Best Clean Beauty Products of 2014

I’ve been lucky enough to try out a ton of incredible clean and green skincare and beauty products over the course of 2014, and while I loved pretty much ALL of them, here are a few absolute standouts that I’d like to roll around happily in forever more, like a puppy hopping through the first snowfall of the season.

If you plan to make any NYE resolutions to ditch the toxic cosmetics and detox your personal care routine, let me give you a head start on some essentials to try. I’ve spent plenty of cash at the health food store over the years, trying to find the gems among pricy products, whose contents often didn’t match their slick packaging.

In this list, you’ll find the good stuff. These items don’t always focus on one skin problem or cosmetic function, and that’s how you know they’re good. They don’t temporarily suppress, hide or eventually cause common skin issues, they address them.

100% Pure
100% Pure were kind enough to let the Addicted crew try a ton of their product, and there’s no doubt that they maintain steady quality across the board, from cosmetics to skincare. My absolute favourites?

Lip and Cheek Stain: These are small and portable, smell like berries, and pull double duty on function. Easy application and efficiency for the win!

Lip gloss: It’s rare that a mere lip gloss makes me love my lips as much as a schmear of crimson red matte lipstick, but this stuff packs a punch with its understated shimmer. The “maybe she’s born with it…” slogan could’ve originally been about this.

Mascara: Okay, so this one depends on what you’re looking for. I’m not generally looking for my painted on face to stay in place through the apocalypse — I like to wash it off at the end of the night without have to sand makeup off. This mascara goes on smooth and clump-free, lengthens lashes, and comes off easily with gentle cleanser. I once even cried it off (please see this offering by my addicted colleague, Alex Payne: http://www.weraddicted.com/addicted-to-love-should-you-be-friends-with-your-ex/), and the curtain fell on my bi-annual display of emotion, I got to proceed with my night without looking like a streaky rodent. It was great.

Graydon – Clinical Luxury By Nature
One day, my entire skincare regimen will probably be comprised of Graydon products. I’m workin’ on it. If you’re going to start off with just a couple, I wholeheartedly recommend these:

The Cleanser: It for real wipes all the makeup and grime off of your face like it ain’t no thang. I don’t know how. No harsh scrubbing or stripping; it’s just like giving your face the equivalent of a delicate Etch-a-Sketch shake, and poof!

Green Cream: Go ahead. Rub some whipped vitamin-glory on your face. Imagine ordering the dullest, most cruciferously green salad you could, reaching into the bowl, and smearing it all over your head. This is kind of the same, except your skin absorbs the glory a bit more easily and you don’t look like a weirdo.

F. Miller
Face Oil: Sounds both self-explanatory and like a big no-no, huh? I was a bit put off by the name at first too, bit my skin took to it right away. No pre-adjustment anger or inflammation, just immediate results of happier, softer, more evenly toned skin. Yep, it’s face oil. Just slather it on and enjoy.

Plantae
Wild Thyme Toner: I know it’s a tertiary concern, but this stuff smells incredible. Pretty sure it soothes my nerves right before it does the same to my skin. The fact that it’s spray on means less aggravation for your delicate skin. Just mist away and let it work its oil-controlling, tonifying, hydrating magic.

Eye Cream: A light, easily absorbed and effective eye cream is cornerstone in any skincare regimen once you formally decide to sacrifice regular sleep hours for work and fun.

Aromacentric
IQ On the Spot Aromatherapy: I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed. Sometimes I need a little nudge into functionality, and a little dab of this under my nose and above my upper lip actually gets my brain chug-a-lugging toward meaningful productivity. For example, I’ve had this article drafted for about two months, and I’ve only gotten around to finishing it today – a heavy IQ use day!

Ella’s Botanicals
Beauty Bars: Totally clean but marvelously scented bars of soap. Use them on your face, fun bits, body in general or hands. Whatever, it’s good there to make all of you smell pretty regardless of purpose or circumstance.

YumUniverse
Heather Crosby’s gorgeous 300-page book is more than just decadent, nutritious and wildly imaginative plant-based recipes; she carefully addresses the mindset behind her lifestyle, how to approach it practically and emotionally, and makes sure you have the information resources necessary from the get-go. A truly inspiring tome to supplement the hundreds of recipes and tips she’s already shared on her wonderful website, YumUniverse.

LACC (la couleur couture) Nail Polish
– As I began to explore toxin-free cosmetics several years ago, there were a few things I couldn’t give up and put on my hypocrite cap on for. Deodorant? Pump the poison into my pits! Nail Polish? Cover my hands in death glaze, please! Realistically, most brands offered boring shades of neutral tones — meanwhile, I wanted my fingernails to look like I had murdered a Smurf. While LACC does not support cruelty to Smurfs or any other fond childhood memories, they do offer a ton of frosty, fun colors that are non-toxic, vegan-friendly and kinder to your nails. Check out their full line and seasonal offerings!

 

I don’t generally believe in NYE resolutions. I think if you set a date to become better, you will likely fail. But the best way to nudge yourself onto the road of self-improvement is small changes implemented bit by bit. No grandiose statements to yourself are necessary – you don’t have to feel bad every other day for months until you abandon your resolutions altogether. Start small and make it manageable. I think any one of these products (as well as any with similarly executed mandates) is a step in the right direction. Once you experience their benefits and realize what you’re gaining rather than what you perceive you’re losing, the journey to a healthier, less toxic consumer experience is inevitable!

Stay tuned for details on how to win a big, beautiful prize pack from Addicted with some of these killer products!

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Emy Stantcheva
Emy Stantcheva is a lifelong music junkie-turned-music biz dabbler, from music publicity and artist management to the not-for-profit sector. By day, she champions the indies at Canadian Independent Music Association and MusicOntario, and moonlights as Lifestyle Editor for Addicted and rep for southern rock n’ roller Basia Lyjak. A healthy living fan (yes, vodka is a plant), vegetarian of 20 years and lover of cooking, wine and craft beer, she’s always on the lookout for tasty and cruelty-free wares and fares. She’s also known for her hoarding of cats (she has four) and leggings (300 pairs and counting). With her feisty way with words, Stantcheva brings a fresh and intelligent perspective to Addicted’s Lifestyle section.
Emy Stantcheva