MOTHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE

MOTHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE

We've never met a woman who doesn't have at least one life-changing gift, whether it's her warmth, her intuition, her creativity, her intelligence, or her eye for beauty. In short: Women are pretty damn awesome. That's why this Mother's Day, we're focusing on all the amazing women in your life—and helping you choose a gift that's worthy of everything that makes each so special.

Find the woman (or women!) below that you're shopping for, then grab the products for 15% off through Mother's Day.

LINE + DEFINE IN MOCHA, $20
Our liquid liner refuses to smudge, flake, or bleed. (Translation: it's as powerful as mama!) The rich Mocha shade is as gorgeous as black, but slightly subtler—and looks amazing on every eye color.

LIP BUNDLE, $53
Lip Velvet, one of our all-time best-selling products, is a liquid-to-matte lipstick that dries down to a comfortable budge-proof finish. Lip Crème drenches your lips in luxurious, creamy color. Lip Glaze offers inspired color and a dazzling finish without stickiness. This set lets you grab one of each in shades you know she'll love.

SHOP ALL GIFTS FOR MOM

LIP CARE DUO, $28
Long story short: These babies have sold out five times. Using them is like a tiny moment of self-care. Auntie will luxuriate in exfoliating with the Lip Polish, then swiping on the collagen-boosting Lip Mask, which feels as smooth as petroleum jelly (sans the icky ingredients).

LIP CRÈME, $23
For the aunt that's always on top of trends, you've got to grab a shade or two of our creamy, nourishing lipstick with one-swipe pigmentation. Some favorite shades to choose from: Blooming, our cool hot pink; Flaming Coral, our orange-toned bright red; and Desert Rose, our bestselling, everyday nude.

LOCK + ROCK MAKEUP MIST, $28
Everyone loves dewy skin and budge-proof makeup. Get both in one go with Lock + Rock. Fortified with skin-loving ingredients like hydrating hyaluronic acid, nourishing vitamin B5, and brightening organic licorice extract, our mist creates a smooth canvas for makeup, then locks it in place for maximum wear—all while adding a subtle, glowy finish. Tell your favorite aunt she can use it alone after her skincare routine for a little added radiance.

SHOP ALL GIFTS FOR YOUR AUNT

SUNRISE PRESSED PIGMENT PALETTE, $36
Legit every shadow shade she could ever need. Our Sunrise palette comes with six different shades—four shimmers and two mattes—that can be combined together to form endless looks. For an added boost, an antioxidant complex of rosemary, rice bran, and sunflower extracts soothes and protects the delicate eye area.

LIQUID LIGHT EXFOLIATING HYDROGEL ESSENCE, $32
Does your sis obsesses over all the new skincare launches? She's got to try Liquid Light. Our alcohol- and fragrance-free treatment toner utilizes a refining complex of lactic acid and fruit-derived alpha hydroxy acids to gently slough away dead skin cells and increase cellular turnover. Hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA hydrate and plump the complexion.

BESTSELLING BOLDS LIP BUNDLE, $53
For the sister who loves having all eyes on her. Fiesta is a bright, orange-toned red shade of Lip Velvet, one of our all-time best-selling products. This liquid-to-matte lipstick dries down to a comfortable budge-proof finish. Blooming is a blue-toned hot pink Lip Crème shade. The formula drenches your lips in luxurious, creamy color. Prep is a pinky coral shade in our Lip Glaze formula, which offers a dazzling finish without stickiness.

SHOP ALL GIFTS FOR YOUR SIS

DAILY ESSENTIALS LIP BUNDLE, $53
No mom can resist our rotation of uber-flattering nude shades for everyday. Sugarbear is a deep, neutral mauve shade of Lip Velvet, one of our all-time best-selling products. This liquid-to-matte lipstick dries down to a comfortable budge-proof finish. Desert Rose is a neutral mid-tone nude Lip Crème shade. The formula drenches your lips in luxurious, creamy color. Angelic is a pinky nude shade in our Lip Glaze formula, which offers a dazzling finish without stickiness.

GIFT CARD, ANY AMOUNT
TBH, some in-laws are just tough to shop for. Let her grab what she needs in her makeup bag most!

SHOP ALL GIFTS FOR YOUR M.I.L.

LIQUID LIGHT EXFOLIATING HYDROGEL ESSENCE, $32
If you haven't treated yourself to our newest skincare launch, Liquid Light, now is the time! Our alcohol- and fragrance-free treatment toner utilizes a refining complex of lactic acid and fruit-derived alpha hydroxy acids to gently slough away dead skin cells and increase cellular turnover. Hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA hydrate and plump the complexion.

SUNRISE PRESSED PIGMENT PALETTE & LINE + DEFINE DUO, $49
From an everyday cat eye to sexy smokey vibes, our eye bundle includes the two essentials you need to create a stunning look. After you apply your shadow with Sunrise Pressed Pigment Palette, paint on Line + Define Liquid Eyeliner for the ultimate finished look. Both feature intense pigmentation rarely seen in clean beauty and long-wearing formulas that prevent fading, smudging, and bleeding.

LIP BUNDLE, $53
Lip Velvet, one of our all-time best-selling products, is a liquid-to-matte lipstick that dries down to a comfortable budge-proof finish. Lip Crème drenches your lips in luxurious, creamy color. Lip Glaze offers inspired color and a dazzling finish without stickiness. This set lets you grab one of each in shades you love the most.

SHOP ALL GIFTS FOR YOU!

April 27, 2021
FEBRUARY 2021 VANITY JAMS

FEBRUARY 2021 VANITY JAMS

One of our favorite parts about doing our makeup has always been blasting music to get pumped up for the day. (Cue the flashbacks of singing into a hairbrush in middle school. We all did it!) In our Vanity Jams blog series, we're curating the perfect monthly playlist for your daily glam session.
February 15, 2021
RED LIPSTICK: A HISTORY

RED LIPSTICK: A HISTORY

Throughout time, women have pretty much always had a deep, powerful relationship with their beauty routines. To celebrate Women's History Month, we're curating some of the most historically significant moments surrounding one of our all-time favorite products: red lipstick.
March 11, 2020
COMING CLEAN WITH THIS ORGANIC GIRL

COMING CLEAN WITH THIS ORGANIC GIRL

Lisa is a Green Beauty + Wellness blogger. Check out our interview with her as part of CLOVE + HALLOW's monthly Coming Clean series.
October 11, 2019
COMING CLEAN WITH KARI BYERS

COMING CLEAN WITH KARI BYERS

Welcome to our first edition of Coming Clean! Coming Clean is a monthly series where we interview people about their journey from conventional to clean products. We created these interviews to showcase that the transition to a cleaner lifestyle is unique to everyone and there's no one "right" way to make the switch. 

Kari Byers is a Green Beauty + Wellness blogger. Check out our interview with her as part of CLOVE + HALLOW's monthly Coming Clean series.

@bloomandclementine

WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO USING CLEANER BEAUTY PRODUCTS?

This seems to be a popular answer, but, my own health is what prompted my switch. It began with recognizing the toll that the overuse of antibiotics (during childhood) and birth control pills had taken on my system. After working with a Naturopath to help heal my body from the inside, I met a Holistic Aesthetician that worked in the same practice. She helped me heal my hormonal acne due to post birth control syndrome. After seeing the dramatic changes in the health of my body and skin, I was determined to make other changes and over a span of many years made switches to my entire Beauty routine.  This has spilled over into every area of my life, including home care, Motherhood, nutrition and I love that there is still so much to learn. 

WHICH BEAUTY PRODUCT DID YOU SWAP FIRST?

My basic skincare routine (ie. cleanser, toner, moisturizer). I switched from drugstore products that worked against my skin’s natural barrier, oils, and microbiome to a natural oil based regimen which transformed my skin. My routine now consists of an oil cleanser, hydrosol toner, serum, and face oils/balms. My skin has never been better! 

WAS BEAUTY THE FIRST THING YOU SWITCHED WHEN MOVING TO A CLEANER LIFESTYLE? 

Food and eating healthy has always been a major focus for me. Growing up in a Ukrainian family, whole foods were always used to promote wellness and health. I was always given fruits and vegetables as snacks, fed whole food and plant-based meals and I believe that instilled healthy habits in my adult life. Beauty came second. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CLEAN BEAUTY STAPLES?

For skincare: Oil cleanser (MUST), a good serum and a good mask. When it comes to makeup: a good foundation, a voluminous mascara, and filled in brows! 

WHAT DOES YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?

Every morning and night I begin by oil cleansing, tone, followed by a good serum and face oil. During the day I make sure I apply a non-nano Zinc Oxide based sunscreen to my face and neck. About 1-2 times a week I make sure I gently exfoliate and use a good face mask. Also, it’s important to ALWAYS bring your skincare down your décolletage. 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO SEE IN THE FUTURE FROM CLEAN BEAUTY?

The clean beauty movement has grown exponentially in the last ten years. There are SO many options that WORK now. I want to see the growth continue and hopefully, one day green beauty will be at the forefront of the beauty industry (we’re getting closer and closer).

 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WANTING TO TRANSITION TO CLEANER BEAUTY PRODUCTS?

Take your time, find what products work for YOU. Do your research and decide what you’re most comfortable with using. Apps like the Think Dirty app can be a good resource, but you might need to dig further. 

October 10, 2019
EARN $$$ BY JOINING OUR AFFILIATE PROGRAM

EARN $$$ BY JOINING OUR AFFILIATE PROGRAM

Love all things CLOVE + HALLOW? When you spread the love, we send it right back- with commission! Anyone can join our Affiliate Program by signing up on ShareASale.

How will ShareASale earn you money?

By joining ShareASale (for free!) and registering with CLOVE + HALLOW (Merchant ID: #71385) you will receive a unique link to share. You can share this link on social media, your own website, or even with family and friends! For every sale your link generates, you'll receive a 10% commission! Pretty cool, huh?

ShareASale is open to anyone and everyone who wants to promote CLOVE + HALLOW and earn some dough at the same time.

Big on social media?

Are you a social butterfly? Good news! You can sign up for ShareASale, as well as apply to our Influencer Program. Influencers receive free product to review, discounts, and special access to events and promotions. To learn more about our Influencer Program click here.

So what are you waiting for? Become an affiliate with CLOVE + HALLOW today!

October 09, 2019
4 WAYS MAKEUP MELT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER

4 WAYS MAKEUP MELT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER

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 dime-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?

October 09, 2019
IS YOUR MAKEUP RIGHT FOR YOUR FACE SHAPE?

IS YOUR MAKEUP RIGHT FOR YOUR FACE SHAPE?

Ever been pumped to try out a new makeup look that looked amazing on somebody else—only to realize you look a bit... off? Chances are, the way you're applying your makeup, especially your bronzer, blush, and highlighter, may not be ideal for your face shape. Let's dig a little deeper.

First, take a peek at this quick visual overview of the different face shapes out there. Which reminds you most of yours? Don’t worry if you don’t fall squarely into one category—while many people can definitively determine their face shape, sometimes people fall between two shapes. In that case, consider both.

So, what does this mean for your makeup? Contour and bronzer, highlighter, and blush not only give dimension to the face but can also be used to slightly reshape..

IF YOU HAVE AN OVAL FACE...
  • Apply blush to the apples of the cheeks in order to create visual roundness.
  • Use bronzer on your jawline and hairline to help the face appear slightly less long.
  • Pop highlighter on top of cheekbones to accentuate the roundness of your cheeks even more.
  • IF YOU HAVE A SQUARE FACE...
  • Apply blush to the apples of the cheeks in order to create visual roundness.
  • Contour the temples to visually bring them inward.
  • Pop highlighter on top of cheekbones to accentuate the roundness of your cheeks even more.
  • IF YOU HAVE A ROUND FACE...
  • Apply your blush a little further back on the cheeks to avoid emphasizing roundness.
  • Contour the temples to visually bring them inward, and consider playing up a jawline contour in order to create a defined jawline.
  • Apply your highlighter a bit further back on the cheeks as well, so cheeks look slightly less round.
  • IF YOU HAVE AN OBLONG FACE...
  • Apply blush to the apples of the cheeks in order to create visual roundness.
  • Use bronzer on your jawline and hairline to help the face appear slightly less long.
  • Pop highlighter on top of cheekbones to accentuate the roundness of your cheeks even more.
  • IF YOU HAVE A HEART FACE...
  • Apply your blush a little further back on the cheeks to avoid emphasizing roundness.
  • When applying bronzer, avoid the jawline—you want to take attention away from the heart shape's angular jawline.
  • Apply your highlighter a bit further back on the cheeks as well, so cheeks look slightly less round.

  • IF YOU HAVE A DIAMOND FACE...
  • Apply blush to the apples of the cheeks in order to create visual roundness.
  • Contour the temples to visually bring them inward. But when applying bronzer, avoid the jawline—you want to take attention away from the diamond shape's angular jawline.
  • Pop highlighter on top of cheekbones to accentuate the roundness of your cheeks even more.
  • 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.

    October 09, 2019
    SAFE SYNTHETICS: WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW WE USE THEM

    SAFE SYNTHETICS: WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW WE USE THEM

    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.

    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 DOES 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:

    Pigment. 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.

    Preservative. 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.

    Performance. 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!

    Sarah Founder + CEO

    October 09, 2019
    DETERMINING YOUR UNDERTONE: FROM A PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP ARTIST

    DETERMINING YOUR UNDERTONE: FROM A PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP ARTIST

    Figuring out your undertone is a critical component of any great makeup look, but it’s so overwhelming! Pink, yellow, olive, neutral—how does one know? Our 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—it means you fall smack dab in the middle. And if you’re neutral with a slightly gray or green cast (it’s a gorgeous undertone, but difficult to describe with pretty words), you have an olive undertone.

    THE THREE HACKS FOR DETERMINING YOUR UNDERTONE:

    Observe your skin tone. Look at your skin. 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.

    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’re most likely a pink undertone.

    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.

    Finally, here’s a guide to your CLOVE + HALLOW complexion product options based on your undertone. We’re constantly adding new shades, so if you don’t see a match, you probably will soon!

    PINK CONCEAL + CORRECT: Shades 01, 12, 14 PRESSED MINERAL FOUNDATION: Shades 01, 04, 07, 11, 13

    YELLOW CONCEAL + CORRECT: Shades 02, 08, 10 PRESSED MINERAL FOUNDATION: Shades 06, 07, 09, 10

    NEUTRAL CONCEAL + CORRECT: Shades 02, 03, 04, 06, 13 PRESSED MINERAL FOUNDATION: Shades 02, 03, 05, 08, 12, 14

    OLIVE CONCEAL + CORRECT: Shades 04, 06 PRESSED MINERAL FOUNDATION: Shades 06, 08

    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!

    October 04, 2019
    HOW TO MAKE A COSMETICS LINE

    HOW TO MAKE A COSMETICS LINE

    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!

    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 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.

    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!

    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.

    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!)

    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.

    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!

    Sarah Founder + CEO of CLOVE + HALLOW

    October 04, 2019
    ORGANIC, NATURAL, GREEN, AND CLEAN. WHAT?

    ORGANIC, NATURAL, GREEN, AND CLEAN. WHAT?

    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!

    October 04, 2019