These used to be ridiculously expensive products only available via luxury stores or, at the other end of the spectrum, packaged in ugly brown boxes at the local organic co-op. Thankfully, a rise in consumer demand for ethical, beautiful, luxurious and yet affordable beauty products means you have a treasure trove of Australian and international brands and products to opt for. I've tried, tested and truthfully recommend the following.
For cleansing, Sukin Purifying Gel Cleanser and the Super Greens Facial Scrub are divinely scented, gentle and under $15 each. In fact, the Super Greens is my favourite range (the face moisturiser is a must) and post workout shower time is 100% better with the Botanical Lime Coconut Body Wash. No sulphates and no parabens in any of these products!
Botani is a small, local operation that does beautifully packaged, scented skincare that is environmentally conscious, designed to nourish the skin and also the soul. I know that sounds hokey! I just breathe this in as I'm using it though, and I know it's one of a small batch, not created in some massive factory without heart. It's available at health food stores, Go Vita, Priceline and Great Earth. I especially adore the Acai Berry Active Antioxidant Serum (it's berry, berry good!) and the Boost Balancing Moisturiser for non greasy hydration.
Simple is available all over Australia and online. It's also super affordable for budget beauty babes. The name says it all really. Nothing but the basics and really, you don't want to settle in with a mug of tea and a blanket to have to read through the ingredients list of your skincare. I use their new Aqua-Lock Cleansing Facial Wipes for the post-workout, pre-shower period where you just don't want to get sweat and germs all over your iPhone. The Hydrating Cleansing Oil is ideal for when I've been overdoing the retinol and just need to use something really gentle and non violent.
J'adore this Swiss nail polish and nail care range. Sure, Mavala doesn't have the fancy, funny names like OPI, but it does have the most gorgeous mini nail polishes and if you are a creature who loves change and tends to only use nail polish 10 or so times before the next colour beckons, you won't need full sized lacquers. These are also 5 free, cruelty free and definitely get the Green Beauty prize for nail care. Fabulous range of colours too. Those Swiss beauty designers are way ahead of the game on knowing what the international fashionistas are going to want to opt for in regards to colours. From neutrals through to pastels, brights, gothic to glam, not a colour missing from the range. Love Alpine Green and Blue Curacao mini nail lacquers, and the lip liner in Innocent Pink for an everyday, subtle definition to the lips. I'm all about pencils.
The Body Shop is an international green beauty and wellbeing name that everyone knows. Begun by an entrepreneurial and ethically driven woman with a vision for beautiful products that emphasise sustainable ingredients, manufacturing, fairtrade and supporting farming communities. There is no doubting that vision carries through to this day and while all the classic fragrances and ranges are still going strong (Vanilla, White Musk, Vitamin C) it is some of the newer ranges that are truly exciting me! As a banana paddlepop devotee, the banana shampoo and conditioner is heaven for me. I am also all about a fresh, citrus scent and Pink Grapefruit body mist and the eau de parfum has the perfect balance of sweet and zingy. It can be worn alone or layer the body mist with something a little more herby like sage or jasmine based lotion or eau de parfum.
Avalon Organics does a great range of Vitamin C based skincare as well as their popular lavender range. I use the Vitamin C cleanser, Lavender scrub, Vitamin C Toner and moisturiser. No nasties, just simple formulas that are potent. There's a reason you will easily find Avalon Organics at health food and organic stores. People who care about what they put in and on their bodies are fans of this brand and have been for decades. Vegan, no false fragrances and no synthetics or parabens.
Burt's Bees does the basics with pizzazz, from moisturisers to hand creams, baby powder and lip balms to the new range of makeup that is gorgeously packaged in honeycomb inspired columns. I adore the beeswax based lip and face products. They are fabulously packaged, deliciously scented and sustainably, ethically produced and sourced. I adore the Baby Bee Skin Creme as an all-round balm (even nostril balm come hayfever season!) and any and all of the cleansers.
Eminence Organics is an award winning green beauty cult brand. I have been guilty of opening jars of blueberry and acai berry spiked serums and desperately wanting to eat them! The smell is so divinely pure and genuine, you could believe you were about to coat your face in strawberry puree. While it's not a budget buy, you absolutely get the quality you pay for. I adore Coconut Milk Cleanser (very gentle, very yummy) and the Sweet Red Rose Tonique (will make you want to get out and literally smell the roses!)
Illuminating Day Cream and the Purifying Series (cleanser, toner, day cream).
bx Earth range totally appeals to me. Fortunately, it is super affordable (you'll find it at the local supermarket!) so you can afford to nab every scent combination. My tips? Desert Lime and Coconut hand wash and Pineapple and Coconut. It's like a G-rated mojito for your body!
Promising to "be friendly to your skin, and the environment" - I genuinely love the playful approach they have taken to product packaging, names and the level of care and consideration they've put into using quality ingredients and crafting the most appealing scents and formulations. Try You Scrub Up Well and Good Morning Sunshine (citrus fresh tangerine!)