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You’ve ordered the vegan cake, organic bouquet and reusable bamboo cutlery. All the accoutrements of a gloriously green wedding are falling into place. Shouldn’t your hair and makeup follow ideological suit? By Maria Ricapito Photographs by alex cao



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Once upon a time, organic beauty products lined a couple of dusty shelves at the local health food store, which was itself a teeny space with a few cartons of Not Dogs and soy milk. No more. The organic trend is widespread and the growth, explosive. ✱ Not to mention that the natural food store is no longer a tiny hippy-haunted nook; it’s been super-sized (in a good way). A prime example of making organic choices widely available is the Whole Foods Market chain and the Whole Body sections therein, dedicated to cosmetics and toiletries. “This area is outpacing the rest of the store in terms of growth,” says Jeremiah McElwee, senior global Whole Body coordinator at Whole Foods. ✱ “Beauty companies are reacting to customer demands and what’s happening in the food industry,” adds Alison Raffaele, NYCbased makeup artist and founder of an eponymous cosmetics line, who recently reformulated her products to be free of talc, fragrance, paraben-based preservatives and sulfates. “As consumers started to look at what they’re eating, they started to look at other things, like their clothing and cosmetics.” Clearly, there’s never been a better time to be a naturally radiant bride. Ahead, all your beautiful—and eco-chic—options.

Beauty moment Get glowing with Smashbox Green Room Eye Shadow in Bamboo, von Natur Cheek Colour in Dawn and Josie Maran Lip Gloss in Brilliance. Hair and makeup by Nikki Wang for Shu Uemura. Floral design by Kim Hirst for Fresh Cut Design, LLC,



A Green Glossary

Should you go organic all the way? The man-made vs natural debate

Knowing these terms will help you read labels right.

WHY ORGANIC MAY BE BETTER Organic products can be healthier for you and the environment: By definition, ingredients are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. “Why put a bunch of chemicals on your body when you don’t have to?” says Joshua Onysko, founder of Pangea Organics, in Boulder, CO.

Natural: The term has not been defined (or regulated) by the FDA but is commonly assumed to refer to products containing ingredients from nature—such as essential oils, herbs, roots—manufactured without the use of synthetics.


organic: Refers to how ingredients are grown and processed. Organic production avoids pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or hormones, genetic engineering or irradiation. Organic products are minimally processed, minus artificial ingredients and preservatives.

fair trade: A social movement and



international trade system promoting the payment of fair prices and the maintenance of social and environmental standards, especially in developing countries.

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wild-crafted: The gathering of plants from their natural, wild habitat without the use of inorganic substances and without eradicating the plant completely.


The top chemical offenders you won’t find in organic products: Sulfates (sodium lauryl/ laureth)—sudsing agents. Parabens—preservatives. Phthalates—found in some fragrances (in both perfume and scented personalcare products) and sometimes used to make nail polish flexible. Although the FDA classifies them as safe for use in cosmetics, all three are increasingly controversial. Phthalates are restricted in

sustainable: Refers to the longevity of ecological support systems such as climate, agriculture and industry, forestry and fisheries, with the emphasis on not permanently depleting the environment.

Rating the new natural makeup lines

Is it Really Organic?

Here’s what to look for: The USDA Certified Organic seal: According to the National Organic Program (NOP) of the United States Department of Agriculture, products that contain at least 95-percent organic ingredients can display the USDA “Certified Organic” seal. Products with at least 70-percent organic ingredients can be labeled “made with organic ingredients” but cannot wear the seal. Other global certification terms include:

Eco-Cert: A France-based organic certification organization for food and other products, including cosmetics, in more than 80 countries (it’s approved by the NOP).

Soil Association: A mention of this British organic farming charity on a label certifies at least 95-percent organic contents.

Certified Natural Cosmetics: The product is approved according to European Union natural-ingredient guidelines, which include a list of banned chemicals.




Fresh picks 1. John Masters Organics Herbal Cider Hair Clarifier & Color Sealer, $17.

2. Terranova Organic Oasis Ylang Ylang & Wild Ginger Therapeutic Shea Butter Miracle Cream, $23. 3. Dr. Hauschka Conditioner with Jojoba and Marsh Mallow, $15. 4. Nature Girl Lavender Flower Face Moisturizer, $46. 5. Origins Organics Foaming Face Wash, $25. 6. Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Loose Powder, $14. 7. Rich Hippie Bohemian Wedding Organic Perfume, from $45.


Global natural cosmetics sales approach $7 billion, according to Organic Monitor, a market research firm, whose 2007 study found that 89 percent of buyers of natural personal care products did so because avoiding synthetic chemicals was a priority.

NYC-based makeup artist Liz Michael follows the organic path for her diet and swears by organic skincare from Jurlique and Dr. Hauschka. But she’s long drawn the line when it comes to using natureinspired makeup: “The formulations were never refined enough.” We asked her to swatch and sample her way through dozens of new offerings, and she was happily surprised. Her favorites: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Tinted Moisturizer “I love that it disappears into the skin.” Nvey Moisturising Fluid Foundation “Superlight and not too pink, with enough yellow to look natural.” Korres Pro-Vitamin B5 & Rice Bran Mascara “Feels nice and soft and isn’t clumpy.” Josie Maran Flirtatious Lipstick “A universally flattering rosy shade.” Dr. Hauschka Concealer “Nice light consistency and coverage.” Aubrey Organics Natural Lips in Petal Pink “It goes on as a pretty stain.”

both the EU and California. Some studies have linked parabens and phthalates to hormonal and developmental disorders in lab animals, and sulfates are known skin irritants, which has led companies to formulate products without these ingredients. Other ingredients eco-aware consumers tend to steer clear of include petrolatum, propylene glycol, paraffin, dyes, mineral oil, PABA and animal ingredients such as lanolin.

WHY ORGANIC MAY NOT BE THE BEST CHOICE There are drawbacks to being totally wholesome. Certain skincare ingredients, such as those anti-aging heroes retinoids, have no organic counterpart, says Ranella Hirsch, M.D., a dermatologist in Cambridge, MA, and president

of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery. Although they’re a derivative of vitamin A, most are synthetics. So slapping some ground carrots on your face just isn’t the same, despite the veggie’s high vitamin A content. And, while progress has been made in the natural (as opposed to chemical) sunscreen world in the development of almost transparent microparticles of zinc and titanium, Dr. Hirsch says, they can look chalky or ashy on the skin. Products don’t last as long when they are preservative-free. Lush Cosmetics Bio-Fresh Face Masks are so, er, fresh that they must be immediately whisked into the fridge when not in use. TIP: Give all your natural products the occasional sniff test, ditching any with an off odor or whose contents have separated.

“ ” “First and foremost, brides should look for a hairstylist who uses an eco-friendly product brand.” —stylist Hasblady Guzman

Get Green Hair (you know what we mean!)

Top stylists like NYC-based John Masters, Nelson Chan of Beverly Hills and LA-based Hasblady Guzman are major proponents of haircare that’s not “earth hostile”

✱ Chan opted for a floor-to-ceiling green business at his Nelson J Salon. Just think of all the roaring dryers and simmering flat-irons at your local beauty parlor. Using fluorescent bulbs and light-reflecting mirrored ceilings to lower his electric bill “helps the environment and my pocket at the same time,” he says. If your fave hair place isn’t yet green, ask them about it, Chan says. Your interest could have a ripple effect. ✱ Early adopter Masters founded John Masters Organics salon and product line 14 years ago. Like Chan, he steers clear of services that use harsh chemicals. You won’t find perms, manicures or ammonia-based color. What you will find: a wind-powered salon featuring ammonia-free clay and herbal-based haircolor, and sybaritic treatments like his signature shiatsu hair and scalp treatment.

✱ Guzman worked a green wedding not long ago. “It was great to see that it could be done stunningly,” she says. She opted for Aveda Sap Moss Styling Spray to create sexy curls on some, and Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion for volume on blown-out styles. Since wedding-party members are basically a captive audience, she adds: “You can inform and educate them about your green wedding. Even if three people take positive action, that’s three people. It will be a chain reaction.”



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