As many of us become more conscious of what we’re putting in our bodies (green juice! gluten-free alternatives!) and what we’re putting our bodies through (SoulCycle! Barre class!), we’re also becoming more aware of what we’re putting on our bodies. While the performance of natural makeup used to pale in comparison to products from our favorite makeup counters, there are many natural makeup brands creating products that are richly pigmented, apply beautifully, and wear as well as their more synthetic competitors. You may already be using some of them and don’t even know they’re all-natural.
But before we get into our favorites, let’s get one thing straight: “Natural” doesn’t automatically mean a product is better or safer for you, as the FDA has nebulous criteria on just what constitutes a natural product (“natural” isn’t regulated for cosmetics, so it can be used purely as a marketing term). “There is no real definition of ‘natural’ in the U.S. beauty industry,” says cosmetic chemist Ginger King. “As long as the bulk of your material is natural, you can say ‘natural-based.’ There is no regulation. The true naturals have seals like COSMOS Natural or Ecocert — European organizations that allow up to 5 percent synthetics.”
The FDA does not have a definition for the term “organic,” either, as it is not defined by either the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, which they use as guidelines. “‘Organic’ usually means USDA-certified food grades. There are limited numbers of products you can make to be classified as organic green,” King says.
“‘Clean beauty’ is a much better term for the consumer as the products are non-toxic and still effective,” says King. “‘Non-toxic’ means free from undesirable ingredients listed by the Environmental Working Group. This is better than claiming ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ as they are products that perform without compromising safety. People want natural because they assume natural ingredients are safe, which is not necessarily the case. They also may not be as effective as synthetic materials.”
This brings us to another point: An ingredient might be natural or organic, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no chance you’ll have an adverse or allergic reaction to it, so it’s important to be aware of what you’re using and how your body responds.
Thanks to growing consumer concern and education, we’re definitely seeing an uptick in the use of the phrase “clean beauty.” Last year, for example, Sephora announced the launch of Clean at Sephora, the company’s new category that clearly establishes which of their products are formulated without controversial ingredients. Those that meet Sephora’s ingredients guidelines are deemed “clean” and receive the retailer’s Clean at Sephora seal.
Ingredients aside, one of the benefits of using natural products is that many, if not all, ingredients are ethically sourced and cruelty-free. As consumers, it’s never been more important to prioritize what we want in our makeup, and our money talks. These days there’s a clean option to switch out every product in your makeup routine, so it’s never been easier to avoid controversial ingredients. But we also wanted to help you sort out your options. The following products have received high marks from professional makeup artists — who have seen and used it all — so you can start cleaning up your cosmetics bag.
All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
- 1. 100% Pure
- Clean at Sephora brands
- What does Clean at Sephora mean?
- How to shop Clean beauty
- Sustainability at Sephora
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions
- Latest deals at Sephora
- These 9 brands are all Canadian and have officially “made it” into the beauty big leagues and they’re all shop-able at Sephora stores and online!
- ILIA Beauty
- MAC Cosmetics
- Bite Beauty
- Cover FX
- Velour Lashes
- Natural Lines at Sephora:
- My Sephora Shopping List!
- Honest Beauty
- What to Buy from Honest Beauty
- RMS Beauty
- What to Buy from RMS Beauty
- Kjaer Weiss
- What to Buy from Kjaer Weis
- Juice Beauty
- What to Buy from Juice Beauty
- What to Buy from Ilia
- 100% Pure
- What to Buy from 100% Pure
- Vapour Beauty
- What to Buy from Vapour
- What to Buy from Lawless
- Plain Jane Beauty
- What to Buy from Plain Jane Beauty
- W3ll People
- What to Buy from W3LL People
- Check out these skin-care Sephora best sellers for $15 or less
- 1. The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum, $10
- 2. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, $7
- 3. Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, $11
- 4. The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream, $10
- 5. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, $13
- 6. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, $6
- 7. The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum, $8
- 8. Sephora Collection Bawdy x Sephora Collection Butt Sheet Mask, $4
- The Best Cruelty-Free Skin Care Products at Sephora
- The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion $9.80
- Peace Out Acne Healing Dots $19
- Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum
- Tatcha The Water Cream $68
- Glow Recipe Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask $45
- Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask $48
- Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel $88
- Sunday Riley Power Trio: Lactic Acid + Retinol + Vitamin C Bundle $88
- Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist $30
- Herbivore Emerald Cannabis Sativa Hemp Seed Deep Moisture Glow Oil $48
- Olehenriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme $38
1. 100% Pure
Let’s be honest here: words like “natural” and “clean” are marketing speak and don’t really mean anything. (Don’t @ me.) Not all natural things are good and not all chemicals are bad. That being said, beauty brands without certain potentially harmful ingredients are really great to try, especially for those with sensitive skin. Sephora’s Clean Makeup Kit is a great way to get started adding a little more natural beauty into your routine. And don’t think these are hippie-dippy products that don’t work. These are powerhouse brands with intense pigments and innovative technology.
The sampler kit features brands you probably already love or have been wanting to try at Sephora. And these are mostly full sizes. We’re especially excited to try ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara in After Midnight, since the natural brand has been creating some serious buzz. It features organic bee and carnauba waxes to condition each lash as the formula lifts and plumps. There’s also a mini True Skin Radiant Priming Serum from the brand to try, as well as a sample of its new foundation in three different shades just to test.
For lips, you’ll love RMS Beauty’s Wild With Desire Lipstick in Temptation, a flattering mid-pink that’ll look good on everyone. Bite Beauty Multistick in Cashew is just as pretty in a rose taupe.
For your face, Josie Maran fans (like us!) are in luck because her Enlightenment Illuminizer is also included in the kit. The creamy liquid highlighter is infused with 100 percent pure argan oil. Finally, there’s the Lawless Seal The Deal Loose Setting Powder in Classic Translucent, a talc-free soft-focus powder.
If you bought all these products separately, it would retail for about $60. But you can grab it now at Sephora for $28 while supplies last.
Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
Clean at Sephora brands
You know the expression “you are what you eat.” But what about the products you apply to your skin?
Sephora makes it easier for you to find brands that don’t contain parabens, sulfates and other chemicals. Look for the Clean at Sephora seal to find products you can feel good about using.
What does Clean at Sephora mean?
Clean, natural and organic are buzzwords in the skincare industry. That they’re largely subjective can be confusing — even to savvy shoppers. Clean at Sephora helps clear up what “clean” skincare means. The company is fully transparent about its stringent requirements for a brand to earn the Clean seal.
To be included in the Clean at Sephora collection, all skincare, makeup, haircare and fragrance products must not contain any of these 50+ ingredients.
- Sulfates — SLS and SLES
- Mineral Oil
- Formaldehyde-releasing agents
- Retinyl Palmitate
- Coal Tar
- Undisclosed Synthetic Fragrances above 1% of total formula
Acrylates specific to those below
- Ethyl acrylate
- Ethyl methacrylate
- Methyl methacrylate
- Butyl methacrylate
- Hydroxypropyl methacrylate
- Tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate
- Trimethylolpropane trimethacrylate
- Aluminum salts
- Animal oils, musks or fats
- Benzophenone Related Compounds
- Carbon Black
- Lead acetate
- Methyl cellosolve
- Mercury compounds (Thimerisol)
- Insoluble plastic microbeads
- Talc: Asbestos-free talc is OK
- BHT — threshold is 0.1%
- Nanoparticles — as defined by the EU
Styrene specific to those below
- Sodium styrene/divinylbenzene copolymer
- Styrene oxide
- 1,4 Dioxane
Fragrance brands must also be cruelty-free, meaning that they do not test on, harm or kill animals in the making of their products.
More than 70 brands currently hold the Clean at Sephora seal.
|By Rosie Jane|
|First Aid Beauty|
|Flora + Bast|
|Isle of Paradise|
|Maison Louis Marie|
|Ren Clean Skkincare|
|Rosebud Perfume Co.|
|Rossano Ferretti Parma|
|Sand & Sky|
|The 7 Virtues|
|Youth To The People|
How to shop Clean beauty
Shopping Clean at Sephora products is a simple two-step process.
2. Filter your search by product type or brand.
Is there a cruelty-free category?
Only fragrance brands must be cruelty-free to get the Clean at Sephora stamp of approval. But that doesn’t mean that other brands on the Clean list aren’t cruelty-free anyway. Be mindful that simply because a particular brand is considered cruelty-free doesn’t necessarily mean its parent company is.
Popular cruelty-free beauty brands that made Sephora’s Clean list include:
- Aether Beauty
- Bite Beauty
- Cover FX
- Drunk Elephant
- First Aid Beauty
- Flora + Bast
- Kora Organics
- Liliah B.
- Sand & Sky
- Summer Fridays
- The 7 Virtues
Sustainability at Sephora
Sephora is open about the steps it takes to reduce its environmental impact — the Clean at Sephora initiative one of them.
Other sustainability practices and milestones achieved by the company:
- Launched its first zero-emissions vehicle for deliveries
- Purchased 80% more renewable energy in 2018 than in previous years
- Diverted 4.4 million pounds of waste from landfills
- Uses shopping bags made from recyclable materials
If the ingredients in your skincare, cosmetics and hair care are important to you, look to the Clean at Sephora brands. Its filters let you search by product type and brand, streamlining your shopping and research.
Frequently asked questions
Is Sephora paraben-free?
All Clean at Sephora brands are free of parabens. However, Sephora does sell other products that contain parabens.
Are Clean at Sephora products more expensive?
Not necessarily. The range of Clean products come in all price points.
Can you buy Clean at Sephora products in stores?
Yes — just look for the green Clean at Sephora seal in stores and online.
Latest deals at Sephora
Shop the sale section
Brands include Huda Beauty, Fenty, Urban Decay and more. T&Cs apply.
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Shop the latest brands in the “Clean at Sephora” range
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Receive free shipping at Sephora when you spend over $55.
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Free sample with purchase
Receive a free sample when you make a purchase with Sephora. Only while stocks last.
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Canada is known for many things but beauty might not be what comes straight to mind. There are some amazing Canadian beauty brands that aren’t just available to shop in just any ol’ store but did you know you can shop them at your local Sephora store? Sephora is one of the largest beauty companies in the world and is a major destination for not just makeup but all things beauty including skincare, hair, and fragrance.
These 9 brands are all Canadian and have officially “made it” into the beauty big leagues and they’re all shop-able at Sephora stores and online!
Created by Toronto-based sisters Ally and Taylor Frankel, Nudestix quickly dominated the Canadian beauty scene. All based around easy makeup, this brand focuses around beauty for boss babes who are always busy and on the go. The brands Magnetic Matte Lip crayons pack a major pigmented punch and the Lip + Cheek Pencils are a blessing for those days when you aren’t down to pack multiple products.
Show your Canadian pride and shop ILIA Beauty the next time you hit up Sephora. This clean beauty brand is focused on products that are made without harsh chemicals. Using organic botanicals, ILIA creates makeup that is cruelty free and USDA certified organic.
One of my personal faves in the beauty game is MAC Cosmetics. Not only is MAC a cruelty free company but this is a brand that knows what it’s good at. MAC products have the highest pigments and staying power and they’re not too expensive either. A lot of folks might not know that MAC originated in a small Toronto salon in 1984 but this globally recognized brand is certainly doing something right, right?
A fave among celebs and make up artists around the world is Canadian-born RMS Beauty. Created by make up artist herself, Rose Marie Swift, RMS believes it’s about more than just using organic, non-toxic ingredients but ingredients that nourish and heal the skin too. Not only is RMS’ philosophy brilliant but its packaging is all biodegradable, recyclable, and reusable!
Need a skincare switch-up? Head to your local Sephora and get your hands on some Consonant goodies. This Canadian brand is all about a skincare regime that’s effortless and edited. All of the ingredients in Consonant’s products are 100% natural and are formulated with the highest possible concentration of organic botanical ingredients. All of this info leaves me wondering where the heck Consonant has been all my life?
If your look isn’t complete without a bold lip, then Bite Beauty needs to be on your radar. This Toronto brand has garnered worldwide fame with its remarkable lip products and of course, the iconic Lip Lab where you can design your own custom lip shade. In Canada and the U.S, you can only shop Bite Beauty online, exclusively at Sephora, or at the Lip Lab. From the Crystal Crème Shimmer Lip Crayons to their Agave Lip Mask, everything is also certified Clean and that’s really something to bite into!
Toronto company, Cover FX, got its start right in the dermatologists office so you know it’s pretty legit. Formulated specially for sensitive skin, this line is known for their inclusive shade range and we all know how important that is nowadays. From their wide selection of foundations to their oh-so-popular Custom Enhancer Drops, it’s proof why Cover FX continues to grow and grow!
Raise your hand if you didn’t know MoroccanOil was Canadian. Yeah—me either but now we can make up for that by shopping all of the brands argan oil goodness. We owe our healthy and glossy hair to founder Carmen Tal, who created the brand while living in Montreal. MoroccanOil is known worldwide for giving fans shiny and hydrated strands and the fun doesn’t stop there. The brand has also launched body products so that we can be moisturized and healthy literally from head to toe!
If you thought Sephora couldn’t get any more Canadian, then think again. Skincare brand B.Kamins uses sap from maple trees as their signature ingredient in its Bio-Maple™ technology. This technology works to hydrate the driest skin, fight fine lines, wrinkles, and help enhance the turnover of new cells which will reveal brighter, more energized skin. Who doesn’t want all that?!
Created by Mabel Lee, right here in Toronto, Velour Lashes is all about using the finest materials to give you your most voluminous lashes ever. All of Velour Lashes’ products are ethically sourced and are free from chemical processing and dyes so they’re suitable for the most sensitive eyes. These lashes are so easy to use that you don’t have to be a pro at application—the unique and flexible cotton thread band allows for a seamless lash application, even for beginners!
Featured Image: Instagram/@bitebeauty
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Sephora Just Added New Perks To Its Beauty Insider Program
8 Of The Best Beauty Brands You Can’t Get at Sephora
These 25 Beauty Products at Sephora Have 1000+ Perfect Reviews
Natural Lines at Sephora:
Don’t you just love going to Sephora? It’s like a girly heaven-so much makeup and beauty products all in one place! The problem is, 80% of the store is off limits to someone who has sworn off harmful ingredients! The better I get at reading labels and resisting the urge to buy chemical laden products the harder it has been to find makeup, perfume and skin care I can feel good about!
I wanted to give all you natural ladies out there a different view on Sephora-It’s still a place you can go and not compromise your beauty values!
- tarte (makeup)
- Bite Beauty (lips)
- Lavanila (fragrance and body)
- Alterna (hair care)
- Deborah Lippmann (nails)
- Josie Maran
- Earth’s Nectar (hair care)
- Jack Black (men’s skin care)
If you’ve followed this blog at all, you’ll know I LOVE tarte Cosmetics! You just can’t go wrong. I have not found another makeup line that leaves out the harsh chemicals like tarte does. There isn’t one product that I haven’t loved, and I’ve tried most of them. Go HERE for my review of their lip products. Usually when making or buying products that are more natural, texture, colors and absorption can be off. That’s why there are so few makeup lines that are leaving out the chemicals. Tarte is in-store and Sephora offers testers for most everything they sale of tarte’s so play away! Exceptionally note worthy are their blushes. I also am on my 3rd Tarte mascara and love them all.
Bite Beauty is such a fun line-Their motto is “beauty for lips that’s good enough to eat”! They have loads of colors, textures and liners to choose from. Bite is also in-store so once your done with the tarte aisle, have a go with the Bite products-You’ll be sure to find just the right color!
Lavanila—-HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL. Seriously, I am so perfume deprived it’s not even funny. I miss perfume more then I miss drug store deodorant. I have made my own perfume but to be super honest-the staying power is just not there. Plus, getting just the right mix of essential oils is just plain hard. Lavanila is a non-toxic perfume line that offers scents with a base of vanilla and top notes of grapefruit, lavender, lemon and coconut. None of those sounded to promising to me until I tested them. I used to wear Thierry Mulger’s Angel. These perfumes are comparable. I’m 100% in love with this line and can’t wait to buy everything! They also offer body butters and deodorant and their fragrance comes in spray bottles ($58) and roller bottles ($19). Not to mention they have a sampler gift set as well! LAVANILA is free of: petrochemicals, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oils, silicone, synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrance, sulfates, parabens, aluminum, and chemical sunscreens. Lavanila is in-store so go have a good whiff-you’ll die!
Alterna is a hair care line that, according to many beauty gurus is amazing. Specifically their 48 hour volume spray. Apparently it really does last 48 hours and clinically proven to increase volume by 105% ! I’m pumped to try this out especially since I found that this line is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates, GMOs, triclosan. Alternna is in most Sephora stores and comes in a travel size for $10 so you can try it out without wasting money if it’s not all everyone claims it to be!
Josie Maran is a argan oil line. This skin care line has now expanded into makeup. I honestly have not tried it out but it is a pure line and I have every intention to give it a go. Josie Maran is in-store with testers.
Deborah Lippmann is a 5 free nail polish line. If that makes no sense then go HERE. Great polish brand with amazing colors to choose from! It is also in-store.
Korres, Jurlique and Jack Black are all skin care lines with a similar philosophy. They are leaving out harmful chemicals and leaning toward homeopathic remedies. Jack Black leaves out the most harmful chemicals and I love that it is a line aimed totally at men. Korres is a Greek line while Jurlique is a French line both on my to-do list. Sephora does carry some if not all of these lines in-store. Seems like there is quite a bit of on-line only with Jurlique.
Earth’s Nectar is a hair care line that focuses on curly hair. It is free from dyes, mineral oil, petroleum and parabens. It seems very apothecary-esque with scalp oils, a leave in detangler and curl taming conditioners all using natural oils. Some products are in-store while some are online only.
And there you have it! It’s a longer list then you thought, huh? I have been planning this post for a long time but just recently got around to really digging for more info on certain lines. I hope I haven’t over-looked a line-DO let me know in the comments!!
Stay tuned for my upcoming guide to ULTA!
I’m excited to include a lot of products from these lines in my Christmas list this year! Check out my list below!!
My Sephora Shopping List!
P.S.-Don’t forget about this deal….
Though Jessica Alba now helms a billion-dollar clean lifestyle empire, there was a time when the actress-turned-business mogul was apprehensive about switching to a non-toxic makeup routine. She had the same reservations most people have when it comes to “green” products: it felt intimidating.
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So, she expanded Honest to launch beauty products in 2015, mindful to create non-toxic makeup that didn’t “feel too crunchy or granola.” Fast forward less than five years and there are so many more beauty brands alongside Honest that fit the bill.
Want to transition your beauty bag to have more clean products? According to Alba, the first step is simply caring to make a change. “Just being aware that everything you put on your body and face can have an effect on your health is step one. Then, from there you can learn and discover what’s better for you.” she says. “There’s a lot of confusion on what’s ‘clean’ and ‘natural’ out there, so just do the homework of what really stands for the values you’re looking for versus what is a marketing campaign.”
Ahead, learn more about 10 natural and organic beauty brands with makeup that really, really works.
Alba sees her role at Honest as being part of a “social justice mission”—she wants to make non-toxic home, personal care, and beauty products more accessible to all. Honest Beauty relaunched in July 2018 to have more focused offerings, millenial-friendly packaging, and products that can compete with both mass and prestige brands. They are all formulated in-house with clinical scientists running countless tests to verify ingredients’ safety. In fact, the brand’s “no” list of ingredients they don’t use is 3,000 items long (for comparison: In the E.U. product regulation bans 1,300 and the U.S. bans 11).
“There are so many untested chemicals that are used in beauty, personal care, and cleaning products that we’re exposed to every single day that is proven to be harmful to our health, and there’s no regulation in this country that forces companies to prove it’s safe,” Alba says. “The health and wellness of the consumer is the only thing I care about.”
What to Buy from Honest Beauty
Lip Crayon Honest Beauty target.com $12.99
Get that just-bitten sheer tint on your lips with this juicy crayon created with a delicious combo of coconut oil, murumuru and shea butter.
Extreme Length Lash Primer And Mascara Honest Beauty target.com $10.49
Fluffy, long lashes are yours with this dual-ended mascara that features a primer on one side for extra volume.
Everything Almond Cream Foundation Honest Beauty target.com $21.99
Looking for medium to full coverage? Use this cream foundation that will have you looking matte where you want and dewy in all the right places thanks to a formula infused with jojoba oil and vitamin E.
Invisible Blurring Loose Face Powder Honest Beauty target.com $19.99
This translucent, talc-free powder will make you look like there’s a blurring filter over your face. Use it to veil mid-day shine or immediately after applying makeup for longer-lasting wear.
Chances are, you’ve heard of RMS—it has a flock of celebrity fans including Gisele Bundchen, Miranda Kerr, Kate Bosworth, and Olivia Wilde.
It all started when makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift was facing severe health issues and realized that many beauty products she used daily contained harmful toxins. She created RMS so others would have easy access to luxe, organic makeup that not only gives you results but also nourishes skin with anti-aging properties at the same time. All of the products are made with minimal processing and with food-grade, raw, and organic ingredients to reap the most benefits from natural vitamins and antioxidants.
What to Buy from RMS Beauty
Un-Cover Up RMS Beauty dermstore.com $36.00
This concealer is one of the brand’s most popular products, by far. The buildable formula can go on sheer or full coverage and melts into your skin so it smooths over imperfections without feeling cake-y.
Luminizer X Quad RMS Beauty dermstore.com $48.00
No matter where you fall in the skintone range, RMS’ adaptable creamy, glow-making highlighters will look amazing on you. The rosy-tinted Champagne Rosé is a particular favorite.
Wild With Desire Lipstick RMS Beauty dermstore.com $28.00
If you thought organic makeup products couldn’t be pigmented, think again. This lipstick not only provides a burst of moisture for thirsty lips, but also instantly wakes up the face with vibrant color.
Lip2Cheek RMS Beauty dermstore.com $36.00
Who doesn’t love a multi-tasker? A portable pot is perfect for your on-the-go makeup bag, and it looks just as good on your cheeks as it does on your lips. Heck, go ahead and use it on your eyes too.
Makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis is not only loved for how well her color cosmetics work, but also for her luxe and sustainable packaging. The swivel, refillable metal design instantly makes you feel fancy and rivals all of the fashion house-born, luxury brands on the market. Best of all, the certified organic ingredients are free of parabens, silicone, and synthetic fragrances. You can feel the quality in every single product: makeup application turns into more of an indulgent experience.
What to Buy from Kjaer Weis
Cream Foundation Kjaer Weis net-a-porter.com $68.00
Forget best organic foundation—this is one of the best foundations, period. It feels moisturizing on the skin and makes acne scars, redness, and hyperpigmentation disappear in a flash.
Cream Eye Shadow Kjaer Weis net-a-porter.com $45.00
Kjaer Weis has an impressive array of eyeshadows with major color pay-off—we’re particularly fans of “Sublime,” a deep emerald. The shadows contain coconut and sunflower seed oil, so it feels like an eye treatment at the same time.
Lip Gloss Kjaer Weis net-a-porter.com $38.00
Lip gloss isn’t going anywhere. Plump up your pout with one of the brand’s universally flattering nude hues, all boosted with castor and rosehip seed oil.
Cream Blush Kjaer Weis net-a-porter.com $56.00
Look fresh and awake with this creamy blush. Dot at the apples of your cheeks then spread to your temples with your fingers.
Launched in 2005 by wellness entrepreneur Karen Behnke, Juice Beauty is an OG in the green beauty space. In 2015, Gwyneth Paltrow came on board as a creative director, giving her input on what has become a formidable line of skin-nourishing makeup made with organic, sustainable ingredients. Every product is formulated with a botanical juice base instead of petroleum or water, plus phytopigments (pigments derived from plants). Gwyneth’s own favorites include the liquid lipstick, concealer, and mascara.
What to Buy from Juice Beauty
Stem Cellular CC Cream Juice Beauty dermstore.com $39.00
If you’re not a fan of foundation, you’ll love this CC cream that gives you just enough coverage without making your skin look fake.
Phyto-Pigments Liquid Line & Define Juice Beauty dermstore.com $24.00
It is rare to find a liquid eyeliner that really works from a natural makeup brand, but this one definitely impresses with dark, steady strokes.
Phyto-Pigments Last Looks Blush Juice Beauty dermstore.com $24.00
Vegetable hyaluronic acid is part of this coral blush’s ingredients, so you’ll feel like you’re nourishing your skin while wearing it.
Phyto-Pigments Luminous Lip Crayon Juice Beauty dermstore.com $22.00
Chapped lips will be a thing of the past with this jumbo-sized crayon. The jojoba oil works to soften your lips more over time, plus, the subtle wash of color makes your lips look natural but irresistible.
Transparency is at the core of Ilia Beauty, which promises makeup products that all have skincare benefits. The brand was founded by Sasha Plavsic, who cut her teeth in the beauty industry as a branding executive before coming to the realization that her favorite lip balm contained potentially harmful ingredients. She set out to create a non-toxic alternative, and Ilia was born.
Since launching in 2o11, Ilia has launched products that aren’t just incredible for being organic, but incredible, period. Everything is formulated from scratch with mostly organic ingredients and select safe-for-skin synthetics, while the packaging prioritizes sustainability with recycled aluminum, glass, and recycled paper.
What to Buy from Ilia
Essential Brow Natural Volumizing Brow Gel ILIA sephora.com $26.00
If you’re a fan of Glossier’s cult-favorite Boy Brow, you’ll adore this natural alternative that thickens and defines your arches.
Multi-Stick ILIA sephora.com $34.00
Use it on your cheeks, lids, lips, everywhere. This is like The Multiple from NARS, but made with organic ingredients.
Essential Shadow Palette Prima ILIA sephora.com $24.00
This talc-free quad has everything you need for a daytime eye—we’re sure you’ll hit the pan on it in no time.
Color Block High Impact Lipstick ILIA sephora.com $28.00
A leader in having super pigmented lipstick shades made with natural ingredients, its castor oil-infused formula will have your lips feeling pillow soft.
True to the name, 100% Pure is a brand for natural beauty purists. It’s impressive for its commitment to using only fruit, vegetable, tea, and other plant pigments to color cosmetics—no dyes whatsoever. They are all organic, cold-pressed, with no synthetics or unrefined ingredients. Plus, every product goes through an extensive, nine-step process to ensure its potency, purity, and stability over time.
What to Buy from 100% Pure
Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara 100% Pure dermstore.com $26.00
Widely known by green beauty lovers as one of the best mascaras on the market, this fruit-pigmented formula will lengthen, add volume, and treat with vitamin E and oat.
Healthy Flawless Skin Foundation Powder SPF 20 100% Pure dermstore.com $45.00
Powder foundations are brilliant for achieving matte skin that feels like it can still breathe. This formula contains chamomile, calendula, and rose to calm down any redness and absorb oil at the same time.
Fruit Pigmented Lip and Cheek Stain 100% Pure dermstore.com $26.00
This looks like a gloss, but it actually can be worn on your cheeks as well for a just-pinched flush. It is also long wearing and sweat resistant, so you can stash it in your summer beauty bag without a worry.
Pretty Naked Face Palette 100% Pure dermstore.com $55.00
A neutral-lover’s dream, use the shade on the farthest right for a subtle smoky eye or use the lighter shades for an eye-brightening, pastel look.
Vapour is the brainchild of Krysia Boinis, an expert in healing botanicals and alchemical blending, and Kristine Keheley, a fine artist. All of the dreamy colors in the collection are heavily inspired by the landscape of their hometown Taos, New Mexico. As for the formulas, they’re all organic and perfect for the minimalist who can’t be bothered with using tools like a blender or brush—the easy sticks and your fingers are all you need.
What to Buy from Vapour
Siren Lipstick Vapour Organic Beauty dermstore.com $25.00
This essential oils-infused lipstick feels like you’re applying the juiciest lip balm at the same time. You’ll want one in every color, but the range of nudes is particularly impressive.
Mesmerize Eyeliner Vapour Organic Beauty dermstore.com $20.00
Every beauty bag needs a pencil liner, and this double-ended one has a smudger on the end to achieve a subtle smoke effect.
Atmosphere Luminous Foundation Vapour Organic Beauty dermstore.com $46.00
Once you switch to a stick foundation, you’ll wonder why you ever tried anything else. It’s convenient, compact, mess-free, and gives a buildable color payoff that never looks greasy.
Stratus Instant Skin Perfector Vapour Organic Beauty dermstore.com $50.00
This “perfector” works as a primer, to give your skin a smooth, moisturized canvas before applying other makeup.
Lawless is the NARS of the natural beauty world and a far cry from what you’d typically see from a green beauty brand: edgy, colorful, and complete with cheeky branding (“clean af” is their motto). It was founded by Annie Lawless, an entrepreneur who founded Suja Juice before venturing into beauty. She originally launched with highly pigmented liquid lipsticks and has since expanded into face and eyes—all made with ingredients that aren’t known to cause cancer or be endocrine disrupting. If there’s a truly a natural brand that can compete with prestige cosmetics, Lawless is it.
What to Buy from Lawless
The One Eyeshadow Palette LAWLESS sephora.com $64.00
This extensive collection of shades is the best that we’ve seen from a non-toxic makeup brand. It has everything you need to create looks for both daytime and special events when you want more drama. Plus, the velvety powder blends beautifully.
Lucid Skin Highlighter LAWLESS sephora.com $38.00
If you’re still not over the “Instagram highlight” look, go ahead and dust this all over your cheekbones—people will spot the glow from all the way across the room.
Woke Up Like This Flawless Finish Foundation LAWLESS sephora.com $46.00
This foundation is thick, truly full-coverage, and moisturizing. That’s thanks to a blend of hydrating ingredients like camellia oil and shea butter.
Soft Matte Liquid Lipstick LAWLESS sephora.com $25.00
The brand originally launched with liquid lipsticks, and they remain one of the best products in the collection. These highly pigmented hues have the staying power you love about liquid lipsticks, without leaving lips dry.
Plain Jane Beauty
Truth be told, the green beauty movement is lacking in diversity. Plain Jane is a black-owned brand that creates a truly inclusive range of products for all skin tones. They define “clean” beauty as products made with mineral pigments that meet FDA regulations, no animal testing, sustainable business practices, synthetic-dye free and plant-based formulas.
What to Buy from Plain Jane Beauty
Creme Minerals Liquid Foundation Plain Jane Beauty plainjanebeauty.net $42.00
The natural beauty world still has a long way to go with inclusive shades of foundation, but this brand has 17 shades that can actually suit a wider range.
Lavender #13 Eye Shadow Refill Plain Jane Beauty plainjanebeauty.net $12.50
Plain Jane has countless, gorgeous mattes and shimmers. Wear dry for a sheer application or wet for even more of a color pop.
Concealers Plain Jane Beauty plainjanebeauty.net $25.00
People who like natural beauty products are generally perceived to be no-makeup makeup type of people, but who’s to say you don’t want a full-face contour? These sticks make it easy.
Color Correctors Plain Jane Beauty plainjanebeauty.net $25.00
You’ll be hard-pressed to find color-correctors in the collections of many organic beauty brands. Plain Jane understands that sometimes you need a little help to neutralize discoloration.
Achieve the no-makeup makeup of your dreams with W3ll People, the creation of a makeup artist, entrepreneur, and cosmetic dermatologist. Every botanical-based product feels lightweight, hydrating, and lives on skin naturally, never looking caked or creased. There are no petroleum by-products, glycol, petrochemicals, nor fillers in any of the creations, so you can slather them on with confidence.
What to Buy from W3LL People
Expressionist Mascara W3LL People birchbox.com $21.99
This mascara has a whopping 21,700+ reviews on Birchbox. People love the curl and length they get from this impressive, non-toxic formula.
Altruist Foundation Powder W3LL People birchbox.com $24.99
For the lightest dusting of coverage, try this triple-milled loose powder foundation. It’ll even out redness and give you a glow while feeling totally weightless.
Bio Bronzer Stick W3LL People birchbox.com $23.99
This vegan bronzer adds a little color and shimmer when you want to warm up your face.
Optimist Lipstick W3LL People birchbox.com $16.99
It doesn’t get any better than this plant-based lipstick which dries down semi-matte and looks universally flattering on all skin tones.
Kristina Rodulfo Beauty Director Kristina Rodulfo is the Beauty Director of Women’s Health—she oversees beauty coverage across print and digital and is an expert in product testing, identifying trends, and exploring the intersections of beauty, wellness, and culture.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but my urge to splurge remains. It’s like the flood gates—or, more accurately, vault doors–have been opened and nothing can re-contain them. Lately, I’m clicking on every Instagram ad, opening every retailer email, and just generally ruining my prospects for ending 2019 on a responsible fiscal note. It’s a problem.Fortunately, I somehow landed me on the Sephora best sellers page, where I was surprised to find a number of affordable skincare superheroes for $15 of less.
Though I’m likely to snag a few for myself—my skin is not exactly thriving through the holiday stress—more altruistic individuals might want to consider them as stocking stuffers or otherwise assorted holiday gifts. Starring prominently among these selections are cult-beloved clean beauty brands like The Inkey List and The Ordinary, both of whom make serums to die (er, live?) for. Several products from the Sephora Collection also fit the bill as bestsellers that won’t break the bank, including a butt mask that screams White Elephant exchange if ever a product did.
Sorry (not sorry) for bringing these gems to your attention, but irresponsible spending loves company—or something like that. Happy between-holiday hunting!
Check out these skin-care Sephora best sellers for $15 or less
Photo: The Inkey List
1. The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum, $10
The fountain of youth isn’t yet available for purchase, so this clean serum will have to serve as a stand-in. Retinol, its star active ingredient, can sometimes be intense, but here it’s formulated to be gentle enough for use on all skin types.
Photo: The Ordinary
2. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, $7
If your skin’s struggling as much as mine this season, try throwing this exfoliator into the mix. It’ll give you that kiss-me-under-the-mistletoe glow.
3. Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, $11
Let it snow, sure, but only if you’re wearing waterproof makeup so the moisture doesn’t ruin your holiday party look…right? This remover will help you scrub off snowflake-resistant mascara after the clock strikes midnight on the new year.
Photo: The Inkey List
4. The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream, $10
Even my toenails need caffeine this time of year, so I’m enamored with any product that allows me to slather it onto the more forward-facing parts of my body, e.g. the under eye area. For just one Hamilton (aka, $10 bill), this cream will de-puff and brighten so you actually look as joyful as you (hopefully) feel.
5. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, $13
Rudolph’s supposed to have the red nose this season—not you. Mask up to clear out those pores for the upcoming holiday party parade.
Photo: The Ordinary
6. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, $6
Niacinamide is like an anxiety blanket for your skin, so if you’re prone to angry red flareups, this formula might be the savior your skin needs—for less than the cost of an oat milk latte.
Photo: The Inkey List
7. The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum, $8
One of the few things in life it’s impossible to overdo it on—alongside avocados and happy baby pose—is hyaluronic acid. This is especially true in the winter, when heaters and dry air conspire to make your skin thirsty AF.
8. Sephora Collection Bawdy x Sephora Collection Butt Sheet Mask, $4
Nether regions-related gifts aren’t appropriate in every setting, so you may want to read the room before nabbing this for your White Elephant gift exchange. Still, nothing beats a funny gift that’s actually useful in making you feel bootie-full (see what I did there?).
Here’s what a dermatologist’s skin-care routine looks like:
Not yet satiated in your (budget-friendly) spending? Nab the $3 moisturizer that sells every 3 seconds in Korea. Or, shop an NYC dermatologist’s must-have drugstore picks.
When word of Sunday Riley’s new acne-fighting mask hit my inbox, I immediately had to have it. (I’m rarely left disappointed after using one of the Texas-based skin-care brand’s products.) And after just one use, I found the (strongly scented) sulfur-based goop soothed breakouts, targeted my underlying redness, and sopped up excess oil in one fell swoop. Consider me a fan.
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches Courtesy of brand
When the insomnia hits — and it hits hard — I like to slap on these soothing hydra-gel, under-eye masks come morning. Just 10 minutes of wear with the cools-on-contact patches — packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid and plumping collagen — conceal all signs of lack of Zzzs under-eyes (think puffiness and dark circles).
Korres Wild Rose Smoothie Brightening Priming Moisturiser Courtesy of brand
I loveeee all-things rose-scented. So much that oftentimes I’ll scoop up anything made with the floral just because it smells so delicious. But this moisturizer isn’t a just-because purchase. Made with free radical-fighting wild rose oil, this lightweight hydrator moisturizes while it shields skin from all the icky stuff in the air and looming on the subway platform. Bonus: It’s also a makeup primer, which means it works double time to hydrate skin and lock in your look.
The Best Cruelty-Free Skin Care Products at Sephora
Feature Image by Sephora
The demand for ethics in beauty, especially when it comes to the treatment of animals, has continued to rise and for good reason. “Clients are specifically asking which of our recommended products are cruelty-free,” says Dr. Lily Talakoub, board-certified dermatologist of Mclean Skin & Dermatology. “I think this is where our world should be headed skin care.”
On January 1, 2020, California will become the first state in the nation to ban the sale of cosmetics that have been made or developed using animal testing. However, until other states follow suit, finding cruelty-free beauty products still takes some research.
On your search for cruelty-free beauty products, you can follow beauty bloggers like Ethical Elephant or Cruelty-Free Kitty for tips and news, look up brands in databases such as PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies, or download apps like Leaping Bunny to help you identify animal-friendly buys.
To get your haul started, we’re sharing 10 of Sephora’s top-rated cruelty-free skin care products below.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion $9.80
The ultra-gentle retinol serum achieved cult-status following a shoutout from Kim Kardashian West.
Peace Out Acne Healing Dots $19
These dots deliver anti-inflammatory, anti-acne active ingredients while shrinking blemishes via an absorptive hydrocolloid patch.
Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum
For a thorough pore-cleansing, resurfacing night serum, consider using this nourishing formula before bed.
Tatcha The Water Cream $68
If you hate the feeling of products on your face, you’ll love this weightless cream. It’s incredibly light yet extremely hydrating.
Glow Recipe Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask $45
This K-beauty mask is a must for anyone with combination to oily skin. It brightens, hydrates, and smooths skin while you sleep.
Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask $48
If you have a dry or dull complexion, try applying an overnight mask that deeply hydrates, plumps, and brightens with powerful, antioxidant-rich super berries.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel $88
Achieve smooth, beautiful skin in just two minutes with these pre-soaked pads that resurrect radiance and diminish signs of aging.
Sunday Riley Power Trio: Lactic Acid + Retinol + Vitamin C Bundle $88
Score three of Sunday Riley’s most popular products to aid fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, dullness, and uneven texture.
Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist $30
The ultra-refreshing mist infuses healing minerals for pure luxury with every spritz.
Herbivore Emerald Cannabis Sativa Hemp Seed Deep Moisture Glow Oil $48
If you’re a fan of CBD beauty products, then opt for this top-seller from a beloved indie skin care brand.
Olehenriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme $38
The vitamin C-infused cream works to visibly brighten eyes, reduce fine lines, and relieve dryness.
xx, The FabFitFun Team
Don’t toss your empty beauty containers in the trash. Instead, try these six easy ways to recycle old beauty products.