“Clean.” “Green.” “Natural.” For planet-conscious beauty consumers, these words can have a strong gravitational pull. But dear global citizens: The secret to saving our reefs and oceans, our forests and trees, is to do so with actions, not words. It all starts with your routine. Some actions can be small (don’t buy a new moisturizer until you’ve depleted the one you have). Some are big (seek out biodegradable or recyclable packages, or skip plastic packaging entirely). And some actions, of course, don’t rest with you, but with beauty companies. (Screaming into the void: Will anyone ever develop a truly earth-friendly mascara? Read on for intel.)
Ultimately, words like “clean,” “green,” and “natural” often have little to do with the buzzword we should really be focused on: “sustainable.” It’s the umbrella term for products that protect the planet’s resources, and the idea can seem, rather ironically, unsustainable. That’s precisely why we went straight to the women who are making a concerted effort, every day, in their own ways, to reduce their impact on the earth. They’re environmentalists, business owners, makeup artists — and they’re all unapologetic beauty enthusiasts.
The Environmentalist: Amber Jackson
After earning her master’s degree at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Jackson (and her classmate Emily Hazelwood) founded Blue Latitudes, an environmental consulting firm that helps energy companies determine whether decommissioned offshore-drilling structures can be turned into artificial reefs. She practically lives in the elements, which dictates her beauty regimen.
Protect everything.“Being on boats and offshore diving, we need to make sure that we keep up with our sunscreen but always use formulas that aren’t going to run off our skin and into the water column, and contaminate reefs and fish species. I like Badger Balm — it’s zinc-based. I’m a very fair redhead with freckles, so it’s super important for me to have protection, and this formula stays on in the water.”
Think micro impact.“Some of the biggest problems in our oceans are microplastics, like the microbeads in face scrubs.” The U.S. banned plastic microbeads in 2017, but there’s no way to know if every company has adhered to the ban. So avoid products with these P’s: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, and polymethyl methacrylate. “Those get washed down the drain, are consumed by fish, and then bioaccumulate, so you eat that plastic yourself. I love to exfoliate, and I use an Origins scrub that uses nutshells.”
Travel lightly.“We carry our own reusable bottles that we fill at home and forgo the disposable hotel options.”
The Advocate: Kathryn Kellogg
The author of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste, Kellogg began chronicling her experience with reducing her trash and recycling output — down to nothing — on her blog GoingZeroWaste. “Living a zero-waste lifestyle encompasses so much more than just ‘Don’t throw it away,’ ” she says. “It means not wasting water and not wasting food.”
Eliminate the middleman.“I put toner in an upcycled spray bottle so that I don’t waste the product by having it absorb into a disposable pad. I just spray it directly on my skin.”
Consume wisely.“I like the ‘one in, one out’ rule. If I want a new face mask or eyeliner, I cannot buy it until I am out of what I have. Also, ask questions of the people you’re buying from. I buy some of my beauty products at farmers markets, and it’s been empowering to be like, ‘I love your product and want to try it, but I don’t use plastic. Can I get it without that?’ So many times they’re willing to accommodate.”
Be realistic.“There are very few options for completely plastic-free mascara, aside from a couple of brands that make cake mascara, like Bésame. It’s also hard to find a zero-waste alternative for sunscreen. I wear Marie Veronique tinted facial sunscreen as my foundation. It comes in a glass bottle, and I upcycle the bottles. I put homemade hand sanitizer in them — half vodka, half water — and keep that in my bag.”
Be proactive.“We should be doing more work with businesses and emailing our government representatives to get larger systemic changes passed, like the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Products Act.”
The Business Owner: Cindy DiPrima Morisse
As co-founder of the all-things-natural-beauty destination store CAP Beauty, DiPrima Morisse spends much of her days analyzing (and reassessing) which products are worth space in her business — and in her life.
Cut yourself some slack.“Any company that’s shipping is creating some waste and pollution. The best thing we can do is to work with vendors who are prioritizing the same things we are and making sure that their practices are not creating too much stress on the environment.”
Shop smarter.“We encourage our customers to choose thoughtfully. We always say, ‘If you’ve got products in your cabinet that have been sitting there for a year, you’re not using them, and you need to simplify. Find products you love and use. Be an editor.’ We aim to deliver a streamlined collection so you’re not overbuying. We encourage customers to try things. [But] it’s more about a trusted arsenal than constant consumerism.”
Be charitable.“I have a sizable beauty cabinet because of testing for the store. Sometimes there can be a moment when it’s like, ‘I’m not going to get to that.’ There are a few charities that collect beauty products. A favorite of mine is Woman to Woman, which supports women with gynecological cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.”
The Makeup Artist: Katey Denno
She regularly paints the famous faces of Amber Heard and Felicity Jones and has been committed to green, no-waste beauty for the past decade. “I started in this industry as the only person who was really serious about green beauty. And everyone was like, ‘That is never going to fly.’ And little by little, everything changed. A lot of actresses are still like, ‘As long as you make me look good, that’s all I care about,’ but there are some that are now die-hard fans of clean beauty.”
Give new life.“I have friends who make candles, and I give them face-mask pots. I store Q-tips in reused cream pots, or use them as flower vases. I save empty RMS pots and give them to clients for their red-carpet bags. If I’ve mixed a lipstick for them, I’ll take a scraping and put it in there.”
Know your limits.“I do make compromises, like with Beautyblenders, because I have yet to find anything sustainable that re-creates that texture that I can get on skin.”
Food for Thought
What good is a recyclable plastic bottle if it still ends up in a landfill? Tina Hedges, a former Estée Lauder and L’Oréal executive, asked herself that when she created LOLI Beauty. Hedges sells raw balms, powders, and elixirs derived from organic food waste (like pressed plum seed that would have been disposed of after the fruit was harvested) and packages them in recyclable glass containers that she encourages consumers to upcycle for food storage.
The products are waterless (water is a filler ingredient that just creates extra weight to ship), and can be used alone or mixed to expand their versatility — her face powder, for example, can become a scrub or a mask. “I would like the entire experience to be circular zero-waste,” says Hedges, who is now working on refillable packaging and going entirely compostable.
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From luminous shades with shimmer and sparkle to the smoothest mattes imaginable, Naked2 is packed with 12 never-boring taupe-hued neutrals (including a gorgeous grayish brown, a glittery copper and the lewdest, blackest black). Expand your Naked range to create even more sultry neutral looks, smoky dramatic looks and everything in between. The case has an art-school inspired look with a hinged lid—taupe metal with embossed chocolate brown artwork. It’s smooth, modern and cool to the touch—a real tactile experience. Naked includes a professional-quality, cruelty-free double-ended shadow/blending brush AND an Eyeshadow Primer Potion sampler with resealable samples of all four formulas (Original, Sin, Eden and Anti-Aging). Each sample holds about a week’s worth of Primer! Shade Descriptions: Foxy (cream bisque matte), Half Baked (golden bronze shimmer), Bootycall (cork shimmer), Chopper (copper shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Tease (creamy pale brown matte), Snakebite (dark bronze shimmer), Suspect (pale golden beige shimmer), Pistol (light grayish brown shimmer), Verve (oyster shimmer), YDK (cool bronze shimmer), Busted (deep brown shimmer) and Blackout (blackest black matte).
Experiment with 12 NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN (and insanely beautiful) rose-hued neutrals—from pale, shimmery pink to deep black matte with rosy red micro-glitter. Choose from every finish imaginable: ultra-smooth mattes, gorgeous pearls and glimmering metallics. From the palest, shimmery pink to deep, warm black, these neutrals will make you want to get Naked all over again. Every shade features our Pigment Infusion System™, the proprietary blend of ingredients that gives each shade its velvety texture, rich color, serious staying power and blendability. Naked includes a NEW double-ended shadow/blending brush AND an Eyeshadow Primer Potion sampler with resealable samples of all four formulas (original, Sin, Eden and Anti-Aging). Each sample holds about a week’s worth of Primer. The art-school-inspired tin case is a gorgeous rose-gold color (a subtle hint at the shades inside). Embossed on top with a big “Naked3” and cool facets that beg to be touched, it’s sure to inspire lots of jealous stares. What You See Is What You Get: Strange (pale neutral pink matte-satin), Dust (pale metallic pink shimmer w/iridescent micro-glitter), Burnout (light pinky-peach satin), Limit (light dusty rose matte), Buzz (metallic rose shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Trick (light metallic pinky-copper shimmer w/tonal micro-sparkle), Nooner (medium pinky-brown matte), Liar (medium metallic mauve shimmer), Factory (pinky-brown satin), Mugshot (metallic taupe shimmer w/slight pink shift), Darkside (deep taupe-mauve satin) and Darkheart (smoky black matte w/rosy red micro-sparkle).
An eyeshadow palette featuring golds, ambers, and rich chocolate browns. This irresistible palette combines retro glam with twelve exclusive shades to create everything from bright and sunny to dangerously seductive makeup looks. The neutral shades include classic golds, warm ambers, and rich chocolate browns.
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We know plastic is a big problem in the personal care industry. A look around your bathroom will tell you as much but to give some wider context, in its sustainability studies, L’Oréal estimates that packaging accounts for, on average, 50 percent of the environmental footprint of its products.
It’s something that L’Oréal, and many of its peers in the beauty industry, is making moves to address. It seems every hour on the hour there’s a new brand or company pledging to get rid of superfluous packaging or to up its use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic or to switch to other materials entirely, some of which they say are biodegradable. Those are often steps in the right direction, but in truth, we’re just scratching the surface. There’s still much to sort out and it’s all a bit confusing.
Here, a look at the current, well, climate, plus guidance that can help lead you to the best possible purchasing decisions — because we should all be thinking of each one as a vote. “How we purchase things is more powerful than our political [moves],” says Tom Szaky, CEO of recycling giant TerraCycle. “When we buy certain things or don’t buy other things, it changes the world more aggressively and more quickly.”
So, first, here is what to know about plastic packaging.
Plastic packaging is rarely recycled (yes, even when you do everything right).
So far, the big promise of recycling has largely failed us — only nine percent of the plastic is ever actually remade into something usable. One reason why: If you don’t clean that bottle or jar fully and remove all stickers, residue, etc., it will be rejected — and can even contaminate a whole batch of material sent for recycling, according to a report last year by GreenPeace.
Looking for that little triangle of arrows on the bottom isn’t necessarily a slam dunk either. The reality is that only packaging with a 1 or 2 stamped in that triangle is going to be widely municipally recyclable. A quick experiment: Of five plastic-housed beauty products randomly selected from this writer’s medicine cabinet, two had no recycling symbol at all, one was a category 4, one was category 2 and the final was a 1.
But there’s even more to consider: For example, if a plastic pump includes metal (which almost all do), it can’t be processed. (This is something some brands like Love Beauty and Planet are addressing with new designs.)
“Another uncommonly known fact is that dark plastics — such as black, navy, or dark brown — cannot often be seen by sorters in recycling facilities and so they end up in landfills,” says Sarah Dearman, vice president of circular ventures for The Recycling Partnership. Also a problem for sorters: small packaging. According to TerraCycle’s Szaky, nothing smaller than two-inches cubed is ever going to be recycled — that’s pretty much every cap, lid, and a lot of beauty minis.
At the end of the day, recycling is a business. Recycling plants will only recycle what they can recycle at a profit — things like large pieces of clear plastic, clear glass, and aluminum. “The question is really not can something be recycled, but will it be,” Szaky said at a recent sustainability summit.
When plastic is recycled, there are still a couple of catches.
I am by no means suggesting you give up on trying to recycle the plastic that comes into your life. Even a nine-percent recycling rate is a lot of plastic that avoids a landfill. In 2018, for example, just in the U.S. alone, 7.9 billion units of rigid plastic were created for beauty and personal care products, according to Euromonitor International.
What’s nine percent of that? 711 million units of rigid plastic. Plastic isn’t endlessly reworkable, though — most plastics can only be processed once or twice. Recycling plastic essentially downgrades its resulting quality every time it is put through the process — and that means virgin plastic may have to be added to make a “recycled” package functional.
And, of course, there needs to be a demand for post-consumer recycled plastic for it to have anywhere to go. With reports of large amounts of plastic being incinerated or sitting in storage due to lack of need, this has been a real problem. However, with more companies working with recycled material very slowly increasing, there is some hope for the future.
“Biodegradable” plastic very often… isn’t.
You may notice a shift toward plastic made from natural sources designed to break down more quickly. “These include materials such as sugarcane, and there are also opportunities to source from other innovative feedstocks such as seaweed and other algae, as well as food waste by-products,” says Olga Kachook, senior manager at GreenBlue, a nonprofit dedicated to the sustainable use of materials.
These alternative plastics could have a big positive impact: A 2017 study found that switching from traditional plastic to corn-based material could reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent.
Yet there’s a pretty big “but” here. Some of these alternative materials can contain additives that “may actually result in more environmental harm,” says Kachook. And the term “biodegradable” itself unfortunately doesn’t mean much. “Biodegradability is driven by many factors and stating a package is ‘biodegradable’ doesn’t qualify the timeline, conditions required, safety of the elements, or the degree of degradation,” says Alison Younts, lead sustainability consultant at the consulting company Trayak.
And, for now, looking for the word “compostable” doesn’t help either. A compostable certification only indicates that a material is able to break down in large municipal or industrial composting facilities as opposed to a home or community bin. Right now only four percent of Americans have access to curbside composting pickup, says Szaky. And in a recent study conducted by TerraCycle, only one in 10 of the industrial composters where those curbside binds wind up actually accept compostable plastics.
But plastic isn’t all bad. (Didn’t see that coming did you?)
Yes, plastic pollution is a crisis. But, unfortunately, there is no magic-bullet alternative material, and plastic alternatives can in some cases cause as much if not more environmental impact. Glass, aluminum, and paper all have their own drawbacks — including being more expensive, something consumers may not be ready for, according to a 2019 Euromonitor report — and choosing one of them over plastic isn’t always a sure-fire path to reducing your overall carbon footprint.
Take aluminum, which gets a lot of buzz for being widely recycled, endlessly reusable if uncontaminated, and lightweight. However, it’s important to note that it’s recycled aluminum that gets all the love. When the package you’re buying is virgin, it’s another story, as the byproducts of producing new aluminum, according to the EPA, have global warming potentials (GWP) 6,500 to 9,200 times as strong as carbon dioxide.
And, of course, it has to be recycled by the consumer, which happens about 35 percent of the time when it comes to the category including packaging, according to the EPA. While that’s a number much stronger than plastic recycling, it still leaves a lot of room for improvement.
Paper has its own concerns. When it comes to virgin materials, Life cycle assessments of paper, including those in a case study looking at grocery bags in Singapore published this year in the Journal of Cleaner Production, suggest plastic bags could have a lower overall environmental footprint than paper ones. Recycling paper does cut its CO2 output (as is the case with most recycled materials compared to their virgin counterparts) by a considerable amount (40 percent less) but it can only be recirculated between five to seven times, according to the EPA.
And then there’s glass, a material with complex considerations. It’s not always practical, as soapy hands and steamy conditions offer the threat of shattered bottles in your shower. And according to a study published last year in the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment that put pasteurized milk bottles made of virgin plastic, recycled plastic, glass, and returnable glass bottles head to head, even after factoring in the savings from reuse, returnable glass ranked behind plastic in CO2 emissions due to the high energy demand in the production process, as well as the carbon footprint of shipping it.
It’s hard out here for an environmentally-conscious consumer. And it can be a tough call for brands when deciding which tradeoffs to make. “Plastic packaging offers a number of benefits, including being lightweight and often requiring less material overall for a package than other materials like glass and aluminum,” says Kachook. “Switching to other formats without considering the tradeoffs might increase the emissions of shipping or sourcing the material.”
So what do we, as beauty-loving consumers, do?
For all of the many factors in this conversation, that answer to that question is actually pretty simple. First and foremost, focus on the “reduce” portion of reduce, reuse, recycle. Strip your routine down to the basics and simply buy less stuff. When possible, you can opt for packaging-free bar options (such as Ethique’s shampoo and conditioner bars).
Refillable packaging is another thing to consider, either directly through beauty brands with refill programs or via Loop, which offers borrowable containers given for a refundable deposit you get back when you return the empty to be professionally cleaned and reused. Pantene, REN, The Body Shop, and more are part of the program, and it recently got a big boost by partnering with Ulta to create the loopbyulta.com store.
For the empties you do end up with, there are ways to up your chances of having the material reused. First, you can check to see if the brand behind it has a mail-back recycling program of its own like Burt’s Bees. If it doesn’t, TerraCycle takes packaging (including hard-to-recycle items) either through drop-off locations (including Nordstrom stores) or via mail with purchasable boxes and labels.
The organization (which is also behind the Loop store) estimates that last year about 10 percent of all the waste it diverted from landfills in 2020 was related to the beauty industry, thanks in part to its launch of over 50 new recycling programs around the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. “By the end of 2020, about one-third of all of our active brand-sponsored recycling programs were for beauty-related products,” says Alex Payne, North American public relations associate for TerraCycle.
Finally, it’s simply back to showing up with your dollars (i.e., votes) by researching before you add to cart. There are niche lines focusing on sustainability (like the 90 percent plastic-free We Are Paradoxx) and companies finding smart ways to reduce their plastic waste (like Colgate’s new Keep toothbrush with an aluminum handle that you, well, keep forever, replacing only the small plastic head) and big splashy pledges from big brands (like Unilever’s plan for sustainable living and Estée Lauder Companies’ new initiative to create an advanced recycled tube package some time this year) and smaller promises to use more PCR material to reduce the demand for virgin plastic… it all adds up.
Pay attention as well to partnerships with groups such as GreenBlue‘s Sustainable Packaging Coalition, which helps companies make more sustainable choices as well as educate consumers with its clear How2Recycle labeling program. The Recycling Partnership has created the Pathway of Circularity program to help guide companies through the process of creating packaging materials that will actually get recycled. They’re currently working with Burt’s Bees, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal USA, Procter & Gamble, and more.
Buying from these brands making moves truly helps the bigger picture. “Investors are looking at what the consumer is doing,” says Simon Fischweicher, head of corporations and supply chains at CDP North America. Nonprofit that runs a global disclosure system for investors and companies to manage their environmental impacts. Purchasing a product that is labeled or advertised to have more sustainable packaging in itself can have a positive impact.
“Maybe spending that extra 75 cents isn’t going to change the world, but that decision is part of a collection of decisions that people are making that creates a trend,” says Fischweicher. And, trends can become movements — the hope here is to make the movement big enough that it’s not even a possibility for brands not to act.
“We all need a bit of magic in our lives – especially now – don’t we?” says Val Garland, global makeup artist for L’Oréal Paris, of the brand’s latest collaboration with Elie Saab. And magical it is. The designer known for his frothy, feminine, haute couture creations – seen on everyone from brides to A-listers – has brought his talent for making women feel and look good to the ultra affordable L’Oréal Paris x Elie Saab collection, which is available to buy now.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #52 series on my blog.
Empowering women is, after all, Saab’s MO. “My passion has always been to make women feel beautiful, and makeup has the ability to highlight every woman’s natural beauty. As the finishing touch to a look, or an accessible way into the world of couture, this makeup line allows every woman to experience a touch of Elie Saab magic,” he says.
Garland, who has worked with the designer on the makeup looks for his fashion shows in days gone by, collaborated with Saab on the line. The pair wanted to create a range which reflected his “dazzling hand-sewn embroideries and embellishments and his signature fantasy creations”, explains Garland. “I wanted to translate his vision with makeup, by incorporating subtle shimmer finishes in the gloss and dazzling glitters in the eyeshadows, to truly reflect his designs.”
The result is a four-piece line that incorporates a rather glorious eyeshadow palette, full of velveteen, shimmery shades in tones to suit everyone; Le Volume Haute Couture Mascara; a feather-soft Le Brilliant Haute Couture lip gloss (in three nudes); and Color Riche lipstick (in four exclusive shades). The edit is affordable but the luxurious formulas feel reassuringly expensive, and the packaging is also pleasing. The feather details, sheer nude chiffon and silver embellishment from the brand’s last show are all echoed in the formulas.
Because the collection is based on nude hues, it’s perfect for those who like a natural touch, and it’s bound to appeal to future brides. Whether it’s a slick of the gloss on lips or a diffused, taupe eye, it’s soft, flattering makeup that’s easy to incorporate into your routine. And at less than £20, it’s truly a steal.
One of my favourite people in the world, dead or alive, has always been the ICONIC Audrey. Beautiful inside and out, here are some things to know about her beauty regime.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #51 series on my blog.
As one of the most enduring beauty icons of all time, it should come as no surprise to learn that Audrey Hepburn took a considered approach to her regime. From the hair mask that was made especially for her (and remains cult today), to her religious use of a good SPF, British Vogue takes a look at some of the things that helped to make Audrey a timeless beauty – inside and out.
Her signature eye make-up
As well as the feline flick she used to define her almond-shaped eyes, Hepburn also used another trick to help create her signature doe-eyed look. She and her makeup artist, Alberto De Rossi, would use tweezers before and after applying mascara to painstakingly separate every one of her individual eyelashes. If that isn’t dedication to the clump-free life, what is?
She knew the power of a strong brow
Way before Cara Delevingne wowed the fashion world with her fulsome brows, there was Hepburn, whose thick arches were immaculately groomed using a dark brown eyebrow pencil. Her look continues to spawn countless how-to videos even today, because who doesn’t want brows like Audrey’s?
Staying hydrated was key
In his book Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen, Hepburn’s son Luca Dotti revealed the importance she placed on drinking water and staying hydrated. “She was really about drinking a lot of water and eating a lot of vegetables,” he wrote. “It was a matter of how she was brought up.” Evian at the ready.
Her secret to combatting dry skin
As well as ensuring she was well hydrated from the inside, Hepburn said that she used “a lot of moisturisers and oils, because I have rather a dry skin”. As well as these two skin saviours, she also applied yoghurt to her face, leaving it for half an hour, before washing it off. Fresh, Greek yoghurt contains lactic acid which helps to gently exfoliate while hydrating the skin.
She had the same dermatologist as Marilyn
Alongside the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner, Hepburn used to see Hungarian dermatologist Erno Laszlo, whose skincare line still exists to this day. “I owe 50 per cent of my beauty to my mother, and the other 50 per cent to Erno Laszlo,” she once said.
She always removed her makeup – thoroughly
“Working in the theatre, I’ve seen what not removing makeup well can really do to the skin, so I’m very careful about that,” said Hepburn, who referred to herself as a “soap-and-water girl” (with some of Laszlo’s skincare products thrown in). While nowadays soap is very much not recommended, using a good cleanser every morning and evening is.
The cult hair mask she swore by
Heard of Philip Kingsley’s now-cult Elasticiser? A repairing hair mask that delivers moisture directly into the hair cuticle, leaving it shiny, soft and bouncy, it was originally created for Hepburn after the pair met in 1974. She loved it so much that she is said to have had large tubs of it couriered to her regularly – and it’s just as good today as it was then.
As well as lots of fruit and vegetables, which she bought in local markets, surprisingly potatoes were “her bread and butter”, said her son. Hepburn also ate minimal amounts of meat.
She took a holistic approach to her skin
Having proclaimed that “good health is the key to good skin; if your skin isn’t good, it’s a signal that something is wrong” – a very modern ethos – Hepburn ensured she got lots of fresh air and sleep, while keeping her exposure to the sun to a minimum.
SPF was a beauty essential
You know it, I know it – and Audrey did, too. Sunscreen is essential for healthy skin, and while she stayed out of the sun as much as possible, she was religious about wearing SPF.
Her signature scent
Still a classic scent to this day (although it had a revamp in 2018), Givenchy’s L’Interdit was created especially for Hepburn in 1957. Hubert de Givenchy commissioned perfumer Francis Fabron to create the scent, which has notes of orange blossom, tuberose, vetiver and patchouli. It is called L’Interdit, which translates from French as “forbidden”, after Hepburn’s jocular response to Givenchy’s request to make it widely available to the public – not just for her.
The Inkey List — for those who may not know and consequently have been seriously missing out — is a U.K.-based brand that made its way to Sephora shelves worldwide back in 2019. Brand co-founder and chemist Mark Curry along with co-founder Colette Laxton were devoted to creating a brand that introduces effective ingredients into your skincare routine without asking you to spend more than $15. In other words, you get to save some money while you watch your skin thrive.
Not only is the brand very reasonably priced, but it’s also very easy for a consumer to navigate and shop. Each product in The Inkey List is named after its main ingredient. For example, if you want to try a hydrating hyaluronic acid, it makes a serum that’s simply called Hyaluronic Acid. The same goes for exfoliating glycolic acid; the brand offers a Glycolic Acid Toner. You get the gist. And if you’re confused about which ingredients you need for your skin type, concerns, and goals, it has you covered with plenty of helpful information.
With more than 30 affordable, ingredient-centric products in The Inkey List’s lineup, it’s hard to know what you may want to start with. While I enjoy a lot of the products, I’ve narrowed it down to nine of my favorite products.
Oat Cleansing Balm
The Inkey List’s Oat Cleansing Balm is formulated with oat kernel oil to keep skin moisturized and colloidal oatmeal to reduce redness. This surprisingly luxurious face wash will strip all the makeup and dirt off your skin but will never strip your skin of moisture. And that’s why it won a 2020 Best of Beauty Award.
For just $8, the Hyaluronic Acid is a great pick if your skin needs a burst of hydration. Just a dime-size amount of this lightweight serum and your dry, dehydrated skin will be thanking you for quenching its thirst.
The Caffeine Eye Cream does for your eyes what a cup of coffee does for the rest of you: make you look more awake. The formula is made up of caffeine that reduces puffiness and Matrixyl 3000, a peptide that cosmetic chemist Ginger King says will help to boost collagen to firm up the skin and minimize fine lines. When the two are combined, you’ll be looking like you had a full night’s rest (even if you didn’t).
The Salicylic Acid Cleanser gets a gold star for helping acne-prone skin get — and stay — clearer. This formula features 2 percent beta hydroxy acid to exfoliate skin and unclog pores, and its zinc compound helps reduce inflammation.
The Glycolic Acid Toner features 10 percent of its star alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, to minimize the look of pores and fine lines. It also has witch hazel to help control excess oil. After just one use, you’ll notice smoother, brighter skin.
The Kaolin Clay Mask is ideal for getting all that gunk out of your pores. The mixture includes kaolin and smectite clays, which work together to remove gunk from pores and absorb excess oil. All in all, this mask will leave skin looking even and feeling clean.
After winning a Best of Beauty Award in 2019, the Rosehip Oil is still an all-time favorite. It’s made of 100 percent pure rosehip oil, which promotes softer and smoother skin. Apply a couple of drops as the last step in your skin-care routine before you go to sleep, and you’ll wake up with glowy, moisturized skin every time.
According to Miami board-certified dermatologist Roberta Del Campo, tranexamic acid is an increasingly popular ingredient for treating discoloration. “It’s known to help not only lighten [hyperpigmentation] but decrease recurrence,” she says, and that’s exactly what the Tranexamic Acid Night Treatment does. After your pimple heals and becomes a dark spot, just apply a pea-size drop of this magic potion every night, and you’ll surely notice a difference in your skin after about a month’s use.
Get your glow on with the Vitamin C cream. The formula is 30 percent L-ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C that brightens dull skin. Another perk: Use this moisturizer before your morning makeup routine and you can say hello to a smoother canvas for your foundation.
The brightening skincare ingredient can tackle hyperpigmentation.
As far as brightening skincare ingredients go, vitamin C is an A-list star. However, there are other effective ingredients that can treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne, sun damage, or melasma that deserve some time in the spotlight, too.
Tranexamic acid is one such ingredient having a moment, with more and more skincare influencers and beauty brands shining light on its benefits and including it in product formulas. While tranexamic acid can be effective on its own, it works even better as an ensemble with other dark spot-fighting ingredients such as vitamin C, kojic acid, niacinamide, and more.
What Is Tranexamic Acid?
“Tranexamic acid is a synthetic form of lysine, which is an amino acid needed to make proteins,” says Dr. Shari Marchbein, board-certified dermatologist in NYC. “It works by decreasing the production of melanin and we know that the oral form is much more effective at treating melasma than topical form. That being said, serums and other products that contain this ingredient have a lot of potential to help improve hyperpigmentation.”
The ingredient originally was used as a hemostatic agent to help blood clots, but recently has been utilized as a brightening ingredient to help minimize hyperpigmentation as well as melasma.
What Are the Benefits of Using Tranexamic Acid?
One of the major benefits of tranexamic acid is that it plays nice with other brightening ingredients, so you can really zero in on hyperpigmentation.
“There are many treatments for dark spots and these often work well together including licorice, niacinamide, kojic acid, tranexemic acid, retinoids, chemical exfoliants [such as glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid], and more,” Dr. Marchbein says. The dermatologist often recommends serums with tranexamic acid and other brightening agents be used in the same routine for the ingredients to work synergistically to improve post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma.
Tranexamic acid is also a safer, effective alternative to hydroquinone, a potentially irritating bleaching ingredient. “There aren’t many options when it comes to safe, effective skin lightening bioactives,” says Krupa Koestline, clean cosmetic chemist and founder of KKT Consultants. “Hydroquinone is banned in the EU and restricted in many countries due to its safety concerns. Tranexamic acid has shown promising evidence as a plasmin inhibitor and therefore an effective treatment for UV induced discoloration, dark spots, and redness.”
What Are the Side Effects of Tranexamic Acid?
All skin types can use tranexamic acid, but like adding any other new ingredient to your skincare routine, it’s best to do a patch test to ensure you won’t experience irritation.
It’s also important to wear SPF when using tranexamic acid, along with other brightening ingredients, because the sun can make hyperpigmentation darker.
“Remember that before you spend your money on antioxidant serums, brightening ingredients, and retinoids to improve the tone of your skin and hyperpigmentation, the most important and first step is diligent daily sun protection,” Dr. Marchbein says. “It is key to reduce the appearance of brown spots (otherwise you are literally throwing your money away).” The dermatologist recommends a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher should be applied to the face, neck, and ears every day — even in the winter.
How Do You Add Tranexamic Acid to Your Skincare Routine?
Dr. Marchbein says to use tranexamic acid once or twice a day. “I also layer tranexamic acid containing serums over Vitamin C serums and under SPF in the morning and under retinoids at nighttime, so this can safely and effectively be combined with multiple other actives.”
The active can be found in serums, moisturizers, and toners, so it’s entirely up to you what step of your routine in which you want to incorporate it.
That being said, Koestline says serums are a popular way to go. “Most people do like using actives in their serum layer since you’re applying it before other products.”
Shop Tranexamic Acid Skincare Products:
SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense
Dr. Marchbein is a fan of this serum by SkinCeuticals, which she often recommends to patients treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma. It’s infused with tranexamic acid, along with kojic acid and niacinamide, another two tried-and-true brightening ingredients.
Peter Thomas Roth PRO Strength Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment
In addition to niacinamide, the all-star cast of Peter Thomas Roth’s discoloration treatment includes tranexmic and kojic acids, alpha arbutin, and pentapeptide. The lightweight cream can be applied twice a day on clean skin and is best followed by a moisturizer.
Puffiness? Dark circles? Dryness? Crow’s feet? This eye mask by celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas checks all the boxes. It’s powered by brightening tranexamic acid, collagen-boosting matrixyl, soothing allantoin, and hydrating licorice root extract.
If post-breakout dark spots, hyperpigmentation, or dullness are your main skincare concerns, try swapping your usual moisturizer for this overnight treatment. Powered by tranexamic acid, vitamin C, and acai berry extract, it targets areas of discoloration and boosts overall radiance.
Dr. Marchbein says SkinMedica’s Lytera 2.0 serum is another great option for treating discoloration. It combines tranexamic acid with niacinamide, phytic acid, phenylethyl resorcinol, and a marine extract blend to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation without drying out skin.
When I discovered powder sunscreen, it was a total game-changer. They’re basically UV blockers (like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) in a powder form that can be easily brushed on skin throughout the day when you need to reapply your SPF, all without messing up your makeup. In fact, depending on which one you try, they’re actually pretty excellent for mattifying oily skin or even adding a little bronzed glow to your face. Genius, right?
BEST MULTITASKING POWDER SUNSCREEN :
Paula’s Choice On-the-Go Shielding Powder SPF 30
Not only does this SPF 30 powder protect you from UVA and UVB rays with zinc oxide, it uses antioxidants (specifically vitamin C and vitamin E) tohelp minimize free radical damage and ceramides (they’re essential for a healthy, functioning skin barrier) to prevent moisture loss throughout the day.
I love this powder sunscreen for two main reasons (beyond the fact that it shields skin with SPF 30). The first being that the brush head is removable (you can easily pop it off to clean and disinfect the brush hairs as needed) and the second is that it’s refillable! Once you finish up the powder, just recycle your empty powder pod and replace it with a new one.
This powder sunscreen feels practically weightless and has a translucent matte finish, so it works on just about every skin tone. Another bonus: It layers perfectly (no clumps or caking) over liquid, cream, and powder makeup products too.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50
Any time I talk to a dermatologist about powder sunscreens, this top-rated one from Colorescience always comes up in the convo. The tried-and-true mineral formula protects skin from UV rays with SPF 50 and comes in four different shades (fair, medium, tan, and deep) that never look chalky or ashy on skin.
This powder sunscreen with SPF 30 is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it ideal for days when you’re hanging by the pool or sweating like crazy. I like to apply my regular cream-based facial sunscreen in the morning and then layer this one on top throughout the day as a touch-up.
Oily skin types, get excited. This powder sunscreen doesn’t just shield your face from UV rays, it keeps it nice and matte too. As soon as you dust the translucent mineral formula over your skin, it’ll soak up excess oil to keep your face grease-free for hours.
The last step in your makeup routine should 100 percent be a layer of this powder sunscreen. It provides you with your daily dose of SPF 30 AND sets your makeup for up to 12 hoursof transfer-proof wear.
If you’ve got sensitive skin, this soothing powder sunscreen is for you. The gentle, non-irritating formula is made with anti-inflammatory zinc oxide to protect skin from sunburns and photo-damage, plus redness-reducing chamomile and green tea.
This translucent SPF powder is made with all-natural and organic ingredients (like aloe vera, passion fruit, and rosemary oil), making it a legit option for anyone who is into the green beauty scene. Buff it in to protect your skin from UV rays, take down shine and excess oil, and minimize redness.
Supergoop Poof 100% Mineral Part and Scalp Powder SPF 45
Think of this brush-on powder with SPF 45 as a dry shampoo/sunscreen hybrid. Apply it to your part to soak up excess oil (just like a dry shampoo) and protect your scalp from getting burned. And don’t worry, it won’t leave behind any weird, white-ish residue.
BeachPlease blush delivers buildable color in a luminous, second-skin finish. This silicone-free formula is made with skin-loving, plant-based ingredients like green tea extract and aloe vera extract to give skin support with every application.
This first-of-its-kind water-resistant blush combines pigments with a non-greasy blend of weightless oils and spherical powders for a natural flush you can’t mess up. The ultralightweight, liquid-like cream melts on contact and blends to a smooth, satin finish that won’t cake, crease, or clog pores.
This vibrant, yet natural-looking cheek color has a virtually powderless finish. The silky-smooth, stay-true formula is available in a range of shades for every skin tone. It makes creating that just-pinched look simply effortless.
LYS Beauty Higher Standard Satin Matte Cream Blush
Give your cheeks a kiss of color with this cream blush that delivers high payoff for all skin tones. Packed with clean, skin-loving ingredients like kaolin clay and avocado oil, this multipurpose cream leaves skin looking refreshed. Rich in pigment, this blush adds the finishing touch on any look.
Experience a perfectly diffused, soft-touch matte blush with a rush of color. Formulated with NARS’s blending and blurring Color Diffusion Complex, smoothing jojoba gel, and antioxidant-rich passion-fruit oil, this lightweight, creamy mousse transforms into a velvety powder for a skin-like finish.
One stick, all the versatility. This cream-to-powder stick works overtime as an eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush, delivering a gorgeous hint of color wherever you want it. The nourishing formula glides on and blends seamlessly, melting into your skin for a fresh and flattering finish.
This blush is easy to use and impossible to overdo in a lineup of shades designed to enhance every complexion with a youthful glow. Created by Rihanna, these shades are sheer, buildable, and melt into skin. The sweat- and water-resistant formula smooths over skin without feeling sticky or greasy.
Soft and flexible, this balm blush glides on beautifully. Micro-fine pigment powders deposit a touch of color without covering up the skin’s natural texture. Made with low-weight emollients that won’t clog pores, the formula has a light, balmy finish for a long-lasting glow that’s never cakey.
Achieve your best natural look with this sheer, easy-to-blend cream blush formula to bring out a dewy and healthy glow. Keep this in your makeup bag for an instant pop of color whenever you’re on the go and want to bring out that natural glow!
Have you heard about slugging? As slimy as it might sound, it’s a Korean beauty skincare trend made popular a few years ago that has recently had a renaissance thanks to TikTok, on which it’s going viral. Check Reddit and you’ll also see a number of threads enthusing about it. “Slugging is a trend that centres around putting a thick layer of Vaseline or petroleum jelly on your face as the final step in your skincare routine,” explains Maree Kinder, founder of Beauty & Seoul.“The idea behind it is to act as a seal or barrier to prevent moisture loss from skin.”
Taking the concept of fortifying the skin barrier to new – and somewhat greasy – heights, to many (those for whom a moisturiser is more than enough, thank you very much) the thought of slapping on some Vaseline onto skin is a no-no. But those who do it swear it helps to leave skin hydrated, plump and glowing. The trend emerged after, Kinder says, a Korean actress claimed it was her secret to “chok chok” skin, which is that dewy finish that has also become popular in the UK.
But does it work? While some skin types can take this hefty way to retain moisture, most dermatologists are wary of the trend: “I worry that excessive amounts of petroleum jelly will clog pores, especially if you already suffer from acne-prone skin,” says Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe, founder of SKNDOCTOR. “Vaseline is occlusive, meaning it forms a barrier – pure occlusion can trigger breakouts in acne-prone skin types.”
Kinder, who hails from Korea and grew up in the UK, also admits that few of her South Korean friends actually partake in the trend, but does point out that the method can work for dry skin types. Dr Ukeleghe agrees, explaining that slugging on “small, dry patches, shouldn’t be too problematic for the skin as petroleum jelly can be soothing and moisturising” but she advises avoiding applying it in a blanket manner. It’s comedogenic so there’s a high chance you’ll break out in spots.
What both experts agree is that there are products that promise that same dewy, plump skin without the risk factor. Ingredients like ceramides and niacinamide work to help bolster the skin’s barrier, leading to better retention of moisture in the skin, and subsequently a healthier appearance. “Hyaluronic acid is the ultimate hydrating molecule,” adds Dr Ukeleghe. “It’s a natural component in our skin but, applied topically, helps bind and retain moisture.” She recommends following with a nourishing moisturiser to keep everything locked in.
Meanwhile, good quality facial oils may also be excellently deployed as the last step in your skincare regime to lock hydration in and leave skin luminous. Finally, Dr Ukeleghe recommends making use of overnight masks in lieu of Vaseline. Sticky situation averted.
If you’re a fan of hybrid beauty products that do it all in one step, Amazon shoppers think you’ll love Garnier’s SPF-infused serum creams.
The Garnier SkinActive Green Labs serums are available in three different versions: Hyalu-Melon for plumping, Pinea-C for brightening, and Canna-B for “pore perfecting” and mattifying. The three-in-one product is a serum, moisturizer, and SPF 30 sunscreen. Formulated without parabens, mineral oil, or dyes, the serums are non-comedogenic (meaning they won’t clog pores), provide all-day hydration, and are suitable for all skin types and tones, according to the brand. The multi-use serums have become quite popular over the last few months — so much so that they’re selling out at retailers like CVS, according to a brand representative.
Fortunately, all three serums are still in stock at Amazon, and they’ve collectively racked up hundreds of positive reviews since launching. Shoppers say the serum creams are so moisturizing that they’ll leave your skin “dewy and glowing,” and are even “as good as $100 products.” Each serum also comes with a sample of Garnier’s popular micellar cleansing water.
Customers seem to particularly love the Pinea-C serum, which is formulated with vitamin C and pineapple to tackle dull skin and dark spots. One shopper wrote: “This multitasker feels indulgently soft and rich on my face, which has stayed pleasantly hydrated and nourished all day. It combines several steps in my morning routine into one application, saving me time and multiple coins.”
Shoppers also say they’ve noticed a “major pore reduction” when using the Canna-B serum, which is made with blemish-fighting niacinamide. The mattifying serum “works great for oily skin,” but still leaves skin “moist and supple for hours,” according to reviewers.
If your skin concerns include fine lines, customers rave that the anti-aging Hyalu-Melon serum, made with hyaluronic acid and watermelon fruit extract, has made them look “10 years younger” after just a few days of use. Others note that it smells refreshing, and thanks to its creamy texture, “a little goes a long way.”
Makeup sponges aren’t single use like plastic straws and paper towels, but your beloved blending tools still end up in landfills when you toss them out after they start to crack and crumble.
Along with your other favorite beauty tools like eye makeup remover pads, the makeup sponge is getting a green makeover too. EcoTools has just launched the first 100% certified biodegradable makeup sponge.
While there are plant-based sponges on the market that cut down carbon emissions and water waste during the production process, EcoTools has taken things one step further with its Bioblender, which can be planted into the ground once it’s time to part ways with it. (It’s kind of like a funeral for your go-to makeup tool.)
The violet sponge is made with five bio-based ingredients including water, corn, bionanopol, natural preserve, and natural pigments. According to the brand, BioBlender reduces 59,270 pounds of single-use waste in its creation and use. The packaging is made with sustainability in mind, too. It comes in a FSC-certified biodegradable paper box printed with soy ink.
As for the actual sponge, it has a patented hybrid shape with three different edges. The triangular edge is great for swiping on cream bronzer or getting into the contours of your face. The round tip is ideal for tapping product onto large areas like foundation or blush, for example.
Using BioBlender is no different than any other sponge because it blends like a dream. I like to use to triangular tip to layer on blush and concealer where I want to intensify coverage. Then, I flip it over and tap the product in with the sponge for a seamless finish — no streaky blush stripes here!
It’s arguable that this sponge is the hardest working makeup tool out there, because once it’s retired from blending your makeup and you plant it in soil or throw it in your compost, its work doesn’t stop.
The long, dark days of winter are officially behind us, but the effects may linger in the form of dull, lackluster skin. Fortunately, the seasonal shift brings a sense of renewal, the welcome shedding of layers—and there’s no reason that should stop with your wardrobe.
“Spring is an ideal time of the year to start incorporating retinol into your routine,” says Onyeka Obioha, M.D., a dermatologist in Los Angeles. She joins a perpetual chorus of experts championing the ingredient as a means to brighter, smoother skin. Plus, she adds, “in warmer months, people are able to better tolerate it.”
For the uninitiated, retinol and other derivatives of vitamin A (together, they fall under the umbrella category of “retinoids”) count among the hardest-working ingredients in the skin-care realm. Vitamin A offers a multitude of benefits for skin: Thanks to its ability to speed cell turnover and spur collagen production, it can help smooth out wrinkles and fine lines, brighten dark spots and discoloration, and even quell breakouts. (The prescription-strength form called tretinoin—known by its brand name, Retin-A—originally launched as an acne medication before people realized its broader utility.) “When it comes to visibly improving the texture and appearance of your skin while preventing signs of aging, retinol is unmatched,” says Austin-based esthetician Renée Rouleau.
There is a common downside. Because the ingredient is so powerful, explains Rouleau, “it can also come with unwanted side effects, like dryness, flaking, irritation, and sensitivity, for a lot of people, especially during the first four to six weeks.” (Retinoids are not advised for those who are pregnant or nursing.) Although over-the-counter forms of retinol tend to be milder than the derm-prescribed counterpart, it’s still wise to wade in slowly. Obioha recommends starting with a pea-size amount three nights a week, then gradually increasing from there. Following up with daytime sun protection is of utmost importance, since retinol can increase skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.
Even if you’ve had a touch-and-go experience with retinol in the past, recent formulations designed with tolerance in mind offer an incentive to dip back in. There’s no better time for a fresh start.
Shani Darden Retinol Reform Serum
Created by Los Angeles aesthetician Shani Darden, this cream combines retinol with lactic acid and anti-inflammatory niacinamide. It’s a strategic pairing, with the lactic acid delivering immediate smoothing and hydrating benefits while retinol gets to work from within.
StriVectin Super-C Retinol Brighten & Correct Vitamin C Serum
While vitamin C certainly has a starring role in many retinol products, it doesn’t always match the power of a dedicated vitamin C serum. Not so with this dual-action serum, which offers that dream team at high concentrations to improve skin tone and texture.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel 0.1% Topical Retinoid Acne Treatment
If you’re experiencing acne lately, you’re not alone. “Warmer temperatures and an increase in humidity can cause buildup on the skin, which clogs pores and can result in breakouts,” says Obioha. This powerful treatment uses adapalene, which is the sole prescription-strength retinoid available without an Rx, to help maintain a clear complexion.
As protective face masks are still de rigueur, so is maskne. Retinol can help. “It can work to increase skin cell turnover and unclog pores,” says Obioha. Salicylic acid in this oil offers acne-fighting benefits on the spot, while the retinol works to prevent future breakouts.
RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Night Serum Capsules
Concentration isn’t the only thing that matters in a skin-care formula—potency does, too. These sealed, biodegradable capsules keep the combination of retinol and antioxidants fresh and at peak efficacy until it’s applied to the skin.
Why settle for one type of retinol when you can have three? This potent cream consists of a fast-acting retinol, a time-release version, and a retinol booster for peak efficiency. Lest your skin starts to feel dry just reading that, not to worry: Niacinamide gives it proper credibility as a calming night treatment, too.
To amp up the power of this night oil, retinol is paired with salicylic acid, which is prized in its own right for its ability to gently lift dead skin cells. In practice, this ultimately clears the way for retinol to better penetrate—in turn yielding results in as little as one week.
IT Cosmetics Hello Results Wrinkle-Reducing Daily Retinol Serum-in-Cream
Retinol is uniquely equipped to handle signs of aging. “Retinoids actually build collagen and thicken the dermis layer of the skin, which makes the skin appear plump and healthy,” says Obioha. This hybrid formula pairs both free and encapsulated retinol molecules—the better to reach multiple layers of skin—with soothing niacinamide.
Fine lines and deeper wrinkles can’t be blamed on a single culprit. Conversely, their treatment approach isn’t singular, either. That’s why this serum combines retinol with a collagen-boosting blend of peptides, vitamin C, and botanical extracts, which together work to firm and smooth skin.
This eyeshadow palette provides maximum color payoff with minimal effort, blending seamlessly to achieve vibrant, ultra-pigmented looks that last. The compact size is perfect for traveling, allowing you to complete a whole look on the go.
Both products are free of parabens, are vegan and cruelty-free.
I REALLY love how this champagne highlighter melts into the skin seamlessly, it’s not too stark and doesn’t sit on top of the skin. The baked gelle formula will last me for years! The formula is similar to ABH’s Amrezy limited edition collaboration highlighter, but has less of a glow. It’s fantastic and can absolutely be built up in intensity.
The eyeshadow palette didn’t call to me the most when I first saw it, but I’m so glad I picked it up, because it creates the most stunning, easy, effortless glamorous looks! The colors are perfect for spring and fall, which makes it very versatile. It pairs very well with the Mini Retro palette by the brand, as well.
By now, it’s been well-established that social media has turned those who might otherwise be beauty enthusiasts into downright industry powerhouses. People like Marianna Hewitt and Jackie Aina have been able to build entire businesses through channels like Instagram and YouTube.
But while Katie Jane Hughes definitely leveraged Instagram to get to where she is today, her path has been slightly different from your average influencer’s. For one, she’s not shilling her own products; for another, she isn’t known for doing one signature style of “Instagram makeup” — and that’s because her actual beauty signature is experimentation.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #50 series on my blog.
“As soon as I started to wear makeup myself, and the crazy changes of makeup styles that I did go through — which were terrifying, now that I look at it — you have to go through all of those to find your signature style,” she says. “And I don’t think we ever really land on our signature style; I think that we land on different signature styles throughout our lives.”
That means that followers of Hughes will learn how to do something she dubs “Big Mac Energy” (yellow lids with bright red-lips) one day, and how to layer Weleda Skin Food under Glossier Haloscope for a glossy highlight the next. That sense of playfulness is partially how Hughes got where she is today as an in-demand makeup artist. A few years ago, she began experimenting with the kind of editorial looks she wanted to do professionally on her own face and posting them to Instagram.
From there, she grew a huge following pretty organically; now, she works with brands like Glossier and the newly launched Rose Inc., creating looks for campaigns. It’s a bit of a leap from where Hughes first began: She learned how to do nails and was working with brands backstage at fashion week, even though her real passion was in makeup. But while it may seem to the outside world that Hughes is undoubtedly, well, “making it,” she’s not resting on her laurels just yet.
“I’m not where I want to be, and I feel like that sentence — ‘I’m not where I want to be’ — is something that I don’t take lightly, because I don’t think any of us are ever where we want to be,” she says. “There’s always room to grow, room to develop and learn more stuff.”
When did you first become interested in beauty?
Really, back when I was a little kid, because my mom was a singer and I always used to watch her put her makeup on before she would go on stage. She would have these scarlet-red lips, these black lashes that were super-thick and bushy and beautiful, and loads of bronzer. She was just super, super glam. Seeing my mom transform into this stage siren was really cool.
I wanted to do music too, initially. You know, music and beauty really weirdly go hand in hand. I think you’ll find a lot of people who are talented in music and are also talented in makeup. I don’t know what the actual tie is, but it’s often a common thread.
What were your first jobs within the beauty industry?
My first job in the makeup industry was at an Estée Lauder counter back when I was 17 in my hometown of Birkdale, in Merseyside, [England]. It was the first time I started finger-painting with eye shadows, and I remember getting kicked under the counter by my manager, because I was like, “Yeah, just use your fingers for all these eye shadows, it looks great!” and she was like, “No, you could be selling brushes!” I was like “Whatever, I like the way this looks with my fingers.” I just painted Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for a Rose Inc. shoot with my fingers for one of the looks, and it’s a funny, full-circle kind of situation.
I didn’t really love that counter experience and that counter lifestyle, but you have to go through it; it’s training, and it’s an integral part of doing makeup. You have to learn on real people before you learn on models.
From there, I was 17, 18, and I got a job in a nail shop and learned how to do nails. I was a manicurist for about five years, doing nails in salons, and when I moved to London in 2008, I started to do nails in London in a fashion environment, which helped me connect with all these people. I knew I wanted to do makeup, and that was a very much a stepping-stone career for me.
Then I began assisting people who wanted someone that could do nails, as well, for jobs where there wasn’t a manicurist on set. It was a weird, fortunate situation to be in, because people wouldn’t necessarily [hire an artist to do] their nails with their makeup — which I totally get now. Even though I was already there in my head, I wasn’t being taken seriously by my peers.
I always knew that I wanted to rebrand when I moved to the U.S. in 2013. I was Butter London’s global ambassador for about three and a half years, and I moved there to be with them because they were also wanting [to launch] makeup. I thought, this is the perfect opportunity to go from nails into makeup.
I started putting makeup more at the top of my priority list, and then when I left the brand in 2016, I just disassociated myself with nails completely. It was like, this is it, this is where I’m going to cut ties with my nail past. A lot of people don’t even know that I used to do nails now, and it’s only been two years. It’s quite amazing how [social media has helped] going cold-turkey into makeup.
How did social media help you make that transition?
I honestly don’t think I would be where I am now without social media. I never really assisted for anyone because of the nail thing, so I definitely took a different path. I think that it would’ve taken a lot longer, and I think that social media is changing the game for so many talented creatives like me. It’s become this mini-agent and given us a platform to show what we can do, and what our styles are.
For me, my social media blew up because I was basically posting creative looks on my own face that I wanted to do in an editorial setting, but I wasn’t really getting to do it because editorial was so neutral and natural. Only the biggest and the best makeup artists would get to do the creative stuff.
If my Instagram was what it is now, but four years ago, the people that take me seriously now would not have taken me seriously then. I strongly believe that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what I just said, I think it’s just that things have to get there on their own, and people have to get there on their own. Even though I was shooting a few editorials and a few branded things every month before my social really took off, you didn’t really get the opportunity for jobs back then, in 2014 and 2015, to do the creative stuff that we get to do now because of social media. People weren’t as expressive on social media like that.
Where did you get the idea to use your social media as a platform?
I was seeing a lot of what I would call “Instagram makeup” on Instagram, but nothing else — that heavy brow, that heavy contour and that heavy lip, and the cut crease and the liquid liner and all of the things, the lashes. That’s totally fine, and I loved watching those tutorials; it’s not my style or my aesthetic anymore, but I was there at one point in my life. I genuinely have such a deep appreciation for it, because it’s really fucking hard to do that makeup. I actually tried to do it on myself a couple of times, just out of the sheer fun factor. I had to stop halfway through, because I couldn’t actually do it.
I’m okay with that, because it’s not the style of makeup that I do, and it’s not the style of makeup that I think I would ever get asked to do on set, which is what I care most about. My makeup in an editorial setting and an advertising setting, because that’s my career. The Instagram stuff is really just a bonus, cool little side project for me. It’s my passion project, being able to educate women and men and whomever wants to wear makeup around the world doing the similar styles that I do on myself.
I really like feeling like I’ve got a minimal, fresh complexion; quirky, cool color combinations that inspire me. I think that I put something out there that spoke to me as a creative and [it resonated with people] because they didn’t find that many accounts like mine. Now my Instagram is literally my agent; it books me every single one of my jobs.
Why is it important to stay accessible to people who follow you?
Because it’s like, without them, what’s the point? Without actually helping them reach their beauty goals, or inspiring them to try something new, to get closer to what they want to be at that period in their life, what’s the point? It’s very hard to engage back sometimes, because it really takes everything out of you when you’re just feeling a little bit like you don’t want to be on and you just want to do nothing.
People notice that you’re not there. It’s funny, I was away for a week and somebody was like, “Is everything okay? I haven’t seen you on Instagram,” and I’m like, “No, I’m good, thank you so much for checking in, but I just needed to take a week off.” It’s amazing that people would notice that, but it’s also amazing that it takes that much work. I don’t think of it as work, I think of it as a hobby that just takes a lot of my time up. But everything relies on engagement. Why do it if you don’t have the time to engage?
How did the experience of working within a brand prepare you for what you do now?
I don’t think I would ever work with a brand exclusively ever again. Not because it was bad, but because I really, really love being able to use multiple brands. Back then, I did use multiple brands; I just wasn’t able to talk freely as much to the public about what I loved and used, because I was always talking about that brand — and I wanted to talk about that brand, because I had a big hand in some of the product development.
I don’t even think if I ever did my own line — which I probably won’t, because there’s just so much stuff on the market, but who knows — I don’t think I would even be exclusive to my own brand, ever. I just think everybody loves Chanel Soleil de Tan, and everyone loves Nars Creamy Concealer.
How do you choose which brands you work with?
If something goes in my kit professionally, it’s 99.9 percent on my table at home. The best thing a brand can do if they know that an artist likes something is send them two, because they’ll get double exposure from that person’s social channels, if they have one, and then in their kit.
Texture is a massive thing for me; if something has a beautiful texture and reads beautifully in a photograph, then it’s definitely going in my kit and in my table. Like, Weleda Skin Food is an absolute massive one for me, as are most Glossier products, like Stretch Concealer, I use at home and I use in my kit, as does Haloscope; Creamy Concealer from Nars is also on my table and on my kit, as is the Caudalie mist. There’s so many.
How do you choose which projects you take on?
This is another amazing thing about social media. I work quite closely with Glossier, where I do some of their shoots and I create some of their content, and I’ve seen a few products [prior to launch], but I was talking about that brand super-organically on my Instagram prior to working with them.
I always start talking about a product organically first, even if the brand approaches me and says, “Oh, we really want to work with you.” I’m like, “Well, send me stuff, let me use it first, see how it feels, let me use it on my social and Instagram Stories, see if [my followers] like the product, if they’re interested in seeing more, and then we go from there.” I wouldn’t just take a random product out of thin air and go, “Oh, look at this, it’s cool!” It’s not my style at all.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
It’s getting involved in the creative process from start to finish. I just worked on a campaign with Innisfree; the content will be out in September, but I worked on a project with them from start to finish where I weighed in on the casting of the girls, weighed in on the photographer and weighed in on the looks that I created for the campaign, and I’ll weigh in a little bit on the editing. The same goes with brands like Glossier. It’s more of that whole, full-circle creative process from either a branded or an editorial standpoint.
[From a] social standpoint, the best part of it is just feeling like you’ve made somebody’s day and helped them achieve their beauty goals that they’ve struggled to achieve.
What’s something you wish you’d known when you were first starting out?
Nothing really. I feel like about four years ago, I probably would have said that I wish I had known that it was more important to spend more time assisting and try to get on as somebody’s first assistant for a good four or five years. But I think, because of the way my career took a turn, I’d probably be doing myself a disservice by doing that. I feel like my path took a turn that I didn’t think it would take.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Find a signature makeup style that makes you happy, share it, post it, don’t over-edit your content if you like that real-life kind of skin. Keep promoting yourself in a way, but not in an obsessive way; just do it in a very natural, organic way.
It’s such a collaborative industry nowadays. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley found me on Instagram and was like, “I really love your work, I’d love to work with you sometime,” and it went from me doing her makeup for an event in New York to working on a bunch of Rose Inc. stuff with her. You’ve just got to figure out who you want to create with and try to make that happen and learn from it and grow from it.
How have you seen the industry change since you started out?
There’s definitely more room for the new guard of talent; the old guard of talent are doing a slightly different thing. They’re launching brands and they’re doing more collaborative things with brands, whereas the new guard of talent is doing more social collaborations and getting more of that airtime on editorial websites and editorial Instagram. Before I felt like a lot of the talent that would’ve been featured in print, like quotes about products and that kind of stuff, would have been the iconic, old-guard kind of crew, now I feel like it’s much more my generation, the up-and-comers getting that space, which I think is awesome.
What is your ultimate goal for yourself?
I think I’ve done a lot of amazing things so far — I led a fashion show at Lincoln Center, that was a massive moment for me. I cried at the end of the show because there was so much pressure on it, and I was just so proud. I got emotional after the Rose Inc. shoot. There’s so many things that I’ve done, I feel ungrateful to say that I haven’t gotten there yet. But I feel like more of what I’m doing now is what I want to do more of.
I think if I did a collaboration with a brand that I really, really, really loved, that had my name on it somehow, that was super-organic and true to my brand as well as their brand, that would be a pretty special thing.
Health-food-inspired beauty potions can be a little absurd. But turmeric-laced skin care isn’t that. Studies have shown that curcumin, a chemical compound found in turmeric, can decrease UV damage (it’s a natural antioxidant) and clear up acne (it’s also antibacterial) when applied to skin. It may also reduce collagen breakdown when taken orally, says Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist in New York City. In fact, there are several dermatologists who take a turmeric supplement every morning. “It can prevent conditions, including skin redness, hair loss, and cardiovascular disease, which are caused by inflammation,” says Kavita Mariwalla, a dermatologist in West Islip, New York. She’s a believer — she pops a 500-milligram pill daily.
First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask
I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly…mask? First Aid Beauty’s Ginger & Turmeric gel-based mask is supercharged with ginger, turmeric, and vitamin C to invigorate tired, stressed-out skin.
Kora Organics Turmeric 2-in-1 Brightening & Exfoliating Mask
If it’s good enough for Miranda Kerr, it’s good enough for me. I love her Kora Organics Turmeric 2-in-1 Brightening & Exfoliating Mask, which contains exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids to address hyperpigmentation, dullness, and uneven texture.
Pores? What pores? Peach & Lily’s The Good Acids Pore Toner features soothing turmeric, alongside a slew of other nourishing ingredients like aloe, to balance skin while seriously turning up the glow factor in your complexion.
The Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask does exactly what its jar says: brightens and energizes skin. Spread this creamy mask across your cheeks and let it dry. As you wash it off, the cranberry seeds gently break down dry, dead skin on the surface of your skin, leaving it glowier and feeling incredibly refreshed.
Volition Turmeric Brightening Polish for Face and Body
Volition’s Turmeric Brightening Polish for Face and Body looks and smells earthy right out of the tube, but on contact, the gritty brown paste melts into a smooth, hydrating milk. It combines turmeric with sandalwood and olive oil (which hydrate and tone skin), leaving skin visibly brighter after one use.
The amber-colored Clarins Double Serum is bi-phase, meaning it’s made up of a water-soluble formula and a fat-soluble one that, when combined, deeply penetrates and nourishes skin. The bottle is dual-chambered, so every pump contains just the right amount of each formula — two-thirds water-based ingredients and one-third oil-based ones — including, yep, you guessed it, turmeric.
The clear Tula Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel does it all (though, you may not notice it right away). With a blend of probiotics and glycolic acid, it restores skin’s pH level, brings down inflammation, exfoliates, and moisturizes. Swipe it over your skin, and in about five minutes, skin will feel smoother and suppler.
As Nazarian mentioned, turmeric’s effects can also be seen when ingested. With a blend of antioxidant phytonutrients (including a 12.5 milligrams of turmeric), the Jane Iredale Skin Antioxidant Capsules protect and repair skin from damaging free radicals from sun and smog.
Massage the ultra-rich Aveda Tulasara Wedding Masque all over your face before bed, and you’ll wake up with your skin feeling soft and supple in the AM. Plus, it smells amazing — a citrusy, flowery combination of jasmine, chamomile, and grapefruit oil.
Perricone MD Pre:Empt Series Daily Brightening Moisturizer
Loaded with antioxidants, just a few pumps of the Perricone MD Pre:Empt Series Daily Brightening Moisturizer gives skin the hydration it needs for the day. Think of it as a three-in-one treatment: a hydrator, a makeup primer, and skin protector (thanks to SPF 30).
The Andalou Naturals Turmeric Enlight Serum is full of a potent fruit stem cell complex, turmeric, and glow-enhancing vitamin C to address dark spots, counteract free-radical damage caused by UV rays, and boost collagen and elastin production for a truly radiant complexion.
“As a painter and an artist that has been inspired by how beauty is perceived globally, it is very important for me to create a universal brand.”
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #49 series on my blog.
Mohammed Hindash is an artist born and raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Hindash studied and graduated with a degree in Studio Art, and later gained his exposure internationally for being one of the leading pioneers in makeup artistry and photography. Hindash began as a painter and YouTuber reaching over 68 Million views with 1.7 million subscribers. Crowned as one of the hottest makeup artists in the industry, the beauty mogul encapsulates the entirety of his artistic journey. Transitioning from portrait paintings to makeup and photography – and now into his own brand, his most intricate masterpiece.
Timeless. Authentic. Innovative. The brand’s drive stems from creating complex cosmetic masterpieces inspired by the true foundation of art.
“Art and beauty has always been an extension of me, so when I started experimenting with photography I knew I wanted to give into the world of cosmetics through make up artistry. It felt like a seamless, natural transition from being a painter.”
The creation of such an innovative product for the beauty industry should not come as a surprise, then.
The 6-pan gradient color story is inspired by a painter’s palette, deconstructed, and reassembled in a sleek, contemporary multi-use product. Beautopsy is made of a vegan formula which blends 12 fundamental colors that flatter and enhance all skin tones. Use as eyeshadow, eyeliner, contour, highlight, blush, and bronzer – the gradient colors offer a limitless color way pay-off.
Beautopsy is a multi-use pressed pigment palette that can be used on the eyes and face. Create the ultimate look by swirling your brush along the gradient pans to customize your perfect shade. Sweep along eyes, cheeks, brows, highlights and contours of the face. You are the artist of your masterpiece.
TAN + LINES – a soft tan brown that blends into a pure white
WET + PAINT – a beige that blends into a banana yellow
BOY + WONDER – a peach that blends into a bubblegum pink
FEEL + REAL – a neutral brown that blends into a true concrete gray
LOVE + KILLS – a fiery orange that blends into a hot red
INTRA + FATUM – a chocolate brown that blends into a pitch black
While Drunk Elephant originally started as a skincare brand, the company has since expanded its product line into the body and makeup categories — and most recently, hair care. As always, you can rest assured that each product is designed to keep your skin (and now hair) healthy, nourished, and radiant, thanks to the innovative vitamin-, antioxidant-, and mineral-infused formulas.
There’s plenty of praise to be sung for this brand, and a long list of products to choose from. If you’re new to Drunk Elephant or already a fan and looking to try the latest launches, I’ve narrowed down several — 11, to be exact — of the top picks that I think are worthy of a spot in your routine.
B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum
Applying serum before your moisturizer is one of the easiest ways to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy since many are packed with highly concentrated doses of active ingredients. The B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum features a lightweight formula containing brightening pineapple ceramide and hydrating vitamin B5. It’s also infused with sodium hyaluronate, which cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos tells Allure is “very effective for plumping lines.”
The Best of Beauty Award-winning C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum is another great option. The vitamin C- and antioxidant-rich serum repairs sun damage. It also features pumpkin ferment and pomegranate extract, both of which help to dissolve dead skin cells, thus reducing the appearance of pores and overall dullness.
You already know the importance of wearing sunscreen daily (even indoors), but with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to narrow it down. The ultra-lightweight Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 pretty much eliminates the guesswork. It’s designed for — you guessed it — everyday wear. The editor-favorite sunscreen has won an Allure Readers’ Choice Award three consecutive years in a row, and it’s easy to see why. The creamy, silicone-free formula is ideal for even the most sensitive skin types and contains 20 percent zinc oxide (to protect the skin from harmful UV rays), as well as antioxidant-rich algae, sunflower sprout extracts, and raspberry seed oil.
A-Passioni Retinol Cream picked up a 2020 Best of Beauty Award after one Allure editor credited the product for reducing hyperpigmentation and breakouts. Retinol is one of the most versatile, dermatologist-lauded skin-care ingredients and can do just about anything, including brightening skin, reducing wrinkles, and minimizing breakouts. That said, it’s an all-around win for a range of skin concerns.
With professional facials few and far between these days, the T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial at-home peel is a more-than-suitable substitute. It’s designed for weekly use and is formulated with 25 percent alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acids — and two percent beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), otherwise known as salicylic acid. These chemical exfoliants eliminate dead skin cells and smooth texture. The creamy, non-traditional formula will leave your skin feeling fresh, clean, and rejuvenated. No wonder it won a Best of Beauty Award.
Once you’ve smoothed skin over with a peel, top it off with the brand’s moisturizing Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil. It’s a pure one-ingredient oil packed with skin-restoring and vitamin E-infused marula seed oil to protect against free radicals and pollution.
The Best of Beauty-winning Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser is chock-full of soothing fruit extracts and oils including marula, baobab, and Kalahari melon seeds to keep skin moisturized and nourished. The oil-based cleansing balm also features bamboo and charcoal powders to gently exfoliate dead and dry skin.
Drunk Elephant’s Lippe Balm is especially ideal for the winter months when many of us suffer from dry, dehydrated, and chapped lips. The buttery balm is also made with moisturizing avocado oil, which is rich in fatty acids, along with mongongo oil to keep skin smooth, and hydrating peptides.
For a natural-looking, all-over glow in any season, try the antioxidant-rich D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Bronzing Drops. The lightweight formula is infused with soothing cocoa extract, fine line-eliminating peptides, rejuvenating vitamin D, and vitamin F (fatty acids), the latter of which promotes a healthy skin barrier.
If you’ve yet to dive into the greatness of micellar water, you’re surely missing out. The beloved, ultra-gentle cleaning format gently grabs dirt, tones skin, and removes makeup all at the same time — and all without stripping or harming the skin. The hydrating, non-irritating E-Rase Milki Micellar Water offers a milky formula with nourishing omega fatty acids. “This is a great ceramide-based micellar water that’s perfect for removing makeup pre-wash,” board-certified dermatologist Deanne Mraz Robinson previously told Allure.
Knots won’t know what hit ’em when the Wild Marula Tangle Spray makes contact. The leave-in treatment works three-fold to detangle, condition, and act as a heat protectant, thanks to moisturizing sacha inchi and pracaxi seed oils. Strengthening amino acids, on the other hand, will help prevent breakage-induced dryness that can settle in during colder winter months.
It doubles as a face mask, keeping my skin refreshed and radiant, regardless of the weather.
What It Is: A gel moisturizer with watermelon extract and brightening botanicals that can be used both day and night.
What It Does: Hydrates and plumps dry, irritated skin for a glowing, moisturized complexion.
Who It’s For: All skin types.
At first pump, this baby pink gel formulation, made with hyaluronic acid and watermelon extract, plumps the skin for a hydrated fresh complexion, while soothing and brightening. I like to double up on this oil-free moisturizer, using it as a 10-minute mask when my skin calls for it. My favorite hack? Storing this travel-sized Watermelon Glow Pink Juice in the fridge for a relaxing, cooling sensation. Thank me later.
Clean at Sephora:
Clean at Sephora is formulated without a list of over 50 ingredients, including sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, phthalates, and more. For the full list, check out the Ingredients tab.
Makeup artist Raoúl Alejandre is a strong believer in holistic beauty—that is, going beyond the fantasy and what you see on the surface to unlock something much deeper. “Like most of us, I want beauty to continue to broaden up,” he tells Vogue.“Not just by including visual representation of those often marginalized, people like myself, people that don’t fit the set of beauty norms we were once fed to believe in, but also incorporating values, important ones, like mindfulness.”
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #48 series on my blog.
For Alejandre, a California native who is currently based in Los Angeles, the question of when he got his “start” in makeup doesn’t quite apply. “I’ve practiced painting my whole life and makeup was just one of those other mediums I picked up as a kid because I wanted to express myself,” he says. “I would rummage through my mom’s stuff, and when I got to a certain age, I would sort of steal her old makeup and hide it in my sock drawer so that I could play with it on myself.”
Through his journey, the artist has developed a signature look that is fiercely elegant. His carefully painted eyes—a soft mashup of baby blue and moss green, a glossy, plum lid—and a pronounced lip, often nude or red, are undisputedly glamorous but don’t scream it. From actors like Alexa Demie and Ryan Destiny to musicians including Rosalía, SZA, and Lil Nas X, everyone Alejandre touches is left with a look of assured confidence that easily captures attention.
His inspirations come from legends in their respective fields (Salvador Dalí, Richard Avedon, Federico Fellini, and Siouxsie Sioux), life experiences like moving to New York City for a few years—“It’s where I broke all my rules and really got to know myself,” he says—and interior design.
“I could have a meeting with someone or be at dinner with a friend and I’ll look at the ambiance around us; I’ll look at the colors of the food in front of me, how they touch, the textures of the chair, the window treatments, and the lighting fixtures, because they all play such an important role in the final picture,” he explains.
It’s this attention to detail that has led to creative partnerships with MAC, Dior Beauty, and Revlon, along with a rolling list of celebrity clientele and publications. For Dazed, Alejandre created a series of makeup looks that were applied solely through Photoshop, proving once more that the digital space is the next frontier for beauty. “Growing up, I had one uncle that was super tech-savvy and he just threw me in at such a young age, teaching me how to create digital designs on Photoshop. On top of that, I was really into *The Sims*—I love how surreal they look, the language, the fashion, and all of the weird gestures that they make.”
As Alejandre continues to push the conventional limits of beauty and design, he’s mindful to release himself from the labels and expectations that can develop as an artist establishes themself in this industry.
“We grew up being conditioned to believe you have to be either this or that, you have to do this or that, but, no, I want to pick everything. I want to express myself and I want to use makeup as a medium to tap into every other medium. I don’t want to be limited in my lifetime. I want to feel free forever, honestly.”
Everyone loves a good glow, but if your oil glands are already over-producing, which results in a not-so-cute shiny t-zone, you want to stay away from super dewy foundations. Instead look for a matte, oil-free, water-based formula to balance-out your skin’s oil production. From the drugstore hero to the most luxurious formulas in the game, ward off a shiny forehead with these H20-happy foundations.
Dior Forever 24h Wear Matte Foundation
Introducing: An Instagram filter in a bottle. This foundation offers buildable-slash-medium coverage with a texture that feels velvety and smooth on your skin. The formula is full of pansy extract, which is a a super hydrating ingredient that will give dry skin a healthy glow.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
A Rihanna-approved foundation that diffuses every pore on your face and doesn’t move all damn day? Yes, please. Not to mention that I use this foundation frequently, because my T-zone loves to get super shiny, and the bottle lasts me so long.
This is the newest foundation the brand added to its lineup that beauty lovers can’t stop talking about at the moment. Everyone’s loving the silky-soft veil it leaves behind on the skin, covering dark spots, redness, and other ailments in seconds. Its oil-free blend of ingredients— ceramides, peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid and squalane—are all magic words when it comes to boosting moisture.
The brand’s most natural-looking foundation, this sheer, easy-to-blend cream will give you medium to full coverage depending on how you layer it. Oil-free and formulated with coconut water and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moisturized, just be wary that it’s not too too dewy or hydrating if you have suuuper oily skin.
The mixture of hydrating and light-reflective elements in this Bobbi Brown formula will make your skin look especially dewy, plump, and radiant in the morning. It’s a favorite of beauty fiends who want more of a lightweight, sheer finish.
Milk Makeup’s easy applicator uses a tip that minimizes any exposure to air (meaning your foundation will stay fresher than ever) and eliminates drips that waste your precious money. Making the K-beauty blurring trend easier than ever, the product uses light-diffusing technology to create a poreless, airbrushed effect.
This formula is expensive, but not for nothing as it really does deliver on its “post-facial glow” promise. Made with mineral from the deep waters of Bretagne (fancy!), it brightens the skin by reflecting light to eradicate facial shadows, resulting in a glowy soft focus finish.
Burberry’s illuminating pearlescent primer can be worn on its own or mixed with foundation to create a dewy glow that never reads too shiny or sparkly. If you’re looking to add radiance to a dull winterized complexion before summer, this is your stuff.
Finding that happy medium between providing soft, yet solid coverage without drying out the skin, this water-like, gel-serum foundation works on ALL skin types and provides SPF 30 protection. Plus, it comes in a cool dropper bottle.
In more than 20 shades, you’re bound to find your perfect match with this super-blendable, long-wearing formula. It’s also very concentrated, so a little bit of product goes a long way, ensuring you get all the bank for you buck.
Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup Foundation
A beauty editor favorite, if you’re in the market for au naturale day-to-day coverage, this is your stuff. It has that “your skin, but better” look down to a science with a water-based gel formula that blurs away imperfections while delivering sheer to medium matte coverage.
This drugstore steal is notorious for being *amazing* for normal to very oily skin. Its fluid, silk-like texture goes on smoothly and will let your natural complexion show through while still diffusing uneven skin tone, blemishes, and T-zone shine. It also comes complete with SPF 17.
Sun Bum’s Mineral Sunscreen Spray makes applying SPF easy. Its spray nozzle effortlessly coats skin with just one spritz — just apply 15 minutes before you’re exposed to the sun and then reapply every two hours while you’re out and about. The formula is made mineral-based and made of zinc oxide, but don’t worry about any white cast issues, this formula is basically invisible. Once the sunscreen is all evenly applied, make sure you pat it in to ensure it’s fully absorbed and ready to protect.
Reapplying lip balm to avoid chapped lips can require constant vigilance, but not anymore. Sara Happ (a long-time favorite brand known for its lip scrubs) just launched its first lip balm-gloss hybrid. Created with hyaluronic acid, this lip treatment makes lips feel smooth and soft.
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Hyaluronic Cloud Moisturizer
Since Peter Thomas Roth’s Water Drench Cloud Moisturizer was such a success when it first launched years ago, the brand finally formulated a version of the iconic cream with sunscreen. This non-greasy moisturizer shields skin from the sun while hydrating with hyaluronic acid, so get ready to have skin that’s protected, hydrated, and soft as a cloud.
The Kate Somerville Delikate Serum is ideal for those who have sensitive skin. Its lightweight formula is made with cucumber seed oil to help calm and soothe redness, as well as ceramides to help protect and strengthen the skin’s barrier.
Ole Henriksen is bringing together three of its game-changing products to create the ultimate kit: 3 Mega Wonders. Included here is the Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner, the Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum, and the C-Rush Brightening Gel Crème, three products that work together to give your skin a serious glow. Stick with this trio and you’ll have hydrated, radiant skin in no time.
When I found out Kylie Skin was launching a lip exfoliator, I thought, It’s about time the queen oflip kitsdropped a prepping product. This formula is made with a mix of nourishing oils (jojoba and grape seed) and vanilla-scented sugar, which leaves lips soft, kissable, and hydrated after a gentle scrubbing.
Perfect for all skin types, Saturday Skin Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream is a lightweight undereye cream formulated with avocado to improve hydration and date seed extract to give the eye area a subtle glow.
Thrive Causemetics Moisture Flash Active Nutrient Toner
Thrive Causemetics Moisture Flash Active Nutrient Toner is a pH-balancing liquid exfoliant that helps smooth and brighten skin. The witch hazel in the formula cleanses and targets unevenness, while salicylic acid aids with any pore congestion and acne. Get ready for bright, even, clear skin without added dryness.
In my opinion, the Kinship Mint Mud mask was practically made for an at-home facial. The refreshing treatment clears out pores, thanks to kaolin clay, while lactic acid gently dissolves dead-skin build-up, brightening skin. Above all else, you’ll love how it smells: like a freshly opened sleeve of Thin Mints.
A full face of makeup is no match to the Goodhabit Rescue Me Clean Scene Micellar Gel. Just one pump of the formula, which is made of hydrating hyaluronic acid and chamazulene (to help with redness), whisks away any makeup, including those of the waterproof variety.
If you’re looking for some serious luminosity, look no further: Laneige just dropped Glowy Makeup Serum to make any base makeup more radiant. Apply two pumps as the last step in your skin-care routine and apply your makeup as normal; the diamond mineral powder in the formula will create a translucent glow that looks gorgeous on all skin tones.
Even though we’re indoors right now more than ever, it’s still super important to wear sunscreen. Versed Guards Up Mineral Sunscreen boasts SPF 35, and its finish is creamy — not too dewy, not too matte — is a great option. Oh, and it never leaves a white cast on any skin tone. A winner in my book.
Then I Met You Honey Dew Lip Mask is a versatile pick because it can be used as a glossy daytime balm or an intense nighttime treatment. The squalane in the tube will leave lips feeling moisturized, while the honeydew melon will soothe the sensitive and delicate skin on your lips.
Give yourself an at-home facial with the Juice Beauty Prebiotix Instant Flash Facial. This all-in-one treatment acts as an exfoliating mask and cleanser. Plant beads and tartaric acid exfoliate away dead skin while iris extract and prebiotic ingredients help encourage balance, giving skin a fresh-faced glow.
Hydrate and replenish your complexion with Chantecaille’s new Radiance Elixir. This illuminating serum will give your skin a healthy, fresh glow. Either wear it alone or mix it with your foundation — either way, you’ll be feeling lavish and radiant with just one drop.
Turmeric is well-known for its soothing properties, which is why it’s an ingredient great for calming acne breakouts. Neutrogena’s latest launch, Soothing Clear Turmeric Mousse Cleanser, utilizes this ingredient in a lightweight formula that removes dirt, oil, and makeup from pores without stripping the skin of natural oils.
Belif’s True Cream Aqua Bomb just got a soothing upgrade. The new Aloe Vera version gives you the same hydration of the original gel-cream (thanks to the glycerin and ceramides), but it contains the aforementioned aloe, which is known to calm irritation and acne.
Heyday x Supergoop! Defense Refresh (Re) Setting Mist
To celebrate the Supergoop! Defense Refresh (Re) Setting Mist’s fifth anniversary, it’s getting a complete makeover — at least package-wise. Over the course of five months, Supergoop! will be releasing its SPF-packed setting spray in five newly-designed packages. This month, the skin-care brand has partnered with Heyday for a bright yellow bottle that just brings me a lot of joy.
Asking for bright and smooth skin just got a lot easier, thanks to Malin+Goetz’s new launch. The Resurfacing Face Serum is made with glycolic and lactic acids to exfoliate dead skin cells and vitamin C to give you a more radiant complexion. All you need is two or three drops before moisturizer and you’ll be good to go.
Get dewy-looking skin with Clinique’s new Moisture Surge Sheertint Hydrator SPF 25. It’s made of hyaluronic acid, aloe water, and a sugar called trehalose to provide moisture for up to 12 hours. In addition to broad-spectrum SPF 25 to give you some protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays, it also has a sheer tint to give you a touch of color and glow.
Who doesn’t love a gift set? In this Elemis and Olivia Rubin collaboration, you get seven full-sized products from the skin-care brand (Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Peptide Night Recovery Cream-Oil, and Sea Lavender & Samphire Body Cream to name a few) all housed in a super fun rainbow-colored makeup bag designed by the British fashion designer.
If there’s one beauty brand universally loved by editors, bloggers, and makeup artists alike, it’s Glossier. Founded in late 2014 by Emily Weiss, the brand singlehandedly ushered in a new era in beauty: One in which minimalism and no-makeup makeup is favored over chiseled cheekbones created by contouring palettes often seen all over Instagram. The brand became a fan favorite overnight and its millennial-pink packaging can be seen everywhere — including, but not limited to, the vanities of beauty editors and the bags hauled to red carpet events by top-billed makeup artists.
Arguably the product that put Emily Weiss’s beauty brand on the map, Boy Brow is everything we want in an eyebrow product: Tinted, but not overly so; long-lasting (because having your brows melt off midday is not a good look); and super easy to use. The 2016 Best of Beauty Award-winning pomade comes in three natural-looking shades (plus a clear version that keeps hairs in place sans any tint), and brushes on easily for brows that look full and groomed, but not bushy. Yes, please.
Full disclosure: If you have oily skin, chances are Glossier’s Futuredew isn’t going to be up your alley, as it’s a serum-oil hybrid that leaves skin super glowy — even when used sparingly. But if your complexion is on the drier side, it might just be your new best friend. Infused with squalane, which hydrates, as well as nourishing oils like jojoba, grapeseed, and evening primrose, it works to smooth, soften, and brighten skin in one fell swoop. Additionally, it can be used as a makeshift highlighter — just tap a dot or two on the high points of your face for a subtle glow.
If you’re looking for an everyday mascara that gives lashes a noticeable-but-natural-looking boost, then Lash Slick is the one for you. Similar to Boy Brow, it coats lash hairs in a glossy pomade that enhances the look of natural lashes and doesn’t get clumpy, gloopy, or flaky. It’s also an excellent option for anyone who can’t be bothered to remove waterproof mascara because it comes off easily and seamlessly with just a little warm water — despite being otherwise budge-proof.
I have to be honest: liquid cheek tints are sometimes, to put it bluntly, hard to use. They’re either too pigmented, not pigmented enough, or dry too fast and leave the face a blotchy, streaky mess. Not so with Cloud Paint, which provides a sheer wash of natural-looking color for a just-in-from-the-cold flush — aka what blush is supposed to look like. The lightweight formula melts into the skin, making blending ridiculously easy — and the four shimmer-free shades (Dusk, a tawny, rose pink; Puff, a brighter, candy pink; Beam, a pretty, golden coral; and Haze, a cool magenta) are makeup bag must-haves.
For those of us who don’t have the patience, energy, or drive to double-cleanse with an oil and then another cleanser. Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser is the answer to all of your post-Happy Hour makeup-removing struggles. The bouncy, lightweight cleanser easily melts off even the most stubborn waterproof makeup and cleanses the skin, without leaving any residue (or that weird, tight, hand-me-the-moisturizer-quick feeling). It also smells like rosewater, which is a nice change from the subtle chemical smell of many other skin-care products.
Myself — and, okay, the rest of the world — have been next-level obsessed with Balm Dotcom since it first hit the market a couple of years ago. Available in an array of skin-brightening shades, the hydrating, waxy balm (blended with beeswax, castor seed oil, and a variety of antioxidants) hydrates dry skin — we’re talking elbows, knees…everything. I like using the Original, untinted version on my body, but for a pretty wash of sheer, glossy color on the lips, the Cherry shade (a juicy, fruity red) cannot be beaten.
Slather the mint-colored, kaolin clay mask onto your face to look at least marginally more alive before work the next day. About 20 minutes later, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when your skin is brighter, smoother, and more awake.
For those who prefer their highlighter to deliver a glowy (rather than sparkly) finish, Glossier’s beloved Haloscope highlighter (a favorite of pretty much every Allure editor) can’t be beaten. The highlighting stick, infused with a core of solid, vitamin-rich oil, gives the skin a dewy, almost glossy highlight — with just a hint of shimmer (thanks to glimmering particles from actual crystals). It’s super easy to apply and blend, and the three luminous shades (sun-kissed Topaz; pearlescent Rose Quartz; and iridescent Moonstone) are versatile enough to be used on all skin tones.
Glossier’s best-selling Priming Moisturizer is one of those rare products that doesn’t seem particularly special, but delivers spectacular results. The featherlight hydrating cream features a blend of potent complexion-improving ingredients (including hyaluronic acid and redness-reducing botanicals) to keep the skin hydrated all day long. At the same time, it’s gentle enough to use every day and gives the skin a healthy, hydrated glow, making it a great pick for days when foundation just isn’t going to happen. Its only qualm? It doesn’t have SPF — so you have to apply your sun protection separately.
It also comes in a Balance version for oily skin, which one reviewer says is “formulated to prevent and heal blemishes with antibacterial, soothing bamboo extract and willow bark extract, which is a natural derivative of pore-clearing salicylic acid.”
For decades, South Korea has been famous for innovative beauty exports like cushion-compact foundation, BB cream, and sheet masks. Known for their “skin first” approach, K-beauty brands like Belif, Peach & Lily, and Glow Recipe have become staples for skincare obsessives who want quality ingredients and packaging at an affordable price point.
From cleansing micellar water to hydrating essence, here are the best K-beauty products to try now.
Everyday Essence Face Serum
Packed with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and minerals, this gel-like essence quickly absorbs into skin to deliver deep hydration.
I never thought I would be writing this. Becca Cosmetics, sweet, darling Becca, which ignited the highlighter craze with its best-selling shimmers, is soon to be no more. On Instagram, the brand announced that due to COVID-19, it would be closing up shop at the end of September 2021, leaving fans scrambling to stock up on their go-tos. And one thing in particular has already sold out in multiple places: Becca’s legendary darkness-cancelling Under Eye Brightening Corrector.
“I drove 40 miles to an Ulta and bought three because all the other Ultas closest to me were out of stock,” one person on Reddit says. Another describes the peachy pink concealer-corrector hybrid as brightening in a way that “makes it almost more ‘good lighting angle on a date’ than makeup or concealer. It takes several years off my age.”
Working through the gut punch of losing it, shoppers regrouped on makeup forums to recommend replacements for the beloved product, which has earned almost 130,000 loves on Sephora’s website for its life-giving, appearance-of-sleep-bequeathing power. The only silver lining is that thanks to Becca popularizing the concept, there are now ample successors ready to carry on the mantle of its good name — no two-hour venture necessary.
Bobbi Brown’s Bisque Corrector comes with high recommendations, correcting dark circles “like a charm” with a hydrating consistency that doesn’t settle into creases. The “miracle product” balances out even super deep circles on skin tones across the spectrum, shoppers say, and it’s so good that people are on their 15th (!) restock. Per the perma-fan, the pink shade also erases circles so well, they look years younger.
Pixi’s Brightening Peach Correction Concentrate comes in strong as a more affordable option, cancelling out blue circles on Amazon insomniacs and creating a “supernaturally” rested look. A mom of three boys explains that nothing was able to cover her circles until a makeup artist friend recommended the Pixi — which works “like magic” and stays on all day.
The Pixi concealer is already on backorder from third-party Amazon stockists, so as a backup Tarte’s CC undereye corrector is similarly praised, its creamy texture covering with ease. One Dermstore shopper writes that it was the hydrating pot of gold at the end of their “eternal journey” for a corrector able to best their “awful,” multi-colored under-eye circles.
At the lowest price point, L.A. Girl’s peach Pro Conceal grabs over 8,000 five-star Amazon ratings. Shoppers write that they’re shocked at how well it blends and conceals without drying out crepey under eyes, besting even products that are 10 times as expensive. It gives the same inner-eye sheen as the Becca, and likewise transforms from a bright peach in the tube to a corrector that masks hereditary dark circles completely.
All great options, but if you’re not ready to say goodbye yet, there are a dwindling handful of places with Becca’s pearlized originals still in stock. It’s fresh out at Ulta, but Sephora still has one of the two shades, and Dermstore and QVC haven’t been ransacked yet. Happy hunting.
China is removing the mandatory animal testing requirements for imported ‘general’ cosmetics, a huge step forward for cruelty-free beauty.
At present, while animal testing for cosmetics is banned in Europe, if a brand is sold in China this means it is not cruelty-free, because China requires animal testing by law.
However, from 1st May 2021, China will remove the mandatory animal testing requirements for imported ‘general’ cosmetics.
This means that products that do not have claims such as ‘anti-ageing, skin whitening or anti-acne’ will not need to go through animal testing when imported into the country.
‘General’ cosmetics such as shampoo, body wash, lotions and make-up comprise the bulk of the market, so this is a huge step forward for cruelty-free beauty. The new regulations will only apply to general use cosmetics and do not include hair dyes, hair-perming products, freckle-removing and whitening products, and sunscreens.
Moreover, China has also approved two new non-animal methods of cosmetic testing, indicating an animal-free future in the next few years.
Companies wishing to register will need to provide a Certificate of Good Manufacturing Practices in place of toxicology tests, but it is not yet determined who will issue a GMP certificate in the U.S. and Canada.
The bottom line: The announcement is good news, but there will still be many hurdles and costs for companies wishing to register to sell in China. Change will not happen overnight, but certainly things are moving in the right direction for the animals. At this time, the Leaping Bunny Program in the U.S. and Canada still only allows for the sale of products into China through Cross Border E-Commerce (which does not require registration with the NMPA). They are in direct communication with their partners in China who are working diligently on obtaining updates on new information.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #47 series on my blog.
This past week on Instagram, a few muses welcomed spring with colorful eyeshadows. Model Pooja Mor glistened under the sunlight, wearing turquoise eye shadow and a big smile, while model Chloe Yu had her lids saturated in blue and pink, thanks to makeup artist Michael Anthony (and the Pat McGrath Labs Subversive palette!). Then, embracing aquatic shades, “Versace Hottie” Precious Lee reported “for duty” in a cobalt blue shadow and Barbie Ferreira sported a blue smoky eye courtesy of Sam Visser.
More standout eye makeup came by way of Aweng Ade-Chuol, who graced feeds with artfully drawn black winged liner, full lashes, and bronzed cheeks, as well as Tracee Ellis Ross, who had thick, sooty swipes of eyeliner frame her upper and lower lash lines, with soft curls grazing her forehead.
Meeting the arrival of warm weather, Erykah Badu leaned into her light with a swipe of terra-cotta lipstick and the VanJess sisters were feeling peachy keen with blushy cheeks and pink manicures. Activist, writer, and cultural organizer Raquel Willis donned a red lip and sleek waves, and gave us all a much-needed reminder to let “the sunshine in.” As for Carly Cushnie? She ushered in International Women’s Day by celebrating the strong women around her. “I couldn’t be prouder to be a mother to my girls and [am] so grateful for everything they have taught and continue to teach me,” she wrote in a caption. “Thank you to all you incredible women out there. What an honor to be a woman.”
INTRODUCING The Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick in Red 0 by Hourglass Cosmetics.
No carmine, no harm. Finally, a brand with enough resources took it upon themselves to find an alternative to regular red lipstick formulations that typically involve carmine (an insect).
(Hourglass Cosmetics has yet to address and improve on their shade range in ALL other products, but this accomplishment deserves a moment in the spotlight, in my opinion.)
100% vegan lipstick that delivers saturated, long-wearing color with a satin finish.
Special-edition shade uses their innovative ingredient, Red 0, to deliver a saturated, true red hue with animal-friendly pigments that do not compromise performance, in an exclusive red applicator adorned with a beetle ($40).
Hourglass Cosmetics issued the following statement:
“Experience Confession Red 0: a special-edition shade that uses our patent-pending vegan replacement for carmine to deliver a saturated, true red hue that does not compromise performance. With its creamy, saturated formula and vibrant hue, Red 0 reflects Hourglass’ belief that makeup can be both high performance and cruelty-free.”
How will this sell? How will this change the market? Only time will tell.
Love Your Self. What a wonderful way to lure the customers in.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #46 series on my blog.
As a beauty buff, I’ve had the opportunity to test a bunch of makeup products. But as I’ve grown to be more conscious of what I’m putting on my skin, I noticed there aren’t many clean options that work well. So when I heard that Sephora’s first Black-owned clean makeup line was launching, I was ecstatic. LYS Beauty landed at Sephora in mid-February with a variety of makeup products, including foundation, primer, powder, lip oil, bronzer and blush. Of course, I had to get my hands on it.
BeI was pleasantly surprised to see how many shade options LYS Beauty Foundation had. With 35 shades available, the line makes it simple to find one that matches your skin. The first product I tried was the Triple Fix Serum Foundation, and it definitely lives up to its name. The texture is velvety smooth and looks like a veil on my skin. Another factor that’s important to me is blendability; if a formula doesn’t blend easily, then it’s simply not for me. However, that isn’t the case with this foundation, because the blending process was seamless and the color melted into my skin flawlessly. The color also worked very well for my skin tone, and I didn’t feel the need to mix it with anything else in order to get the proper coverage — which leads me to the next thing I love about these products: the actual coverage.
I’ve found that a lot of clean foundations provide minimal coverage (which is great if that’s what you prefer!), but I like mine to offer at least medium coverage. I found that this one has buildable coverage so you can increase it depending on your preferences.
The foundation is made with Ashwagandha, an herb that can combat signs of stress in the skin, turmeric for brightening, and hyaluronic acid for maximum hydration. And I’m not the only one who thinks it’s a great formula — despite being a fairly new product, it already has a 4.8-star rating from Sephora shoppers. “I hate the feeling of heavy makeup on my face and this is super lightweight and covers my blemishes so I am Zoom-ready for my never-ending conference calls,” wrote one customer. “Best foundation I have ever used. I am obsessed with the coverage, feel and finish,” said another. The fact that the Triple Fix foundation has this many great details and still doesn’t use any toxic ingredients makes it a total game-changer for me.
I also got my hands on the LYS Beauty Secure Skin Gripping Serum Primer. Now, just to be clear, I’m a big primer girl to begin with. I typically find that by using the right moisturizer and a flattering primer, my makeup blends and stays put if I hadn’t used it (opinions vary from one person to the next, though).
Created for combination and acne-prone skin, the primer’s key ingredient is grapefruit extract, which is rich in vitamin C to brighten skin, along with niacinamide and an exfoliating AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) blend to smooth pores.
Just like the foundation, this primer has a lightweight feel to it, which is of the utmost importance to me. I don’t like layers of thick or heavy product on my face, and this one results in an airbrush-like finish that makes my skin feel smooth before I apply the rest of my makeup.
All in all, I’m very impressed with the quality of both the primer and the foundation. Sephora’s LYS Beauty collection makes it easy to transition over to clean makeup products while supporting a Black-owned business.
Sculpt, define, and warm up your complexion with this matte bronzer. The ultra-velvety, buildable powder effortlessly blends while delivering a sunkissed glow. Formulated with niacinamide, this bronzer gives skin the warmth you want while blurring the look of imperfections and texture.
Give your cheeks a kiss of color with this cream blush that delivers high payoff for all skin tones. Packed with clean, skin-loving ingredients like kaolin clay and avocado oil, this multipurpose cream leaves skin looking refreshed. Rich in pigment, this blush adds the finishing touch on any look.
This clean, cushiony lip treatment oil maximizes comfort with a blend of chia seed oil and sweet almond oil, quickly replenishing lips with vital moisture. Perfect for every day, this colorless oil pairs with your favorite lip liner or lipstick, leaving behind a non-sticky, glossy finish.
This clean, talc-free, finely milled pressed setting powder buffs beautifully into skin as it blurs and locks makeup in place for all-day perfection and no white cast. Infused with niacinamide, green tea extract, and sodium hyaluronate, this weightless powder won’t accentuate texture or pores.
Clean at Sephora Clean at Sephora is formulated without a list of over 50 ingredients, including sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, phthalates, and more. For the full list, check out the Ingredients tab.
The five shades of these liquid eye toppers offer a glimmering texture of color and duo-chrome finish and dry down to a stay-put formula. You can tap them on top of another eye shadow for an even more multidimensional effect or wear alone for enough sparkle to spot from a mile away — they’re some of the shiniest eye shadows you can find at the drugstore.
These glimmering powder eye shadows are legends of makeup swatching. Just one swipe across the pan with your finger picks up the dazzling opaquely-pigmented powder, delivering a foil-finish, jewel-toned shade in one fell swoop. Available in 20 shades, these are so popular, Dose of Colors’ website has put a two-per-customer limit on purchasing. (If you’re in a golden mood, this one is called Heart of Gold.)
These pots contain what appears to be tiny metallic foil flakes that when pressed with your finger onto your skin leave a mirror-like finish. Not kidding — it’s like someone shattered a disco ball and somehow made it safe to smear on your eyelids. Not gonna ask questions, just going to keep shining.
Bobbi Brown’s eye shadow sticks are already some of the most long-lasting in the game, and now with these limited-edition sparkly versions, your lids can glimmer all day into all night (and dawn, depending on how the night goes).
Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered Eyeshadow Palette
Huda Beauty gave its already popular rose gold eye shadow palette an upgrade with the Remastered version, which keeps its most glittery shadows in a row at the top. They’re the most unbelievably buttery foil-like metallics that feel like silk but look like molten metal when you sweep them across your lids. Honestly, it’s just a really stunning formula.
Dab one of these four chrome liquid shadows on your lids for long-lasting shine. At first, they’re wet, but once they dry down, they won’t budge no matter how much you sweat (or cry). Extremely smudge-proof.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Metallics Eye Shadow
When this formula won a Best of Beauty award, Allure’s editorial assistant, Jesa Marie Calaor, called it her “desert island beauty product.” Its pigmented enough to live up to its metallic name upon first swipe, but it can easily be sheered out for a subtle glow. I love the rose gold shade called Rose Chrome.
Previewed on the runway at the BCBG Max Azria spring/summer 2018 show, Stila’s latest liquid eyeshadow is a glitter-free version of the popular (and often sold-out) Glitter & Glow formula. Blend it on the center of your lids to create a halo effect.
Too Faced added another edition of its popular collection of chocolate-scented palettes. This time around, the palette is all about razzle-dazzle with shades like Drippin’ Diamonds (the silver) and Money Bags (the emerald).
Why limit yourself to one metallic hue when you can shop a palette that covers basically every shade of the rainbow and then some? All 12 of the powder shadows in the Kevyn Aucoin Electropop Pro Eyeshadow Palette are packed with shimmer, and a couple even have color-shifting pigments.
Make Up For Ever just launched a whopping 121-shade range of shadows, but this pretty-in-pink one has to be one of my favourites. In the pan, ME-840 appears to be a plum. However, when brushed on, it transforms into a bright watermelon pink with a warm purple base.
Meet the cashmere of eye shadows. These pans are filled with the softest powders you’ll ever dip your fingers into. They aren’t so soft that they disappear once they are on your face, though. Instead, the pigment looks exactly as it does in the palette as it does on lids.
Pat McGrath Labs Mothership II Eyeshadow Palette – Sublime
Pat McGrath’s limited edition metallic makeup blew off digital shelves so often that she decided to put together three permanent palettes. You can guarantee they will forever be in stock, and they’ll give your eyes that mesmerizingly shiny finish that everyone double taps on the makeup artist’s Instagram (to see -> Instagram).
Just like the vampires in Twilight: New Moon, Chanel’s New Moon shadow will make your lids sparkle in the sunlight. Nostalgic reference aside, this cream shadow blends seamlessly onto lids with just with a couple windshield wiper motions across them.
Packed with eye-opening ingredients like caffeine and hyaluronic acid, these top-rated picks help you fake a full night’s rest.
The use of eye cream is a heated debate: half believe slathering the undereye area with decadent creams can help minimize the appearance of dark circles over time, while the other half seems to think they’re moisturizers in tiny tubs and offer nothing more than a placebo effect. There is one thing we can agree on: no one wants to look like they got roughly four hours of sleep.
Ahead, you’ll find the most luxurious and effective ones — packed with eye-opening ingredients like blood vessel-constricting caffeine and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid — to help fake a full night’s rest, no matter how many hours of Zzz’s you have or have not managed to squeeze in.
Peter Thomas Roth Vital-E Microbiome Moisture Defense Eye Cream
The integrity of the skin barrier is so important to the look and feel of your skin, especially in the very delicate undereye area. The 2020 Best of Beauty-winning Peter Thomas Ross Vital-E Microbiome Moisture Defense Eye Cream relies on prebiotic and probiotic ingredients, as well as powerful antioxidants to protect skin and ultimately reduce the look of lines and puffiness.
The hint of yellow tint in 2020 Readers’ Choice and Best of Beauty Award winner Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème — which doesn’t actually contain banana, by the way — instantly brightens and color-corrects dark circles. Vitamin C and collagen support skin’s clarity and elasticity.
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Manuka Honey Eye Gel
Equipped with a cooling rollerball applicator, L’Oréal Paris’ Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Manuka Honey Eye Gel won a 2020 Best of Beauty Award for its depuffing and dark-circles-reducing abilities. The soothing combination of manuka honey, caffeine, and hyaluronic acid is especially perfect for dry, mature skin. Gently pat in any excess product with your fingers.
Retinol near your eyes sounds scary, but with this gentle cream you’ve got nothing to fear. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, an ophthalmologist-tested 2020 Best of Beauty Award winner, slowly releases the vitamin A derivative to fight fine lines around your eyes. And because it also contains hyaluronic acid, it does all this with lots of hydration.
Dr. Loretta’s peptide-packed Tightening Eye Gel nabbed a 2019 Allure Best of Beauty Award for best de-puffing eye cream for the ability to improve the area’s contour. But there’s a bonus: The proprietary Chromabright complex fades uneven pigment, making this a great pick for dark circles too.
Wake up tired eyes with Kiehl’s Youth Dose Eye Treatment, made with pro-retinol (a proprietary retinol derivative), vitamin C, and grapeseed extract. The trio works in tandem over time to brighten and minimize the appearance of lines and dark circles.
Tatcha The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment
Like a tinted moisturizer for your undereyes, Tatcha’s almost-too-pretty-to-use The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment is available in three versatile shades to instantly mask discoloration and improve the appearance of skin.
This little white jar with its signature green text by Kiehl’s is a mainstay on top shelves around the world. Avocado oil in Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado is one of the most potent natural moisturizers and works to nourish and hydrate the eyes.
Drugstore fave Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream is packed with potent hyaluronic acid, which as you may know, helps lock hydration into the skin. It’s one of those good-for-everyone picks: light enough for oily skin, hydrating for anyone, and the gel texture makes it cool to the touch.
Hydrate the delicate undereye area with a formula that’s infused with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and avocado protein extract. Plus, brightening ingredients like date seed extract mean less concealer over time.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex
Not getting enough of those all-important z’s? Keep ’em guessing with Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex, a luxurious gel-cream that combats the side effects of sleep deprivation, UV damage, and pollution buildup.
La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes was born of studies about dark undereye circles. As it turns out, the blue ones are due to a lack of microcirculation, which can result from fatigue and are worse in the morning because we sleep horizontally; brown circles can result from sun exposure, genetics, and even excessive rubbing of the eyes. If you didn’t even know undereye circles came in two types, there’s good news: This innovative LRP product was created to target both.
You will have spied Italian actor Sophia Loren in British Vogue’s April issue as part of the Hollywood Portfolio, which features 27 of the world’s biggest stars. Photographed looking as glamorous as she has always been, the 86-year-old silver-screen legend has long been a fan of a glamorous look and her attitude to beauty is refreshing. She once said:
“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #45 series on my blog.
It only goes to show that Loren feels as good on the inside as she externally looks. Her penchant for Italian glamour has always been a whole beauty mood – it is timeless. There is the trademark feline flick and voluptuous eyelashes; the bold lipsticks, from red to pink; glamorous blow dries; and her bold eyebrows, expertly filled in. These are looks that many of us still imitate today and she is regularly name-checked backstage at fashion shows. Here, let’s take a look at some of her most show-stopping vintage beauty looks over the years.