Coming Clean is a monthly series where we interview people about their relationship with clean beauty - the good, bad and ugly. We hope these interviews will serve as a platform for raw and vulnerable discussion, but if you only take away one thing, it should be this: there is no right or wrong way - there is only your way.
Sammie Kolk is a clean beauty makeup artist. Check out our interview with her as part of CLOVE + HALLOW's monthly Coming Clean series.
WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO USING CLEANER BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
I know this is a common answer, but back in 2011, my health really started to suffer. I was often having horrible migraines and feeling just overall lethargic and sick. I started to see a holistic nutritionist and chiropractor and was advised to take some blood tests etc. I found out I was intolerant to wheat, sensitive to dairy and needed to cut out refined sugars...basically, eat way cleaner lol. At that time, I was already using some cleaner skincare and a couple of years later, decided it was time to fully purge and start focusing in ALL areas of my life. Food, home, skincare, beauty and more. Once I started swapping out used up conventional products for cleaner beauty products, I was so impressed and noticed such a difference in my skin and the way I felt (mentally, physically and even emotionally) there was no turning back! Not to mention, knowing that what I was putting on my skin was actually helping it and benefiting my body and overall health was in itself a game changer. :)
WHICH BEAUTY PRODUCT DID YOU SWAP FIRST?
Skincare first - cleansers, toners, masks and such and then deodorant and lipstick came next!
WAS BEAUTY THE FIRST THING YOU SWITCHED WHEN MOVING TO A CLEANER LIFESTYLE?
Pretty much, yes! Aside from cleaning up my eating habits (food I consumed).
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CLEAN BEAUTY STAPLES?
Skincare: Cleansing Balm - I've been obsessed with how it takes off makeup so well. I love that it's somewhat solid, so you can work the oil into your skin more, rather than a cleansing oil, which is already liquidy and has more of a slip. I also love a cleansing milk, since I double cleanse. A hydrating face mist, water-based serum, hydrating eye-cream - makes putting concealer on a dream, then face oil and masks! I LOVE TO MASK!
Makeup: An amazing concealer (I usually just spot conceal and buff out), mascara that stays put and doesn't flake or transfer, a great flush cream cheek colour, eyebrow gel (thankfully my brows are microbladed and I don't have to do that much to them) and a bright lipstick!
"ONCE I HAVE ON ALL OF THAT, I START MY MORNING GUA SHA RITUAL - I USUALLY DO 5 STROKES EACH SIDE OF MY FACE."
WHAT DOES YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?
I only cleanse at night (double cleanse method, using a cleansing balm/oil and cleansing milk afterward). In the morning, I use lukewarm water to splash on my face and a damp cloth in the mornings to remove excess oils (if I have much at all). I also exfoliate every 2-3 days with a mild exfoliant! When my face is clean, I spritz it with a face mist and press it into my skin. I then apply a water-based serum, to impart hydration back into the skin. I apply my eye-cream, and then a face oil. Once I have on all of that, I start my morning Gua Sha ritual - I usually do 5 strokes each side of my face.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO SEE IN THE FUTURE FROM CLEAN BEAUTY?
Clean beauty has come such a long way from what it was and I'm so stoked to see where it's at and what it's still becoming! I'm excited for even better formulations, longer-lasting products and fun colours and hopefully, clean beauty gaining more recognition and being used way more in the coming years!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WANTING TO TRANSITION TO CLEANER BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
Baby steps! Make sure you're doing ample research and really digging into what the ingredients are, their source and why they're being used. Ask lots of questions! Download apps such as EWG and Think Dirty and know that this is your decision and your personal journey. Do not stress, stress is more toxic than using a conventional beauty product from time to time...for real. And you definitely shouldn't ever feel guilted or shamed into choosing cleaner options, and you do not have to give up certain products right away! Use them up and when they're empty then go for a cleaner option! There are so many resources out there and I'm always happy to help too!
"DO NOT STRESS, STRESS IS MORE TOXIC THAN USING A CONVENTIONAL BEAUTY PRODUCT FROM TIME TO TIME...FOR REAL."