I was recently asked what my “clean beauty journey” has been. It’s interesting to look back and see the steps that I’ve taken, either consciously or not, to incorporate more clean choices into both my personal routines and professional life. I don’t think I would’ve ever imagined that my focus would become to provide entirely clean options as a makeup artist, but that’s what happened, and I’m continuously blown away and inspired by the growth of the industry and increasing number of options.
Wanting to freelance with a professional kit that’s fully composed of clean products was an intention that I had around ten years ago, and it wasn’t possible at the time due to the lack of options. Even now, I typically use a combination of clean and conventional products in order to achieve certain looks on set. For example, it’s been a very colourful year for me full of neon, face masks and undeniably vibrant tones, and those are simply not possible using only clean makeup (currently).
With that said, usually when I’m doing an “everyday look” or a regular beauty look that doesn’t require over-the-top pigment, intense coverage or waterproof mascara, I will often use exclusively clean and natural makeup and skin care. This took many years of trial and error and almost putting my professional reputation at risk (seriously!). I understand why many makeup artists have zero interest in making a total switch. The initial compromise can be getting an end result that you’re not so proud of, not because the products are inferior, but because it takes time to learn how to work with them to get the right effect. The same techniques and methods when using conventional products doesn’t quite translate.
For example, conventional products are typically jam-packed with pigment and offer a lot of coverage with minimal effort, they tend to include setting agents that keep the product on the skin and are long-wearing by default. All of these traits aren’t inherent in clean makeup, which means techniques like skin prep, buffing, blending, layering and setting are all very important.
If you’re a makeup artist hoping to incorporate more clean products into your kit and want guidance as to what your options are, please feel free to reach out. I offer consulting and mentorship services and would be happy to help you with the process!
For the last five years, I’ve been experimenting full time, both on clients and on set, and have come to develop a deep appreciation and love for certain staples. These are some of the clean makeup products that never disappoint me and always stay in my kit:
A creamy and concentrated pot concealer that can be built up or sheered out and used as a foundation. I love this under the eyes and for spot coverage, or if I only need coverage in certain areas, rather than a foundation all over, I’ll reach for this. It comes in seven shades and I have my fingers crossed that they’ll expand the range soon!
It’s generally considered insane to add a lot of loose powders to a kit, because it can often lead to a messy disaster. I’ve had zero issues with these blushes due to their genius packaging. They can be sealed which makes them spill-proof and easy to use. They contain only three ingredients, have just the right amount of pigment, and blend evenly. I love that they never look heavy or overdone, and the mica content adds a nice glow even if the shade is matte, meaning skin never looks flat or dull.
Concentrated brow waxes that have a good range, from a light and slightly warm shade for blondes (Marilyn) to a soft black (Frida), a little goes a long way and they last forever. I find if I use a small amount and buff it into the brow, it never looks drawn on or forced. The versatility and staying power is what keeps these in my kit. The shade Sharon is also an ideal, hard to come by ashy brown for those with a light to medium skin tone.
These cream blushes are rich in pigment, easy to blend, and have staying power, which are the best three traits a cream blush can have on set, in my opinion. They can be patted on with fingers or buffed on with a firm brush. Delirium is my favourite shade for deeper skin tones, as most people are used to being subject to a standard plum or red tone, this one veers more towards the lively orange department and looks incredible on everyone I use it on. (The shade Nymph is swatched in the image.)
These lip serums feel so good and come in a wide range of colours. They’re smooth, not sticky, but have a thicker consistency which helps them to stay on for longer. I love layering them on top of a lip liner or lipstick to create dimension. None of the shades has an excess of glitter, which makes them look tasteful in combination with any type of look.
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I am not a dermatologist, facialist or scientist. All featured products, suggestions and commentary are the result of years of experience in sales environments, with private clients and on myself. All suggestions are authentic and genuine, largely based on personal experience and feedback, but are not a replacement for professional and/or medical advice.
*Most images are courtesy of the brands or retailers.