REDO: My New Top Shelf

Earlier in the year I had the privilege of being featured on Into The Gloss as a contributor to their Top Shelf series. I was so thrilled to share my favorite beauty products and routines with the world. Unfortunately, I had not yet realized that the products I was using on a regular basis were exposing my body and our planet to thousands of unsafe chemicals.

I consider myself someone who is relatively educated when it comes to what I consume. It’s always been important to me to nourish myself well and treat my body right. While I’ve long understood that what I put IN my body has an impact on my health, I hadn’t yet realized that what I put ON my body has just as great an impact. This failure to connect the dots resulted in a daily beauty routine full of cosmetics and personal care products that were essentially toxic!

I was horrified. How could I have been so ignorant to the truth about beauty? I felt totally duped. Not one cosmetic commercial had ever informed me that my lipstick and my lotion were full of carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting synthetic compounds.

It was clear that my Top Shelf needed a serious makeover, I just wasn’t sure where to start or what to buy. Thanks to the wisdom of my dear and more enlightened friends, and a whole lot of trial and error, I quickly discovered that the world of beauty is full of alternative brands that are selling safer and equally as effective products. My intention with this post is to share my new favorite products and hopefully help you transition into the world of transparent, non-toxic beauty.


I love my eye makeup. I wear mascara every day and I depend on long-lasting liners and vibrant shadows to make my eyes pop when I’m performing. I’ve ditched my old mascara and now use ILIA’s Nightfall. It goes on smooth and is perfect for daily use. When I want a bolder lash I prefer Jane Iredale’s Jet Black. Juice Beauty’s Illuminating Eye Color in Champagne is a gorgeous shimmering shadow that feels light and doesn’t cake up. For a more dramatic look I pair Jane Iredale’s Gel Eyeliner in black with her Smoke Gets in Your Eyes eyeshadow palette. Be sure to try Msytikol in Smoky Quartz for a combination sultry liner and under eye highlighter.


I like to keep my skin care routine as simple as possible. Nubian Heritage‘s Honey & Blackseed Soap is magic, especially when paired with SW Basics’ Toner and a bit of their nourishing shea butter cream. As I mentioned in my original Top Shelf I can’t stand when my skin looks overburdened with foundation. On clear skin days I find that Jane Iredale’s Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer provides enough coverage. When my skin is acting up and I need a bit more help in the confidence department I rely on Zap&Hide concealer and Juice Beauty’s Perfecting Foundation. Their Refining Finishing Powder is the perfect way to keep it all looking fresh and refined.


I’m absolutely addicted to SW Basics vegan lip balms. My lips have never felt so nourished and looked so healthy. Make sure to try putting them on before bed as well. You’ll wake up with a supple, totally kissable mouth. When I want a bit more color I love Jane Iredale’s lip and cheek stain in Forever Pink and ILIA’s Crimson & Clover. For a mega POP of vibrant long-lasting color I still rock OCC’s Lip Tar.


Bye-bye sulfates, dioxides, silicones, resins, ethoxylates, phthalates, parabens, synthetic fragrances, artificial dyes, pesticides, petroleum compounds, propylene glycol, butylene glycol, glutens, GMOs and numerous other harsh irritating chemicals and hello unrefined, cruelty-free, fair trade, organic hair care! Man is there A LOT of unnecessary crap in our shampoos and conditioners. Feeling overwhelmed? I was too. Fortunately I’ve found some products that will clean and nourish your hair without turning your tub into a toxic waste site. ALAFFIA is an extremely ethical brand and has an affordable and effective line of everyday shampoos and conditioners. If you’re looking to splurge a bit try John Masters Organics (his lavender & avocado intensive conditioner is out of this world)! My hair gets pretty beat up on tour and I’m often in need of some serious detangling. PHYTO’s deep nourishing brilliance mask does the trick. If your hair is colored like mine, I recommend Innersense’s line of Color Radiance products.


If there is one thing my mom has taught me about skin care it’s to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! On a recent trip to Europe I discovered the brand KORRES. They have an incredible line of moisturizers for face and body and their lotions are luscious. Lastly, don’t forget about coconut oil. It really is as wonderful as everyone says it is.


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Want to learn more about why I ditched so many of my beauty products? Check out a few of their unacceptable ratings below courtesy of the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database and make sure you try out this invaluable resource on your Top Shelf!

-Maybelline Color Whisper Lip Color

-Kerastase Chroma Reflect Masque

-Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Scrub

by Alexis Krauss

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