Nearly Natural: Four Make-up Picks from Sephora

Nearly Natural Sephora Picks

I received several Sephora gift cards for my birthday and Christmas recently, and I put them toward making my make-up bag less…hazardous. Since so many people are gifted with Sephora cards around this time of year and may be poring over pages of glosses and mascara, I wanted to take a moment to list my four product picks.

As you probably know, Sephora is not the mecca of natural beauty products. And though the products I purchased are not 100% natural, they are free of some major nasties: parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and a whole lot more (check the individual Sephora product pages for full ingredient lists). It’s a start!…especially for those of us who are having some difficulty switching over to all-natural make-up. Pretty much every product we post on this blog is all-natural or as close to it as possible, so consider these “gateway” products.

  1. Tarte, LipSurgence Lip Tint and Lip Luster, $24
  2. Korres, Wild Rose Mineral Foundation, $28
  3. Josie Maran, Argan Tinted Moisturizer, $38
  4. Josie Maran, Argan Lip & Cheek Color Stick Set, $34

1: I should start this off by saying that I have never been a “lip” person outside of clear lip balm. This is generally because I have no talent for “staying in the lines” or not “looking like a clown.” Coming from a theater conservatory that promoted wearing stage make-up all the time, on and off stage, (because, you know, you never know who you might run into) it took me a LONG time to unlearn some very bad beauty habits. Like, uhhh…overdoing it. TO THE MAX!

Enter Tarte LipSurgence. Oh my. I got one Lip Tint in Elite Coral and one Lip Luster in Glitzy. Both colors look natural on me (despite the fuschia photo) and apply so easily! They’re like an extension of my own lip color, somehow. (How’d they do that?!) They are light and smell amazing. And instead of containing a sticky, paint-like substance like many tinted glosses, they are sheer, lovely, and long-lasting. I don’t worry about these lip products smudging onto my teeth, either, because the texture wouldn’t really allow that to happen.

In terms of ingredients, Tarte’s LipSurgence products scored a 2 on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, meaning “low risk.” Make sure to review the ingredients and ensure nothing is out of your comfort zone before pulling the trigger on this or any make-up product!

2: Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation¬†uses wild rose extract which is said to repair fine lines and uneven pigmentation. I mean, we’re big fans of rose hips in our tea and in our face oils, so sounds good to us. It also uses rose quartz to illuminate and soften the look of skin. Like bareMinerals or any relatively “clean” mineral makeup, Korres is good at keeping shine at bay, has wonderful full coverage, and by the looks of it, lasts a long time: a little bit goes a LONG way. I feel that Korres is a superior product to some other mineral makeups that I’ve tried because it’s lighter on my skin and doesn’t settle into my fine lines. That is just a NO GO! It’s more translucent and feels more “glowy.” Korres foundation also has SPF 15 and ranks low hazard on Skin Deep, so at $28 bucks a pop, this is a good investment for any beauty bag!

3: Josie Maran Argan Tinted Moisturizer is not something I would have initially picked out for myself. I have tried all different kinds of BB and CC creams and have been thoroughly disappointed with them ALL. I tell ya, I don’t love liquids on mah face! Liquids either tend to look like a big pile of oil or a big smudgy mess on my chin line. I love make-up but blending is HARD and I don’t have time to worry whether or not I look like Tammy Faye (may she rest in peace). Well, cut to me realizing that sometimes, though maybe not everyday, a little extra moisture on your face when wearing make-up can be a good thing. I found out on set that using a liquid, lightweight tinted moisturizer reflects light better on your skin. It makes you look more…alive. Argan oil is a natural anti-ager so that’s a plus for me, as well. Argan oil calms my skin, and is a lighter oil: not something that is going to make me look like a Christmas ham. Overall, the coverage this moisturizer provides is decent, it has SPF, and for a day out hiking, weekend brunch, etc. – it’s perfect! This is a wonderful product for the gal who doesn’t like to look like she’s wearing make up and wants to have a no fuss, three-in-one product: foundation, SPF and moisturizer. Thanks, JoJo! I feel less high maintenance when I wear you…(but who am I kidding?)

We did a full ingredient check using Skin Deep on Josie’s Tinted Moisturizer: almost all of the ingredients ranked low hazard with a few as “moderate.” The most hazardous ingredient is phenoxyethanol, which ranked a 4/10. According to our research, phenoxyethanol is often marketed as a”natural” ingredient in cosmetics since it can be found in grapefruits and green tea…but it’s often made in a lab. It’s restricted for use in cosmetics in Japan and classified as toxic or harmful by the EU. We’re NOT psyched about this ingredient, but again…I’m taking baby steps here when it comes to makeup!

4: While I was on my whole “maybe I don’t need all powder everything” kick, I also found Josie Maran’s Argan Lip & Cheek Color Stick Set. When I first received the set, the colors looked far too bright for me. I mean, they appeared almost NEON in comparison to the dark pinks and dark browns I use to contour my face. I was hesitant to even APPLY these for fear I’d look like a female Pinocchio on a bad trip at the discotheque. However, after I got over my initial shock, I realized that once you apply and blend them with your fingers a bit, the color sticks give your face a very subtle flush. Even the darkest pinks look natural on my face. I have very fair skin, so things tend to show up. It was nice to know that I could rock even the brightest of the brights. Just like Josie’s tinted moisturizer, they move with your face and compliment what you already have. I find myself using this product every day for that “natural flush” look. These pair well with a clear lip gloss and big sunglasses as you sip a smoothie regaling to to your friends how much time you DIDN’T spend getting ready this morning. You’re welcome.

Ingredients-wise, this is another decent candidate, minus the inclusion of phenoxyethanol again (more on that above).

For Sephora gift cards in the future, we’re eyeing Bite Beauty .

Do you make non-natural exceptions for any make-up products? What “not quite natural” products do you buy at Sephora?

  • Kate

    That Tarte lip tint is my go to! I love that it doesn’t smudge. I’m not so good with lipstick. :) I also love their smooth operator powder. I’ve been slowly transitioning to more natural makeup lately.

    P.s. Kathryne, we spell our names the same way! I never run across the same spelling.

    • Kathryne

      Kate- I have never, and I mean NEVER met anyone who spells their name the way I do! You and I could never get the monogrammed pencils, huh? Amazing! Seems our parents were creative :0) The Tarte lip crayons have been a saving grace for me, because they seem to really be “mistake proof”- easy to correct, and hard to get wrong. I can finally stay in the lines of my lips and not look crazy… I will have to check out the Smooth Operator powder, thanks for the tip! :0)

      P.S.: The pictures and layout of all the recipes on your blog are rather amazing- a virtual library of accessible awesomeness!

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