Whether it's because they're "clean" or not — people are loving products from Sephora's clean makeup collection (frequent online shoppers will recognize the green icon accompanying products that make the cut). This month, the retailer is leaning into the popularity of the category with the addition of four new brands (which, by the way, are all female-founded).
"When we launched Clean at Sephora in 2018, we pledged to continuously identify opportunities to grow and evolve the category," explains Melinda Solares, Sephora Beauty Director. And now, that means adding LYS Beauty, Merit, Saie, and Westman Atelier to the store's covetable mix. Sephora launched the category after finding that more than 60% of women read product labels prior to purchase. "We took shoppers’ desire for even more transparency in beauty, particularly in the ingredients they’d like to avoid, as a clear sign that Sephora had a responsibility to offer our leadership in the category, and to be a trusted resource to clients," Solares says. There are around 80 brands under the umbrella, all of which avoid the some 50 ingredients Sephora's "clean" list bans.
According to Solares, the key reason these four companies have been selected is performance. "Can we please break the beauty myth that clean makeup does not perform as well?" Solares says, noting that in her career she's tested countless brands and has found that these four companies "have been able to exceed that benchmark [of quality makeup performance] without sacrificing their clean formulation."
Discover the new labels below:
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"Gucci Westman is a professional makeup artist known for her 'second skin approach' used on some of the top actresses in Hollywood. Her clean complexion formulas give you that effortlessly youthful-looking, dewy finish so many are after right now," Solares says of this luxury brand. The stick format many of the products come in makes application simple even if you're not a top makeup artist, and the formulas have become beauty editor favorites.
LYS Beauty recently became Sephora's first Black-owned clean cosmetics brand, and though it only just launched, the collection's fan base is growing quickly. The company's super-accessible price point (the foundation is $22), eye-catching triangular packaging, and message around self-love have made it a fast fan favorite.
"There are few beauty gurus I haven’t seen rave about something from Saie," Solares says of the indie brand, which has become a hit since its 2019 launch. From the label's Mascara 101 to its dewy gel highlighters, these award-winning products have garnered massive fan bases in the short time they've been around.
Merit is the second beauty brand born from the mind of Katherine Power, who is also behind skin care line Versed — and media company, Who What Wear. Though many makeup brands (especially clean ones) can be associated with a minimalist look, Merit really leans into easy-to-use simple cosmetics — especially with its debut assortment. The brand just launched at the start of 2021 with products like its dual-purpose The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick, as well as lip oils for a hydrating wash of color.