I don’t wear a lot of make-up and I certainly don’t own a lot. But what I do wear and own has whittled down to a minimalist collection of products that make you look beautiful on the outside and make you feel beautiful on the inside. When it came to make-up I was a big fan of Chanel and Napoleon Perdis. Many of my favourite lipsticks were from Napoleon and I’d actually get through entire sticks of them. Earlier this year I came across the Karen Murrell brand of natural ‘vegetarian’ lipstick and steadily replaced everything I owned. The last sticks to go went a few weeks ago when I found the perfect nude/brown lipstick the 09 Sandstorm by Karen Murrell to replace my old faithful Napoleon nudes. Now all my lipsticks are by Karen Murrell and I can happily say that as far as lipsticks go, nothing nasty touches my lips!


Why have I been so determined to make this switch? 

There are many reasons I’ve switched to natural lipsticks.

To start off with have you actually looked at the ingredient list of what’s in your lipstick? I have. I’ve also tried looking up each ingredient. It’s mind boggling. I’ve noticed that often there’ll be an intense list of ingredients – names I can’t pronounce and then towards the end of the list there are a few ingredients I recognise. I came across the concept of angel dusting, a common practice in cosmetics where the manufacturers may “incorporate a minuscule portion of an active ingredient, insufficient to produce any measurable benefit…” (more about angel dusting). Often it’s done to deceive consumers. Simply put I didn’t know what was in the product I was buying.

We ingest our lipstick. Not only am I concerned about the ingredients and what they do to my lips, I’m also concerned about the high ingestion rates of lipstick and glosses. We ingest them over the course of the day. Most of what we apply ends up being ingested. More information here.

Chemical based lipsticks are often more expensive than natural lipsticks. This surprised me. It’s not always the case but I think there are great natural alternatives that are cheaper. I used to think that the more natural products would be considerably more expensive but you can definitely find affordable natural options.

Natural lipsticks often last just as long as chemical based ones. I’m not sure how many people pay attention to the ‘use by date’ on the packaging or on the product itself. Often it’s in the format ’12M’ and placed inside of an image of an open jar indicating that it’s best to use the product within x months of opening it. Here are some examples.

Smell. Once I started using the Karen Murrell lipstick I become very sensitive to just how ‘chemically’ my Napoleon lipsticks smelt.

Feel. Naturally produced lipsticks feel different on the skin. Chemically produced lipsticks often feel dry and slippery on the skin, while naturally formulates ones create almost a second skin on the lips which leaves the impression that you’re not wearing lipstick at all.


Everyone has different boundaries and points at which they would draw the line about what they use and don’t use. I’m simply sharing where I’m at in my journey of learning and discovery. I think it’s worth finding out about natural alternatives and realising that natural doesn’t mean sacrificing quality.

*This isn’t a sponsored post. It’s grounded in the reality that I now have six Karen Murrell lipsticks and zero chemically produced ones! 

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