I've been dipping my toes into the clean beauty world for the last few months. It started with the display at Target catching my eye, and then I totally fell down the Youtube rabbit hole. I was already pregnant at the time, and interested in maybe making better choices about what I apply to my skin.
Why clean beauty? What IS clean beauty? I think people/companies draw their line for "clean" in different places, but in general, they are products that don't use (or at least, minimize their use of) toxic ingredients, irritants, parabens, sulfates, etc. They may limit or eliminate the use of fragrances, and they may sustainably and/or ethically source their ingredients. They may even use eco-friendly packaging. They're generally vegan and cruelty-free. They might use plant oils/extracts, minerals, stuff like that.
I know, this is a very vague and nebulous definition, but to be honest, I'm still learning all this stuff myself. I'm not positive that this isn't all just a marketing gimmick sometimes, but for people with sensitive skin, it's really helpful to cut out or reduce ingredients that might be harmful, you know? Especially as my pregnancy progressed, and my skin (all over, not just on my face) started getting inflamed, irritated, dry, red, etc. (thanks, PUPPP rash and pregnancy hormones!), I started being a lot more conscientious about my skincare especially, and I think that that has made a difference in improving the health and appearance of my skin.
So, my first step was switching to natural/clean skincare, because good skincare, regardless of whether it's clean or regular, is an important step for your makeup looking good. In case you're wondering, I've mentioned these before, but I'm using Fleur & Bee's full line of products, minus the charcoal mask. I've also started including the following in my regimen (none of these links are affiliate/sponsored, by the way):
- Honest Beauty's Prime + Perfect mask three days a week
- their Organic Face Oil after my moisturizer
- I have a couple samples of First Aid Beauty's Weightless Liquid Mineral SPF that I'm trying out, that I think I may purchase
- I'm absolutely in love with Cocokind's mymatcha all-over moisture stick for my lips and eyes, and carry mine with me everywhere.
My makeup routine, however, is a mix of things: a lot of old standbys (Fenty, Urban Decay, BeneFit), plus some new-to-me brands that are on the cleaner side (Honest Beauty, Thrive Causemetics). I own a lot of makeup (even after destashing about 85% of it), so I'm trying to use up what I have, but I also want to explore clean alternatives, so that when it's time to repurchase, I can gradually transition to a more clean routine.
What draws me to clean beauty, in addition to health benefits, is that it comes with its own aesthetic, one that suits me pretty well. It's no secret that I fell out of love with beauty blogging and the beauty industry in general because I was feeling, well, old and left out :) I do not fit into the whole Instagram-brows, highlighted-and-contoured-to-the-nines, 10-shades-of-eyeshadow-perfectly-blended aesthetic that the major beauty influencers and companies were all on board with--I'm 37 now, and while, yes, you can look however you want at any age, I myself at this age am not interested in that look.
Clean beauty is a lot more minimalist, neutral, and natural. There is less color, yes, but I'm at a point in my life where rainbow eyeshadow doesn't feel like a priority to me anymore. After over a decade of makeup drawers overflowing and decisions becoming overwhelming, I was ready for a makeup routine that was simple, fuss-free, and still beautiful. The health benefits of clean beauty products was an added bonus.
SO ANYWAY, now that I've gone over all that, let's get to the makeup. I'm still in the process of using up what I have (and to be honest, I DO just really love all my Fenty stuff! I bought it for a reason!), but I definitely also wanted to see if I could put together a workable clean beauty routine that could still achieve the look that I wanted.
So here's what I've been able to put together so far, with the products I already have, and with some sample/mini sizes of things. (Again, not trying to add a ton of extra stuff I won't use much to my makeup stash.) I went for affordable products as much as I could, though "affordable" clean beauty is generally still not going to be drugstore brand prices. (Some are, some aren't.)
- Honest Beauty CCC Tinted Moisturizer (in shade Fair, which I've never been IN MY LIFE)
- PUR Beauty Love Your Selfie foundation/concealer, as under-eye concealer and eye primer (in shade LN7; I bought a mini)
- Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation (in shade Neutral 4; I got a sample. Also, they're Portland-based!)
- Honest Beauty Elevated Hydration Mist (already had)
- Pacifica Beauty Sun Dreams Bronzer Duo (just the bronzer part; I don't LOVE this--it's a little too dark for me, and VERY pigmented, so if you get this, use a light hand)
- Aether Beauty Summer Solstice eyeshadow palette and Rose Quartz cheek palette (I used the highlighter and the middle blush shade here)--I LOVE this company and their products, and even if I never fully switch to clean beauty, I will still reach for their products. I think the eyeshadow palette will just BE my everyday palette. (Urban Decay who?)
- Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions mascara, Infinity Waterproof Eyebrow Liner, and Instant Brow Fix Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Gel (I wear the shade Serena in those last two). These products have become my Holy Grail products. Like, I would marry them if they were people.
- Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm (I love alll of them, but specifically I'm wearing the shade Fruit Punch)
Yeah, maybe this routine doesn't necessarily sound simpler or more minimal, but trust me, in practice, it is :) I was also wanting to be a little bit extra today, but on a normal day, I actually just apply some bronzer and highlight to my eyelids instead of regular eyeshadow, and I'm on the hunt for a light-to-medium coverage foundation (I rarely use powder or even concealer), so actually, my everyday routine is even simpler.
This is just the beginning of my clean beauty journey, and I'm looking forward to trying more brands and more products as I figure out what works best for me. (So, don't any purists come into my comments to critique my choices! Progress, not perfection!)
Let me know if you're into trying clean beauty, and what you're loving!