The Best Clean Beauty Brands of 2021

The New Normal

As many of us become more conscious of what we’re putting into our bodies, we’re also becoming more aware of what we’re putting on our bodies. Five years ago, if you wanted to use “natural” beauty products, it meant coming to terms with the fact that your red lipstick would never be bright enough, or that your moisturizer might grow moldy before you reached the bottom of the jar.

While in the past, the performance of natural makeup used to look pale in comparison to products from our favorite makeup counters, in 2021 there are many natural makeup brands creating products that are richly pigmented, apply beautifully, and wear just as well as their more synthetic competitors. You may already be using some of them.

One of the many benefits of using clean products is that most, if not all, ingredients are ethically sourced and cruelty-free.

awareness

As consumers, it’s never been more important to prioritize what we want in our makeup and skin care products, and seeing the exponential market growth, clearly our money talks. The clean beauty movement has taken the beauty world by storm over the past few years, and it doesn’t show any sign of stopping. 

As we said… we’re more cocnerned about what we spend our money on and more educated about the ingredients in our formulas. Increasingly, we’re not willing to settle for controversial ingredients, including parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial fragrances.

What’s on your labels?

 We’re pleased to report that the “Clean” category is jam-packed with high-performing products like ultra-pigmented eye shadow and super-powered skin resurfacers that don’t feel the least bit like a compromise. They’re rather a luxury. These days there’s a clean option to switch out every product in your makeup routine, so it’s never been easier to avoid controversial ingredients. 

On a side note:  Increased demand for clean, cruelty-free, and vegan ingredients has, sadly, caused brands to use suspicious marketing tactics, slapping “natural” and “organic” labels on their products without legitimate certifications.

The Real Deal

 Plus, it’s difficult to decipher if “natural” makeup brands are being completely transparent when it comes to refraining from harsh chemicals and animal testing. This is why organizations like PETA and Leaping Bunny are so important—both websites offer tools to search which brands are truly using organic, cruelty-free, and ethically sourced ingredients.

But we also wanted to help you sort out your options. The following brands have products that received high marks from professional makeup artists so you can start cleaning up your cosmetics bag.

Lilah B.

This clean beauty brand has strict guidelines for the ingredients they allow in their gorgeous products.

Everything in their line is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, and formulated without gluten, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. Many of the products are multi-purpose use.

Their website states “Our minimalistic collection of color allows women to achieve a finished look with fewer products… encouraging to declutter, minimize and simplify”. 

Favorite Products

Kosas

Kosas is the makeup brand for skincare lovers who want their cosmetics to complement their skincare regime. Whether you’re looking to be extra hydrated, soothe irritated skin, or brighten dull skin, each makeup product contains ingredients that work with that goal, while also delivering enviable color payoff.

Kosas has banned the use of over 2,700 different ingredients that they swear to never put into their formulas. The Leaping Bunny claims their line is “loose, quick, active clean beauty that works the way you want it to.”

Tower 28 beauty

 Every single item is formulated with sensitive skin in mind. This dermatologist-tested brand is hypo-allergenic, non-comedogenic, and gluten-free. From their truly poppin’ lip glosses to their glowing highlights, this brand uses ingredients that are safer for even the most sensitive consumer.

Tower 28 Beauty follows the National Eczema Association’s ingredient guideline, which is a rarity in the beauty. 

vapour beauty

Vapour Beauty is not only dedicated to providing makeup products that are stunning, but they care for the planet, too. They regularly work with incredible organizations, like Lipstick Angels, that provide beauty services to cancer patients.

They also have a recycling program that encourages consumers to send back their empty products so the brand can safely recycle them.  All the ingredients that the brand uses are organic and natural.

Favorite Products

Beautycounter

 

Not only does Beautycounter up the game when it comes to clean beauty, but they are transparent about their progress, even going to far as to put out an annual Social Mission report, which lists their accomplishments.

While the brand is certainly dedicated to teaching their consumers about the benefits of clean beauty, they are also working to change laws and national guidelines for beauty ingredients.

Beautycounter regularly supports nonprofits and is dedicated to constantly improve their formulas and environmental impact.

 Have a look at some of their amazing products on Instagram for inspiration.

Juice Beauty

During her first pregnancy, Juice Beauty founder Karen Behnke saw how needed effective, clean beauty brands were. Every ingredient in the skincare and makeup line is certified organic and ethical, with farm-to-beauty sourcing.

From their cult favorite CC cream to their lash-boosting mascara, Juice Beauty has you covered. The brand even owns a farm in Northern California where they harvest natural products to use in their beauty line. It doesn’t get more natural than that!

RMS Beauty

The company was dreamed up by esteemed makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift, who values health and wellness just as much as cosmetics. She’s taken this ethical approach a step further, creating concealers, highlighters, and lipsticks formulated with raw, food-grade, and organic ingredients in their purest state. You can expect these good-for-you ingredients to make your skin glow from the inside-out.

Ilia

Obviously, making it a point to be intentional about what you’re putting on your face, is no the way to go in 2021. Ilia makes it easy to be more mindful with makeup choices.

The luxurious packaging is made from recyclable aluminum and each product is carefully crafted with health-conscious ingredients.

They’re on a mission to make clean beauty the norm, and are aware that not all natural products are created equal.

With shades that range from neutral to vibrant, trust that these will do right by your skin.

 

Favorite Products

Bite Beauty

Bite Beauty’s motto is that clean doesn’t have to mean boring. Their lip products bring the boldness and intense color, without harmful or sensitizing ingredients.

Superfoods replace harmful chemicals in their formulas, so you don’t have to sacrifice anything for your beauty look. Licensed toxicologists review all the products that Bite puts out, and tests them for safety, allergens, and efficiency.

Lawless Beauty

Annie Lawless, the brains behind Lawless Beauty, personally knows the benefit of clean beauty. As a child suffering from debilitating eczema and gluten allergies, she sought to create a clean makeup brand that wasn’t exclusively for beauty minimalists.

“I started Lawless Beauty with the mission to create highly pigmented, full coverage, and long-wearing clean makeup with a no tolerance policy for sheer, wimpy, no-makeup makeup formulas and any kind of potentially toxic ingredients,” Lawless says on the brand’s website. If minimal isn’t your style, then Lawless has you covered–in an ethnical, clean way.

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Your Source for Clean Beauty

Fatma Haddad
Fatma Haddad

Fatma, born in the Netherlands and currently living in Beirut, is a mother of three.
After studying law and working in the corporate field for years, she knew that her passion was elsewhere. Her dream was to own a clinic for non-invasive beauty treatments, which led her to become a certified beauty therapist.
For years she was the co-owner of a beauty clinic in Beirut – Lebanon, and is co-founder of YIVINA where she is also the Director of Content Development.