What is clean beauty?
Clean Beauty is an umbrella term that encompasses phrases such as eco, green, non-toxic, gluten-free, vegan, natural, organic, blue, sustainable.
What the elements of a product that makes it clean?
It’s really the ‘lack of’ certain ingredients that make it clean. The website EWG.org (Environmental Working Group) is a great place to really did deep into ingredients (since there are 1000’s). Also, look at the EU’s (European Commission) list of ingredients they don’t allow in Europe that we still, unfortunately, allow here.
What is the difference between clean and natural?
Natural means sourced from nature. Back in 2019, the Natural Cosmetic Act defined the labeling of natural to mean that products sold or labeled as natural, must contain 70% natural ingredients. Clean is an umbrella term, and natural falls under it.
Is vegan a product automatically also a clean product?
Absolutely not. Vegan simply means animal-free ingredients. You can have lead and a bunch of other known toxins in a product and it can still be vegan.
Do different companies/retailers have different standards for what they define as a clean product?
This is a tricky one because sometimes it’s hard to trust people that want your money (lol). I would stick to guidelines from EWG. Whole Foods Market and Credo also have lists that I trust.
How did you first become interested in clean beauty?
Clean beauty became interested in me (lol) when a lipstick I had been wearing every day sent me to the emergency room due to a serious allergic reaction. A few days later, I tried another lipstick by a different brand, and the same thing happened. At that point, I started to dig deeper and began researching certain ingredients and how they can potentially affect the body.
You have been educating on green and clean products for many years. How has the perception of, and accessibility to these products changed over the years? Why do you think that is the case?
When I first started educating on clean beauty (called green or eco-friendly at the time) there were very few options. The products that were available were very limited in color range and staying power. There were also not many things that a true professional makeup artist could use on film and television sets, due to the lack of longevity.
It wasn’t in super high demand at the time but that has changed over the last 10 years. I think people started paying attention when talc was taken out of baby products and the lawsuits that followed. It really hit its peak last year with consumers started demanding that they want products that a similar to ‘clean’ food that’s heavily marked right now. Words such as vegan and organic are the norm now in most households.
What is the benefit of introducing clean beauty into your pro makeup kit?
I think as a makeup artist you have to be prepared for every situation. This means that you have to have a clear understanding of what a client is asking. If someone says they need gluten-free products due to sensitivity, it’s important that an artist understands this and applies the correct product. If you, as the artist have a clear understanding of something like this, it has the potential to increase your clientele.
Are there performance differences that a makeup pro should consider when choosing clean products?
Yes, there are differences in performance, especially in foundations. Sometimes you have to have a bridge that ties things together. That bridge is vegan. There are two types of vegan ‘clean vegan’ and just vegan. If your client is asking for vegan products and mentions other words like organic, then you know she wants clean vegan. Sometimes the cleaner vegan products contain botanicals and oils, that will not hold up long term under hot lights. In this situation, I would discuss this with the client and mention vegan options that are pro-grade. There are a ton of great vegan products for the professional.
What are some of your favorite clean skin or makeup brands and any star products?
I love Gabriel Cosmetics, ZuZu Luxe, Exa, Vapour Organic Beauty, and Jane Iredale, RMS. Star products are the powders in Gabriel Cosmetics which work well on camera. I also love the bright eyeliners by ZuZU Luxe. Jane Iredale makes a great makeup primer called Smooth Affair.
You have an education platform called Clean Makeup Collective. Can you tell us about that?
Yes! Clean Makeup Collective teaches the professional makeup artist how to understand and incorporate clean products into a professional kit. As a professional makeup artist, I understand that you have to use traditional products in certain situations, so I would never tell an artist to abort them (I’m an artist, not a preacher lol) I teach how to understand, and what to use when a client wants products under the clean umbrella.
What else do you have on your plate right now?
I currently have a makeup collaboration with clean beauty pioneer Gabriel Cosmetics. The collection is called United Shades, and it was inspired by women of color. The colors work for everyone, but women of color inspired me for this. I also have a nightly series on Instagram Live this month called Beauty & Black History, where I chat about people in black history while I do my makeup (very Baily Sarian). The plan is to continue the series twice a week on YouTube after Black History Month is over. I will keep using my voice as an artist to educate on multiple things to whoever is listening.