Empowering Every Woman to be Beautiful

Eve Organics Giveaway

It's no secret that I'm a cosmetics junkie. When I get product samples in the mail, it totally makes my day. And when its an indie brand I'm receiving, I usually get to know the woman behind the brand. Sometimes we find a fun bond that goes beyond makeup.

Jenn and I first met through this blog and the samples of an organic lip balm she sent for me to try. Now she's my Cali escape girl.

Kelley Maddison and I met several years ago when she was just starting out as a medical esthetician. Now that she's a natural cosmetics formulator, she's someone I trust to explain ingredients and their performance/hazards. It's also fun to gross her out with emailed photos of my dinner (frog legs, squid, etc).

Now I can add another friend to my list - Sharron Pinheiro of Eve Organics. Sharron first sent samples from her line several months ago. She was generous, sending skin care and color cosmetics.

She also sent a LOT of literature about the hazards of synthetic ingredients and parabens. I sat and read everything from cover to cover. It confirmed what I already believed. Many ingredients in mainstream products aren't good for consumers.

But, as a makeup artist, what I endorse and use on my shoots have to be quality, not just healthy. I've found Eve Organics to be both. I use her color and skin care products on shoots and on my self.

Equally important, she's always upbeat and kind when we talk. She doesn't make me feel pressured to "hurry up and review my stuff," when she sends something. And lately, in light of some heavy family things I'm going through she's been a source of encouragement.

As her small indie brand is picking up momentum (Whole Foods has taken notice!), I asked her to grant me an interview here (before she blows up and snubs me. LOL)

Makeup Theory: Sharron, there are a lot of mineral makeup lines on the market. It seems new ones are popping up daily. But I've noticed besides creating a mineral makeup line, you're spending a lot of money on educational material concerning harmful ingredients found in beauty products. Why?

Sharron: When I decided to create my makeup brand, I was personally using a big name mineral makeup line and it was itching my skin and irritating my rosacea. That didn't make sense to me. I started to research and realized all mineral cosmetics are not as pure as they are marketed to be. I discovered the other brand had parabens in it. Why? Mineral makeup is simply dirt. You don't need preservatives.

I've always advocated using the purest, simplest ingredients in my organic skin care line (which I had before the makeup line). Mineral makeup was simply an extension of what I was already doing. Helping women understand what "natural" really means and how to read beauty labels is part of our mission as a company.

Makeup Theory: I love the idea of a folding business card with names of harmful ingredients printed right on it. I keep one in my wallet for the rare times when I buy mainstream products. I can pull my card out and compare the label's ingredients to your list.

Sharron: We hand those out in our educational workshops and give them to customers. We find women simply don't know what some of these ingredients have been linked to. The idea isn't to bash other companies or to say buy our products exclusively. We want women to know they have a choice in what they put on and in their bodies. We just don't want women misled by advertising.

Makeup Theory: Oh, please. Don't get me started on all the junk out there in the supermarket that's being touted as "natural." That word means absolutely nothing. I've learned to read everything. There is no FDA standard on what can be called natural, right?

Sharron: Actually, only 1% of the ingredients in a product has to be naturally derived for the label to say "natural." We run into these questions a lot with our skin care line. I make the skincare myself using organic ingredients and pure Essential Oils. I don't use fragrance at all. Fragrance can have up to 300 different ingredients in it. There are so many hidden things in there that have been found to be linked to health conditions. It’s stuff we don’t really need in there.

Makeup Theory: I noticed how different your skincare and bath products smell from something I'd get, say, at Bath & Body works. Your scents are earthier and more complex.

Sharron: Yes. I try to explain that there are synthetic fragrances and then there are scents from plants. Essential oils are mostly from leaves, not the fruit – kiwi strawberry scent is not from Essential Oils. Leaves don’t give off the scent of the fruit. Only citrus oils can reproduce the scent - say lemon or grapefruit.

Makeup Theory: I love sweet orange EO.

Sharron: Yes, that's a good one.

Makeup Theory: I tend to be someone who really loves scents, but what if you have a customer who really doesn't want any scent to their skincare?

Sharron: The Essential Oils I use in my products aren't just for the scents. They are also for healing properties such as hormonal balance. But, if someone doesn't want the scent I can easily custom make their products without it. We're actually working on a line now that doesn't have scent.

Makeup Theory: In the future, do you think more consumers will demand that skin care and makeup become healthier and more environmentally conscious?

Sharron: I think we are headed that way – back to the basics. I don’t think enough research was done back in the 50s and 60s when things were being put into products without testing them thoroughly. People are becoming chemical sensitive, allergies are going through the roof and our bodies aren’t used to that. I think it’s going to take us going back to the basics so people can detox their lives. As everyone becomes more educated, we’ll put pressure on the big companies to make things more natural.

Makeup Theory: On a slightly different topic here - I wanted to mention your cruelty free brushes. I've always advocated natural fur cosmetic brushes because they blend impeccably. But lately I've been disturbed about the cruel conditions the animals are kept in. I gave the brushes you sent me a try.

Sharron: What did you think?

Makeup Theory: I'll admit it took me a minute to be comfortable with them. The hair is really soft to the skin and the brushes did the job, but they felt different in my hand. My strokes felt different. But that's something I can get used to. The only brush that I noticed a major difference in application from natural hair was the foundation brush. The mineral foundation didn't cling to it as well as it does to the natural brush. But otherwise, they were really good. Even the blender brush. I was surprised. You've got a good set of brushes there.

Sharron: Thank you. We're still tweaking the brush line, but I'd have to say I'm happy with most of it. We've gotten good feedback on them.

Makeup Theory: Speaking of good feedback. I've been hearing the buzz about your company's giving. Your brand gives 10% of everything earned to charity. What are you doing? You're a small, new brand. I'd think you'd want to reinvest everything back into your business, especially in this economic climate.

Sharron: We are a new business and we do have our struggles but, I really believe in giving back. Giving, along with taking care of the environment, is what we all need to do. People have helped me in so many ways in the past. I'm paying it forward.

Makeup Theory: How do you decide what charities to give to?

Sharron: Sometimes we choose local charities, sometimes national ones. Sometimes customers suggest charities. We try to choose a different one every quarter. We have donated to Breast Cancer organizations in October and MS charities in March.

Makeup Theory: As a result of your giving and your environmental work, Eve Organics has been nominated for a few awards; Your name came up for Beauty with a Conscience and Natural Beauty Award. That's pretty impressive for a 2.5 year old company. Congratulations.

Sharron: Thanks. We were very excited about it. And now mainstream magazines like Teen Vogue is taking notice. They mentioned our glitter shadows in one of their recent issues.

Makeup Theory: Oh, once the teens decide your brand is IT, there will be no stopping your success. (Laughs) Oh, before I wind this up, I want to share that cool tip you sent me. Remember? The one about foundation?

Sharron: Oh, yes! You mix a little bit of a good quality moisturizer with any of my loose powder foundations to create a concealer. Add a little more moisturizer to get a shear cream foundation.

Makeup Theory: That's a great tip because sometimes my customers don't like how powder foundations apply to the skin. A cream may be more comfortable for some women.

Sharron: Absolutely.

Makeup Theory: Where can we buy your products besides your website?

Sharron: In August I'll be opening my first retail space in Chesterfield, Michigan. We plan to expand further into the Michigan market and then into Chicago. We are in negotiations with Whole Foods, also. If all goes as planned, we'll be in our local Whole Foods first; then hopefully we'll be able to expand nationally.

Makeup Theory: That's fantastic. Good luck to you. Also, can we give something away here today so readers can try Eve Organics?

Sharron: Sure. What do you want to give?

Makeup Theory: I was thinking of doing a fun summer look, let's call it Sunkissed. How about letting one winner choose either the Bronze Babe or Shimmery Bronze lip gloss and any blush they'd like?

Sharron: That sounds great.

Makeup Theory: As usual, this giveaway is only for those who follow this blog (simply hit the Follow button to the right above if you're not already a follower). Leave a comment telling us if you've ever tried natural cosmetics and what you thought of them at the end of this post and you'll automatically be entered to win. We'll pick a winner on Friday, July 10, 2009.

Thank you to Sharron for taking the time to tell us about her great products!