Welcome to The Switch — a series that explores comparable (but usually better) healthy alternatives to staples you use on the daily. Because I have no idea what p-phenylenediamine and dibutyl phthalate are, do you?
When it comes to lips, the bolder the better. I'm not one for a smokey eye (I could never quite get it right, no matter how many Youtube tutorials I watched in college) and love that lipstick is minimal input-maximum output. A deep red lip can be the difference between looking like you didn't shower and looking effortlessly Parisian. Tres chic.
When I started getting into "clean" beauty (i.e., products that don't contain any toxic ingredients), I wasn't super happy to find that my favorite way of looking put together came with a health risk. Most conventional lippies contain lead (learn more here), which isn't safe at any level. If you're swiping multiple times a day, it adds up.
With so many beautiful and equally pigmented alternatives, there's really no reason to make that compromise. Ilia, RMS, and Axiology are three green beauty brands that carry totally gorgeous shades. Instead of weird ingredients I can't pronounce, they contain nourishing organic oils and pure mineral pigments. Color and treatment in one - the ultimate minimum input-maximum output.
Since parting ways with my MAC lipsticks, I've kept my eye out for replacements for my go-to shades. Read on as I cover three in an Ilia vs. MAC smackdown. Pun so intended.
PS - My wonderful friend (and green makeup artist!), Jacqueline Guelli, did my makeup for this shoot. More information about Jacqueline and products used at the bottom of the page.
1. Nude mauve
This is the your-lips-but-way-better shade (read: not another boring nude). Ilia's Madam Mina and MAC's Velvet Teddy are a near-perfect match; each a nude mauve with a semi-matte, velvety finish. One swipe of Velvet Teddy is slightly more pigmented than Madam Mina but Madam Mina intensifies when layered, making it look a bit closer to MAC's Whirl. Wear this one with everything.
2. Blue-Toned Red
This is a red that isn't orangey, leans a tad blue, but is a pretty true RED. Ilia's Strike It Up is kind of a cross between MAC's Ruby Woo (pictured above) and Russian Red. I prefer it to both MAC shades because the hue is a bit more wearable (its not quite as matte) and relatively easy to remove (these coconut oil wipes are the best). The ideal way to dress up a simple blouse and vintage jeans.
Similar to the first two, Ilia's "Lucy's Party" is a cross between two popular MAC shades: Media (pictured above) and Diva. Its not quite as dark as Media but is in the same berry-crimson color family with purple and dark brown undertones. I love this shade paired with a black silk slip dress (anything black, really) and loose chignon.
What are your favorite green beauty lipstick dupes? Let me know in the comments below!
The most sincere thank you to Jacqueline Guelli for working with me on this shoot. Jacqueline is a freelance certified makeup artist, licensed esthetician, and Beautycounter consultant working with nontoxic and safe products. She specializes in event application and lessons (i.e., if you're getting married, she's your girl). Visit her personal website at jacquelineguelli.com.
Wearing: Club Monaco Top (on sale!) | Gressa Serum Foundation | RMS "Un" Cover Up | RMS Swift Shadow in TT-71 | RMS Cream Eye Shadow in Myth | RMS Buriti Bronzer | RMS Master Mixer | Ecobrow Defining Wax in Sharon