Rimmel Natural Bronzer
RIMMEL NATURAL BRONZER
Prime example of a "natural" poser. Like a lot of cosmetics companies, these guys talk up their natural mineral contents. Meanwhile, back at the makeup chair, their products are chock-full of unnecessary fillers. Some of those are mined, and therefore "natural," like talc (which has an ecologically iffy record), but most others are petrochemicals (even more ecologically dodgy). Then they seal the deal with estrogenic paraben preservatives. No thanks. $8.99.
LUSH SKIN TINT
Lush surprised a lot of people when it announced it was pulling all sparkly mica out of its makeup, including its bronzers. Mica is super-common in mineral makeup (amongst genuinely natural brands too), so why ditch it? Turns out 60 per cent of the world's mica comes from Indian mines tainted by child labour scandals. Lush is now using a synthetic sparkler instead. It's a shame this tint still contains propyl parabens, on Europe's endocrine disruptor list. (If you want a liquid bronze tint to mix with your fave lotion or sunscreen, try Dr. Hauschka's instead. It's mica-free). $18.95.
Get a warm, cocoa-y glow from a pressed bronzer made of just that. Cali-based 100% Pure gets its pigment from food-based ingredients including cocoa from a partly fair trade artisanal chocolatier and shade-grown Kona coffee. All the ingredients in this particular product are natural, though not organic. There's a hint of mica in here, however, 100% Pure's supplier has set up a verification system to avoid child labour. It comes in a stick ($21), as well as compact powder ($34) for those who'd rather not add more moisture to their skin come the sticky summer months.
PURE ANADA, EARTHLAB
These two Canadian beauty brands offer genuine pure mineral products, including loose powdered bronzers for a lovely colour boost that won't add oil to your routine. No irritating or superfluous fillers here, just three simple ingredients, including mica. Earthlab says its mica doesn't come from India. Pure Anada's German supplier started a tracking/monitoring system a few years ago to avoid child labour in India and has helped set up schools and daycares there. Both brands have had their minerals screened for heavy metal contamination. FYI, Pure Anada's loose bronzer is quite shimmery, but its pressed bronzer is matte. Anada $12, Earthlab $22.
VAPOUR ORGANICS/REVOLUTION ORGANICS
Awesome for a quick stroke of colour, both sticks are rich in nourishing ingredients that give you a dewy "I've just been lounging by the sea" look. Ottawa-based Revolution Organics' Freedom Glow Beauty Balms are 85 per cent organic and offer a bronzed flush to cheeks, lips and eyes. Sticks are being repackaged so you won't find 'em on the Revolution website - try louchelily.com or thegreenkiss.com. New Mexico-based Vapour's stick (70 per cent organic) provides a healthy glow for face, neck and shoulders. There's a touch of mica in both products, but no details on their sources were available at press time. $37.
SCHOOL'S OUT, AND CITY COUNCIL'S GREEN GRADES ARE IN
Toronto Environmental Alliance has been keeping track of just how the current council voted on 31 key enviro issues like bike lanes and transit service over the last four years.
The grades are in, and the class average is a pretty mediocre 66 per cent, but thankfully, the 17 F-rated councillors bent on gutting green programs (including mayoral candidate Karen Stintz and garbage privateer Denzil Minnan-Wong) were offset by 17 A+ earners.
The tight ratio of flunkies versus greens helps explain why this city's done little more than tread water on enviro issues over the last four years - that and the fact that our mayor tied for worst score.
"Torontonians deserve more than this - we should have seen signs of building a greener city," says the report. "Because of these last four years of inaction, the next council has lost precious time to deal with the mounting environmental problems facing Toronto."
To get the complete scores, hop on torontoenvironment.org/vote2014. Be sure to let eco laggards know it's time to green up their act.