Sarah Rose is one of my all time favorite people. Laney and I met her through a work dinner event, and it felt like fate. Our whole world is clean beauty and safe products, but we hadn’t yet met many people who were showing the community what these products could really do. Sarah Rose demonstrated the power of naturals with her Red Lips, Glossy Eyes beauty look here on our site- and there’s a Spring version coming out soon too!
She’s an awesome makeup artist committed to using only clean products, our go-to source for all makeup and ingredient related questions, and a wonderful friend. I feel so much lighter when I walk into a press event and see her smiling face. She’s our Moment Maker of the week because she defines the meaning of community-building in the clean beauty world with her makeup therapy sessions and work with Creme Collective as their Retail Relations Manager. If Sarah Rose’s passion for clean beauty doesn’t inspire you to overhaul your makeup collection, we don’t know what will!
The Moment: Can you tell us a little bit about how you became a makeup artist and what being a makeup therapist means to you?
Sarah Rose: I wish more people asked this question! The long version, is that I grew up singing and dancing and being at the epicenter of a room full of girls getting ready before a performance. I always had a strong interest in beauty; from a young age I used nail polish to paint in the patterns on paper towels when my grandma babysat me, and gave all my Barbies a haircut. So naturally, I was the one with a curling wand in one hand and a tube of lipstick in the other trying to put everyone together before our shows. The buzzing energy in a room full of girls getting ready, and being able to transform a woman’s confidence was my first experience with makeup artistry.
When I got to college at the University of Vermont, my passion for beauty persisted but there was something that felt less fun about it than when we used to put on makeup before a performance. I realized that I had formed a dependence on makeup as a tool for confidence, and didn’t like the way I looked without it. I learned that wearing it or not wearing it shaped my social interactions and my relationships. When I wasn’t wearing it, I lacked the confidence to show up the best way I possibly could in my life.
At the time, I was working at a conventional beauty store, while also getting a degree in Environmental Studies. Within the degree–I gained insight into how unregulated the Beauty industry is, and what drives it. I suddenly realized that the Beauty industry thrives on women feeling exactly the way I was feeling. The idea of perfectionism and the social construct of beauty had driven women to consume beauty products like they never had before–and without even questioning what ingredients they were applying to their skin. Due to intense marketing that over-promised solutions, women were so fast to purchase products that would under-deliver results–while also compromising their health. In my true crunchy, liberal activist state–I declared this phenomenon a social injustice and knew I had to do something about it.
A quick fix does not amount to a sustainable solution and to truly solve a problem you would need to get to the root of the cause. I applied this principal to my work as a clean makeup artist and took it one step further. Instead of overwhelming someone with products, why not reconstruct a healthier relationship with makeup where they felt more comfortable with less? Most of what women are trying to “cover up” with makeup, are concerns that can be addressed with skincare, diet, a reduction of stress, and a paradigm shift. It’s my job to introduce them to the concept that beauty is socially constructed, and to question the messenger instead of being critical of themselves.
My job as a makeup therapist is to dig deep and mend a broken, toxic relationship with beauty. It’s so important to me because I was that person with an extremely broken relationship with beauty and through discovering clean beauty and helping women find that same, unadulterated confidence I saw so many years ago backstage, I have a restored sense of fun in beauty again.
The Moment: Let’s talk about non-toxic makeup. Why is it important to you and what brands do you love to support?
Sarah Rose: When I first started working with completely non-toxic makeup, I used to focus on expressing the fact that converting was the healthier choice. I soon changed my tune after seeing how harmoniously these clean products, with primarily plant-based ingredients, work with our skin and bodies! And it all clicked–of course these products are often better received into our skin and bodies. We’ve grown with these ingredients in nature, so our bodies can recognize them and put them to efficient and effective use.
I love micro-makers–the super small, privately operated brands who still have prominent founder involvement. I could go on and on about skincare brands that I love to support. When it comes to makeup, my go-to’s are: Vapour, Rituel De Fille, Kosas and Kjaer Weis. Vapour for complexion–their foundations are hugely transformative. Rituel de Fille is really the brand bringing an edginess to their color range, and with serious impact (check out their campaigns, they are stunning!). Kosas lipsticks are out. of. this. world. A 6 hour wear with a fine tuned color range that is super wearable. And Kjaer Weis, sustainable and luxurious with incredible performance across the board.
The Moment: What’s your beauty philosophy?
Sarah Rose: More is certainly not more. I know in America we’re conditioned to think more is better, but it’s truly not the case. Keep your routine minimal but impactful. Plus, less time in the mirror allows you to experience all the dimensions that life has to offer you! Put down your mirror, put down your phone and go build your world by your own standards. I often get women coming to see me who always say they feel like they “should” be wearing makeup a certain way. I ask them one simple question: “says who?”. More often than not, it’s the media. I encourage women to stop listening to the “shoulds” and start listening to themselves.
The Moment: 5 things you always keep in your makeup tool belt when working on clients?
- Patyka lifting lotion
- Kosas color + light palette in Tropic Equinox
- Vapour luminous foundation stick
- Lipstick (can also be used as blush)
The Moment: What’s in your travel makeup bag right now? The items that must go with you absolutely everywhere?
- Vapour luminoux foundation stick
- Kosas lipstick in Electra
- W3ll People Mascara in Pro Blue
- Rituel de Fille inner glow cream pigment in Lovesick
The Moment: You have the best lashes! What’s your secret?
Sarah Rose: Plume Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum! At the time of these photos though, full disclosure, I had lash extensions put on as a consolation prize after a breakup. I know they aren’t the healthiest but real talk: sometimes you just have to treat yourself and don’t shame yourself for bending your own rules.
The Moment: Any exciting projects you’re working on right now that you’d like to share?
Sarah Rose: Well I just joined the Créme Collective team full time, as their retail relations manager on the East coast and I have at least one moment every day where I feel like I’m exactly where I need to be. Créme Collective is a prestige creative and sales management agency that represents nearly 10 clean beauty brands. I have the privilege of training and building relationships at the accounts that sell these brands. A huge part of the clean beauty space that sets it apart from conventional beauty is that it’s a very supportive community, so being able to expand the community while also increasing knowledge on clean beauty brings me so much joy.
The Moment: What knowledge or piece of advice would you like to share with someone brand new to clean beauty, or just thinking about making the switch? (maybe you could also recommend a book, movie, or app to help educate people?)
Sarah Rose: There is an overwhelming amount of resources out there so narrowing down the ones with the most accurate, unbiased information is key. I actually have a comprehensive list of my favorite resources on my website, HERE. But my go-to since the beginning has been Mind Body Green. The contributors are often some of my favorite founders and clean beauty heros, so I know the information is coming from a reliable source. As far as tools that are valuable for new converts, Think Dirty can be a fun way to make the swap. Think Dirty is an app that you can scan barcodes and learn how clean or dirty a product is. There’s a lot of knowledge embedded within this app, for those who want to really dive into the nitty gritty. No More Dirty Looks was sent to me by Tara Foley when I first joined the Follain team and it’s remained one of my all time favorite books. Alexandra Spunt and Siobhan O’Connor break it all down so tangibly, I strongly recommend it.
The documentary Miss Representation was also very impactful for me. It shook me to the core and gave me direction when I needed it the most. Miss Representation made me realize the core issue is the social construct of beauty. Without it, women wouldn’t be reaching for nearly 20 products on average per day. I knew I could do something to soften the blow of the extremely critical media representation of beauty on other women. Because of this documentary, I understood the need for women’s emotional health to be addressed within the beauty industry–not just physical health.
Special thanks to Sarah Rose!
Photo by Sally Griffiths
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