Karen Murrell on what to look for when choosing a lipstick

Karen Murrell

Karen Murrell, founder of natural lipstick brand Karen Murrell. Image supplied.

Did you know that around 60% of conventional lipsticks contain harmful ingredients, such as parabens, heavy metals and even lead? Think about it, you apply a layer of lippy in the morning and as the day progresses your colour slowly fades away after eating, drinking and licking your lips, you are ingesting that lipstick and in turn, ingesting those potentially harmful ingredients. The beauty industry is unfortunately unregulated for the most part so there is nothing really stopping a brand from using harmful ingredients to make their products and it’s not just the cheap brands and knock offs, believe it or not, some of those high-end beauty brands are the worst offenders for containing harmful levels of toxins in their products.

So, the next time you reach for your favourite lipstick, you might want to think twice and have a read of the ingredients list, after all, you’re not just endangering yourself but also those you kiss such as your partner or children. Lucky for us lipstick lovers, there are some health-conscious brands on the market that actually give a damn about what you are putting in and on to your body and one of those brands is Kiwi owned and operated, Karen Murrell, who has been championing the way for clean lipsticks since 2008. We had a chat with Karen on what it is we need to look out for when choosing a lipstick and about her brand.

What makes a lipstick potentially toxic?
It’s not that any lipstick is toxic or has the ‘kiss of death’ in this modern world (unlike the ancient Egyptian era), but there are some potentially hazardous ingredients that we can all look out for, ingredients that are not so great to be using on our lips, face and body.

When looking for a cleaner lipstick option, what ingredients should we be looking to avoid?
When researching or purchasing your next favourite lippy, try to avoid;

– Parabens, which are now banned across most of Europe;

– Propylparaben, manufactured synthetically and are allergens which can cause acne and endocrine disruption;

– Tocopheryl acetate, which can cause itching, hives and toxicity.

In some very inexpensive lipsticks, you may also find Poletheylene Glycol Tolyne and Oxybenzone. I would be very careful around the use of these synthetic ingredients.

Karen Murrell

Natural lipsticks by Karen Murrell.

Does a ‘clean’ lipstick mean a ‘natural’ lipstick? If not what are some of the differences?
Clean refers to products that are ethically sourced and made with total body and the environment in mind in the creation, meaning the brand is a total package. Clean beauty products are free of toxic or potentially harmful ingredients, but those ingredients can be natural or synthetic.

Natural generally refers to the ingredients in an individual product being of a natural or pure nature, rather than their synthetic alternatives.

Well established and loved in New Zealand (and overseas) since 2008, can you tell us a bit about Karen Murrell and your lip products?
I started Karen Murrell natural lipsticks in 2008 with five lipstick colours, and my range now includes twenty-five beautiful colours with the addition of our new Lip Scrub launching next month! (Keep an eye out!)

I believe in natural beauty, with lipsticks made from the finest natural and nourishing ingredients, including avocado and evening primrose oils, candelilla, carnauba wax, cinnamon and sweet orange to treat your lips with every application. My lipsticks are also free from parabens, coal tar, carmine, mineral oils and triclosan.

I have had multiple requests for other non-lip products from suppliers, however, my view has always been, stay in your lane with what you’re truly passionate about. During Covid-19 I found a true creative wave come over me, which shocked even myself. My customers are pretty excited to see what is to come for Karen Murrell, and I’m excited to share this journey with them!

Images supplied.

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