Best of Clean Beauty

[Affiliate Codes are used throughout post.]

As many of you know, I’ve been swapping out all of my beauty products for healthier choices since I was diagnosed with endometriosis and adenomyosis. I use the ThinkDirty app to test my products and don’t use anything toxic. But, I’m also a makeup snob and like products to be good. I’ve outlined my very favourite, use-every-day products below.*

Skin Care

Cleanser. Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser. This is a great gentle cleaner that takes off my (albeit limited) makeup. It smells like the beloved Passion Fruit Cleanser from The Body Shop I used in high school.

Blemish Fighter. Pai Copaiba & Zinc Perfect Balance Blemish Serum is great for keeping hormonal breakouts at bay. And it won’t dry out if you have mature skin.

Resurfacing Acid Serum. The key to glowy skin is exfoliating. I like a clean AHA/BHA exfoliant to use at night. My favourites are Farmacy Honeymoon Glow and Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. Both are gentle yet effective.

Night Serum. Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir. If it’s good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s good enough for me. And apparently Meghan Markle uses it now too.

Moisturizer. Juice Beauty Oil Free Moisturizer. I don’t need a lot of moisturizer, but if I’m going to be outside a lot that day, I use this one since it does not clog my pores.

Face Sunscreen. Every sunscreen on the planet seems to break me out eventually except this one: DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer in SPF 30. Plus, no nasty chemicals.

Makeup

Concealer. RMS “Un”-Cover Up concealer. This is worth the hype. I think it might be thick as an overall foundation, but it’s great to cover the occasional imperfection or use as an undereye concealer. I use shade 00 since I’m pretty pale in both winter and summer.

Blush. Ilia Multi-stick in A Fine Romance. I’ve written about this one before. I use it as a blush applied with a cream blush brush. And it’s a beautiful lip colour too. This is my desert island product.

Lip Balm. Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Conditioner. It’s not gloopy or greasy and can be worn at night without getting on your pillow or causing breakouts.

Lip Tint. RMS Lip2Cheek in Beloved (a true red) and Diabolique (applied lightly, it’s a deep cranberry.) This give me the perfect french girl lip. Beloved makes a nice blush as well.

Lipstick. I’ve also fallen in love with Kosas’s Weightless Lip Color in Rosewater. I will buy anything that promises an english rose look and this one is a great neutral nude pink that is perfect for everyday. The scent is lovely and it’s moisturizing without being shiny or gloppy. Winner winner.

Mascara – Jury is still out on a clean mascara since I have trouble with most mascaras because of my less-than-ideal Lasik (wearing a contact lens over PRK over Lasik does not make for comfy eyes!) I still use Blinc Mascara in black since non-tubing mascaras suit me well and I love how you don’t need to use eye makeup remover.

Eyebrow Wax. EcoBrow Eyebrow Defining Wax is a clean dupe of Anastasia’s Dipbrow. I bought the Sharon colour, which is a great cool-toned, medium brown, and I love it.

Highlighter. I only wear this “for fancy.” Usually, I can’t be bothered but it always looks good when I make the effort. I love the Living Luminizer by RMS and not just because it’s Meghan approved.

Primer. Coola’s Mineral Daydream Primer has a gorgeous consistency and prevents sun damage with SPF 30. Winning.

I don’t bother with bronzers or contour or anything else. My approach to beauty is pretty natural these days: you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

Hair and Body Care

Shampoo. John Masters Organics. John Masters Organics Rosemary and Peppermint Shampoo. This is a good shampoo that makes your hair and scalp feel clean, but does not strip it of moisture.

Conditioner. John Masters Organics Rosemary and Peppermint Detangler. I love the smell of this product. It’s lightweight and won’t weigh hair down.

Scalp Spray. John Masters Organics Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment and Moisturizer. If you struggle with thinning hair, this gives you the appearance of more volume. It also seems to improve scalp health.

Hair Toner. I hate anything dye related now, but my highlights look brassy compared to my much ashier natural colour as I attempt to grow out the grey. I use Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Nutritive Mask with Temporary Coloring in Baby Blonde to try to balance the tones. This is not a clean beauty product per se, but it’s made without Parabens, Sulfates, or Phthalates. I also like IGK Leave-In Blonde Drops.

Deodorant. Native Deodorant continues to be a winner. Coconut and Vanilla is my favourite. Agent Nateur’s sensitive skin formula is another winner.

Fragrance

I am continuing to detoxify my beauty routine, however, the last hurrah was fragrance since I objected to smelling like a health food shop. I’m a Flowerbomb/White Linen/Fracas girl and wanted to see if I could find some cleaner versions. Since this is a year of being intentional, I researched some fragrances I wanted to try. I was drawn to The Peace Box ($30), which is a collection of seven tester-sized fragrances by The 7 Virtues*, a Canadian company out of Halifax run by entrepreneur Barb Stegemann. I love the company’s mission:

We source fair market natural essential oils from nations rebuilding after war or strife. We are on a mission to ignite a cavalry of businesses to come and do trade with nations rebuilding. Our fragrances are vegan and we do not test on animals. Our fragrances do not contain added parabens and are phthalate free. Our award winning fragrances are made with natural essential oils from Afghanistan, Haiti, The Middle East and Rwanda. Our farmers earn as much as 2.5 times the income of the next crop enabling them to purchase school uniforms for their children and build homes.

The 7 Virtues

The fragrances are lovely: clean, fresh and subtle. They do not give me a headache and I can apply them directly to my skin (most fragrances I wear using that ‘spray into the air and walk into it’ technique, since they bother my skin.) Once you find a scent you love, you can buy travel roller bottles of each for $30 or a full-size spray for $88. Or if you like to blend your own, the Peace Box gives you that ability.

Jasmine Neroli is sweet. The Ylang-Ylang and Jasmine give this a sweet scent that almost has a tuberose note to it, like a non-cloying Fracas. I love it.

Scent Type: Powdery Floral

Key Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Orange Blossom (Neroli), Jasmine

Vetiver Elemi. This one surprised me. Elemi is the essential oil I diffuse non-stop. To me, Elemi smells like ginger ale and it reminds me of Joop for Women, which I wore in university (I wear Young Living’s Elemi oil sometimes since I love it so much.) Normally, I don’t like the smell of vetiver, however, as it’s far too earthy for me. But somehow, combining these two elements leads to a grounding, almost chocolaty scent that weirdly reminds me of Thierry Mugler’s Angel. I find I go back to this one a lot.

Scent Type: Earthy Greens & Herbs

Key Notes: Elemi, Geranium, Vetiver

Rose Amber is the closest scent to my beloved Flowerbomb. The rose gives it that powerful floral scent and it’s grounded by the spicier amber. This is probably my favourite scent in the bunch for fall and winter.

Scent Type: Warm Florals

Key Notes: Bergamot, Rose, Amber

Orange Blossom smells like exactly that. It’s sweet and powdery and has a pretty scent like soap. I’ve always loved White Linen for summer and this is a subtle, slightly old-fashioned floral.

Scent Type: Fresh Floral

Key Notes: Mandarin, Orange Blossom (Neroli) , Labdanum

Vanilla Woods has a straight-up vanilla extract top note, but there are smokey woodsy notes beneath that makes this more complex. This is my go to scent now.

Scent Type: Warm & Sweet Gourmands

Key Notes: Pear, Rose, Vanilla

Grapefruit Lime smells exactly like you think it would. I’ve had a citrus allergy since I was a child, so I’m not drawn to citrus scents. But if you love citrus, this has a nice clean scent that reminds me of spring.

Scent Type: Fresh Citrus & Fruits

Key Notes: Sweetie Grapefruit, Green Tea, Cedarwood

Patchouli Citrus is more floral than citrusy. I was worried it might have that health food store smell, but it’s quite sophisticated. I find this more of a candle-scent than something I’d wear, but that’s simply personal preference. It’s a nice fragrance for spring.

Scent Type: Fresh Florals

Key Notes: Cassis, Rose Geranium, Patchouli

Subscription Box

If you are looking to switch over to cleaner beauty products, the subscription box from Petit Vour is a great way to get started. For USD18 (or USD23 in Canada), you’ll get a subscription box filled with introductory sizes of four clean and cruelty-free beauty products. If you use code DWELL25, you’ll save 25% off your first month! Your face and the planet will thank you! (This is an affiliate code, meaning I get paid a small amount if you order through this code. I thank you in advance!)