We focus a lot on the virtual impact of different foods, but in this week’s post, we’re going to talk about the water that must be used to produce common kinds of make-up and other beauty projects.  After all, what’s the point of making our faces beautiful if we leave behind permanent scars on our planet?

Most of us have been putting on lipstick since we were little kids.  The primary ingredient in lipstick is beeswax, a natural ingredient that is made by, of course, bees.  Luckily for our green friends, the beeswax is made by honey bees, meaning that for the resources necessary to keep bees alive and healthy, you get two products, halving the virtual water impact.  Bees will generally find their own water, but if a beekeeper were to choose to provide water for their bees, they would need three gallons of water per day. 

Eye shadow  is made of minerals that are mined from the earth.  Blush is highly unnatural, made of a lot of chemical blends.  Another option is to check out fruit pigmented makeups. However, in place of store-bought makeups, you can make your own from more local and natural (and hence, more water-friendly) materials.  Just be careful when choosing your ingredients – even some natural products, like the oft-referenced cocoa powder in these recipes, are virtual-water heavy.   Fruits and vegetables will generally be better, especially if they’re fruits and vegetables that you grow yourself using greywater techniques or rain barrels for irrigation.

Another way to cut down on your virtual water is to use less makeup.  By wearing your make-up only on certain days or special occasions, you can drastically reduce your virtual water footprint.  Or heck, as The Longest Straw director would say, who needs make up?  Most importantly, makeup or no makeup, remember to celebrate your beautiful soul and honor our beautiful earth.  At the end of the day, of course, beauty is only skin deep.