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Clean makeup at Sephora has been around for awhile but only started to pick up steam. I started thinking, what kind of crap am I putting on my face and letting it sit there, seeping into my pores? I love my brands and stick to them but as I do further research into the ingredients some skincare brands put into their products – the more I keep gravitating toward clean makeup. Keep reading and I’ll reveal some of my favourite clean and green makeup products you can find at your local Sephora.
What is Clean Beauty
You may be wondering what clean beauty products have versus regular skincare or makeup that has been tested in labs. There are ingredients such as fillers. An example of this is dimethicone which is a silicon that helps your products “feel” smooth and can act as a natural barrier for your skin BUT it’s not always so great for you. Dimethicone can block pores and worsen acne-prone skin but it can also help the texture of the product not separate and stay together.
It depends on your skin type but this is an example of a product that can do more harm than good to your skin especially if you don’t know the pros and cons of this ingredient.
Buying vegan and cruelty-free beauty is more of a choice than a staple in my opinion. I’m gravitating toward more vegan products because if we think that the earth has already given us all of the nutrients we need, we shouldn’t need to manufacture our own products now should we?
Cruelty-free is a choice I’m making especially in skincare because there’s no reason why we need to test on animals. Especially since rabbits and cute fluffy bunnies are my favourite animals in the world, I don’t need to put lipstick on a pig, literally.
Clean Beauty at Sephora
The clean beauty at Sephora can be represented by the green seal which stands for the fact that Sephora has determined the product doesn’t have any of the following specific ingredients (apparently, we told Sephora to avoid these):
Sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarban. All skincare, hair, and makeup brands with the Clean Seal have less than one percent of synthetic fragrances.
Here are a few of the ingredients that you’ll need to watch out for that are excluded from the green seal:
Sulfates SLS and SLES – foaming agents and behave similarly to how soap lathers. They aren’t always bad but it depends on how your skin reacts and can be a skin irritant. It’s best to stay away from these ingredients if you have sensitive skin.
Parabens – Some studies have found that parabens can emmulate certain estrogen hormones in the body but it hasn’t quite yet been proven. Parabens can also hide in very unique ingredients that we may not even know the name of. Overall, you just don’t need these in your beauty routine and many brands have already eliminated them anyway but always read the ingredients!
Formalddehydes – Are likely not in big enough dosage in beauty products that you’ll even know they are there but they can cause dermatitis, so again, if you have skin that is easily irritated you will not want to put these on your face or body.
These are just of the few key brands but the clean symbol at Sephora will have already done the dirty work for you so you won’t have to worry. At worst case, just ensure you’re reading your ingredients and use Google to understand what is in your products if you’re unsure!
My Favourite Clean Beauty Brands
Youth To The People
You know when you’ve found a new brand that just makes you squeal with delight? Youth To The People does that for me. I got my deluxe sample of the Superfood Face Wash that contains simple ingredients such as: Kale + Green Tea, Spinach and Vitamins.
I really love the cleanser but I’m not sure I can explain why I love it so much. It feels so smooth on the skin going on as it is more like a gel but also, it has a cleansing element without stripping the skin of its natural oils. I will say that the Superfood Cleanser is probably not the greatest for dry skin because I noticed I got a little tight but that didn’t bother me. The idea that there aren’t any ingredients I don’t understand in this little green bottle are enough to make me feel secure that I’m being cautious.
After the cleanser, I followed up with the hylauronic acid moisturizer that contains the same ingredients (Kale, Spinach and Vitamins) as the Superfood Cleanser. The hylauronic acid was so comfortable on the skin and very comparable to other water based moisturizers except I felt that this gave me more nourishment.
While in Sephora, I also tried the Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream from Youth To The People and I really loved the way it felt on my hands. It definitely wasn’t too heavy at all and perfect for mature skin. The Adaptogen Deep Moisture has ingredients such as adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms which help our skin adapt to aging and the elements around us.
The other products in the Youth To The People line also have me intrigued. I’m most interested in the Superfood Firm and Brighten Serum as well as the Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Mask. Both are products that have gotten rave reviews from Sephora customers but also contain very clean ingredients and of course is vegan too! The Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Mask is an overnight mask that is VERY rich and great for dry skin too.
Farmacy as a clean skincare brand at Sephora has taken the industry by storm. I feel that they’ve popped up overnight but have really been around for quite some time.
Most of the products from Farmacy have been given the clean beauty symbol by Sephora. The top seller from Farmacy right now is their Green Clean Makeup Removing Balm (comes in two sizes). If you’re aware that makeup balms help clean and remove makeup without stripping the skin of natural oils. This Green Clean Makeup Removing Balm by Farmacy has gotten rave reviews on Sephora’s website and it is also free of parabens, sulfates and silicons. It is also cruelty-free and vegan making it a top contender for Sephora’s clean beauty products.
Another amazing product from Farmacy is their Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum with Hydrating Honey + Gentle Flower Acids. Another lesson on skincare ingredients: AHA is Alpha Hydroxy Acid and is used for uprooting the upper most layer of the skin for better cell turn over. This means that it naturally exfoliates your skin while you sleep and your skin will become firmer over time.
Clean beauty doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact, I find more brands are simplifying what they put into their products.
Drunk Elephant is another example of clean beauty and skincare brands that can be found at Sephora in Canada. One of my favourite Drunk Elephant products is the B-Hydra (read the review here). The B-Hydra is an illuminating serum which I use as both a serum and moisturizer in one. It’s one of the products that I have on repeat and will continue to repurchase.
Drunk Elephant also has their Protini Moisturizer that contains protein and adds more collagen and muscle support to the skin. Think of it as a smoothie for your face.
The other Drunk Elephant product that has everyone raving is their T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum which is another AHA night time serum that helps improve skin turnover and encourage cell rejuvenation while you sleep. In this formula you have raspberry extracts, citric and salicylic acid all in one tube. The natural ingredients combined with some chemical ones make this serum a favourite for night time.
Tatcha is one of my favourite brands because of so many reasons: it’s clean skincare, the packaging is gorgeous (which makes me love taking photos of this brand) and the smells are so great. Tatcha is known for it’s Japanese take on clean beauty but I find they have a unique product line.
Right now, the most interesting product from Tatcha is the Dewy Cream. If you’re into the dewy look like I am, you’ll know that the cream makes your skin look like glass which is a very Asian beauty concept that I love. Combine the Dewy Cream with the Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (click to read the review).
Tatcha is considered clean skincare at Sephora Canada and doesn’t have a huge range of products but the ones they do carry are very well thought out. The only one of their products I don’t like is the Silk Canvas Primer. You can read my review here.
I’ve heard this from a few of my Canadian beauty blogger friends also who don’t really like the Silk Canvas Primer which is more focused on shielding your skin from pollution so if you’re going to buy it you probably wont’ like it under foundation so just wear it on its own.
Clean Makeup at Sephora
Now that we talked about my favourite clean skincare brands, we’ll focus on clean makeup at Sephora.
Ilia is a clean beauty and makeup line that can be found at other stores other than Sephora but if you’re a member of the VIB and collect points, you may want to buy Ilia products there. Ilia believes in delivering makeup without the toxins but still maintains the wearable factor for gorgeous colour which can get lost with some organic makeup brands.
One of my favourite products from Ilia is the Cucumber Water Stick. Forget your regular primer, the Ilia Cucumber Water Stick is a toner for pre-makeup application. It acts a soothing and cooling base before you start your regular makeup routine so you don’t need to prep your skin further as it acts as a de-puffing agent and allows for better circulation.
One of my favourite RMS Beauty products is the eye polish which is only available online at Sephora. If you love a dewy look everywhere, you’ll love the eye polish especially in the colour “Embrace” which is a quartz rose pink. I love to swipe colour on my eyelids and go but the eye polish also allows the nourishment of the oil base that helps to coat the eyelids for maximum comfort. Since it is an oil, this product will crease so make sure you apply a translucent powder to set your eyes beforehand.
I’m sure you have heard of the name Josie Maran before but maybe didn’t know what separated this brand versus other luxury or organic beauty brands. If you love dewy skin, Josie Maran products are known for being infused with argan oil. Argan oil heals and helps with nourishing elements that improve hair, skin and nails with omega 3, 6 and 9. The 100% Argan Oil is cruelty free, vegan and paraben free which makes it a clean makeup item at Sephora.
Josie Maran also infuse the 100% Argan oil into her makeup products. My favourite product pick from Josie Maran is the
Vibrancy Argan Oil Fresh Face Paint Palette. It comes in 4 colours and is a creamy lip, cheek and eyeshadow palette in one with orangey and pink hues. It allows you to create a full face of makeup on the go in a handy travelling palette.