One of my 'Rules of Jim' state, I cannot purchase beauty products. Day 17, I wonder why I am doing this to myself. Eye maker remover is an important product of life! Then an amazing thing happens, I get a grip, and start going natural!
It has taken a while to get to this stage, years in fact. As an eighties child, I used to spend my money on make up from the Woolworths counter, or the good makeup stall at the indoor market (you know, the one with the colour changing green lipstick!). It was never part of the conversation, to think about what you actually put on your skin. Considering how much of it we have, it is nuts to think we don't give too much consideration of all the chemicals which go on it!
It started a year or so ago, when my husband developed a very sudden, and horrible allergic reaction to washing powder. The doctor said, it was from years of chemical build-up from his products. Then, after an infection, my little one had the same issue. Influenced, by someone I follow on Instagram, I decided to start making my own fabric softener. I would know what it is made from, and could make sure chemicals are not damaging my loved ones skin. She stores her softener in a bourbon bottle - so rock and roll!! I was fangirling for a bit after this revelation. And happy days, my lovely Insta friend agreed to give me her recipe, and away I went!!
During lockdown, one thing I did not think would happen, was being caught grating soap. But needs must! We should embrace the weird, it keeps us interesting.
The fabric softener worked really well, so we had soft clothes again, with none of the allergies! After the success of having soft clothes, I started researching washing powder, and quite quickly it escalated. I was then caught, by my husband, late one night grating soap in the kitchen. There are worse things being caught doing in the kitchen in low lighting, so I took the situation with a pinch of salt. No allergies with this home made product either, but mixed success with the washing outcome. Then, my eye maker remover ran out!
OK, so I know it is not really the Queen Vic moment I wanted it to be, but none the less annoying at a time when you have a self-imposed spending ban! I thought about it for a bit, and then remembered I am a master soap grater, and wondered what else I could get up too. For full disclosure at this point, I use MAC eye make-up products. I know Estee Lauder do not test on animals in Europe, but they do sell in the Chinese market, where is it a legal requirement to do so. I could tell myself the products I wear are not tested on animals, but the company tests on animals for some markets, so it is only a technicality really.
Which is a shame, because it is an unnecessary practice. Secondarily, because I love my MAC eyeliner - I just do, It is like a faithful friend, it does not come off, and I can apply it on a moving train (base requirements for my make-up stash). Yes, I am usually that person on the tube!! Sorry, not sorry. Also, MAC eyeliner is hard to remove, as it smears - and sometimes you get morning panda eyes - even after a rigorous removal. It is stubborn, that is why we are good bed fellows!
Anyway, all good things must come to an end, at the end of my jar, I will be moving on to different pastures. No love should come at the cost of other beings feeling pain. With all of these things in my bubbling mind, I start researching. I found an article about organic coconut oil, and how amazing it is for the skin. It removes eye make up remover, very gently, supposed to be good for anti-ageing, and is cost effective. When I say cost effective, I really mean it. A pound. Pause and say it slowly...one pound for 50ml.
The Jarmusch moment, is when I realise the exploitation, is not only to the animals, and workers - it is also to us as consumers as well.
My usual brand cost about £16 for 100ml. The coconut oil (Click to product > external link), is organic, cost-effective, and contains everything I need. Also, I think it is going to last for a few months - so maybe I would need to spend £4 for the year. I made some square reusable cotton face wipes (Click for pattern > External Link) just before lock down, and they work better than cotton wool, and I love using them. And bonus feature, minimal morning panda eyes!
This project made me realise, it is up to us as individuals to get motivated and do research on the products we use. The products we trust on our - and our loved ones - skin, and the chemicals we allow into our bodies. Yes, it means we have to make changes, yes there could be healthier options, and yes it means we can save money. All of those statements are true. Research is important, as with coconut oil there is a whole campaign being run by PETA (Click > External Link) to stop the exploitation of working monkeys in Thailand. Exploitation is in all walks of life. Knowledge is power.
By thinking about our spending habits in a different way, we can help support animal rights, we can effect change by stopping paying companies who do not stand for the things we do! Change starts with one. Change started with my discovery of coconut oil.
Fingers crossed it can reverse some the damage caused by the make-up products, from the indoor market!! That is a fresh challenge for another day.