As Gen Z continues to depart from the potentially harmful effects of most synthetic chemicals used in makeup and become more conscious of what products they’re putting on their bodies, many have turned to clean makeup brands. What was formerly seen as meager in terms of quality and results from many cult-loved labels has since spawned a plethora of clean brands that not only surpass expectations but do so without using any chemicals, parabens, phthalates.
Below, we compiled a list of beauty labels taking a leap towards a better industry, one sustainable beauty product at a time. Read on for our 7 clean, eco-friendly makeup labels to try.
Bobbi Brown’s Jones Road lives by the philosophy that the world doesn’t need more beauty products. Thus, when she launched the brand in 2020, Brown set out to make a user-friendly clean makeup line that seemingly works on every skin type and tone. Given the complex nature of the cosmetics industry, the brand maintains a simple range comprised of a foundation, balm, lip tint, face oil, eyeshadow, lip gloss, and beauty tools. Among its bestsellers is the Miracle Balm, a soft-focus moisturizer that helps enhance the skin that can be worn either on top of any foundation or alone for an instant refresh.
One of the more popular brands on this list, female-founded beauty label ILIA is known for its skincare-powered makeup, creating formulas that bring the two worlds together. Though the brand has been present since 2011, ILIA saw a surge in popularity over the pandemic to what founder Sasha Plavsic cites as “people are looking for something simple because life has become in some ways more simple.” The Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40, buildable Multi-Stick, and medium coverage True Skin Serum Foundation are just a few of this brand’s renowned products to hit the shelves. The extensive line of products—divided among face, lip, eye, and multifunctional use—guarantees at least one of its many formulas will fit perfectly into your routine.
Launched earlier this year, Gen See is a beauty brand that sees clean makeup from a different lens. The label is committed to not only using non-toxic ingredients but amazing products that are sustainable and ethical from the formulas to the packaging. Some of our favorites from the brand include the Pick Me Up Lip Matte Lipstick, a highly-pigmented mix of beeswaxes that provides an ultra-precise application, as well as the Clean Sheen Lip Gloss. “Clean for us is about a bigger picture. It’s about more conscious beauty so, of course, we think about the formulations, but what’s also important to us is the overall attitude of the product itself,” founder Danya tells us.
Kosas—the skin-improving, clinically-proven makeup brand—takes clean beauty to the next level with nourishing ingredients that provide skincare benefits such as moisturizing, plumping, and brightening. Among the label’s many raved-about products, Kosas’ Revealer Concealer has been praised for tone-flattering shades, whilst the Cloud Set Setting Powder is a soft, smoothing powder baked with skincare actives. Earlier this year, the brand introduced its Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation, an all-in-one, natural coverage foundation that uses a blend of SPF 25 and ingredients like squalane and hyaluronic acid. If you’ve come across TikTok hashtag #BeautyTok, there’s a great chance that you’ve seen at least one of the label’s products appear in makeup reviews and skincare hacks.
MOB Beauty aims to define new standards of performance and sustainability in the industry through vegan, cruelty-free, and clean products as well as refillable, customizable packaging made from 50% post-consumer recycled PET or PP. The brand was founded by a team of dedicated beauty industry vets with the goal of producing high-performance makeup backed by research and development. Choose from MOB’s lineup of lipsticks, balms, blushes, bronzers, and highlighters, or build your own palette of expansive hues and shades. Each palette is customizable by skin tone—light, medium, and deep—with sizes ranging from one to six.
Pley Beauty, the brainchild of actress and model Peyton List, was created with the goal of high-impact and fun-to-use formulas in mind. From the packaging to the playful assortment of blushes, eyeliners, face stickers, lip colors, and eyeshadows, the brand resurrects the childlike feeling of makeup whilst balancing clean, intentional products. The Lust + Found light-reflective lip gloss comes in a whopping ten color options: sugar plum “Mae,” jelly orange “Ginger,” red “Josephine,” and more. Elsewhere, the Lip Habit hydrating lip tint is another bestseller that comes in five shades blended in with nourishing botanicals such as shea butter and coconut oil. Create inspired looks through the brand’s Pleyground, a wonderland of inspiration, tutorials, tricks, and pro-tips.
Founded by established nail artist Jin Soon Choi, JINsoon is the award-winning nail polish line formulated without phosphates or parabens. Born in Korea, Choi moved to NYC in 1990 and has since worked with a number of notable names including Harper’s Bazaar, Marc Jacobs, MAC Cosmetics, and several others. The product lineup consists of 86 shades of nail polish, all formulated without harsh chemicals, ranging from basic to shimmering styles as well as polishes like the confetti-inspired “Dotty” and Andy Warhol-inspired “Shake It.” Meanwhile, nail art appliques are available in designs such as smiley faces, astrology signs, chroma dots, graffiti, and more.