Before shopping CVS and Walgreen’s I didn’t wear much makeup. I couldn’t afford it. All the ladies in my bible study, MOPs group, church did. And they wore it well. I felt a bit like a hillbilly grade schooler transplanted into an O.C. high school.

Then I started getting makeup for free. So I could actually afford to experiment with colors and find what worked for me. I thought I was looking pretty good.

I even got some compliments. “Have you lost weight? Dyed your hair? You look so pretty!” The fact that they didn’t recognize it as MAKEUP made me even happier. I, apparently, was doing it right.

However, all the while, in the back of my head, something was nagging me. I pushed it away, refused to let it occupy much time in my mind. But it kept resurfacing.

“You call yourself a Natural Mommy. Just how “natural” is this stuff you’re caking onto your face?”

“But everyone does it!”

I am arguing with myself as though I am my own mother. Pathetic.

I continued to trust Cover Girl to, you know, not poison my pores and I shoved that thought back down where it hopefully wouldn’t bother me any longer.

And then a good friend showed me this site. Oi. Their mascara? Yeah, has ingredients known to cause CANCER. As does their foundation that I slather on my face daily.

What’s more, look up your favorite lotion. Bodywash. Soap. Even Burt’s Bees gets some bad ratings on a few products. And Johnson & Johnson baby products? Only a moderate hazard.

What do you do when confronted with this information while on a tight budget? Splurge on Aveeno and Dr. Bonner? Which , by the way, is NEVER free at CVS.

I implore you, natural-mommies-on-budgets everywhere, what do you do?