The beauty space can be an overwhelming rabbit hole of endless options that oftentimes leave you bewildered, instead of empowered. 50+ concealers to choose from? “Maybe I’ll just skip that step altogether,” we reason.
That’s why we usually turn to industry pros to vet the countless possibilities – and basically tell us what’s good and what to skip. Hey, if it works for these magicians who make the most stunning stars even more flawless on the regular, it works for our Instagram selfies
And with the world making an effort to be more clean, conscious, and sustainable (beauty brands included), we figured our own vanity shelves, cosmetics bags, and skincare fridges could do with a revamp too. So, if you want to say bye-bye to parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances and Hello to a more glam, confident, gorg you… only cleaner, then we tapped the experts for their fave clean products.
The Makeup Masters
A-listers like Jessica Alba, Duchess Meghan Markle, Nina Dobrev, and Jessica Biel rely on glam guru Daniel Martin to get them red-carpet-ready for big events. So when he wants high-quality products that are effective – and clean – he swears by these:
1. Honest Beauty’s Extreme Length Mascara + Primer, $15: A few coats of this mascara can make you look instantly more awake while creating extreme length – and it’s hypo-allergenic, AKA great for sensitive eyes.
2. Honest Beauty Magic Balm Stick, $15: Skin can get dry and dull in the colder months so I always like to amp up that glow by applying highlighter to the high points of the face. This Magic Balm Stick is super convenient and works to soften and soothe skin, adding a dewy glow at the same time.
3. Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balms, $9: A good lip color can go a long way! It’s such a simple way to boost both your look – and your confidence. These tinted balms offer sheer, but buildable coverage and long-lasting moisture, and are 100% vegan.
Editorial makeup artist and hairstylist, Chelsea Gehr, gets to play with products all day – and can pretty much have her pick of the beauty litter – but when it comes to good-for-your face (and the earth) goods, she’s loving the following brands.
Hourglass Cosmetics: Hourglass is 100% cruelty-free and they pledge to be 100% vegan by 2020. Their mission is to protect animal rights (and beyond) and their packaging – in my opinion – is the sleekest around, especially for a “vegan/clean” brand. Their formulas are made with cutting-edge ingredients, such as my favorite Nº 28 Primer Serum, $22, containing 28 anti-aging ingredients to smooth, nourish, and protect your skin. The Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Sticks, $46, are also a favorite of mine because the consistency is flawless and buildable, to the amount of coverage you want. And to top it off, the Ambient Lighting sets are a silky dream.
Able Cosmetics: 100% clean and cruelty-free, this solution-oriented beauty brand features products that are also user-friendly tools. For example, the No Mess’cara, $29, has a dolphin-like fin on the end to help block your lashes from touching your lids while applying mascara, so you don’t make a mess. And this do-it-all wand lifts and curls the lash too. The Eyeliner Duo Set, $50, includes both the Cat Eye 101 liquid eyeliner (with a utensil connected for creating the perfect traceable wing) and Primary Pencil eyeliner (that has a sharpener as well as a smudge brush connected). All-in-one products with beautiful packaging… not to mention the greatest formulas. Because the ingredients are all organic, they have a three-month shelf-life, but for mascaras and liquid eyeliners, that’s when you should switch out your products anyway.
The Skincare Saviors
Celebrity makeup artist Jasen Kaplan knows how to give good face – and that starts with skincare. “I stay away from products that have toxic preservatives, since healthy skin is most important,” he says. Here, his tried-and-true clean beauty staples:
1. Endure Beauty Pineapple Clay Mask, $35: I love this double-duty mask, which gently removes dead skin cells and deeply moisturizes. Made with organic pineapple extract and green tea extract, it’s perfect for brightening and revitalizing the skin, without all the nasty parabens and sulfates.
2. Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, $39: I’m a huge fan of Caudalie products and I love how gentle their formulations are for all skin types, making them great to use on my clients across the board. One of my go-to’s is the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet. It’s a lightweight gel-cream, so it glides on effortlessly and absorbs into the skin quickly – great for makeup application. It’s also got all of the good stuff, like chamomile flower extract and organic grape water to soothe and moisturize. And as with all Caudalie products, no parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, mineral oils, or animal-derived ingredients are used.
Global makeup artist Bryan Cantor goes to a lot of shoots (and carts a lot of products with him) and his kit is always well stocked with eco-friendly must-haves. These clean beauty cult faves make his job of making people look good easy – and guilt-free:
1. Macrene Actives: Macrene’s revolutionary formulation method allows her to pack 50 or more of the most powerful anti-aging ingredients into each product in the line. Many of her ingredients are grown on her personal farm, which is located on land that she purchased and converted back to agricultural property and protected wetlands. I’ve been using her High Performance Cleanser, $95, High Performance Face Cream, $335, and High Performance Neck and Décolletage Treatment, $295 for about a week and my friends are already asking me why my skin looks so incredible.
2. Tatcha The Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream, $60: Not only is is this eye cream super hydrating for the under-eye area, but it also improves current signs of aging with a trio of Japanese superfoods + antioxidants to prevent future skin damage.
3. KORRES Wild RoseMakeup Melter Cleansing Oil, $36: A “clean” way to clean your face! This powerful cleansing oil is effective at removing even the most resilient waterproof formulas, rinses off easily, and smells divine.
4. COOLA Classic Face Organic Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, $32: My favorite clean sunscreen. It offers fortified broad-spectrum sun protection, has a silky feel, and wears beautifully under makeup. As if that weren’t good enough, it is also vegan, cruelty-and-fragrance-free and comes in recyclable packaging!
The Fragrance Essential
You can’t get cleaner than a brand whose name is CLEAN, right? Celeb MUA Jamie Greenberg is living for the ethically-sourced and responsibly-packaged “Clean at Sephora” brand, who pays it forward through philanthropic efforts:
CLEAN: I love their farm-to-fragrances because they’re all made from natural plant essences and sustainably-harvested flowers, tea, and herbs, grown on local farms. They use non-toxic phthalate-free synthetics and they give back to the community by creating wells in Haiti and more. Plus, they smell so yummy.
Which clean beauty brands do you guys love?