Pretty and Pure is one of the first all natural beauty concept stores in Zürich and opened it's doors in the summer of 2015. I took the opportunity of spending the day at the store to take a closer look at their brands, their spa offer and to chat to the owners about their personal path to natural cosmetics.
The two women behind Pretty and Pure opened the store out of conviction. Sarah, a professional make up artist with over ten years experience in the field and Nadine, a beautician trained in natural cosmetics have both been on their own journey of discovery that led them to realise they no longer want to support the million dollar cosmetic industry. After educating themselves they slowly changed their cosmetic products to natural, organic and cruelty-free products and also adopted their diet to a more unprocessed, plant-based approach. Holistic wholesome living, baby.
It was only natural for the two make up experts to start a beauty store that reflected their values. At Pretty and Pure, the focus lies on luxurious organic and natural cosmetic products that have not undergone any animal testing. No need to worry about hidden nasty ingredients here! They offer anything from vegan make-up brushes, mineral make-ups in every colour imaginable, nourishing face oils, exotic soaps and natural hair care.
They carry products from brands like RMS Beauty, Alima Pure Skincare, Soap Walla, Yarok, John Masters Organics, Ambre Botanicals, Hurraw lip balm and nail polish from Mineral Fusion.As you might know, I've been in the process of slowly switching to natural cosmetics myself, so this was heaven on earth for me.
But Pretty and Pure is not only a shop (+ online shop); they also have a small spa and cosmetic studio. The offer ranges from facials, full body treatments, hand and feet treatments and make up services. Using only natural products, of course.
Sarah really took the time to explain the tricks of the trade in the cosmetic industry and why natural is better. Together we even looked up my current face lotion and cleanser and she unveiled to me all the things that are wrong with it...
At least the European governments have already banned 1222 more cosmetic chemicals than the U.S., so that's good news for us living in Europe. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't worry about where our products come from and what's inside. Did you know that we absorb up to 60 % of what we put on our skin? All those chemicals end up in your blood stream within minutes after applying. When I first learnt that, that's when it really made click for me and I realised I wanted to switch to natural alternatives. Especially with things like tooth paste or lipstick which you inevitably end up eating.
The path to developing a toxic-free beauty routine begins with an inventory of what's behind your shower curtain and inside your medicine cabinet. You should be looking at the ingredient label of cosmetics with the same scrutiny as you would read your food's nutrition label. I know that we are all busy peeps and it can be hard to find the time to research every product you buy and educate yourself on the thousands of chemicals we're exposed to every single day. Things to look out for include:
- BHA and BHT
- Coal tar dyes
- Dibutyl phthalate
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
- Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
- PEG compounds
- Sodium laureth sulfate
Even just by eliminating parabens, phthalates and microbeads in your cosmetics, you can already make a big difference and help create a healthier future for yourself. If you want to go a bit further, I can recommend the book No Bull Beauty: Cutting Through The Crap by Sheryl Lynn Gibbs.
Sarah gave it to me during my visit with a suggestive look on her face and said: "Once you read this book, there is no going back." I can only confirm this.
And let's just put it like this: I didn't leave the store empty handed after the tasting. Oops!