Wandering into mom’s closet and rummaging through her makeup bag is a highlight of many girls’ childhoods. But it’s all fun and games until mom realizes the harmful toxins and chemicals in these products are not only hurting her, but also her kids. That’s what happened for Kelli Jackson, founder of Prim & Pure, an organic, natural, toxin-free makeup line for kids that ensures they are only exposed to clean and safe ingredients.
“There are several green beauty brands out there, but they aren’t affordable for kids,” Jackson says. “I was buying $30 lip glosses for my daughter that I knew she was going to lose.”
Jackson’s Prim & Pure line includes eyeshadows, body glitter, lip glosses, nail polishes, perfume rollers and blushes ranging from $4 to $14. They are all made from organic, plant-based ingredients that are cruelty-free, paraben-free, free of synthetic dyes, non-toxic and always made in America.
Inspiration came when the 31-year-old suffered from infertility that she attributes to exposure to endocrine disruptors, or chemicals that interfere with our hormonal systems.
“I wanted to protect my kids from experiencing my same issues,” she says. “It’s very frustrating to see products marketed to kids with so many bad chemicals and parabens.”
With her idea percolating, Jackson quit her corporate finance job and her husband, David, sold his beloved boat so she could jumpstart the line. Now, Prim & Pure is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month.
Prim & Pure’s best-selling product is the fruit and veggie nail polish, which contains beet and carrot root powder, spinach leaf powder and cherry fruit powder. It peels off, so a harsh remover isn’t needed. Jackson even uses it when she wants a fun color for a night out.
The Vero Beach native who now calls Tequesta home says moms started buying the products for their daughters’ dance recitals or cheerleading meets. But after a while, she started getting requests from moms for more neutral eyeshadow colors or darker lip gloss tints so they too could enjoy the products.
While Jackson is embracing the ever-growing greenwashing movement, she’s also realistic about the fact she can’t control every product her children come in contact with.
“You need to find balance, if not you’ll make yourself crazy,” she says. “I preach an 80/20 lifestyle. At home we eat clean and organic, but am I not going to take my kids to the park because I don’t know the chemicals they are spraying? Absolutely not.”
Researching what is in everyday household products can be daunting. Jackson suggests starting small instead of throwing away everything in the house. Apps like Think Dirty or EWG’s Healthy Living let users scan a bottle and discover ingredients and how good or bad they are.
“My focus has never been to scare people,” Jackson says. “It has always been about creating awareness and education.”
Jackson will continue to launch new products, like the face paints she plans to have ready for Halloween. Additionally, she has started looking into new distribution channels like Amazon and Whole Foods. In the next year, she also plans to create care packages for children in local hospitals.