Beauty Editor Lisa Tristram discovers the best natural essentials to have in your handbag for any and every beauty emergency you can think of.
There are few thing handier than a cleansing wet wipe – perfect for fixing up smudged make-up, sticky fingers, or a quick spruce-up before going straight from work to dinner. Favourite go-to ingredients for a great wipe include soothing and hydrating aloe vera and witch hazel, which has mildly astringent properties to ease away shine without drying out skin. Check if your wipes are sustainably produced, biodegradable, and compostable – not all brands are. Try it: Emergin C Scientific Organics Facial Cleansing Wipes (www.emerginc.com; $29.95)
A splash of colour
A lick of bright lipstick can switch your mood and look from being blah to bring-it-on! However, some conventional brands contain lead, coal tar, and parabens (preservatives), which have all been associated with hormone disruption and cancer. Natural brands, on the other hand, use naturally-occurring mineral pigments and candelilla wax instead of petrochemical derivatives, avocado and evening primrose oils to help the lipstick glide on smoothly, and essential oils to add flavour, scent, and a plumping action. Try it: Karen Murrell Violet Mousse ($29.95; from Priceline and healthfood stores).
A hydrating mist is a handbag must-have, especially if you work in an air-conditioned office, as a quick spritz will freshen make-up so you look dewy rather than dried-out; it also supplies vital nutrients to the skin's outer layers. Rosewater is one of my favourite ingredients for a hydrating mist, because it is anti-inflammatory and soothes redness and irritation; niacinamide (vitamin B3) is also well-loved by all skin types, helping to improve the appearance of enlarged pores as well as having a humectant effect, meaning it attracts moisture to the outer layers of skin, and locks it in. Try it: Swisse Deep Sea Hydrating Mist Toner (www.swisse.com; $9.99).
Lip balm is such a simple product, but so necessary for protecting lips from drying out due to changes in the weather or your diet; applying lip balm before lipstick also ensures even and long-lasting colour. Ingredients I look for in a lip balm are jojoba oil (which is actually a waxy ester, not an oil) because it is similar to the skin's own sebum and therefore readily absorbed, and vitamin E, which is naturally protective and also offers a little sun protection. Try it: Embalm Skincare Soothing Lip Balm (www.EmbalmSkincare.com.au; $9.95).
A day can throw you curve balls, so it's nice to keep a good deodorant handy. However, many commercial brands contain a cocktail of chemicals that would have your lymph nodes shrinking in horror! Avoid aluminium in any form: it blocks pores and prevents sweating, which is a necessary bodily function. Instead, choose ingredients like cornstarch or bicarbonate of soda that keep you dry naturally, and essential oils of lavender, patchouli or geranium, which not only mask unpleasant odour but also counter the bacteria in the perspiration that cause the odour in the first place. Try it: Ecotan Coconut Deodorant (www.ecotan.com.au; $14.95).
An all-purpose moisturising lotion is a win:win for on-the-spot treatment of dry or rough hands, cuticles, knees, elbows, or heels. Paw paw, shea nut and cocoa butter are all intensely protective and moisturising ingredients; they also have a slightly occlusive nature, meaning that they help keep skin softer for longer, making them a great alternative to petroleum jelly-type ingredients which don't allow skin to breathe and force skin to sweat, which can trigger breakouts. Try it: Natralus Intensive Skin Therapy Pure Moisturising Lotion (www.pharmacyonline.com.au; $9.95).
No handbag emergency set would be complete without a quick cover-up for blemishes. Avoid conventional make-up that contains bismuth oxychloride, a by-product of lead and copper refining which is linked to skin reactivity and sensitivity. Natural mineral make-up contains zinc oxide, which gives full coverage as well as reducing redness, and kaolin, a naturally-occurring clay that reduces shine. Bonus points for the fact that mineral make-up also doubles up as sun protection, because it is naturally light-reflective – check individual brands for their SPF status. Try it: Kylie’s Mineral Goddess Pressed Foundation (www.kylies.com.au; $65.00).
Lisa Tristram is a natural skincare expert, aromatherapist, organic educator, and mind-body wellness teacher. www.lisatristram.com