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Learn about about a growing number of companies that are cleaning up their cosmetic lines in “Beauty Makeover.”

I’ve been playing with and wearing makeup for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories, in fact, is the day my grandparents took me to visit my new baby sister in the hospital. I was 2 1/2 years old, and wore my grandmother’s bright red lipstick; I also donned a pair of large clip-on costume earrings that were pink. The rest is history.

I’ve learned over the years, thankfully, that less is more. It wasn’t until last spring, though, that I began cleaning up my makeup supply, aiming to get rid of all those toxin-laden products. It was one of the last areas in my home to be clean-sweeped of nasty, no-good-for-you ingredients — many of which have never been tested for safety:

The FDA still has no real oversight on the cosmetics industry. Determining the safety of a product remains up to the company that makes it, and not all yet have consumer well-being top of mind. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Web site, “The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), the industry’s self-policing safety panel, falls far short of compensating for the lack of FDA oversight. . . . [I]n its more than 30-year history, the CIR has reviewed the safety of only 11 percent of the ingredients used to formulate personal-care products.”

One way this not-so-regulatory climate could change is if the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 (or something like it) eventually passes. The bill would grant the FDA authority (and, more significantly, responsibility) for ensuring that personal-care products do not contain harmful ingredients. “The bill would phase out carcinogens and reproductive toxins; it would require full disclosure of ingredients [including in salon products and fragrance, currently protected under trade-secret laws], and it would set up a safety review system under the FDA. It would give the FDA funding through fees on the big companies — they’d essentially be paying for an FDA review instead of their own review,” explains Stacy Malkan, the author of Not Just a Pretty Face: the Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry. — “Beauty Makeover,” Experience Life, Jan/Feb 2012)

I started my quest for clean by perusing Experience Life‘s Worthy Goods, where we feature everything from personal-care products to sports gear. That’s where I came across pro-aging advocate and former makeup artist Cindy Joseph’s BOOM! products. These three “sticks” — Glo is an all-over moisturizer; Color is a blush and lipstick; Glimmer is for shimmer and radiance — are made with natural ingredients and contain no parabens or phthalates.

Joseph’s philosophy is not to mask wrinkles, but rather to highlight the “stories” left by years of living: “BOOM! is for women who want to reveal their genuine beauty with an honest and realist approach.”

I shared this revolutionary approach with my mother-in-law a day or two later — she too was looking for a simpler beauty regimen.

Fast-forward to early June: I had just given birth to my second daughter, and was feeling and looking less than 100 percent when my in-laws stopped by to meet their new granddaughter. My dismay at them seeing me in this state was quickly remedied when I opened a gift: the BOOMSTICK Trio!

That was nine months ago, and BOOMSTICKS are at the core of my makeup regimen, with a few products from Dr. Hauschka, Burt’s Bees, and Origins rounding out my cosmetic bag. I’ve had more compliments than ever, with people regularly commenting on my “glow.”

In those moments, I always share my affection for these clean products: Not only do I feel beautiful when I use them, but I also feel good about what it’s them. Plus, the regimen is simple: It takes me less than two minutes to get ready in the mornings — a necessity when you’re wrangling kids and trying to get out the door.

Now if only I could find a way to simplify my hair-care routine …

TELL US: What clean personal-care products do you love? Comment below or tweet us @ExperienceLife.

Jamie Martin is Experience Life’s director of digital initiatives. 

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