Neha Hobson is a Content Creator and Beauty Writer. Neha is one of our Expert Panellists at the Clean + Conscious Awards, judging skincare and makeup finalists. In 2022, we welcome Neha back to the panel for the third year in a row.
The clean and conscious beauty movement has undoubtedly gained momentum over the last 5 years. As consumers, our focus on health and wellness is rising more than ever before, as we deal with the effects of urban lifestyles, digital aggressors, and toxin overloads. As a society that is generally sick, stressed, or both, we are realising the need for alignment. Not only between our health and our lifestyle but also our beauty routines.
And because we are now more knowledgeable and empowered than ever, beauty brands are under pressure to be more transparent and accountable. Even mainstream brands are starting to release “green” and “vegan” lines, and many are finally going cruelty-free.
If, like me, you suffer from intolerances and sensitivities, then this is an important topic for you. You may have realised that mainstream products often contain hundreds of toxins, artificial fragrances, synthetics etc. that are disruptive to your endocrine system and overall health.
Personally, having worked in the industry for more than 15 years as a makeup artist, educator, and now content creator and beauty writer, I have had an awakening. And in recent years, a big change of heart both in terms of the brands that I support, but also my own choices.
Over the last few years I’ve gravitated towards using only clean, nourishing, healthy products that are thoughtfully-made. As a result, my skin is now better in my 30’s than it was in my 20’s when I was using commercial brands. Only supporting cruelty-free brands to advocate for change is satisfying too.
The key is raising the bar on quality, and choosing the right products for your skin type, concerns, and requirements. Understanding your non-negotiables and looking at ingredients also helps.
I can assure you that the non-toxic brands I am showcasing in this article are high-performance. This wasn’t always true, so the clean beauty niche has truly come a long way.
To showcase the fact that these brands offer high-quality alternatives to mainstream products, I recently created an earthy, soft-glam look using last year’s Clean & Conscious Award Finalists and Winners.
Here are the details and some PRO makeup artistry tips with each step:
1. Skin Prep
Blend a few drops of the Edible Beauty Snowflower Oil all over the face using fingers or a foundation brush. Concentrate on dry or dehydrated areas, such as the cheeks. This incredible oil not only hydrates the skin, but works as a natural highlighter to give a “lit from within” look.
PRO TIP: Tap a little extra oil on the high points of your cheeks, where your highlighter will be applied later. This oil naturally brings out the pigments in your makeup, meaning, your blush and highlighter will “pop” and look more pigmented.
2. Foundation & Concealer
Using your foundation brush to apply and blend, use the Sabbia Co BB Mineral Cream or Alit Cosmetics BB Cream depending on your skin type. I used a mixture of both, since I am a dry and dehydrated skin type, and they both feel very creamy and hydrating.
For concealing and colour correcting, use the Eye of Horus Triple C Concealer. I used two shades, one that matches my skin tone to correct any slight darkness under the eyes, mouth and chin areas, etc., and a slightly lighter shade to brighten the outer corners of my eyes.
PRO TIPS: Foundation should always look like skin, so start with less and build from there. Do not apply too much to the T-Zone or the forehead, as this can make the base look heavy and overdone.
Do not use a shade of concealer that is too light or too far from your natural skin tone, directly on dark circles. This is a common mistake that will create ashy tones, making the grey or blue under the skin more prominent. A peach or natural toned concealer will create equilibration and lift.
3. Bronzer & Blush
With an angled cheek brush, use the bronzer in the Eye of Horus Universal Duo Palette to create some shape and enhance your facial contours. You can do this by applying the product just under the cheekbone, on the outer edges of the nose, and under the chin and jawline.
Next, apply the MG Natural Lip & Cheek Tint on the apples of the cheek, patting with your fingers. Wait for a few seconds and let the product absorb and settle, then set with the blush shade from the Eye of Horus palette.
PRO TIP: Creating vibrancy and lift in the face can primarily be done with brow and cheek products. This means applying your blush upwards, moving towards the tops of the ears. Also, if you want a very natural, sunkissed look, skip the contouring. Instead, take a slightly bigger, fluffy brush, and apply the bronzer on the edges of the face, the hairline, and the middle of the nose horizontally.
Taking the Runway Room Ice Cream Highlighter Stick, gently pat some product into the high points of your cheeks with your ring finger. Moving in an inverted “C” position towards the outer corner of your eye or towards the temples, dabbing till it settles into the skin.
PRO TIP: Build slowly, and don’t be afraid to experiment with two or three highlighters (including cream, balm, and powder textures as well as warm and cool tones) to create multidimensional skin. You can also apply this highlighter on the bridge of the nose, top of cupid’s bow, and inner corner of eyes for a more “awake” and dewy look. Always blend with your fingers and ensure there are no hard edges.
Brush the brows up with the Ere Perez Argan Brow Hero. This formulation creates thicker, fluffier brows whilst providing a universal brown tint. If you wish to add more colour, simply use an eyeshadow with a small angled brow brush to fill in any gaps.
PRO TIP: Always ensure the brows are threaded or plucked to create a clean, polished look. Avoid using too much product in the first half of the brow, which will make it appear heavy. To create lift in the entire eye area, use the Eye of Horus concealer along the perimeter of the brow and blend with a small flat brush, or, add some Runway Room highlighter just under the arch of the brow and blend.
You may choose to skip eyeshadow for this natural look, or, you can use the same Eye of Horus Universal Duo palette again like I did. With a small to medium fluffy eyeshadow brush, apply the bronzer along the crease of the eye. Blend back and forth with windshield wiper movements. Apply a little blush to the centre of the lid.
Then apply the Kester Black Blackout kohl pencil on your waterline or lower lashline. For a soft and smokey effect, blend with a small, rounded eyeshadow brush. For a more glamorous finish, apply this pencil along the upper lash line and smudge with the same brush to soften any hard edges.
Complete the eyes with a few coats of the Eye of Horus Lash Lift Mascara, combing the brush slowly from the base of the lashes to the tips.
PRO TIP: Always use an eyelash curler on the base of the lashes and hold for 10 seconds. Use again just on the tips of the lashes and repeat. Then apply mascara, and you will notice much bigger, fresher eyes!
If your eyeliner tends to bleed, use a dark brown or black eyeshadow to set your pencil, with a small flat brush.
Use the Kylie’s Mineral Goddess Enchant Lip Liner to line the outer edges of the lips. Then apply the LUK Beautifood Crayon all over the lip, for a beautiful, cushion-like texture that is long-lasting. For fuller or glossy lips, apply the Eye of Horus Bio Lip Elixir.
PRO TIPS: For a bigger pout, overline the lips slightly on the top and bottom. Then apply the elixir just on the centre of the bottom lip. For even more drama, use the highlighter on the cupid’s bow with your fingers to finish.
Neha is a content creator and beauty writer with over 15 years of beauty industry experience. Having worked as a makeup artist and educator, Neha is passionate about educating and inspiring her 100K+ instagram audience to switch to cruelty-free and conscious beauty. Her goal is to help create a world where animal testing is no longer the norm, and she vigorously supports beauty businesses trying to create a kinder, more ethical world.
Neha offers beauty writing and copywriting services to beauty brands, utilising her industry knowledge and marketing experience. Her work also appears in several print and digital industry magazines. Her reviews and articles can be found on www.beautybyneha.com and you can connect with her directly on www.instagram.com/neha_ethicalbeauty