The ‘Cleaner’ Product Challenge

In my post from a couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that I was testing out a new cleaner beauty routine. Looking for products with better-for-you ingredients that work well. I started putting everything into one post but it was starting to become the world’s longest blog post so I’ve split everything into two categories; Face Skincare/Makeup and Body Products….and it’s still a lengthy read so I’ll summarize the list at the beginning and for those who are interested in a longer in depth review, keep reading below.

Face Skincare and Makeup

  • Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
  • Indie Lee Co Q10 Toner
  • Bioderma or Garnier Micellar Water makeup remover
  • Out of Africa Shea Butter
  • First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy AM Gel Cream
  • IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream With SPF 50+
  • bareMinerals BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum Concealer
  • Bite Beauty Multisticks in Lotus and Cocoa
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask and Lip Balm
  • Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in #010
  • Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady & Arabian Knights
  • Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Lash and Fakeout Mascaras

These products were put through the Think Dirty app and the aim was for everything to be a rating of 5 or better (0 is the best and 10 is the worst). I was pleasantly surprised that several products I already use fell into this category so those were included as part of the routine.

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser and Co Q10 Toner

Although I had heard of this brand before, I hadn’t tried any of their products and this particular cleanser and toner get a lot of good reviews. The Brightening Cleanser is a gentle but effective product that won’t strip your skin. It probably wouldn’t be strong enough to remove a full face of foundation and makeup but it makes for a lovely morning face wash. It has a really nice but subtle strawberry smell to it and I’m really enjoying this as part of my daily routine! The toner is gentle and effective, leaving the skin refreshed and ready for moisturizer. It has a bit of a strange smell to it but it’s not bad and the scent disappears quickly.

Both products score a 2.

Bioderma or Garnier Micellar Water makeup remover

I was super happy to see that both brands score a 4! I’m convinced these are identical products. Once I get through the bulk stock of Bioderma, I’m going to keep purchasing the Garnier version.

Out of Africa Shea Butter and First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy AM Gel Eye Cream


The shea butter makes for an amazing night time eye cream and it even fixed my severely dry skin. There’s a full story about that here. I already use the FAB Triple Remedy eye cream every morning and was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s a reasonably clean product to begin with so kept it as part of the clean routine. It’s a light weight gel cream that applies easily to the delicate eye area and delivers plenty of moisture. It also primes the eye area for makeup with a nice matte finish.

The Out of Africa Shea Butter scores a 0 and the FAB eye cream scores a 5.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream With SPF 50+

I bought the travel size version of this a few weeks ago when I was in the US and now I’m kicking myself for not having bought the full size. When I tried this on the back of my hand at Ulta, it seemed a bit thick and I was thinking that it would feel very heavy on the skin because it contains an SPF of 50. Basically I was envisioning a slick, thick mess on my face by the end of the day but I couldn’t have been more wrong! It’s exactly the opposite, provides a nice medium coverage that really is my skin but better. I love that it has the SPF in it but wouldn’t be able to tell because it doesn’t feel heavy at all. I must have put too much on the back of my hand when I tried it at the store. Anyway now I’m on the search for where to buy this in Canada.

This product scores a 5.

bareMinerals BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum Concealer

I have been using the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer for a long time and it isn’t listed on the Think Dirty app so I’m not sure what the actual rating is. The Naked Skin Foundation scores a 4 so you would think it should be comparable but then the Naked Skin BB Cream scores a 10! So I will have to leave this as inconclusive for now. A brand that seems to fare quite well is bareMinerals so I have been using the BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum Concealer. It’s a medium-full coverage and I like the added skincare benefit for under the eye area. Overall it’s a nice concealer and quite comparable to the Urban Decay one, I’ll switch between the two.

This product wasn’t listed but all other BARESKIN products all score a 5.

Bite Beauty Multistick, Agave Lip Balm and Lip Pencil

No surprise that Bite products score well with an average of 5 (some as low as 2). The Agave lip balm is something I use every day already so I just needed a way of incorporating some additional colour for fun. The new Lip Pencils are perfect for that! The lip pencil is creamy and applies smoothly, it blends well across the lip and looks beautiful when paired with the lip balm or Agave tinted lip masks.

I have reviewed the multisticks before, you can find that post here if you missed it. It’s a great cheek and lip product but I never had a lot of success using it as an eyeshadow but decided to try again and experiment with the application method. I had previously applied with my finger and thought that perhaps the heat and skin oils may have affected the wear so I tried again with a couple different eyeshadow brushes this time. I also tried to pat a powder shadow on top to seal it in but the end result is always the same – the product never stays put on my lids.

Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady & Arabian Knights

I bought a couple of these lip conditioners last year at The Detox Market and really loved them! Sephora has recently started carrying the brand so they are now widely available. They wear nicely and have sheer but noticeable colour payoff. These little gems score a 3!

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Lash & Fakeout Mascaras

I was excited to try the Physicians Formula organic mascaras as they score 3 on the clean scale. The reviews online were not very good…they were actually terrible. Main complaints included major smudging, dried out product and just not working in general (no volume, lengthening etc.). So I considered myself warned and purchased the Organic Wear Jumbo Lash mascara. The first thing I noticed is that it had a really funny smell to it and the product is supposed to be unscented. It smelled like when makeup goes off so I actually thought that perhaps I had a faulty mascara. Stupidly enough, yes I decided to try it anyway and I experienced the same general complaints that I read in reviews. The product applied like it was dried out, it smudged and I started to resemble a raccoon by 2pm. Convinced that I had a dud, I went back to the store and exchanged it for the Organic Wear Fakeout mascara. Unfortunately it had the same awful smell and smudged even worse than the first one!  I’ve looked at some other natural mascaras online and it seems like regardless of the brand, none of them get great reviews. I’m going to pass on cleaner mascaras for now and keep using the dirty ones that give amazing results, ha.

Thank you and well done if you made it to the end of this post, it was quite the novel! Next post will be much shorter and reviewing the body products that were tested for the cleaner challenge.

To shop Indie Lee, Ilia and more great natural products, check out The Detox Market



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