A few years ago, I came across a small beauty and skincare boutique named Junk Free Beauty. The company exclusively sells “clean” products.
This visit started me on a journey to lessen the toxic load of the contents of my makeup bag and skincare shelves. At my first visit to Junk Free Beauty, I was introduced to a new range of brands and products, some of which have remained as my favorite beauty solutions.
You may be thinking, what exactly is clean beauty?
To me, it is products that are mindfully created and produced without any proven or suspected toxic or potentially problematic chemicals or ingredients.
Clean Beauty products include ingredients ethically sourced and are made with the health of our bodies and the environment in mind.
I have always tried to be mindful of what I put in my body, and after doing some research, I decided I wanted to try and clean up what I put on my exterior too. Your skin is the largest organ after all so why not try and limit exposure to unnecessary chemicals when possible? For more in-depth info, check out this article from Goop.
Fast forward a year, I decided to help my teenage daughters to swap out their make-up. There are so many great places offering clean beauty and skincare options. We planned a fun day in Soho and Credo Beauty offered a “clean makeup bag” swap. You bring your makeup bag full of your favorite products, they find you alternative beauty solutions, and give you a makeover with them and then you choose what to take home with you. It was a perfect girls day out!
I’ve also had the privilege of working with talented makeup artists who have shared tips and tricks of the trade and great products (conventional and “cleaner”) that I would not have known about.
Over the years and with much trial and error, I have learned that someone else’s must-have products may not work for me just as my must-have products may not work for others but I still love to try things out and like to give new products a chance. I especially love trying cult products that reach top status on every beauty editor’s list. Some I agree with and some not so much. I love to discover whether the cult product is worthy of the fanfare for me. My goal here is to share some of what I am currently using and loving (or not) and trying.
Sometimes there’s a perfect swap for keeping it “cleaner”, but sometimes the conventional products just worked better for me, so it’s a balance and ongoing process. My makeup bag and vanity cabinet, much like my life, are works in progress.
Some items I buy directly from brands, others from makeup artists or dermatologists who recommended or spas where I try them, department stores, and then there are specialty beauty stores I like to get my products from (both brick and mortar and online, although lately I’m all about online). A few good places to start are Credo Beauty, Detox Market, Beautycounter, Sephora has recently expanded their cleaner beauty section, as has Blue Mercury and the original Junk Free Beauty where I started this journey.
Josh Rosebrook Tinted Moisturizer with SPF is a basic everyday moisture and underlayer. I have been using this ever since I was introduced to it at Junk Free Beauty Solutions.
Ilia tinted moisturizer with SPF was the perfect swap for my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. It is different from the Josh Rosebrook because this feels like more of a makeup layer than moisturizer. This evens out the skin and camouflages imperfections. Sadly, this exact one has been discontinued in my favorite color. This is the new version that I have to try when mine runs out.
Indie Lee Squalane Oil was a find from my friend and makeup artist, Yonina Haber of Glitter & Gloss. A few drops of this underneath your makeup makes everything glow. It’s not oily, goes on easily and doesn’t have a smell (I am sensitive to smells).
I love a good mask that I only need to use in my bathroom. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask I use weekly. This little green pot is one of my favorite beauty solutions. I love that it goes on clear, there’s no mess, it hardens to dry and when I rinse it off, I not only feel but actually see a difference. This product is one that has definitely lived up to its cult status.
Vintner's Daughter is a cult product that I kept reading about and hearing about and I was so curious to try it.
Warning: if you are sensitive to smell, this may not be for you. It is all organic and the story behind it is beautiful. It was created on a vineyard; the Vintner’s daughter couldn’t find the perfect skin serum so she decided to create it herself. The product goes on smoothly, and feels good. I invested in it for approximately 6 months, used it daily, but honestly didn’t notice anything different in my skin. The price tag was high and so I decided it wasn’t right for me and moved onto other serums. There’s a serum and an active essence.
I have friends who swear by Augustinus Bader, The Rich Cream (along with many beauty editors and influencers) which made it become another cult product that I just had to try. I went through two bottles and wasn’t seeing the transformative results on my skin to justify the price tag, so onto the next.
LANEIGE Lip Balm is a cult product I have been loving and keep repeat ordering. I go through a lot.
I once ran out of remover and had read somewhere that coconut oil makes a great remover. So, I went to my kitchen, grabbed my tub of Eye Makeup Remover – Coconut Oil, proceeded to put it on a cotton round and just swiped off my makeup. It all came off so easily and bonus, my sensitive eye area which is often dry, was moisturized. To remove the rest of my make up, I like Micellar water.
I came across Gangster Chic Beautiful Rose Oil in the Instagram world. It smells amazing and has actually helped clear up small patches of eczema that I sometimes get. I have found that as I get older, oils often work better for my skin rather than creams.
Make Up Beauty Solutions
I instantly fell in love with Tower 28 fun colorful lip glosses at Credo Beauty on my day with my girls. All three of us have these in every color. I have gifted them to friends and shouted from the rooftops about how much I love them. They’re the perfect mix of non-sticky and hint of color gloss. They are not, however, long lasting but I don’t mind reapplying. People are often surprised when they see the color in the tube vs how it comes out. Also, at $14 a tube, it’s a non-guilty pleasure.
Dermatologist @tuchmanderm recommended ISDN Concealer which is by far the best concealer I have ever used. I struggle with dark circles under my eyes and with just a few dabs it really helps brighten up the area. It’s strong and thick so I mix it with a little moisturizer for the perfect consistency.
Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extension was the closest I found to my previous favorite beauty solutions, Trish McEvoy, which was the only mascara that didn’t smudge on me. I love that it comes off in clumps. I have also been using Ilia and Honest Beauty which I love for lengthening and volume, but I find by the end of the day they’re smudging.
RMS Blush in Angel is an exact swap for Nars Orgasm. I have loved it from day 1 and have continued to replenish when it runs out.
Baby Washcloths are another staple on my bathroom counter. They actually get softer each time you wash them. Softer and thinner than traditional washcloths if these are good enough for a baby's bottom, they're good enough for my face, don't we all want skin as soft as a baby?!
Currently undergoing research trials on my counter are...
Biologique Recherche P50 Original 1970 (this may have the ultimate cult of all cult products), Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream, Agent Natur Ageless Eye Serum Holi Glow, Agent Natur Body Serum, Nécessaire Body Lotion
One of the best pieces of beauty & wellness advice is to nourish your skin from the inside out. What are your favorite ways to stay hydrated all the time? Check out mine.
Wishing you all a beautiful day!