Hello, world! Resident eco-obsessed editor, here. When a product lands on my desk touting anything green or natural, my hands get a little grabby, but my inner skeptic also looms with flashing lights. Working within the beauty industry, I often get incredibly frustrated reading greenwashed labels, especially when something doesn’t live up to its outstanding claims. Thus, my standards (and prices!) have risen immensely for anything hyped (or over-hyped) as eco-friendly. Why so expensive? The harsh reality sets in. We live in a world where veggies cost more than frozen dinners, natural textiles are double the price of their synthetic counterpart, and high quality ingredients and labor are (rightfully) more costly to source. The sticker shock might be a little alarming, but if I feel happy about buying, wearing, and sharing something, it’s worth the splurge in my eyes. These are five of my newest clean essentials.
This lacquer seemed to pop up on everyone’s radar overnight, and I immediately snagged a couple bottles to test myself. The 4-Free formula applies like a dream—and I really mean it. I actually enjoy using the brush. Bumpless, opaque, glassy coverage in one coat, but I recommend two. I was shocked! A Parisian-based brand, Kure’s fashion-forward color range is well curated (try Catwalk, an iridescent eggplant), and I love that the formulation includes wood pulp and potatoes instead of petrochemicals. Also, I may be going crazy, but the polish smells like grape juice when it dries. Sniff your tips and let me know your thoughts.
First, a mini science lesson. Squalene = shark liver oil. Squalane = plant-derived oil. Chemically similar compounds (and both excellent emollients!), both replicate the sebum you naturally produce and help with cell elasticity. However, Indie’s olive-derived Squalane is the eco alternative—I’m a big fan of facial oils already, and this is at the top of my list. The weightless texture penetrates deep into the skin but feels paper thin, and surprisingly it makes a wonderful base for makeup on dry days.
Are you the type of person that can’t stand the feeling of lip products? If you know me at all, it’s either a weightless matte or nada for the everyday grind. When I came across Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner, a balm I actually enjoyed applying, it was a big moment. And while many menthol- or mint-based balms cause overapplication (I swear this is a brand conspiracy to get you to buy more), I feel the moisturizing effects of Ilia’s conditioner even after the pigment has worn off—pretty impressive for a formula with no nasties. I wear the sheer nude ‘Nobody’s Baby,’ almost daily, and I can’t wait to stock up on every color. Special mention: Their regular lipstick line is divine as well, and I highly encourage you to check it out.
I am not a guru of locks, a hair goddess, or a strand siren. In fact, I envy many Beautylish members who have mastered every braid, twist, and tease in the book (you know who you are and I love/hate you). For my fine, wayward waves, I need simple. I need wash’n’go, with the occasional flatiron for my fringe. Rahua’s hairspray blew me out of the water. I spritz the formula (containing lemon peel, linseed, sugar cane, lavender oil, even apple pectin!) right after the shower, and my tresses feel softer and more volumized after air-drying. It’s USDA organic, people! Full disclosure: This will not replace your Elnett (I still covet my can), but it has great flexible hold in a non-aerosol spray bottle.
Like every Aussie in existence, my colleague Tara—a Sydney native—swears by paw paw ointment. So when Suvana’s Paw Paw and Honey lip balm popped up my radar, I had to test. The Australian import contains paw paw as a main ingredient, but also adds cocoa butter and coconut oil to its list of elegant skin soothers. It’s technically for your lips, but I slather the multi purpose jelly anywhere on the body that needs a little more love.