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Category — Brands

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Mascara Review

To say that I was buying my new Organic Wear Mascara with fear and trepidation is an understatement of the century. I have long ago learned that getting the mascara right is the toughest task for the natural makeup industry.

And I really needed a mascara. No room for error.

So I went to Wal-Mart. Because they have the best return policy. Just in case.

And I bought a regular big-brand mascara as well. Just in case.

So yah, I was one biased customer.

But I worried for nothing. The mascara IS good. For me, at least. But if you want to know more details, here is the really detailed review:

Product Name:

Organic Wear Mascara, by Physician’s Formula, also referred to as Natural Origin Mascara

About the brand:

Organic Wear is a Brand created by Physician’s Formula. You can read my Physician’s Formula brand overview here.

Price:

I paid just over $14 Canadian. It is about 10US dollars in the US.

Certifications:

EcoCert Certified Organic.

Packaging:

This is one of the most innovative packaging to hit the mascara world in a long time. The tube and handle are stylized with the handle looking like some kind of leaf. The brush itself is very flexible, which I think is a pro – it was easy to reach all the lashes. The brush is also 100% recyclable, which is a bonus.

Reading the ingredients:

The packaging says that 100% of ingredients are of Natural Origin and 47% are Organic. Which is commendable given that EcoCert requires only 10% of ingredients to be Organic and 95% to be natural. Basically, Organic Wear is taking its “natural” and “organic” claims seriously.

Reading the insert (or Other claims):

The back of the box is dedicated to 100%. It list a whole set of features for which Organic Wear Mascara scored a 100:

100% Natural Origin Mascara
100% Free of Synthtetic Solvents
100% Natural Origin Biopolymers – for clump free lashes
100% Natural Origin Preservatives
100% Natural Origin Rice Protein & Organic Tapioca Starch – naturally boost volume. Organic Beeswax 00 for a buildable formula.
100% Natural Origin Color Pigments
100% Free of Petroleum By Products.

It’s also 100% Cruelty Free.

It’s also hypoallergenic and fragrance free.

Scent:

I’ve read some other reviews where users have complained about the smell. Granted, it doesn’t smell like roses. It is fragrance-free, after all. But it doesn’t smell awful either. And it’s going on your lashes, not your nose. (Though I did smudge my nose while doing the smell test – it still didn’t bother me.)

Performance:

I applied it very carefully and had no clumps or smudges. It looked very natural on my lashes. I didn’t even feel the need for a second coat. After I applied it I accidentally hit the lashes with my finger and a couple of them stuck together – I used the brush to separate them without any issues. I didn’t smudge – I wore it for most of the day and didn’t have any problems. The next day I did two coats (very nice lashy look) and even a few time scratched my eye (carefully) – still no smudging.

Tip: to ensure perfect distribution and no clumping use an eyebrow brush or a toothpick to separate lashes you accidentally stuck together… But make sure you don’t poke your eye!

Verdict:

For such a low price (as far as organic mascaras go) this mascara is outperforming all expectations. No, it’s not water-proof – no does it claim to be. If you are going out in the rain or are headed for a serious sweat at the gym, this might not be for you. But for an everyday normal application it’s perfect.

I liked it. I liked it a lot. I’m keeping it for sure. The mainstream brand backup package is going back to Wal-Mart…

P.S: If you live in the USA, for a limited time (till the end of 2009) you can get a rebate on this mascara. Here is a rebate form from the company’s site: http://www.physiciansformula.com/rebates/2009/ow-mascara-rebate.pdf

April 20, 2009   35 Comments

Lead in Lipstick – Another Reason to Go Organic

There used to be a time when we thought that lead in lipstick was an urban myth. Women bought bright shades of lipstick and dismissed all notion that this proven neurotoxin, which accumulates in human body over time, is hiding in their favourite red tube.

But then the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report in October of 2007. 61 percent of brand named lipsticks tested contained lead! And of course, none of them listed it as an ingredient.

How’s that for busting the “myth” part of this “urban myth”?

Among the top brands that were found to contain lead where L’Oreal (with L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” coming in with a whopping 0.65 particles per million), Cover Girl (Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” – 0.56 ppm), Christian Dior (Addict Positive Red – 0.28 ppm) and others…

Lead is a proven neurotoxin. It also easily crosses the placenta, making pregnant women and their children especially vulnerable. But how many women stop using their favorite lipstick when they are pregnant?

Health Canada followed up the study with their own tests. The lipsticks in their samples contained levels of lead from 0.079 to 0.84 ppm. One lipstick had 6.3 ppm! Though, naturally, the brand was not disclosed. Go figure.

The Canadian government had the audacity to claim that the amounts were safe. Despite the fact that there is a growing amount of scientific evidence that there is no such thing as safe amount of lead. Because lead builds up over time. It doesn’t disappear. And when it comes to lipstick – women don’t apply it once in their lifetime. Some estimate that women eat about 4 pounds of lipstick in a lifetime.

As “safe” as lead is supposed to be, the acceptable level for candy is 0.1ppm. But there isn’t much regulation for lipstick.

And when somebody tries to regulate it, the big lobby guns come out. Despite passing the full California Senate, a bill that would ban lead in lipstick was defeated in the Assembly Health Committee, caving to the mega pressure from the cosmetics lobby. The swarm of lobbyists and big name executives from the likes of Revlon, Estee Lauder and Johnson & Johnson proved to be too much.

What a brave new world we live in. Where a few dollars here and there trump any health concern. Cause dollars must be so much more important…

So where does it leave the consumer?

Doing our own homework. Searching, sharing information, supporting those who try to do well by us.

Seeking out organic makeup and organic lipstick is a way to protect ourselves, our friends and our kids. Chasing the mighty dollar these companies forgot that their customers are human with biological bodies and health concern. They feel no responsibility towards us, but feel secure that we’ll let it stand and use their products cause we need it.

They are wrong. We value our health more than their over marketed poison tubes. And we know there are better options. Truly organic and natural makeup products are popping up everywhere. It’s just a matter of doing some digging to find the right product. But when it comes to health – digging is worth it.

March 22, 2009   7 Comments