Clean Swap: Less Makeup Is More–and Much More Fun

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Clean Swap: Less Makeup Is More–and Much More Fun

In partnership with our friends at The Organic Pharmacy

On a several-month deployment in Germany and Poland during the pandemic, Army captain (and now goop junior beauty
editor) Erica Ndlovu was facing some major breakouts. “I’ve always had breakouts and acne scars, but I was dealing
with a real flare-up,” she says. “I was insecure about my skin, so I’d put on tons of makeup to cover it all up, and
it just wasn’t working. I never considered whether the chemicals in conventional makeup might be part of the

After Ndlovu switched to clean makeup, she also found herself using less. “My skin has significantly improved,
enough that I need less coverage than I used to. So I’m getting into the fun of makeup–it used to be such a chore!”
she says. “Plus, my skin looks dewy and feels amazing.” Below, Ndlovu’s all-time clean favorites.


I love beginning my day with a fresh face. This luxurious cleanser made with diamond powder and salicylic
acid gently exfoliates my skin while giving it a great boost of moisture with coconut oil and shea butter.
What I love most is how clean it leaves my skin feeling, along with the subtle rose scent that’s such a
treat first thing in the morning.


After cleansing, I start with this light moisturizer–it leaves my skin smooth, hydrated, and luminous, but
it doesn’t make me break out (which some face creams do). It’s great on its own with sunscreen, and it’s
also amazing under concealer or foundation.


This airy sodium-hyaluronate-infused foundation blends seamlessly into my skin, leaving it looking even
and dewy. I love how buildable it is and the fact that it’s the perfect size to toss in your bag for a quick


I have acne scarring. This creamy concealer has the best there-but-not-really-there finish. I dot it
directly on the spots I want to lighten up, then I blend it in with my finger or a brush. It blends so
well–it comes in a great range of shades and leaves no visible texture behind–so my skin just looks like
it’s in great shape, not like I’m wearing concealer.


I’ve never been an eye-makeup wiz (patience isn’t my strong suit), but this smooth inky eyeliner is so easy
to use–it’s perfect for me. Place a few dots as close to your lash line as possible, then just connect the
dots. Blend it using the smudger on the other end and: done.


This mascara leaves my lashes super defined, thick, and glossy. Made with beeswax, shea butter, and a
mineral complex that conditions your eyelashes, it also lengthens as it thickens. One coat is a great
everyday look, and I like to do a few coats for extra-long, lifted lashes if I’m going out.


I’ve always loved thick eyebrows, and this gel shapes and defines for brows that are totally natural but
also nicely bold. And it’s easy to use: I brush up toward my temples and it always pulls my whole look together.


A simple swipe of this berry-red cream blush brings warmth and depth to my whole face. It’s super
hydrating, so it leaves my cheeks with a nice plump, dewy look. I also love it on my lips and eyelids–it’s
the ultimate multitasker.


I love a natural-looking glow with a little shimmer. This cream highlighter has a gorgeous rose-gold sheen
that looks amazing blended over my cheekbones and browbones and at the bridge of my nose and my Cupid’s bow.
It’s subtly iridescent and elevates any no-makeup makeup look.


This luxurious palette nourishes my lips and gives gorgeous long-lasting color. I love to dab it on with my
fingers for a your-lips-but-better stain, and when I apply it with a brush, it’s a beautiful full-on

Wondering which shade is right for you? Have other questions? Message us at [email protected] for personal assistance.

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