Clean Swap Spotlight | Lipstick









Truthfully I’ve never been the biggest lipstick sort of girl until I switched to clean makeup and found products that made me look and feel glamorous all day long! I’m so particular about the feel of what goes on my lips!

Intentionally choosing clean beauty products is not just a trend for me, it’s something I deeply believe in because I know that every small step adds up to paint the whole picture of my health and my sweet family’s too! 

What we put ON our bodies matters just as much as what we put IN our bodies.

Especially with a darling daughter and another baby on the way this month, I’m kissing those sweet chubby cheeks constantly! While my 2 year old daughter may be years off from daily makeup (haha lets be real, she’s in my makeup drawer daily)…what I wear totally transfers to her skin and affects her health. For me, choosing clean beauty isn’t *just* about me!

As much as I am a cozy homebody, when I want to feel + look glamorous, I want to feel + look glamorous! Call me vain but I want items that are both safe AND high performing!

The Facts on Lipstick

Just like with any makeup, the ingredients matter! The more pigments added to makeup (such as blush, eyeshadows and lipsticks) the more potential for heavy metal contamination.

While terms like organic have some sort of regulation, the beauty industry is widely unregulated when it comes to ingredients and safety.

Lead + Heavy Metals

  • The average woman consumes over 7 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime (there’s no firm way of knowing this but it’s an eye opening stat that floats around…but you do for sure consume a partial amount of whatever you put on your lips).
  • Lead, a powerful neurotoxin not safe for humans at any levels, has been banned from paint but is still found in 61% of lipsticks still on the market…something we put directly on our mouth!!
  • A 2010 FDA study found lead in 400 lipsticks.
  • Exposure to lead (even in small amounts) comes at a cost—neurological and developmental issues, reduced fertility in both males and females, and hormonal irregularities. 
  • Lead is not the only concern—other heavy metals such as aluminum were found in most major lip products.


  • Many lipsticks and lip balms also contain fragrances which give off a scent as you apply. 
  • Fragrances are trade secrets and can contain thousands of chemicals, all looped into one ingredient, without having to be disclosed.
  • Fragrances are top on the list to avoid!

Ingredients have the potential to build your health or tear down your health!

Petrolatum (petroleum jelly, mineral oil, paraffin oil)

Petrolatum is a byproduct of petroleum, yes what you put in your car—yikes! Some or most refining methods change this into a toxic compound that is potentially carcinogenic. It’s odorless, water-repellant and has a long shelf life making it the perfect ingredient for skincare and cosmetics. The EU has regulation around the refining process to insure it is non-carcinogenic but the US currently has no requirements for personal care products.

What’s the deal with batch testing?

As ingredients, minerals and materials are pulled from the either, their safety factor can change batch to batch, location to location, time to time. It’s not enough just to say oh that ingredient was safe once so it’s always safe. The world is constantly evolving and so are raw ingredients!

Batch testing tests each batch for end result safety both for consumer and environment. However this is rarely done in the beauty industry! Beautycounter is one of the only brands that carefully batch tests, which is why it’s my go-to for all things makeup and lip!

How to clean up your lip care

Most of us wear something on our lips every day—anything you wear more often has a bigger potential to build or tear down your health! 

Just toss it—that’s free right?! Seriously, if something has lead or fragrances in it, I would recommend tossing it (and I am not one to waste things) but it is just not worth it!!

Start small—don’t expect to replace all your old favorite lip items all at once…or at least that was not the case for me! Instead I chose a staple, neutral color that I loved (for me it’s Beautycounter’s Twig) and wore that constantly. Slowly with time, I’ve added colors here and there!

My Favorite Clean Lip Items

In full transparency I have tested multiple items and some brands just don’t hold up to my strict standards, especially when it comes to feel and look. These are my tried and true favorites that are SAFE but also HIGH PERFORMING!

Primally Pure Lip Balm\\ I truly adore Primally Pure’s Lip Balm, especially the Creamsicle flavor! I have them stashed all over the house and in my purse and my daughter on occasion has been known to eat a little bit with her cute little fingers—thankfully I don’t stress too much about this since the ingredients are so pure. This balm deeply nourishes with coconut butter and shea butter and feels dreamy on your lips.

Safety spotlight | All natural ingredients, good enough for you to even eat!

Beautycounter’s Sheer Lipstick\\ Once I tried Beautycounter’s lipstick there was no going back—this coming from the girl who is SO particular about the feel of what goes on my lips. I knew if I was going to put something on my lips it had to be safe but also perform. This checks both those boxes times 10! A blend of botanical waxes and sustainably derived jojoba esters gives this formula a luxe yet weightless feel while conditioning lip. Trust me you’ll fall in love!

Favorite colors: Twig, Plum and Rosewood (the BEST!)

Safety spotlight | Of the 65 cosmetic colorants allowed in the U.S., Beautycounter currently uses only 18 in our cosmetics, 10 of which are “naturally derived,” and 8 of which are synthetic colorants developed and tested against 23 safety endpoints to be safe for humans and the environment.

^^ Beautycounter is also one of the only companies to batch test for heavy metal contamination as safety can change from batch to batch through raw materials and manufacturing. This is SO important!

RMS Beauty Lip2Check \\ This one is fun because it’s both for your lips and cheeks and very hydrating too! I love the simplicity of having one item for multiple uses. It will give you a sheer color addition to your lips or cheeks with the perfect amount of pigments if you need more buildable coverage.

Safety spotlight | Nourishing natural ingredients not only keep your skin hydrated but also provide needed antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

Beautycounter Beyond Gloss\\ I’ve never been the biggest gloss person but am in love with this one as it feels and looks great even after hours of wear with none of that stickiness factor!! It’s sheer and has the perfect amount of pigments to match your look.

Favorite colors: Brûlée, Mulberry, Bare Shimmer

Safety spotlight | Responsibly sourced vanilla (ECOCERT-certified organic) gives this gloss the most delightful hint of flavor. Vanilla is sadly an industry known for many human rights issues including child labor and unsafe working conditions. This gloss comes from women-owned suppliers who partner with artisans and farmers in Madagascar who produce vanilla in an ethical and sustainable way.

Beautycounter’s Color Intense Lipstick\\ If you like a bit more concentrated color this is for you! All the safety features of Beautycounter’s sheer lipstick with just a bit more pigment. It’s creamy and smooth and has the slightest hint of peppermint.

Favorite colors: Brunch, Little Black Dress

Safety spotlight | The more pigments added to makeup (to give those long lasting, vibrant colors) the more potential for heavy metal contamination. This is long lasting and safe!!

Do you have a favorite clean lip item or color?!


leave a comment

  1. Shelley says:

    Thank you for this post and your mindfulness and heart to share wellness! I love Dr. Bonners naked lip balm. It is so nourishing and gives my lips a glossy glow. For lipstick, my favorite is Rejuva Minerals, Red Red Wine color. Doesn’t day out my lips as much as other brands. I also love Rejuva Minerals blush and foundation powder.

    Congratulations on your growing family, and may your family continue to be blessed!


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