By Lyndsie Kiebert
Like most great innovations, EarthLab Cosmetics was born out of sheer necessity.
Jennifer MacDougall and her mom, Diane Peterson, began looking into gentle, natural alternatives to traditional makeup when they couldn’t seem to escape skin sensitivities.
“I found that [with] anything I put on my skin, I would get irritation,” MacDougall said. “Anywhere from breaking out in a rash to my skin would literally burn.”
Thanks to plenty of research and experimentation, the pair eventually started their own line of clean makeup and skincare products: EarthLab Cosmetics. The business debuted on First Avenue in Sandpoint in 2008, but eventually made its way to Canada, where EarthLab is widely recognized as a natural, organic option in the beauty industry.
Now, EarthLab is back in Sandpoint, as MacDougall is doing demos out of Headlines Salon at 223 Cedar St. She said she moved back to North Idaho so that she and her two daughters, ages 9 and 10, could be closer to her parents.
“Plus, I love Sandpoint,” she said.
What started it all was EarthLab’s loose mineral foundation, which MacDougall said is an essential substitute for traditional — and oftentimes unforgiving — powders.
“It makes your skin soft and dewy,” she said.
Aside from the mineral foundation, Earthlab’s makeup line is made up of mineral blush and bronzer, eyeliner, mascara lip gloss and more. EarthLab also began offering a skincare line in recent years.
“I call it a simple line, but [there’s] some amazing products,” MacDougall said, “and all with clean ingredients.”
EarthLab boasts about the fact that consumers can actually pronounce those ingredients — a stark contrast from the verbal backflips required to navigate the processed ingredients going into drugstore makeup. Some easy-to-identify EarthLab ingredients include kaolin clay, zinc oxide and mica in the makeup, and essential oil blends, cucumber extract, aloe and mango butter in the skincare line.
That’s also how EarthLab offers so many gluten free products. Though “gluten free” is often associated with food products for those with wheat sensitivities, MacDougall said it makes sense to apply the same thinking to makeup.
“Your skin is the largest organ on your body. Your skin absorbs everything,” she said. “So if you’re putting something on — a makeup or a beauty product that has wheat or gluten in it — that’s getting absorbed into your body as well.”
EarthLab’s products are also vegan — free of animal-derived ingredients and never tested on animals.
“We can test on ourselves,” MacDougall said. “If you’re afraid to test it on yourself and you have to use an animal, what are you putting in there?”
MacDougall said she hopes to make more women aware of her products by offering consultations at Headlines Salon, and to hopefully demonstrate the quality of product that can come in a clean package.
“There’s this falsity … that organic and natural makeup doesn’t wear the same, doesn’t hold up the same, isn’t going to perform as well,” she said. “It couldn’t be more false. It’s all about ingredients.”
EarthLab is currently offering free demos with a Raw Mascara purchase. Schedule an appointment by calling 208-627-3079. Learn more about EarthLab Cosmetics at earthlab.ca or on Facebook at facebook.com/earthlabcosmetics.
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