Many a young girl wants her nails done and asks to wear lip color to emulate Mom’s pretty look. Parents often oblige with strokes of polish on their tiny fingers and lipgloss when they hit middle school.
But Mom’s Butter London polish and MAC Viva Glam Lipglass aren’t exactly child’s play, nor are they cheap. And toy makeup, while cute and inexpensive, may not meet Mom’s careful criteria for “clean” personal care.
That’s where Priscilla Cheung saw a need.
“I think most girls will become curious about makeup at some point – I don’t know many girls who have never stolen their mom’s makeup,” said Cheung, who is founder of Luna Star Naturals, Denton, TX.
With a background in toy manufacturing, Cheung was “very aware of the quality of makeup for kids and teens and a lack of choice for parents who want better-quality products for their girls. If the average adult woman is spending hundreds of dollars a year on makeup and skin care products for themselves, why are we buying cheap, chemical-laced products for our kids when their skin is delicate,” she asked.
So, Cheung said created Luna Star Naturals as a safe, healthy alternative “to the cheap, chemical-filled imported products flooding the mass market.”
According to Cheung, most toy makeup or tween makeup is filled with mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, paraben-based preservatives, artificial FD&C colors and lake dyes.
“Even some tween/teen-oriented brands that claim to be natural are filled with questionable ingredients,” she said.
Luna Star Naturals ingredients, however, are “truly natural” and the company “swears off any harsh chemicals.”
“We want to be the trusted name for parents seeking truly safe and natural products for their children,” she said.
Chung told Happi.com that her firm has two core principles: making products that are as natural as possible, but keeping it affordable, even for kids who are armed with pocket money.
Luna Star’s roster is lead by its Sparkli Naturali mineral play makeup kits. Standard kits ($19.99) contain mineral eye shadow, mineral blush, organic lip shimmer, two applicators and a powder puff; deluxe kits ($26.99) include those items plus a nail polish.
In 2013, Sparkli’s Princess- and Fairy-themed kits won the National Association of Parenting Publications Award and was lauded by Creative Child magazine.
And Luna Star is growing with its clientele.
“We got a lot of parents asking for similar products for older girls, so we developed Klee Girls, a line especially for tweens and teens,” said Cheung.
The Klee collection includes 12 natural mineral eye shadows, four blushes and four natural berry-scented lip glosses. There are also gift sets that Cheung contends are perfect for any “girl’s first makeup kit.”
Luna Star also touts PinkiNaturali, a water-based nail polish line.
“The nail polish is completely odor-free because it is free of acetates, alcohol and other harmful chemicals like camphor, formaldehyde and toluene. Best of all, it can be peeled off without any nail polish remover,” said Cheung who noted that it is the firm’s only product we that contains a non-natural ingredient: the resins. “The resins however are completely non-toxic and free of phthalates,” she said.
There are 12 colors ranging from Nashville (red) to Sacramento (baby pink shimmer) to Little Rock (powder blue) to Indianapolis (metallic silver).
The company also offers products that are used for face painting—popular with all young kids whether at a birthday party or cheer competition or soccer tournament.
Keeping with its standards, Pretend Naturali natural face paint is made of natural oils, waxes and mineral colors “and is what I believe the only all natural option there is available commercially,” noted Cheung. “It does not contain any petrochemical ingredients, glycol and artificial colors found in most other brands.”
Pretendi face paint sticks are sold as single sticks (12 colors are offered) and in 2- and 4-stick sets. There is also mineral powder face paint that comes in two kits: Animal Medley and Pixie Magic. Both contain 5 blendable colors and applicators.
Looking ahead, Luna Star will roll out a PretendiFourth of July face paint kit and select Whole Foods Markets will soon carry the Pinki Naturali line.
“Our goal is not to provide beauty-enhancing products because we don’t believe that girls need makeup to be or feel pretty,” Cheung relayed to Happi.com. “Our goal is to provide a clean, safe and age-appropriate option when parents think their girls are ready for makeup.”
Pretty Young Thing
From getting their nails done by Mom to the experimental tween years, makeup is a rite of passage for many girls. Luna Star’s line has been designed as a safer option—whether for dress up, a cheer competition, or that first school dance.
By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor
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