Sephora Collection's Clean Makeup Line Is A Refreshingly Affordable Take On Conscious Beauty

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In the beauty industry, the words "cheap" and "clean" have a characteristically inverse relationship: The healthier a foundation/eyeshadow/lip product is, the more astronomical its price tag tends to be. To wash your face with dandelions, goji berries, and other backyard florae comes at a premium whereas synthetic phthalates and parabens cost mere pennies. But a more just society is in sight with historically affordable makeup lines like Sephora's own collection now going "clean."

The colossal beauty retailer started cleaning up its in-house skincare range in 2019, rolling out an All Day Hydrator with hyaluronic acid, an Ultra Glow Serum with vitamin C and peptides from marine algae, a Purifying Mud Mask made from white clay, and a multitude of other products all for under $20 apiece.

A year later, the familiar green Clean at Sephora seal graces even more of its namesake collection, this time including a few propitious newcomers in the cosmetics category. Sephora Collection's clean makeup line just dropped with four core products: an eyeshadow palette, foundation, lip mousse, and tinted lip oil.

The priciest of the bunch is the $20 Clean Glowing Skin Foundation, a 20-shade, medium-coverage liquid foundation made with matcha tea powder (for hydration) and vitamin C powder (for brightness).

Courtesy of Sephora

The collection also includes a Bouncy Eyeshadow Palette featuring six sulfate-, paraben-, and phthalate-free cream-to-powder, pearly textured shades: gold, copper, pink, chocolate brown, bronze, and champagne. Holding up the lip category is the new nine-shade Liquid Mousse, offering bold, satin-matte color in an airy whipped format, and the eight-shade Glossy Lip Oil, non-sticky shine partly derived from the oil of watermelon seeds.

Sephora introduced the Clean at Sephora seal in 2018 as a way to identify products that were free from a host of decidedly nasty ingredients (formaldehyde-releasing agents, mineral oils, coal tar, and —for skin, hair, and makeup — synthetic fragrances surpassing 1 percent). The franchise also became the first major beauty retailer to publicly issue a chemicals policy, in 2019, which outlined a new standard for safety.

According to the chemicals policy progress update, released this past July, 87 brands have so far earned the coveted Clean at Sephora label. Its latest additions are some of the first Sephora Collection makeup offerings to bear the seal.

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