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Natural good looks

The GuardianOrganic make-up has always had an image problem: the bland yet worthy lentil option on the beauty menu. There's more to it than image, though: without all the preservatives and perfumes present in most make-up, your average organic moisturiser had all the va-va-voom of leftover porridge - all gloop and no glam.

Until now, and the new generation of organic serums, oils and creams. Sure, prettier packaging helps, but it's the content that swings it, with smoother, richer textures and nicer fragrances.

Saying that, it's still hard to track down good organic make-up - a creamy lipstick or long-lasting mascara is rarer than tasty tofu.

So avoiding additives, especially parabens, which have been linked with breast cancer, still involves an element of compromise. 'It's a different way of using make-up,' says Claire Knapp, founder of Organic Salon. 'You have to hang around that bit longer for mascara to dry. It's the same with foundations because they don't have chemicals in them, but they do let your skin breathe.' Which, in the long term, may be worth the wait.

Published in the Guardian: 20 January 2007

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