It seems that whenever I speak to my friends about the ingredients in their cosmetics, the consensus is this; they would love to embrace natural makeup but are fearful of the dent that cosmetics with healthy ingredients and without the toxic fillers will put in their ever-dwindling pocketbooks.
Enter Key Botanicals, a Toronto based cosmetics company owned and operated by Elena W, who started the brand three years ago due to her own frustration surrounding the lack of affordable, truly natural beauty products.
Armed with a background in arts and graphic design, Elena started from scratch, honing her knowledge with copious amounts of cosmetic research.
This eventually led to making her own cosmetics by hand, and upon receiving an enthusiastic response from friends and family, Elena decided to make a brand out her passion for colour and non-toxic beauty. The result? Key Botanicals’ extensive line of highly pigmented mineral eyeshadows, (priced at a fraction of high-end cosmetics, and even some drug-store lower-end makeup) , powder blushes, concealer, lipstick, gloss and more. The line, which sells on ETSY and through the official Key Botanicals website, is entirely free of talc, parabens, Petro Chemicals, and Bismuth Oxychloride. Not surprisingly, the brand is also one hundred percent cruelty free.
I had the good fortune to receive a very large pack of Key Botanicals goodies- from eyeshadows of such diverse colours, I’d swear a rainbow splashed into my mailbox, to a great range of blush, several lipsticks, soaps and a concealer.
Each one of the products I received is a gem. I find it inspiring when I come across an independent brand with a genuine concern for economical, safe beauty products. Key Botanicals is proof that you don’t have to choose between staying natural and staying out of overdraft.
The eyeshadows are super pigmented, highly blendable, and come in a staggering array of shades. As with all loose mineral shadows, fallout is inevitable, so that’s the one and only downside. This is easily rectified, however, by using the proper brush and giving it just a light coating, tapping off the excess and applying it to your eyes in thin layers with a dabbling motion until the desired effect is achieved.
Elegant Rebel’s picks:
Flirty: A gorgeous pinky/gold shade worthy of its name.
Glazed maple: A universally flattering medium brown with a hint of gold sparkle.
Pearl: Stunning shimmery white, perfect for highlighting.
Another fabulous find in the eye department is the Smokey eye kit, which contains three customized colours to give you the perfect smokey eye. Bonus: Bewitched is a rich black shadow that can transform into a velvety liquid liner when dipped in with a damp brush.
Lovely loose mineral blushes, offered in shades that can give you everything from a subtle glow to a more dramatic flush.
Elegant Rebel’s picks:
Rose Petal: A sweet pink to give your cheeks a healthy hue.
Innocent: A warm apricot, perfect for a soft, beachy look
Mineral lip gloss in Flirty looks like a lipstick, but comes off as a beautiful, shimmery gloss with a barely there whisper of pink. Wear it alone for a natural shine or over lipstick as a glossy topcoat.
Mineral lipstick in Aroma, a deep, warm red that looks great with a neutral eye.
Need photographic evidence of how awesome these products are? Below are three very different looks, complete with products used. Photos and makeup are always done by me unless otherwise stated.
Yours in health and beauty,
The Elegant Rebel
mineral eye shadows in Star, Illusion, Artisan,and Swiss chocolate, mineral blush in golden glow and rose petal, creamy lip colour in coco berry and mineral lip gloss in flirty.All over lid and brow bone: Star. Inner corners, to about one third of the way in: Flirty. On the rest of the lid,and lower lids/waterline: Sparkle taupe, layered with a touch of swiss chocolate for intensity. Rose petal blush on cheeks, mineral concealer under eyes and on problem areas, merlot lipstick applied lightly and layered with desert berry creamy lip colour and a touch of Flirty lip gloss.
Mineral eye shadow in iridescent violet, dream, pearl, and pure silver, mineral blush in rose petal, and mineral lipstick in sophisticated.