18 November 2018Last updated


“I’ve given up commercial cosmetics”

Dubai-based Charlie Iantorno has stopped using all conventional makeup and started making her own from scratch. Follow her journey on Instagram @charliemakesachange

Tabitha Barda
11 Oct 2016 | 04:31 pm
  • Charlie Iantorno

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM

Why did you decide to make your own makeup?

I have been researching chemical free living on and off for the past year now and the more I look into it the more I am aware of how many chemicals we are exposed to and actually put on our skin everyday. Also, a lot of make up brands test on animals and it’s often really expensive. I thought ‘why I can’t make my own?’ And started researching recipes.

How easy is it to do?

First I had to get all the ingredients – while many of them are available in stores such as Holland and Barrett and Organic Foods and Cafe, I bulk ordered most of mine from Amazon and All together it cost about Dh1,000, but as I ordered large sizes of everything they should last me at least a year. Once I had all the ingredients, it was surprisingly easy to make the products. It does involve a bit of experimentation and it can get quite messy, but it was really fun getting stuck in.

How does it compare to conventional makeup?

I was surprised by how easy the face powder, bronzer and blusher was to apply (no patchiness) and how good it looks. It feels like silk on your skin and I honestly think it gives just as good coverage as conventional make up. The eye liner and mascara don’t seem to last as long as other make up and don’t apply as easily, however I’ve only made one batch so I think I need to experiment a little more with the recipe to get it just right, which is part of the fun. In terms of cleansing, as the make up is so light on my skin, it removes really easily so I can be more gentle wiping it off. I find using organic coconut oil as a makeup remover or the home made cleanser helps and my skin looks and feels like I’ve had a facial after removing the make up.

Will you be sticking with it?

From now on I don’t think I could ever go back to commercial products and want to introduce even more chemical-free homemade recipes into my daily life. It seems to be cheaper, better for your general health, the environment and more exciting to use!

Ask the experts: why go natural?

Jeremy Muijs is founder of Australian organic beauty brand Grown Alchemist, which has just launched in the UAE. He says:


“Many people worry about the chemicals in conventional cosmetics – namely laurel sulphates, petro-chemicals, artificial fragrances, nitrosamine releasers, parabens, paraffins, synthetic colours, glycols. This is mainly because of the connection these ingredients could have with certain types of cancer, but they also age your skin cells because they are more difficult to process. The body recognises and utilises natural ingredients better than artificial ones. Well-formulated natural and organic products are better for your body all round, as they are used more easily and therefore put less pressure on your cells, meaning your cells (including your skin cells) function better and are healthier.”

Tabitha Barda

Tabitha Barda

Deputy Editor