January 23, 2023

Best of Clean Beauty for 2022

I love reflecting back on the previous year to discover what I truly loved and used the most.

Similar to last year, my makeup routine was all about streamlining…love me a multi-use product, and simple application. For skincare I continued to focus on hydration and keeping my skin barrier happy.

To keep things fairly short and sweet, these are products that were new OR new-to-me in 2022 (you can view a full list of ALL of my current favorite clean beauty products here).

Here we go!

Best Clean Makeup for 2022

Best of Clean Beauty 2022 - Athr Beauty Big Bang Mascara

ATHR BEAUTY | Big Bang Mascara

If you’ve followed me this year, then this is no big surprise. I’ve been shouting about this from the rooftops since last Spring! Big Bang is the clean mascara I’d been waiting for. Volume AND length, holds a curl, and best of all NO FLAKING! Stays on even in crazy humidity, but magically washes off quite easily. Some other big dogs launched this past year (and they were quite good), but this is still the best.

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best clean beauty - 14e aloe nourish cheek + lip

14E COSMETICS | Aloe Nourish Cheek + Lip

This multitasking beaut was much reached for this past Summer and Fall, in the shade Sunset. It has a lightweight mousse texture, and being aloe-based felt particularly lovely during warm weather…nice and cooling! Provides the loveliest natural-looking flush, and works great on eyes and lips, too. Also love the gentle lavender fragrance. I need something creamier on my cheeks when my skin is dry in the winter, but I continue to use this on my eyes and lips. Sunset looks like a gorgeous terracotta out of the bottle, but sheers out to a beautiful toasted peach.

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Best of clean beauty 2022 - Merit Day Glow Dewy Highlighting Balm

MERIT | Day Glow Dewy Highlighting Balm

I’d gotten away from using a highlighter in the past few years (shimmer + fine lines = no bueno). But this one from Merit has proven to be a fantastic multitasker and very #midlifebeauty friendly: no visible sparkle or shimmer, just a subtle ethereal glow! Plus it gives my skincare a boost, as it’s hydrating and nourishing (squalane and olive oil among other rad ingredients!). I use it just beneath my eyebrows, down the top of my nose and a bit just at the top of my cheekbones, then when glamming up I’ll dot it in the corner of each eye. Cava is a gorgeous neutral champagne shade. If you loved Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop, you’ll love this highlighter! Featured in one of my clean swap showdowns last year…

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RITUEL DE FILLE | Ash + Ember Eye Soot

I literally reached for this daily (or at least the days I wore makeup), in the shade Half Light. It’s somewhere between a powder and a cream, and the bit of moisture does my beginning-to-show-signs-of-aging eyelids good…it gives a much smoother, less drying effect than a powder, without being shiny like a cream (plus no creasing issues). Half Light is a GORGEOUS warm taupe that’s perfect for creating natural shadow and depth in the crease and on the hood, though can be easily deepened for a more dramatic look.

Application tip: I’ve found that lightly swirling my crease brush in it and gently brushing on is the best way to apply, unless I’m going more dramatic and applying on the lid, then I use my finger and dab on.

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best of clean beauty 2022 - rituel de fille forbidden lipstick and enchanted lip sheers

RITUEL DE FILLE | Forbidden Lipstick AND Enchanted Lip Sheer

So yes, I dig me some Rituel de Fille (their concealer is still my ride-or-die concealer/foundation!). And I’m cheating a bit here as I’m including 2 of their lippies, but just consider it a two-fer!

Forbidden Lipstick in the shade Oracle became one of my go-to lippies throughout the year. This is the first time I’ve finished off a tube of lipstick in AGES (I’ve been more of a gloss girl for a long time), but the color, the scent (lavender?!), the texture…just perfection. Oracle is a terrific neutral shade, and I knew I could throw it on, no mirror, without worry. A creamy matte that doesn’t dry me out, feels great, looks great and you can sheer it out easily or layer it on thick. I just love it! Carnal is also a favorite shade.

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The Enchanted Lip Sheers have a bit of a deceptive name, because these babies are really highly pigmented! More moisturizing than the Forbidden Lipstick, they are slightly translucent but you really get a big color payoff. Magickery! And now let’s talk color. I know Lilium looks really brown, but it’s considered a ‘neutral shadow peach’…and that’s truly what it is. I was worried it would be flat, but it somehow gives this cool depth to your lip color, and is great for mixing with other shades/lippies to enhance color. It’s so cool!! Also has the lovely lavender scent. Can’t wait to try other shades! Lilium is availabile exclusively on the RDF website, but other shades available elsewhere.

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Best of clean beauty 2022 - Tower 28 Oneliner in Work of Art

TOWER 28 | OneLiner Multi-Liner

Tower 28 is one of my favorite brands, and they consistently launch great products (their lip gloss, cream blush and SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray ALL made my best of 2021 list!). I’ll be honest, my love of this liner comes down mostly to the color…Work of Art is the pinky/taupey nude that I’ve been hunting for, and I’ve not used any of my others since I got it! Blends wonderfully with most of my lippies, though mostly I just use this, soften the edges and apply either lip balm or clear lipgloss over it. The perfect neutral lip with a bit of ummph. Additionally, it ticks my multi-use box which makes the perfect travel companion…takes up no room at all, TSA-friendly and doubles as my blush! Creamy, fairly matte but not drying (thanks to the shea butter and marula oil), and did I mention the loveliest color? For the first time in a long time, I will finish a liner down to the nub. Well done Tower 28!

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Best Clean Skincare for 2022

Best of clean beauty 2022 - Khus + Khus D Drop

KHUS + KHUS | D DROP Humectant Factor

Hydrated skin = less-aged-looking skin. And more importantly hydrated skin keeps your barrier strong. I began using this last January when my winter skin got incredibly dry. It was a HUGE help, layers well with all of my other favorite products, and causes no irritation. I’d also venture to bet that the peppermint (yes, a wee bit of peppermint) helped to get rid of a minor dermatitis issue. Super refreshing, especially in hot weather…I wish I could use it whole-body! If you’re looking for a hydrator, this is a great one. One of my favorite products for sensitive skin!

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Best of clean beauty 2022 - Kosas Spray-on serum

KOSAS | Plump + Juicy Vegan Collagen Spray-On Serum

Rarely do I come across a mist that you can tell is truly doing something other than providing a sensory experience and/or a brief layer of moisture before applying your other products (you can check out the only other 3 I’ve found remarkable here), that really could be accomplished by splashing cold water on your face. But Kosas has knocked it out of the park with this Spray-On Serum! My skin feels instantly moisturized, hydrated and plump. No irritation on my supersensitive skin, and plays nicely with all of my other products. Truly a lifesaver this winter when my skin is superthirsty, I’m deeming it a must-have in your winter skincare arsenal! And if you like a dewy look, I think it would be great for setting your makeup and providing some glow. So good!

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best of clean beauty 2022 - live botanical solar return revitalizing essence

LIVE BOTANICAL | Solar Return Revitalizing Essence

One of my favorite finds this past summer! Created to be restorative to sun-loved and/or retinol-treated skin, it’s hydrating and refreshing (especially so if kept in the fridge!), and contains no essential oils so it’s fab for us sensitive-skinned peeps. I didn’t change much about my skincare routine this summer other than adding this to the mix, and my fine lines were definitely improved, plus I don’t get nearly the peeling and dryness from my retinols (plant-based or Altreno). Also perfect after a day in the sun. I’ve continued to use this for when I need some additional hydration (which is basically every day in the winter!), and definitely after retinol treatments. Ree-hee-heally hoping this becomes apart of the permanent line!!

Code HAPPYMEDIUM saves you 20%!

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best of clean beauty 2022 - sahajan lip karma

SAHAJAN | Lip Karma

I’m all about a good lip balm, and I’m so freaking glad I found this one at the end of the year! I’d grabbed the Chai version as a stocking stuffer for my chai-loving daughter, and we loved it so much I grabbed the mint one for me (have to have a mint lip balm!). Super hydrating and feels so lovely on, the foundation is composed of Castor, Rapeseed and Argan Oils. Along with being a kickass lip balm, Sahajan partners with Plan International’s Because I am Girl Initiative, and every Lip Karma purchased provides one day of school for a girl, so that she can decide her own future! Definitely one of my favorite finds of the year, and will certainly be added to my updated best clean lip balms later this spring!

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Best Clean Body Products for 2022

Best of clean beauty 2022 - erin's faces valencia orange body butter

ERIN’S FACES | Valencia Orange Body Butter

This is the creamiest, dreamiest body butter I think I’ve ever used. The texture is unbelievable, and the smell is SO FRESH. I use this right at the end of my shower to seal in moisture, and it makes my skin so soft without greasiness or oiliness. Some kind of magickery!! Perfect for winter dry skin, but don’t let the thickness have you thinking you can’t use it in warmer months…if used on damp skin in the summer she sinks right in.

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best of clean beauty 2022 - fitglow beauty bakuchiol body cream

FITGLOW BEAUTY | Bakuchiol Body Cream

I’ve always said that I wish I could afford to put my skincare all over my body, especially when it comes to retinols. And now I do! This body cream is fantastic – loaded with anti-oxidants, Hyaluronic Acid and Bakuchiol (a plant-based retinol), my skin feels hydrated, plump and smooth after use. The scent is lovely but subtle…perfect. Added benefit, I’ve really noticed a difference in my hands, especially this winter!

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Best of clean beauty 2022 - Kosas Chemistry

KOSAS | Chemistry AHA Deodorant

So last year I relied solely on Ursa Major’s Sublime Sage Deodorant…it was the first I’d found that actually kept odor away and didn’t irritate (coconut oil-based stick deos irritate and discolor my skin). Sadly I developed a sensitivity to something in it about a year in, so the hunt was on once again (I still highly recommend it…my skin is just freaking overly sensitive). Enter the magickery that is this deodorant serum from Kosas!!! I got the unscented to be safe and not irritate my skin further, and honestly I figured it would be money down the drain as surely I needed some sort of fragrance to mask the bad stuff, right?! But lo and behold, Kosas is not kidding about the AHA keeping PH balanced and unstinky, AND I feel like my skin just looks brighter. No baking soda, no coconut oil.

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Best Clean Hair Products for 2022

best of clean beauty 2022 - curlsmith shine oil

CURLSMITH | Shine Oil

My ‘beast’ might look substantial at times, but I actually have fine hair that is easily weighed down. Oils are typically WAY too heavy for my curls. But I kept coming across mentions of this weightless bonding oil, and after reading that many fine curlies were loving it, I gave it a shot. So glad I did! I use just a few drops rubbed into my palms to break my gel cast (aka scrunch out the crunch), and it really seems to help retain moisture without creating frizz, provides shine, all without weighing down my curls.

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best of clean beauty 2022 - holy curls curl mask

HOLY CURLS | Curl Mask

Highlighting really dries your curls, making deep conditioning a must. This little gem is the best deep conditioner I’ve tried in eons, AND it’s super versatile: can be used as a true deep conditioning treatment (with heat, showercap, etc. for 15 minutes or more), but also works miracles if I simply use it as a quick 5 minute treatment after detangling with my standard rinse-out conditioner while I finish up my showering. Truly hydrates without weighing down my fine curls AT ALL. Magic. Oh…and a wee bit goes a long way, so my jar has lasted more than 6 months!

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So there you have it, my favorite clean beauty finds for 2022! What were your favorites last year? Please comment and share below, and of course comment with any questions about these products!

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