COMING CLEAN WITH SARAH JAMES
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.
Sarah is a green beauty blogger and expert. 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?
Around seven or eight years ago, I cleaned up my diet due to some health issues and started a bit of a deep dive into personal care products and the lack of government regulation here in the United States. I knew intuitively that what goes on your body was just as important as what goes in your body, so I made it my mission to find the best of the best in terms of clean beauty and skincare products.
"I MADE IT MY MISSION TO FIND THE BEST OF THE BEST IN TERMS OF CLEAN BEAUTY AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS."
WHICH BEAUTY PRODUCT DID YOU SWAP FIRST?
Well, I’m a self-professed makeup junkie and I knew I would have to make major strides in terms of my makeup bag, which at the time, was filled with NARS, Chanel, and other not-so-clean luxury brands. I actually found a post I wrote in 2014 documenting my beauty overhaul! Back then, the options were pretty limited. It’s fantastic to have so many clean beauty brands and retailers now!
WAS BEAUTY THE FIRST THING YOU SWITCHED WHEN MOVING TO A CLEANER LIFESTYLE?
I focused on my diet first. I cut out gluten and dairy years ago—my mind and body do so much better when I’m not eating those two culprits. (Although, maaaaaaaan, I love me some cheese.)
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CLEAN BEAUTY STAPLES?
Products that are always in rotation are Ouli’s ointment (it’s all-purpose but I love to use it on my cheekbones as a highlight), Kjaer Weis cream blushes, Fitglow Beauty Lip Serums, and all sorts of bronzers. I love to warm up my skin with bronzer and then add a pop of pink cream blush on the apples of my cheeks. It’s a forty-something woman’s best friend, trust me. My newest obsession is the CLOVE + HALLOW Lip Mask—it’s like a clean version of petroleum jelly. Love the mint chocolate scent.
WHAT DOES YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?
Cleanse, Tone, Treat, Moisturize—I always abide by those four steps daily. I am constantly trying new things for the blog, but I can’t live without African Botanics serums, MUN Anarose Toner, and my beloved One Love Organics Easy Does It Foaming Face Wash. I like to mask two to three times a week as well.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO SEE IN THE FUTURE FROM CLEAN BEAUTY?
I am LOVING all of the clean fragrances that are popping up. Fragrance is such an offender when it comes to our health, and I love seeing clean versions of perfumes. Also, I’m consistently on the hunt for my “signature fragrance,” so I’m more than happy to try everything!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WANTING TO TRANSITION TO CLEANER BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
Think big—meaning larger areas of skin. I would look for body care products first…lotions, creams, deodorants, and shampoo and conditioner. If you absolutely love a not-so-clean lipstick, don’t feel like you simply must throw it out immediately! You definitely don’t need to completely overhaul everything in one weekend like, ahem, someone I know. Take your time, find clean beauty experts and bloggers that you align with and trust, and the cards will fall into place!