Pesticides and cigarettes aren’t the only thing loaded with chemicals. Most make-up is pretty bad, too. Unfortunately, natural make-up is stupidly overpriced. Well, most make-up is stupidly overpriced, but once you slap an organic/natural/vegan label on anything it at least doubles the price, even if that label is a big, fat lie.

EKC gel eyeliners. Clockwise from top left: Deep Brown, Emerald Green, Blackest Black, Sterling Silver, Eggplant Purple, Blackstar Green.

Enter Eye Kandii Cosmetics. Based out of Burns Lake, British Columbia, EKC makes all-natural cosmetics, most of which are vegan. They focus on customer service and highly pigmented, long-lasting cosmetics with no harmful chemicals. Awesome.

EKC also offers some of the best prices around on cosmetics, even if you count the shipping. A couple weeks ago I scored an excellent deal on a tube of primer and six pots of gel eyeliner. For $23, shipping included. And, to be honest, that wasn’t even a deal. That was the standard price. And she even threw in a wet liner/foiling medium for free.

That's a lot of primer for $5!

Best of all, everything was way bigger than I thought it would be! The pots of eyeliner are 6 grams, but it turns out that is way more than it sounds like. It’s about a tablespoon, and that is several years worth of gel eyeliner for me. I have never finished that much make-up. And I got six of them. YAY!

The make-up is great, too. The primer promises to keep your eyeshadow crease-free for up to 16 hours while containing only natural ingredients. I got the “B-Primed Purely Nude shadow primer”, which goes on white and dries clear. I find it dries incredibly fast, so you have to be lightening quick to spread it across your lids before it dries and just starts ‘skidding’. This stuff stays where it dries. To combat the insta-dry, you can try and apply it in one fell swoop, or apply a small bead of argan oil (USA / Canada) to each eyelid a while before you apply the primer. That teensy bit of extra lubrication gives you a few extra seconds to work.

That's all the primer you need for each lid. You could probably use less if you can get any less out of the tube!

While 16 hours might be a bit of an exaggeration, this primer definitely extends the life of your eyeshadow. I tested it by using the cheapest eyeshadow I own. It’s a palette I got on eBay—168 colours for $12. It cannot be MAC quality. I figured it could use the help a nice primer would lend. I applied primer to one lid, and then the same eyeshadow to each lid. I finished it off with some black EKC gel liner. Then I took photos every two hours to see what happened. See for yourself:

No primer, 0 hours

With primer, 0 hours

No primer, 2 hours

With primer, 2 hours

No primer, 4 hours

With primer, 4 hours

No primer, 6 hours

With primer, 6 hours

No primer, 8 hours

With primer, 8 hours

So, as you can see, there is noticeable creasing on both eyes after 8 hours. The eye with primer is definitely better, though. And this was terribly low-quality eyeshadow as well. I didn’t take photos for hours 10 and 12, but they weren’t very pretty. The primed eye was still better, though.

The gel liner is great stuff. The colours are beautiful, the go on well, and they last. They won’t smudge when they dry, but they will flake right off if rubbed or scratched (which makes removal super easy). I used a thin Quo eyeliner brush, and it gives me the thinnest line you can imagine. I might have to go over it twice to get a good, solid line of colour, but it goes on so clean and easy that it’s not an issue at all.

So, overall, I’m a fan. Their customer service is fast and friendly, their shipping rates are fair, and I dare you to find a better price on natural make-up. Or even conventional make-up, for that matter. EKC makes lip gloss, lip stain, eyeshadow, blush, cover-up, mascara, and more, and in heaps of great colours. Next time you need something, I’d definitely recommend giving them a try.