Makeup Melt is CLOVE + HALLOW’s clean, cruelty-free and vegan makeup remover. The balm-to-oil cleanser truly “melts” away stubborn makeup.. And the best part about it? A little goes a long way! Only a nickel-sized amount of Makeup Melt will dissolve the toughest waterproof mascara and eyeliner. Natural, cruelty-free and vegan as always, it also performs double duty as a skincare staple. Or should we say quadruple duty? Over time, we’ve learned that the ingredients used in Makeup Melt allow the product to be multipurpose. In this blog post, we are going to discuss the 4 ways makeup melt will make your life easier.


If you suffer from dry skin, don’t worry, we hear ya loud and clear. All of CLOVE + HALLOW’s products are formulated to combat dryness, but the Makeup Melt really wins the trophy for hydration. It’s jam-packed with coconut oil, which is particularly renowned for treating wrinkles and decreasing dryness. Just apply a thin mask of Makeup Melt to your face and wash away after 10-20 minutes (or whenever you feel like it). For a deep treatment, we suggest sleeping with Makeup Melt on overnight so it can do its work while you dream.



We’re going to be transparent here: you probably don’t want to use up your precious Makeup Melt on the entirety of your locks. However, it can be great for spot treating your hair or in a pinch with limited products available. The properties of the fractionated coconut oil are ideal for restoring moisture to your tresses, while the sweet almond oil helps repair damaged ends. We recommended using Makeup Melt either liberally to treat your ends specifically as a conditioning mask or lightly as a frizz-eliminator on dry hair.



After getting fresh ink, it’s important to take care of your tattoo. Keep the tattoo as clean as possible by washing with a non-fragrant cleanser. For added hydration, Makeup Melt acts as a great lotion. Like we said, a little Makeup Melt can really go a long way so remember to use only a tiny amount and spread evenly across the tattoo. Your skin should still be able to breathe while being treated. The fractionated coconut oil will act as a disinfectant while the sweet almond oil will keep your new piece hydrated and vibrant!



Ran out of aloe but spent too much time in the sun? Got cracked skin from doing yard work, or suffer from eczema? Makeup Melt can act as an antibacterial ointment and burn relief salve due to the anti-fungal and antibacterial properties of coconut oil, the main ingredient of Makeup Melt. It can treat minor burns, such as sunburns, because of its properties that regenerate cells. The antibacterial power of coconut oil, combined with the healing nutrients of sunflower oil, make this product perfect for treating broken or chapped skin. You can even put a dab on your lips if you need it!


With all its purposes, Makeup Melt is a clear winner and a great product to transition into clean beauty with. As always, you can rest easy knowing that our Clean15™ formulation strategy ensures each ingredient is safe for the skin. We hope you found these 4 ways makeup melt will make your life easier helpful. What is your favorite way to use Makeup Melt?

June 01, 2018


Ever tried out a new makeup look that appeared awesome on somebody else only to look a bit odd on you? You may not be applying the proper makeup technique for your face shape. One of three things is likely to blame:

  1. Poor product choices. (Did you know CLOVE + HALLOW Pressed Mineral Foundation and Conceal + Correct double as amazing highlight/bronzer/contour products?)
  2. Simply needing more practice to master a new look.
  3. Incorrect techniques for your face shape.

Today we’re going to focus on face shape, which is awesome because it isn’t just important for makeup – it’s also critical to a great haircut!

Here’s a quick visual overview of the different face shapes out there. Don’t worry if you don’t fall squarely into one category – while many people can definitively determine their face shape, sometimes people (like myself) fall between two shapes. In that case, consider both.

What does this mean for your makeup? Well, for starters, it means that where you place your contour/bronzer, highlight, and blush makes a difference!

Let’s take it back to the basics…

Contouring/bronzing, highlighting, and blushing are meant to give dimension and shape to the face but can also be used to reshape the face. For example, if you have a round face, you might consider playing up a jawline contour in order to create a defined jawline, whereas someone with a heart or diamond face shape would likely try to soften up that area. With a round face, you might consider applying your blush a little further back on the cheeks to avoid emphasizing the roundness, while face shapes such as long, square and oval may want to bring their blush closer to the apples of the cheek in order to create visual roundness. Whereas someone with a round or square face may wish to contour the temples substantially to visually bring them inward, someone with an oval or diamond face shape would avoid darkening this area since their temples are already naturally narrower.

At the end of the day, makeup is art and also very personal. If you’re satisfied with your current routine or partial to a certain application technique, keep it! But if you’ve struggled to figure out where to place complexion products or wondered why something looked a little off, definitely consider your face shape!

April 11, 2018


Safe synthetics? What are those?

In today’s world, synthetic ingredients get a bad rep without a second thought. But what if some synthetics are not only safe, but also truly invaluable to a high performance cosmetic? Since I founded CLOVE + HALLOW and personally gave the green-light on certain synthetics while simultaneously barring others, I figured it would be helpful to share my thought process on the safe synthetics we use and why.

First off – what constitutes a synthetic ingredient?

A synthetic ingredient is anything synthetically derived, i.e. not found and harvested directly from nature. Typically, this means a raw material was created in a lab entirely. However, it can also mean that it was harvested from nature and then heavily processed in a lab to create a very refined version of the original raw material.

Is synthetic always bad? What constitutes a safe synthetic?

Synthetic does not inherently speak to the quality or safety of an ingredient; conversely, a claim like “100% natural” doesn’t either. Natural raw ingredients like peppermint oil can be highly irritating to the skin and even raw minerals like silica and mica have risks, such as inhalation, if used improperly. Context within the formulation is also important: many ingredients – such as acids, extracts, and dyes – only become cause for concern at certain concentration thresholds or on a particular area of application (eyes, lips, face, body, etc.)

I don’t say this to speak against the all-natural movement. It is a movement I believe in immensely and support with my personal dollars. I say this because I think it’s important to understand that the words themselves – synthetic and natural – don’t mean all that much when considering actual safety.

Safe Synthetics: What They Are and How We Use Them

 At CLOVE + HALLOW, we approve (or deny) ingredients based on a combination of consumer preferences and science. I ALWAYS make sure to look at ingredients in the context of a specific formulation to ensure maximum safety. For research, I turn to peer-reviewed studies, the EWG (we only use ingredients rated a 3 or below), ThinkDirty, and market research with my customers when making decisions. If an ingredient is a proven carcinogen, hormone/endocrine disruptor, irritant, etc., I will not allow it in our formulas. If an ingredient has iffy data showing it may cause or may potentially be something or other, I take it with a grain of salt and continue along with the rest of my research on that ingredient. And that, my friends, is how I arrived at the following list of safe synthetics that we allow in C+H products.

(And just for the record: I would never, ever, EVER be able to live with myself if I thought for even one second that I was jeopardizing the health of my customers. Even though we are not 100% natural (and we never claimed to be!), I work exceptionally hard to ensure that each ingredient used in our products – synthetic or otherwise – is cruelty-free, vegan, high quality, and totally safe in the context of each particular formula.)

What safe synthetics do CLOVE + HALLOW use, and why?

In general, if there is a natural alternative to a synthetic ingredient that works just as well, I will use the natural version. In order for me to green-light a safe synthetic, it must satisfy one of the following areas in a way the natural version cannot:

Some of our products do use synthetic FD&C-approved dyes. We always start with a base of iron oxides and titanium dioxide and supplement with dyes in tiny concentrations to create the vibrant shades that are so unique to CLOVE + HALLOW and simply not possible with natural dyes alone.

If you want to talk about safety, this is really where you should look. It is impossible to manufacture a totally bacteria- and fungus-free product, and an effective preservative system is absolutely necessary in most formulas. If a safe synthetic preservative system offers clinical-studied preservation in a way that natural preservative systems cannot, I will absolutely use the safe synthetic to protect my customers.

Qualities like texture, blend-ability, and wear-time fall under this category. If a safe synthetic enhances one of these categories in a way that is truly beneficial to the end result, I will most likely choose to keep it in the formula.

Specifically, here are some of the safe synthetics you can find in our current product line:

  • sodium benzoate: used in tiny amounts as part of an eco-cert approved paraben-, formaldehyde-, and phenoxyethanol-free preservative system
  • fd&c dyes: used at small concentrations to create vibrant and unique shades that last on the lips
  • isododecane: used in Lip Velvets to create a truly budge-proof matte finish
  • polypropylsilsesquioxane/trimethylsiloxysilicate/triethoxycaprylylsilane/triethoxycaprylylsilane: some of these light silicones and binders are used in tiny amounts in our Lip Velvets and Conceal + Correct in order to create a smooth texture, skin-feel benefits, and an even pigment dispersion
  • boron nitride: a powdered ingredient used in Pressed Mineral Foundation to create a soft cushion-y texture that sits beautifully on the skin
  • dimethicone: a lightweight silicone used in tiny amounts in Conceal + Correct to create a creamy, blendable, non-oily texture
  • butyloctyl salicylate: a skin-conditioning agent used in Pressed Mineral Foundation for texture enhancement
  • gluconalactone: used in tiny amounts as part of an eco-cert approved paraben-, formaldehyde-, and phenoxyethanol-free preservative system
  • polyglyceryl-3 diisostearate: emulsifier that helps bind waters and oils in our Conceal + Correct to ensure a consistent, creamy, blendable texture

That’s it y’all. I hope this helped to shed some light on the world of cosmetic raw materials, the pros and cons of synthetics and all-natural ingredients, and how I select ingredients for CLOVE + HALLOW products. Thanks for taking the time to follow along!

Founder + CEO

March 01, 2018


Determining your undertone is a critical component of a great makeup look, but it’s so overwhelming! Pink, yellow, olive, neutral – how does one know? We have a few tips to help you out if you’ve sat there wondering, “what is my undertone?” This quick guide will give you some quick tips and tricks for determining your undertone, but when in doubt, go get matched by a professional at a beauty shop or mall!

First, a little background. As mentioned above, there are four main undertones: pink, yellow, olive, and neutral. We are going to focus primarily on pink and yellow because neutral is pretty obvious once you understand these (you’ll fall smack dab in the middle) and olive deserves a solo blog post to itself.

The Three Hacks:

  1. Observe your skin tone
    Look at your skin. I know it seems crazy simple, but some people are dead giveaways simply by observing their natural skin tone. If you pull pink, you are cool toned. If you pull yellow, golden or orange, you are warm toned.
    If glancing at your skin didn’t help you determine your undertone, try this next hack.
  2. Look at your veins
    Look at the veins that run through your wrist or crease of your elbow. If they look green-hued, you are probably a yellow undertone. If they look blue-toned, you are probably a pink undertone gal.
  3. Pay attention to clothing and jewelry tones
    We are intuitively drawn to the jewelry and clothing undertones that suit us. Silver jewelry tends to work best with pink/cool undertones and gold tends to work best with yellow/golden undertones. Muted, cool-toned shades like mauve and grey tend to look better on cool-toned skin, and warm-toned shades like copper tends to look good on warm-toned skin. Look at the jewelry you prefer and let that inform your conclusion.

CLOVE + HALLOW’s Founder and CEO, Sarah Biggers, took the time to share her tips for finding your undertone that she learned working as a professional makeup artist. Watch the video below for a step-by-step guide to determining your undertone!

February 21, 2018


Interested in learning how to make a cosmetics line? Or are you curious how it’s done? Read this article from our founder, Sarah Biggers, on the steps she took to build the vegan, clean, and cruelty-free cosmetics line, CLOVE + HALLOW!

From the time that I decided I was going to make a cosmetics line, there was a period of at least four months when I had absolutely zero clue where to start. During this time, I typed vague searches like “how to make a cosmetics line” and “how to create makeup” into Google and called everyone I knew in manufacturing to get the scoop on terms I may need to know.

It was obvious that I needed to pick up the phone and start calling potential partners. Most of them shut me down after 30 seconds of explaining my business; a few outright laughed at me and said I had a lot of chutzpah before hanging up. In-between all of the rejections, a few of them gave me a moment of their time for direction and guidance. I am convinced they were angels in disguise.

If you know me in real life, you know I always say that after I got the ball rolling with those phone calls, I really don’t know how things went from point A to B. It just kind of happened. Having only launched on March 27th, 2017, I fully understand how overwhelming everything is, so I am going to break this down as best as I can with insight into the steps I took to make a cosmetics line.

Side note: beyond the following overview on how to make a cosmetics line, please understand that, just like any other business, getting off the ground is an intense process. I made some big mistakes and had bigger doubts. You will too. I wasted time and money. You will too. I sobbed, laughed, panicked, and celebrated too many times to count along the way – sometimes all within the same day. You will too. There were – and still are – many late nights. You will have them too.  There is no way to escape the rollercoaster. Buckle up, take a deep breath, and enjoy the hell out of this ride!


Step One: Narrow down your brand, market, and goals.

Before you make any big decisions in terms of manufacturing, partners, and packaging, you need a crystal clear vision of what products you want to produce, your branding, and your target market. These details will influence every decision you make moving forward; if you forget this step or overlook its importance, you will sink a lot of money into a line that lacks cohesion and people to sell it to. Lastly, you need to determine your goal.

  • Do you want a small cosmetics line that you run almost like a hobby?
  • Do you want to run a small business, online or with small retail partners?
  • Or, do you want to run a large cosmetics line that works with major retail partners?

For CLOVE + HALLOW, this step occurred organically – pun intended. I knew that I wanted to get a modern, pigmented, and affordable clean cosmetics line into the hands of as many women as possible. I also had a strong idea of who my ideal customer was. A vision board that I’d worked on for months helped me convey the physicality and aesthetic I was looking for, and a detailed presentation covering data points and market trends that I pulled from my own research pegged helped me make early decisions easily. Later, I utilized a market research firm to validate my concept; If you’re going to make a cosmetics line by cannonballing into the deep end like I did with an enormous (and expensive) launch, I highly recommend this step.


Step Two: Decide your manufacturing strategy.

There are many different ways to get a product line out the door, but I’ve broken down the three main approaches below. There are pros and cons of each, but I find that the best way to order them is from the least control and customization to the most:

  • Private Label. This strategy involves finding a company that produces its own formulas of cosmetics that you purchase from them at extremely discounted prices and apply your own branding. Private labeling is really useful for small businesses such as studios/spas/salons as it is quick and low cost, but is also surprisingly common amongst big name brands. If the idea for your product and packaging is standard, finding a private labeler who fits your needs isn’t difficult. Sometimes these companies will even allow you to sort through their catalog and tweak products as needed in order to create a semi-custom experience. The main pitfalls to this approach are as follows: you lack flexibility and creative control, and in today’s internet-enthused world, most people can spot a private labeled product simply by googling the ingredient list.
  • Contract Manufacturing. Most major cosmetic lines use this approach, in which you partner with a company that has its own manufacturing facility as well as R&D lab to create custom products from scratch. This option is fantastic for brands that want full control or have a unique vision for their packaging/branding. The downsides to this approach are time (projects can take 6 months to 2 years to make their way through R&D), logistics management (once a product is approved, it still takes a long time to get through production, so you have to ensure you have an optimized flow of inventory, orders, and production happening simultaneously), and cost (the cost per item is usually quite cheap, but most manufacturers require a minimum of 2500-5000 units per shade per product, so it adds up fast.)
  • In-House Manufacturing. This option has really taken market share in the last couple years; if you’ve come across brands that call themselves “hand poured” or “small batch”, they likely use this method. It is exactly as it sounds: they do R&D, ingredient sourcing, production, filling, packing, and labeling in-house. This option is awesome for smaller businesses that want total control, flexibility, and customization of their products without having to rely on a partner. (It also has a lot of marketing power – consumers love this concept!) However, this approach is not without its drawbacks: operations like this can be hard to scale if the line gains real momentum, quality control/batch consistency can be tough to nail down without a full-scale lab, and costs per item can be high since raw materials are purchased in much smaller quantities. It also requires a lot of logistics management.

As you can see, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re stuck at this point, go back to step one and think about what your consumer would be attracted to. There is a reason I said you need crystal clear vision before continuing!


Step Three: Build out your products.

Now to the fun part! This step will vary depending on which manufacturing method you go with, but regardless, this is the time when you get to play with products, packaging ideas, etc. Since CLOVE + HALLOW uses a contract manufacturer for totally custom products, I always go into this process with a brief that summarizes everything I’m looking for from a product – qualities, price point, ingredients, etc. Simultaneously, I am working with a packaging vendor and design agency to come up with the physical housing of each product. Samples are sent to our office for testing, then tweaked for perfection, and re-sent for edits. To make a cosmetics line is an iterative process that can take a long time if you’re doing contract or in-house manufacturing (I’ve been known to make 40+ tweaks on one shade of one product) but it is worth every minute to finally get the perfect product that you were envisioning.


Step Four: Determine warehousing and fulfillment strategy.

Before continuing on into the fun world of marketing your cosmetics line, one last point needs to be considered. Where will you store finished products, and how will you get them to customers? Again, this is dependent on your manufacturing strategy. For CLOVE + HALLOW, we order bulk amounts of products at a time in order to hit manufacturer MOQs, so we have a large warehouse facility. In the beginning, I did all of the packing and shipping myself. Now, I have a team who help hand-pick and ship orders to our customers and retail partners. You will want to think about this well in advance of launch to ensure a smooth workflow.

Having trouble finding warehouse space or wrapping your head around the logistics of managing fulfillment? Consider using a 3PL (Third Party Logistics company) that specializes in dynamic storage and order fulfillment; there are plenty that work with small businesses/startups and can tolerate infrequent orders and exponential growth. (Honestly, between new product launches, reorders, and seasonality – space and hands-on-deck needed can fluctuate pretty wildly, so a 3PL has a lot of perks if you’re willing to relinquish some control!)


Step Five: Growth via marketing and sales.

I know this is getting repetitive but go back to step one. Refresh your memory on who you wanted to make a cosmetics line for and why. Do a deep dive into who they are, what they like, where they live and shop, their struggles and pain points, etc. Now go find them – directly, or via retail partners they shop with – and show them why they need your products.

Overwhelmed by where to start? Here are a few standard marketing/sales avenues to consider for your business:

  • Social Media – Instagram, Facebook, etc.
  • Paid Ads – Google search, Facebook and Instagram, AdRoll, etc.
  • Public Relations – agencies, freelancers, etc.
  • Email – MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.
  • Influencer – Affiliate and Ambassador programs, paid partnerships, etc.
  • Tradeshows – Indie Beauty Expo, The Makeup Show, etc.


And, voila – a cosmetics line is born.

Whew! From a very high level, that’s really all there is to it – but of course, in reality, to make a cosmetics line is quite complicated. It’s challenging to explain in greater detail because it’s an ongoing learning process that different brands take at different paces to different places. My goal was to write a high-level post that I would have found helpful when starting out, so hopefully, you found it helpful too.

Best of luck, friends!

Founder + CEO of CLOVE + HALLOW

February 08, 2018


Now more than ever, understanding the differences between terms like “green”, “clean”, “natural” and “organic” is important. If you’re looking for a quick guide to green beauty terms and the similarities and differences between each claim, you’re in the right place!

First, it’s important to note that since there is minimal regulation – if any – over these terms, there will be companies out there who abuse and use them improperly. The only sure-fire way to cut through marketing fluff to determine if a product or company’s ingredients are acceptable to you is to read up on individual ingredients.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s jump into it!

Organic: This term can be both ingredient level which refers to the nature in which an ingredient was grown and harvested or it can be at a product level, such as USDA certified organic products which have to meet certain thresholds of organic ingredients to be considered. Whether referring to individual ingredients or a product as a whole, the term organic means that they are free of chemical substances and processes such as fertilizers, antibiotics, GMOs, etc.

Natural: This term is probably one of the most abused because it carries a lot of marketing weight but is completely unregulated. Technically, a product or company should not call itself natural unless they are all-natural, i.e. all ingredients are naturally derived and non-synthetic, however, you should read labels to understand if a company is calling their product natural because they’ve included two natural ingredients squished between a bunch of chemicals.

Clean: This term is a “middle of the road” term typically used by companies that are not 100% natural but use natural ingredients when possible plus an array of safe synthetics as needed. The goal is less about natural and more about safety. CLOVE + HALLOW falls under the category of a clean beauty brand! If you see a company or product touted as “clean” you should read the label and research the ingredients to ensure the product is up to your personal standard.

Green: When you see this term, it is usually referring to products and companies that are eco-conscious. This can relate to ingredients, production processes, packaging, etc. For example, an organic product or company isn’t necessarily green if they are harvesting organic ingredients in an unsustainable fashion, and a clean product or company can be considered green if they are using recyclable packaging.

So that’s it you guys – we know there are a lot of confusing buzzwords floating around in the beauty space so we hope this helped bring some clarity. Unfortunately, until these terms are regulated there will always be some grey area for unsavory people and businesses to exploit, so we suggest that anyone who is interested in this topic throw their weight behind the growing pressure on regulatory agencies to create legal definitions for these terms!

January 10, 2018


Taking your makeup look from day to night can quickly escalate from ambitious to downright intimidating. There are so many techniques and products out there to choose from! Fear not – our founder, Sarah Biggers, has simplified the process for you by demonstrating a super simple day-to-night look using only three products and four steps for an easy glam makeup look.

Yes, you read that right – THREE products! There’s really no need to complicate things when you’re going for an easy glam makeup look. Here’s what you’ll need:

Step 1:

Start by applying your eyeliner to your upper lash line and outer third of your lower lash line. It can be messy since we’re going to smudge it out later anyways, so don’t stress about making it perfect.

quick and easy glam makeup using three natural products

Step 2:

Using a Q-tip, smudge the eyeliner along the lash line. Add more eyeliner if needed (if you have oily eyelids you will probably need to add more between qtip smudges.) If you like a cat-eye shape, extend the smudge past the outer edge of your eye at an upward angle, as if an extension of the lower lash line.

quick and easy glam makeup using three natural products

Step 3:

Rub a bit of lipstick between your fingertips and tap onto the apples of your cheeks for a healthy flush. Don’t be scared of this step – as long as you’re only using a little bit and letting the product melt between your fingertips, it will blend super easily.

quick and easy glam makeup using three natural products

Step 4:

Apply that same lipstick shade to your lips for a finished, polished look. You can experiment with a different lipstick shade, but using the same one keeps the process super simple and ensures that none of the colors clash.

quick and easy glam makeup using three natural products

TADA! See – We told you it was easy glam makeup 😉 Check out the video demonstration below to see a live walkthrough of these techniques with our founder, Sarah Biggers.


December 07, 2017


There is nothing worse than spending extra time to get ready for a holiday party or night out on the town and then realizing it wore off almost immediately. From my years of working as a makeup artist, I have a handful of tips and tricks that will increase the longevity of your look and make your makeup last all night.

make your makeup last all nightChoose Quality Products
I know this seems obvious, but it really does make a difference. Unfortunately, quality doesn’t necessarily mean expensive; in fact, there are some really high quality and effective drugstore products out there. Select products that have quality ingredients in them that you know work well with your skin.

Prep Work
In order to make your makeup last all night when it comes to complexion, I suggest a two-part prep process for all skin types. First, apply a primer all over your skin. (You can use a designated primer or a moisturizer that works really well with your skin type and products.) Second, dust a translucent setting powder over areas where you tend to get oily and apply your makeup on top of this layer. If you are oily, you can use these steps daily in order to control shine.

Blot + Powder Lip Method
Lipstick is usually one of the first products to fade away due to talk, eating, drinking or – ahem – kissing. You can save yourself from worrying and hassle by using a long-wear liquid lipstick like our Lip Velvet, but if you prefer a lipstick here’s what you do:

  1. Apply lipstick to lips as you would normally
    Press lips together in a blotting motion with a tissue in-between your lips.
    Repeat 1 and 2 until you have desired coverage; this will create a longwear stain.
  2. Apply a little translucent setting powder to your lips if you’re going for a matte look. (I don’t recommend a glossy finish or lip gloss for an all-nighter look as they are difficult to keep in place due to natural oils.)

Setting Spray
Your final step is to create a barrier on your skin to prevent your makeup from transferring and fading. The best way to do this is with a dusting of setting powder, a spritz of a setting spray, or both.


I hope you all have the time of your life ringing in the new year! With these tips in your back pocket, you can make your makeup last all night and start the new year off right!

– Sarah Biggers, Founder and CEO

December 07, 2017


Choosing the right lippie can seem like a daunting task, especially with so.many.shades out there, but we’ve simplified for you with a quick graphic from our founder/makeup artist, Sarah Biggers. This infographic will help you find your perfect lipstick shade, whether for a work appropriate daytime look or a night out on the town.

As always, all the products listed below are made with clean ingredients, and PETA-certified cruelty-free and vegan!

find your perfect lipstick shade

We hope you found this guide helpful and feel confident in finding your perfect lipstick shade!

November 01, 2017


If you do a google search for toxic makeup ingredients, what to avoid in my makeup and skincare, or chemical free makeup (which always makes me laugh, since even water is a chemical), there is no shortage of blog posts and articles with answers.

So why is CLOVE + HALLOW publishing another one?

Because the CLOVE + HALLOW stance on clean cosmetics is a little different (read this article to understand what I mean) and many of our customers are new to the space and looking for a short-and-sweet list that can put into practice immediately.

So instead of providing you with all of the possible toxic makeup ingredients that may be lurking in your products, we’ve decided to simplify with a list of the five toxic ingredients you should always avoid in your personal care products. Beyond these, you should decide where your own personal line in the sand is and purchase products that fit within those parameters.

So, without further ado, here are the five toxic makeup ingredients that you should never let near your skin:

  1. Parabens – A paraben (methylparaben, butylparaben, etc.) is a very effective preservative to stop fungi, bacteria, and microbes from taking over your beauty products. And while truthfully they are pretty badass preservatives, using products formulated with parabens just isn’t worth the risk: they are highly absorbable (a recent study found high levels of parabens in young males just hours after they applied a topical lotion containing parabens) and they have been linked to estrogen-related issues and breast cancer. It just isn’t worth the risk, particularly when there are plenty effective but safe preservative options on the market. Even major retailers are seeing the truth: Target is banning products containing parabens starting in 2020.
  2. Fragrance/Parfum – Actual perfume products aside, most cosmetics have a scent. If you were to read the ingredient list for a standard beauty or personal care good, “fragrance” or “parfum” will be listed 9 out of 10 times. Why does this matter? Those terms are protected as trade secrets by the FDA and therefore unregulated, so the dozens of toxic chemicals (on average, at least 14) that comprise a fragrance do not have to be disclosed. These components are often derived from petroleum and contaminated with toxins that are carcinogenic and irritating, such as formaldehyde and acetone. I like to smell like cotton candy sometimes too, but is it *really* worth it?
  3. Oxybenzone/Avobenzone/Octinoxate – These are three common chemical sunscreens, which means they absorb solar radiation and transform it to prevent sunburn rather than physically deflecting it like a zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. After a single application, these chemicals can be detected in the blood for up to two days and are known for interrupting hormone/endocrine cycles due to mimicking estrogen.
  4. Petroleum/Mineral Oil/Paraffin – These are petrochemicals often contaminated with carcinogens during processing and refinement. Additionally, they are occlusive which means your skin cannot breathe from under them and thus often cause acne, clogged pores, and irritation.
  5. Talc – This absorbent powder has recently risen through the ranks of ingredients to avoid due to some nasty new evidence that points to carcinogenic and irritation risks associated with usage. The main issue is that the mining and processing procedures of the talc we apply to our bodies (and accidentally, often inhale) are unclear, and while pure talc may not be an issue, talc contaminated with asbestos certainly is. The FDA does require testing talc for asbestos, but clearly, that is not enough: there have been multiple incidents over the last decade in which major cosmetic brands were tested positive for containing asbestos, including the most recent incident with the kids clothing store, Justice.

Of course, CLOVE + HALLOW cosmetics never contain the above toxic makeup ingredients and are PETA-certified cruelty-free and vegan, too. We’re not into fear-mongering, but we highly suggest combing through the products you use regularly to toss out any that contain the ingredients above.

We’ll create a more in-depth list down the road for those of you who are really invested (and willing to invest) in clean personal care goods. What are some of the big bad toxic makeup ingredients on your list to avoid?

– Sarah Biggers, Founder and CEO

October 27, 2017


In the early days of CLOVE + HALLOW, I told everyone that my goal for this line was an aura of welcoming inclusivity. In other words, I wanted to create a very real sense of community around my brand – and with real women, not just with elite influencers. With this goal in mind, we recently launched the CLOVE + HALLOW Partnership Programs – a collection of three different programs to suit a wide range of interests and skills.

Keep reading for details on the programs and how to apply!

Are you an Influencer, Ambassador or Pro?

The Pro Program is reserved for professional makeup artists. Having used my makeup freelance career as the launching pad for CLOVE + HALLOW, it’s very important to me that we recognize and support makeup artists looking to add clean, cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics to their kits. To apply, simply fill out this application and email it to programs@cloveandhallow.com — we’ll be in touch within 3-5 business days with our decision. Once accepted, members of our Pro Program will get a 40% off discount code for purchases on cloveandhallow.com as well as access to insider exclusives.

Our Influencer and Ambassador programs are Affiliate Programs and perfect for those of you who want to promote CLOVE + HALLOW in exchange for some sweet perks – like early access to new products, discounted product, and insider exclusives. All that we ask is that you share your love for CLOVE + HALLOW as much as you can!

The biggest difference between the two programs is that Influencers need a platform – such as an established YouTube channel, blog, Instagram, etc. – in order to receive free product and commissions from sales that their promotions generate. To apply for the Influencer program, complete this form.

To be an Ambassador, the only requirement is that you love CLOVE + HALLOW and want to share it with your friends and family (awesome, right?!) As an Ambassador, you will receive insider exclusives, early access to new product launches, and a steep discount code for all your purchases on cloveandhallow.com. To become an Ambassador, please complete this application.

On behalf of the CLOVE + HALLOW team, thank you for all your support. We are so excited to share this journey with you – and the perks ain’t too shabby either 😉


Sarah, Founder and CEO

August 04, 2017


CLOVE + HALLOW’s Clean15™ is a concept that naturally raises many questions, so we thought it would be best to have our founder sit down and explain it in more depth.

At it’s most basic, the Clean15™ is our proprietary formulation strategy that guarantees 1000+ toxic ingredients are replaced with 15 or fewer safe ingredients per base formula. Known endocrine and hormone disruptors, carcinogens, and irritants are eschewed for natural butters, oils, and waxes that are gentler on the skin and safer for absorption.

The concept of the Clean15™ came to be mostly out of my own frustration as a consumer. Once I started to pay closer attention to the ingredients in my cosmetics and personal care goods, I was even more overwhelmed while shopping thanks to mile-long ingredient lists. (And it didn’t seem to matter if it was a natural brand or not; reading ingredient labels from almost every product I came across made me feel like I was in a PhD chemistry course!) So when I decided that I was going to launch my own clean, cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics line, I knew I had to come up with a way to guarantee simplicity and minimalist formulas. Clean15™ is that solution.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, CLOVE + HALLOW wasn’t created to be the cleanest or greenest cosmetics line on the market; our goal is simply to create affordable, safe products that are up to my professional standards as a makeup artist, and the Clean15™ helps us accomplish that goal. That being said, we do have an expansive list of acceptable ingredients and an even more robust blacklist of ingredients we will never allow in our formulas. What are some of those? Scroll down to find out!

Ingredients we NEVER use:

  • Animal by-products
  • Parabens
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Synthetic fragrance
  • Synthetic flavors
  • PEG- compounds
  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalates
  • Talc
  • Bismuth Oxychloride
  • Mineral Oil
  • Paraffin Oil
  • BHA and BHT
  • Hydroquinone
  • Oxybenzone
  • SLS and SLES
  • Triclosan

Ingredients we DO use:

  • Jojoba, Castor, Sweet Almond, Argan, Coconut, and Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride oils
  • Cocoa, Shea, and Mango butters
  • Carnauba, Candelilla, and Sunflower waxes
  • Silica
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Boron Nitride
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Iron Oxidess
  • FD&C dyes (we start with iron oxides and supplement with such small percentages of lake dyes that we think it’s worth the tradeoff for awesome pigmentation and shade range)
  • Tocopherol (vitamin e)
  • Rice Bran, Rosemary, and Sunflower Extracts
  • Coconut Alkanes (a natural emollient with a silicone-esque feel, used primarily to reduce dimethicone concentration)
  • Dimethicone (a silky synthetic oil silicone used to create slip, adhesion, and smooth texture, used occasionally in our color cosmetics in small amounts typically as a dispersion oil for pigments)

While these lists are not exhaustive by any means, they are a good starting place of CLOVE + HALLOW’s basic YAY and NAY ingredient lists. When we do occasionally use a synthetic, it’s for a legitimate purpose in the formula such as texture, shade range, or wear-time, and never selected just for cheap filler like so many brands out there do. If you see an ingredient on here or in one of our formulas that you have a question about, please let us know so we can explain the purpose of that ingredient and why we chose to utilize it.

July 05, 2017