This “secretly green” gift may not solve the world’s environmental woes, but it is better for the health of the women who use it. Mineral cosmetics, made literally from ingredients pulled from the earth and very little else, are great for overly sensitive, pore-clogged skin. And the eye shadows in this “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” kit from Jane Iredale actually feel good—undoubtedly thanks to the minerals and anti-inflammatory pomegranate extract used to make them. Aside from being good for your skin, mineral cosmetics don’t need hazardous preservatives, like parabens or formaldehyde-containing urea, since they don’t have any water or oil that may grow bacteria. This also means they have a longer shelf life than cream or liquid eye cosmetics, so that $46 price tag will last you a while. janeiredaledirect.com.
For a smaller price tag ($7.49), you can give one of the eyeshadows in Almay's new Pure Blends line, which come in colors like stone, sage, cocoa and orchid (yes!) and and are silica-free (no chance of grit getting in your eyes, or, worse, lungs). Almay's shadows are also free of phthalates and parabens and, so far as we can tell, petrochemicals, period.
Green drugstore divas know to love Physicians Formula new Organic Wear mineral eyeshadows in round cardboard compacts with mirrored lids; each contains two shades of brown, green or blue, and 15.9% certified organic ingredients. Organic Wear is certifed by Ecocert, a respected French organization that also vets food, mostly in Europe, and requires that all packaging be recyclable. Regularly $7.95, now only $4.77 at Drugstore.com . Take care not to confuse with the regular Physicians Formula line, including eye shadows, which contain parabens.