Boo: The Scary Side of Wedding Makeup

While you may be thinking we’re about to show you a photographic essay of smudged lipstick, mascara-stained cheeks, and a face so bronzed you’d assume the bride was heading to a side gig as a Living Statue after her reception, we actually want to talk about the scary side of wedding makeup that you can’t see.

Did you know that in the US, the FDA has only banned or restricted the use of eleven chemicals in cosmetic products? When you compare this to the over 1,300 chemicals regulated by the EU, it kind of makes your head spin, doesn’t it?

While the state of California recently signed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act that banned an additional 24 ingredients in products sold there, at this point in time, it’s pretty much up to us as consumers to make sure what we’re putting on our skin is as safe as possible.

Why the concern? A lot of the EU’s 1,300 banned or restricted chemicals are linked to skin and respiratory allergies, and many of them are known endocrine disruptors and/or carcinogenic. (This means they’re going to mess with your hormones and potentially cause cancer.)

To help you find the safest cosmetics for your wedding day (and always), we’ll go over:

  • What chemicals you should avoid in makeup and why
  • How to know if your wedding makeup is safe
  • Where to find clean wedding makeup on the North Shore

Scroll down to learn more!

What Chemicals Should I Avoid In Makeup And Why?

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, you should avoid the following ingredients because they’ve been linked to endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity and/or skin, eye and respiratory irritation. There are also concerns for bioaccumulation and ecotoxicity.

Ingredients to Avoid in Makeup

  • BHA & BHT
  • Ethanolamine Compounds (MEA, DEA, TEA AND OTHERS)
  • Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (such as Quaternium-15)
  • Lead
  • Parabens
  • Petrochemicals
  • Phthalates
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Talc
  • Triclosan

Click here to learn more about all the known chemicals and contaminants to avoid.

How Do I Know If My Wedding Makeup Is Safe?

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not as easy as reading an ingredient list because toxic chemicals are really good at lurking under confusing names. Furthermore, sometimes the chemical you’re trying to avoid is actually a contaminate from another chemical, so it won’t be listed… Sneaky, we know.

Don’t fret though! Since 1994, the amazingly wonderful Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been working diligently to shine a spotlight on outdated legislation, harmful agricultural practices and industry loopholes that pose a risk to our health and the health of our environment. While their work certainly covers the use of pesticides in food, the presence of forever chemicals in water and toxins in cleaning products, they also have a huge sector dedicated to finding safe cosmetics and personal care products.

In 2004, they actually launched EWG’s Skin Deep® cosmetic database which not only goes into detail on which chemicals you should be avoiding and why, but they also have a super easy to understand danger-rating system for nearly 70,000 products and 9,000 ingredients on the market.

Further to using their website tto learn more about what could be lurking in your makeup and wreaking havoc on your body, EWG also has a EWG VERIFIED™ certification that a product can hold.

What does the EWG VERIFIED™ mark mean?

“The EWG VERIFIED™ mark on a product indicates that the product meets EWG’s strictest standards for transparency and health.

EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain any ingredients on EWG’s “Unacceptable” list, which includes ingredients with health, ecotoxicity and/or contamination concerns.

EWG VERIFIED products must meet EWG’s standards for ingredient disclosure on the label; products with the VERIFIED mark are made by manufacturers that have been fully transparent with EWG about that product’s ingredients, including fragrance ingredients.

EWG VERIFIED product manufacturers must develop and follow current good manufacturing practices to further ensure the safety of their products.”

Click here to learn more about EWG and Skin Deep ratings here.

Where Can I Find Clean Wedding Makeup in the North Shore?

If you’re getting married on the North Shore and want clean hair and makeup services, you’ve come to the right place. At Bryony & Birch, we’re passionate about only using products that are kind to our bodies both outside and in.

When you book your wedding hair and/or wedding makeup with Bryony & Birch, you’ll get to choose from brands like RPM, Sachajuan, Mr. Smith, Color.Me by Kevin Murphy, and Cezanne.

Click here to learn more about the brands Bryony & Birch carries.

How Does a Year of Pre-wedding Bliss Sound?

Pretty good, right?

Planning a wedding is stressful! From trying to pick a venue to having to select a menu that caters to allergies, intolerances and religious practices, it takes up more headspace than you think!
As a collective of hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers and videographers who’ve been in the North Shore wedding game a long time, we’ve actually put our brains together to create the type of wedding prep package we know we’d want and need before our big day.
The Bryony Bridal Experience includes tailored packages with services like:

  • Health and fitness: yoga, personal training, reiki and crystal healing
  • Hair prep: color correction
  • Wedding party hair: bride, bridesmaids and flower girl
  • Makeup services: upon request
  • Customizable photo & video packages: engagement, ceremony and reception

It doesn’t matter if you live in Amesbury, Newburyport, or Boston, you can easily tailor a Bryony Bridal Experience to suit your needs.

Click here to learn more about how we can give you a year of pre-wedding bliss!

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