enjoying being a girl

Dressing-up and putting on make-up–isn’t that part and parcel of little girl fun? On her fifth birthday, my daughter received an endless platter of play eyeshadow, lipstick, lip gloss and shimmery nail polishes from a very “girly” buddy as a birthday gift. She loved putting the colors on, and I had some hearty chuckles as I looked at her heavily-laden blue eye lids and ultra-frosty lips. Her attitude was the icing on the cake: She looked good and she knew it!

With no desire to burst the bubble on the fun of playing grown-up, I’m exploring the better options when it comes to make-up, whether they’re for my children or for me. (I play grown-up too sometimes!) And indeed, it looks like they’re one and the same. The safer products are pretty expensive, so except for a bottle of nail polish, I won’t be buying them just for my kids. I am a good sharer, however, so on special occasions my daughters will get to enjoy an extra splash of color too.

  • That recognizable smell of nail polish is generated by the toxic fumes of evaporating chemical solvents including plasticizers (dibutyl phthalate), nervous system toxicants (toluene), alcohol, and carcinogenic chemicals (formaldehyde). Suncoat Water based Nail Polish is free of these chemicals, and comes in a pretty good range of colors made from natural pigments. Also, being water-based differentiates Suncoat from other phthalate-free polishes, making it even safer for kids.
  • While you might be skilled at applying cosmetics in powder form safely on yourself, keep them away from children, who can easily inhale them, damaging their lungs. Bare Minerals has no dyes, no chemicals, no fillers, no oils, no fragrances and no preservatives.
  • If you use a liquid or cream foundation and blush, choose from those that are water-based, avoiding the petroleum-based ones. This is a step in a better direction, however most foundations use synthetic colorants which can irritate skin.
  • Fragrance-free cosmetics are the best way to go so as to avoid neurotoxic or hormone-disrupting chemicals.

  • Lipstick can contain harmful impurities, including lead, that children swallow in small amounts. There are quite a few safer lipsticks on the market these days, but you will be willing to fork over just under $30 for a tube of pure, moisturizing color.
  • Making homemade lip balm with your kids can be a fun alternative, and it only takes 25 minutes to do. Add a natural flavoring oil (for example: peppermint, orange, cherry, or lemon) to make it more appealing to your kids.

Basic Lip Balm Formula

honey or glycerin

In a double boiler, cook oil and beeswax over medium heat until wax has melted. Remove from heat and stir in honey. Blend with a handheld mixer until creamy. Add flavoring oil to taste, stirring to combine.

Makes one-quarter cup.

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