Eat My Lips

by Stephanie Schomer & David Lidsky SOURCE Fast Company

From make-up products you can essentially eat to the elimination of razor burn with one stroke of a boar's brush - seems natural and good looks actually can go hand in hand.

If you wouldn't eat your bath and body products, you're using the wrong stuff, says Teporah Bilezikian, owner of the makeup company Monavé: "Cosmetics are like fresh batches of pudding -- they shouldn't last six months." All-natural and handcrafted small-batch skin- and hair-care products used to be less accessible, but these days, there are more than ever. We tested a selection of products for both men and women. Here's what we found.

Ladies, put down your Pantene. (1) Red Leaf's shampoo bar ($11,, created with ingredients sourced from the Seattle area, produces a surprising amount of suds and left my hair feeling cleaner than my usual shampoo. Next, my face: Of the cleansers and toners I tested, my favorite was (2) Angel Face Botanicals' Rose Crystal Toner ($32,, which claims to contain a magic elixir, extracted from rose-quartz gems, that aids moisture absorption and reduces wrinkles. Whether it was the quartz or pixie dust, my face felt refreshed -- and ready for makeup. (3) Craftiness's pink dymondwood and sable kabuki-style brush ($17, is ultrasoft (and ultra-girly). With it, I dusted on (4) Monavé's silk garnet blush ($14,, a mineral makeup that gives better coverage than a typical drugstore powder. Finally, I tested 13 scents. One, Theme Fragrance's Paisley Too, was a reminder of the tricky alchemy of perfumery; it was cloying, as if chocolate Lip Smacker lip balm had been liquefied. But (5) Theme's Lotus Lake ($15, shows what happens when it's done right. The subtle sandalwood-and-tea mix -- a top seller for creator Elizabeth Morrison -- is light, delicate, and deceptively simple. -- Stephanie Schomer

You never see razor burn in old photographs. For all our modern tools -- lubricating gels, moisturizing balms with SPF -- an apothecary-style morning ritual combining today's knowledge with old-time techniques may be a better way. I started with a (1) Semogue shaving brush, handmade in Portugal by a small family business. The stiff boar bristles of the 1520 brush ($21, felt so great while exfoliating my skin that I may start brushing my face for fun. I used it with (2) GentlemEns Refinery's Black Ice shave cream ($28,, developed by Las Vegas master barber Perry Gastis. Its light pink hue and whiff of anise (an anti-inflammatory) shocked me at first, but it builds a rich, not-too-thick lather. I finished off my face like my old man did, with an aftershave splash; (3) Portland General Store's whiskey aftershave ($12,, an alcohol- and sting-free Depression-era recipe made in small batches in Maine, tightens pores. To complete the nostalgic regimen, I dabbed on a little (4) Madame Scodioli Gray Skies solid scent ($7,, a warm, strong sandalwood-like fragrance made by hand by a mysterious bearded woman in Kansas. The air is redolent with stories I've heard and characters I've met -- and I never even left my bathroom sink. -- David Lidsky

Photo credit: Lisa Shin