The health and beauty market is booming with eco- and vegan-friendly make-up, personal care and beauty products. We’re so fortunate, and so are the animals and our planet, to have an ever growing demand for cruelty-free products and to have companies willing to push themselves to fill this demand. Let’s face it, the world we live in is very animal ingredient-centric, which poses a challenge for such companies to bring us high quality products and change market trends.
I recently had the opportunity to try a few products from one of these such brands, Ecco Bella. Ecco Bella is an almost all vegan brand with strong a strong animal activist stance in their mission statement. I say almost all vegan, because some of their products include carmine (from the cochineal beetle) and bees wax. Please see my interview, below, with Ecco Bella founder Sally Malanga for her explanation of why they use these ingredients. I have seen other vegan brands that have pink and red colored lip products that don’t use carmine and there are definitely plenty of vegan bees wax substitutes, so the answers didn’t quite do it for me. I do hope the company finds alternatives and stops using these ingredients, because I truly like the vegan products I tried.
I received samples of the a Natural Eyeshadow in Galaxy (grey), a paperback compact to place the eye shadow in, a black mascara, the Lavender water-free herbal body lotion, and the Eye Nutrients Cream.
Ecco Bella Make up
All of the product are well made and of quality ingredients and packaging components. None of the items are fancy or flashy, but they’re sensible and have details that took some thought and consideration. The paperback compact is has a sturdy construction and looks like it can handle some wear. It also has a nice magnetic bottom that holds eyeshadow refills in place, a good size mirror and an elastic to hold it closed. The eyeshadow provides nice even coverage that will last most of the day (all day with a primer). Galaxy, the grey color I selected, is a neutral, medium tone that can be worn during the day or at night. The mascara is one of the nicest ones I’ve used in a while. It isn’t runny and doesn’t clump, at least not so far. There’s something to be said about mascara that goes on smoothly and doesn’t make your eye lashes feel funny and heavy. It cleans off easily and doesn’t leave clumps or racoon eyes. The tube is made of clear plastic, so you can keep an eye on your mascara level. Lastly, the mirror on the back side of the tube was a thoughtful detail but could use some perfecting. It is a bit warped and is really hard to see what you’re really doing.
Ecco Bella Skin Care
Although I liked the make-up items, the superstars of this review are the Water-Free Herbal Body Lotions and the Eye Nutrients Cream. I’m always in search of a good eye cream and body lotion for year-round use and have had a hard time finding ones I really love. I think I have finally found them.
The Eye Nutrients Cream is light, yet moisturizing. It works in well and quickly, with no oily or heavy feel, and it wears well under make up. According to the Ecco Bella website, it contains an antioxidant rich formula that reinforces and replenishes the delicate skin around the eyes. It’s naturally-preserved, gluten-free, vegan and cruelty-free.
The Water-Free Herbal Body Lotion is formulated with Aloe Vera instead of water, making it ultra rich but not oily. According to the website, the lotions are made without water and will transform dry, irritated, flaky skin into silky suppleness for hours after other lotions have worn off. It truly is a wonder. It works in easily and doesn’t leave a tacky or oily residue and its moisturizing effect do, indeed, last hours more than other body lotions I’ve used. We’ve had a mostly mild winter here in PA so far, but temperatures plummeted this week and my skin hasn’t flaked as it usually would. I’ve been using the lotion for about 3 weeks now and haven’t felt the dry itches I usually feel in colder weather.
Another plus for Ecco Bella in my book is that they’re fairly local, just a few hours away in North Jersey.
Be sure to read the interview with Sally Malanga (below) and check out Ecco Bella’s website to learn more about their lovely products.
Interview with Ecco Bella Founder Sally Malanga
1- FA2V: How long have you been vegan and what promoted you to become vegan?
SM: I have been a vegan for over five years and a vegetarian for thirty. I gave up fish when I learned that fisherman use bombs to kill and maim seals who compete to eat their own fish. I practice compassionate consumerism and will not buy any product that denies other living beings their right to happiness.
2- FA2V: How and when was the idea of starting Ecco Bella born?
SM: Out of protest to the use of animals in irresponsible and cruel testing. The use of animals in ingredients such as collagen, keratin, glycerine, tallow.
A second reason emerged, the use of many toxic ingredients in personal care. I discovered the Garden of Eden that exists on the planet and that it can be used sustainably for our beauty and health benefits.
3- FA2V: Tell us about more Ecco Bella’s philosophy of doing no harm?
SM: We are all living on this planet together, and as far as I know, there is nowhere else to go. So we make every Ecco Bella decision based on: Does it help our customers be happy without harm? Can we create a product which benefits consumers and supports organic farmers? We search out recycled paper suppliers, glass suppliers, and others who create responsible businesses in a vast network of eco business. We speak out for legislation to protect the environment and animals. And we support nonprofits like Friends of Animals and many others.
4- FA2V: Most of your products are vegan except for the red and pink lip products that contain carmine and cover-up sticks that contain beeswax. Why do you still use these ingredients, if you have such a strong activist philosophy? Do you plan to phase out these ingredients for plant-based ingredients in the near future?
SM: Currently there are no plant-based substitutes for carmine which comes from the shells of cochineal beetles. We are constantly seeking a substitute. We probably buy no more than ten pounds of beeswax and are seeking to replace that with a plant based wax. However, I have learned of a compassionate way of sharing beeswax with the bees and encourage people to learn about it at www.honeyflow.com/.
5- FA2V: Why is there no water in any Ecco Bella products?
SM: You can drink all the water you want for free! Ecco Bella products are made from very expensive all-active ingredients that make a difference to your skin. These are organic aloe vera, the top seven nutriceuticals like lutein, lycopene, COQ10, Vitamin C and super-Vitamin E with tocotrienols.
6- FA2V: Ecco Bella has a broad range of products from skin care, body care, make up to hair care and perfume. What are your personal favorites and why?
SM: I like the simplicity of the line where fewer products do more for you. My everyday favorite is the Mist On Toner and Vitamin Spray. It makes me feel wonderful to know that the vitamins are creating a wonderful veil of benefit from my face to my toes.
7- FA2V: Which products would you recommend to someone buying Ecco Bella for the first time?
SM: Try the FlowerColor Lipstick that thinks it’s a lip balm! Everyone needs to wear lipstick!