You’ve decided to switch to nontoxic makeup. Awesome!! When I made this decision, I was really excited but quickly got overwhelmed. Where do I start? Are there any stores near me? Where do I shop? What products should I buy first? What shade(s) am I? How do I know if the product(s) will work for me? You get the point. Well, it really doesn’t have to be complicated, stressful, or expensive to get started with clean beauty. In this post, I’ll share a few tips and my favorite places to shop so far.

One of the most awesome things I have learned so far about the clean beauty community is that pretty much everyone “gets it”. Bloggers, brands, store owners–they all understand that 1) you are making a conscious choice to switch from what you are using now to products and brands you are less familiar with, 2) it would be much easier for you to just keep using the readily available and sometimes much more affordable products despite the fact that they might be toxic and/or harming your health, and 3) shopping for things as personal as skincare/makeup/fragrance online can be intimidating (and discouraging when you do make a purchase and are not happy with it).

My first tip: if you have a question, just ask! Almost every brand and person I have had contact with so far in the clean beauty community has been incredibly accommodating and helpful. I have asked multiple bloggers questions via instagram and email and they have all gotten back to me within a day. I have asked store owners questions and they have responded quickly–some stores will even color match you and recommend products based on a picture you send them. I responded to one brand’s request for reviewers and have already gotten my first product to try even though I’m totally new to this. So everyone’s pretty cool and very approachable so far, and for the most part, we all just want to help each other and use/share healthier and safer self care products.

My second tip: buy sample kits before you buy the product. If you have used a brand before, know the place has a great return policy, or are super wealthy and don’t mind being wasteful, then ordering everything online at once will probably be great for you. If you are someone who likes to see, smell, and feel something before you commit to wearing it on your face all day everyday for the next month, trying a sample kit is literally the best (and most fun) way to get started. I try to be pretty thorough when deciding on a beauty product/makeup color; I try to find multiple reviews and swatches on skin that is similar tone to mine before deciding what to buy. I can’t tell you how many times multiple reviews have said something performs well (or especially ‘smells amazing’) and when I get it home I am disappointed. I am very lucky to have less picky friends and a little sister who have no problem taking my hand me downs when this happens, haha.

To make sure you like a product before buying the full size, here are some awesome sample kits for getting started in clean beauty:

1. Crunchi Foundation Sample Pack $10 (free shipping)
You can try out every available shade of this awesome light/medium coverage foundation. The little pots can probably last about 3 applications each if used sparingly. They even include a sample of their primer.

2. Hynt Duet Perfecting Concealer Sample Set $6 (free shipping)
This is like *the* concealer everyone uses, apparently. It has been sold out everywhere lately. This sample set comes in your choice of two shades (Fair and Light, Light and Medium, Medium and Tan, Tan and Dark, or Dark and Deep). I got Fair and Light. I also ordered a sample of their Aria Lipstick in Shiraz for $3. Click here for the link to all of their samples.

3. Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation Sample Kit in Fair-Light $15 ($5 shipping, so $20 total)
This kit is also available in shade choices Light-Medium and Medium-Dark. The kit is advertised as coming with two lip colors; as you can see, I got four. It also comes with a 10% off coupon to go towards your full-size purchase.

4. Vapour Organic Beauty Sample Kit $15 ($2.75 shipping if purchasing no other products)
This is the most customizable kit. You can select 5 products to try at a time. Any shade of any of their products, I think, and it includes skincare, primers, their organic lip balm, and even a perfume. I have ordered two different sample kits and been really pleased with this line so far. Once you place your sample kit order, you will receive a $10 off promo code to use toward your full-size purchase.

All of these brands and samples will give you a great start for transitioning to cleaner and safer beauty products. Even when sending a picture to be color matched to a professional makeup artist, lighting or different computer/phone screen colors could be misleading. The best possible way to choose colors that are a match for your skin is to try them out.

Finally, my third tip is to take your time! For most people, it isn’t realistic to make a complete switch to 100% clean beauty overnight. Give yourself time and a budget if you want, and go at your own pace. If you have to interact with the world on a daily basis (have a job or are a mom) and care about how you look, don’t throw out all of your current/previous makeup and skincare products right away. Even if you are able to buy everything all at once, you aren’t guaranteed to find everything that you need, want and are used to. For example, I used Proactiv forever and really counted on a couple of their products to clear up a breakout quickly. I know what to do and what results to expect/when my skin will be clear when using them. I don’t work and stay at home most days, so a pimple or two won’t kill me if they come up. But if I have an important event or something coming up, I have kept those products and will use them if I need to until I find a comparable replacement. Same for hair products and this one Chanel lip color I spent forever trying to find. They are toxic and I plan to stop using them when I am satisfied with their replacements.

Bottom line, becoming more aware of what we put in and on our bodies and deciding to choose cleaner and healthier products kicks ass. It’s a great choice for our health and hopefully sends a message to the food and beauty industries that we aren’t ok with ingesting or applying certain ingredients and so many potentially harmful toxins. It isn’t necessarily easy and won’t completely happen overnight, though. But that’s how it is with all great things, right?

Xo, Edie