my six month buy-nothing pledge (and then some) before depleting my considerable supplies, but when they do run out I will replace them with the earth- and critter-friendly products I discovered at the links below.

Juice Beauty
Care by Stella McCartney
L’Occitane Woohoo! Already one of my faves!

On a side note, an unexpected benefit of buying little is that we produce so much less waste. My household of seven is down to one small garbage can or less every week--not the big green dumpster, but the normal cans that everyone used to use. That’s with a baby in disposables! We’re still paying for two cans, but I at least have the satisfaction of seeing a tangible difference every week. Easier on the landfill and easier to drag to and from the main road!