THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE’RE OBSESSED WITH HONEST BEAUTY

In love with Jessica’s Alba’s clean, conscious line of beauty and skincare products, honestly. (Sorry, we had to.)

By: Amber x Dani

Ready for some Honest Beauty? First, full disclosure: our skincare routine is still very much a work in progress. Probably because it (and our skin) has evolved so much over the years, and continues to change with age. Speaking of maturing, it wasn’t until lately that we sat back and really considered how many toxic beauty products we use on a daily basis. It’s crazy (and kinda sick) that considering the beauty industry has no regulations on what they can or cannot put in products, most of us have NO clue what we’re really putting on our skin every day. So yeah, we’re working on incorporating as many toxic-free products into our regimens, too (#2017goals). We’re trying to step up our game, k? We tried six items from the skincare line (makeup will be part II, so make sure you don’t miss that one), so read below to find out what we think.

 

Packaging

Dani: Okay, let’s just take a moment of silence for Honest Beauty’s gorgeous packaging. One of my MAIN complaints with natural, organic and cruelty-free products is that the packaging is always the same: too ugly for my vanity tray. But no, not Honest Beauty. Thank you Jessica for making a totally cruelty-free and toxic-free beauty line that looks high-end and just as beautiful as other mainstream lines. The silver mirrored finish used on a selection of both skincare and makeup products remind me of the Bobbi Brown Brightening Powder that I used to have and gave up because it was not cruelty-free. All of the packing is also very high quality and durable.

Amber: Aesthetic-wise, the Honest Beauty products are stellar. Similar to Glossier’s packaging, it veers away from the tres chic vibes (you know – clean, monochrome, French-esque) I typically go for, but still is really visually appealing. Besides, let’s be real: sometimes products are so beautiful and high-end looking you don’t even use them because you either end up intimidated by them or are too scared to open them and ruin their gorgeousness.

Functionally speaking, the Magic Balm’s ($18) container is a little hard to open, but this is coming from someone who wears acrylics, so maybe it isn’t the fairest of judgements, but I think if it was a standard jar with a top you unscrew, it would be more practical. Speaking of jars, I detest eye creams that come in jars (again, coming from a consistent acrylics wearer) so I love that this one comes in a squeezy tube with a narrow tip. It makes it much easier for application and helps you avoid overusing product. Same goes for the Honest Beauty Oil-Free Beauty Fluid, practical without sacrificing aesthetics. I also thoroughly appreciate that the makeup wipes comes in a package with a proper top. How annoying is it when it only closes with a small piece of adhesive that’s not even sticky a couple weeks in and all your wipes dry out?

 

First Impressions

Dani: Let me start off by saying, I didn’t try out these Honest Beauty products thinking I was going to find any life-altering products. It’s not like any of the Honest products have any crazy claims. They are just simple products that you can count on to get the job done, and I appreciate that. When it all comes down to it, that’s all I really want. So let’s get into it.

Oil Free Beauty Fluid
I have a little thing for white, if you couldn’t already tell, so as much as I wanted to go for the Honest Beauty Even Brighter Everyday Moisturizer, I just couldn’t. And of course, Honest Beauty Oil Free Beauty Fluid ($28) has SPF is religion to me and I never, ever leave the house without it. I even use in when I’m staying IN all day it’s that serious. With that said, I was pretty disappointed that the bottle was SO small. At 1.5 ounces, I thought it was the sample size at first. But no, guys, it’s the full size. And yes, it clearly states this on the website, but I didn’t notice that before purchasing, which is a good lesson for the future – when buying online always check the size first. We’re trying to get you to learn from our mistakes, guys! Anyway, the bottle is made out of very hard plastic so it’s a little difficult getting the product out of the tip, but this is actually a good thing. I’m usually very heavy-handed with my moisturizers and creams, always squeezing or pumping out way more than I need, so this packing helps me to not overuse, which will extend the longevity of the small bottle.

Magic Balm
This is probably the most hyped up products by Jessica herself, other than the Honest Beauty Everything Primer. So I was excited to try out this does-it-all balm. First off, I’m very into a “balm”, whether it’s multi-purpose or not. I only wear lipstick or lipgloss when I’m going out. On an everyday basis, I hate sticky lips and honestly, Vaseline is bae. Second, one of my biggest pet peeves is having dry lips. I pretty much have never experienced true “chapped” lips in my lifetime because I’m literally never without something to moisturize my lips. I probably use lip balm about once an hour, sometimes more, which is totally unnecessary, I know. Besides being in super chic packing, this balm has a nice, buttery feel on the lips, a slight fragrance, and does a pretty good job of keeping my lips chap-free. I also tried using it as a smoother underneath the eyes like Jessica recommends, and it works just like she says. It makes your concealer glide on effortlessly and creates a kind of blurring effect so if you have any wrinkles or lines, I can imagine it being a savor for you.

The Younger Eye Cream
I’ve been using anti-aging eye creams ever since I was eighteen. And since I’m still too young to vouch for any age-reversing claims, all I want in an eye cream is for it to have supreme moisturizing qualities and to have an easy-to-use applicator (read: not a dip-your-finger-in jar). This one checks both those categories. The consistency of this eye cream is thick, but easy to spend. You don’t need a lot by any means. One or two tiny dots is more than enough for each eye.

Invisible Blurring Powder
My (often rushed) everyday post-wash morning routine comes down to a few crucial products. Brow filler (whether powder or pencil), a neutral lipstick or lipgloss and a good, mattifying powder. It goes basically all over my face, most concentrated in my t-zone, and makes me feel about a thousand times less unattractive (aka scary). For the last year or so, I’ve been loyal to my Mario Badescu Special Healing Powder. My only complaint is that it goes everywhere when I’m applying it, which is why I sort of have a love-hate relationship with loose powders. That’s why I was so excited when I opened the Honest Beauty Invisible Blurring Powder ($28) and saw that it had a twisting mechanism where you can adjust how much powder comes out the jar (there’s three levels) AND you can completely close and lock it back so that when you’re not using it, no powder comes out of the little holes. This small feature comes in handy when you’re traveling. Nothing worse than opening your powder and all of it has already spilled out. (If you feel me, comment below!)

Refreshingly Clean Makeup Remover Wipes
Whenever I do wear a full face of makeup, which is very rare, I’m always very wary about going in and directly washing my face with a cleanser and water. So, I love a makeup wipe. For me it’s an essential first step in cleansing my skin. And since these are completely non-toxic, I will continue to repurchase these instead of the other wipes I’ve tried in the past.

Dependably Clear Oil Blotting Papers
These get the job done. No complaints here.

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Amber: My overall impression of Honest Beauty is despite being nontoxic and some of the cleanest products you’ll find out there in the beauty market, they can certainly rival the skincare and cosmetics that contain all the bad stuff.

Oil Free Beauty Fluid
Basically, you know how all guys fantasize about condoms (yes, just went there) that are barely noticeable? That’s how I feel about my SPF. Since moisturizer is legit the one thing I cannot leave the house without applying to my face, it needs to not add shine yet still keep me moisturized and protected. I was really impressed during application with how thin the formula is and pleased with the minimal amount of luminosity it provides. But as soon as I hit the streets I felt how dry and almost irritated the skin around my mouth was. This formula isn’t thick enough to be worn alone, but in addition to a moisturizer I think it’s perfect. Bottom line: get you a beauty fluid that can do both — protect and keep you matte. This oil-free formula has definitely got you covered.

Magic Balm
I’m a minimalist by nature, so naturally I’m a sucker for anything that has multiple uses. The instructions say to use this beauty balm liberally — on your lips, cheeks, cuticles, nose, wherever you might be feeling dry, flaky, or just want to creating the illusion of brightness or height (you know, so people can comment on your selfie like, “Those cheekbones though.”) I slept with the balm on my lips: super moisturizing. I used it on the callous on my hands (don’t judge) and cuticles: softened these areas up. I also slept with some smeared in the corners of my eyes and lips since these are the areas that dry out when I’m using a rather aggressive form of retinol called Tretinoin (it helps fade the scars from my hormonal breakouts) and it kept those areas supple. But TBH, I think there’s only so much a balm can do and really didn’t see what makes this one so ‘magical.’ I like that the fragrance is subtle and the formula isn’t super sticky. I also think it lives up to its claimed versatility, which is great and makes this product ideal for traveling or keeping in your purse.

Hydrating Eye Cream
Eye creams are one of those things that I’m not so picky about because well, it’s not the kind of product you use and instantly see the results. Even if you go through dozens of eye creams they all kind of feel the same, no? Nonetheless, I look at skincare mostly as tools that allow me to be proactive and taking care of your eyes, where some of the most sensitive skin on your body exists, is seriously important. I’m retinol-obsessed, so when I read this formula contains retinoic acid, I was all in. After using for such a capsule amount of time, it’s impossible to judge the anti-aging goods this product is said to do, but I can say that immediately following use it made the skin under my eyes seem more supple. In the morning, my under eye area looked extra smooth.

Invisible Blurring Powder
Dream: poreless skin. Reality: Perpetually in pursuit of a go-to translucent powder that will keep my t-zone matte for hours and absorb surface oils come midday to keep me looking like I just went bobbing for apples in a bucket of grease, so I was pumped to try this powder from the line. It’s specifically formulated to pair with HB’s foundations and tinted moisturizers, but since my M.O. is to go bare, I wore the powder just over the oil-free moisturizer from the line. Double action. This talc-free formula promises to even your complexion, blur any imperfections, and soften the appearance of fine lines and pores. The verdict? Despite the powder being a lot thinner than I’m used to, which is great for contacts wearers, it kept me decently matte until around lunchtime. I didn’t see much of a different in the size of my pores, which was disappointing but not shocking. I still like it.

Refreshingly Clean Makeup Remover Wipes
I’m all about the eyes: brows filed, liner slick, double, sometimes triple coats of mascara. So using a foam, cream, or even exfoliating facial cleanser just isn’t enough to get the stubborn residue off the way micellar water or my go-to — a swab of olive oil — does. But sometimes I’m on the go or just lazy (don’t tell anyone, k?) and wipes certainly come in handy. These contain chamomile, calendula, and aloe to calm and soothe while the grapeseed and olive oil gently cleans. We all know alcohol is crazy drying (right?), but since these are alcohol-free, you don’t feel like your skin is stripped after you’re done yet you still feel like your pores can breathe. Gentle gets a bad rep, but gentle doesn’t mean weak or ineffective. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily these took off my kohl, but it did require a bit of back and forth and because of that I would prefer that the sheet is softer. You definitely need to follow the wipes with a proper cleanser or at least do a thorough rinse with warm water, but these are great to get the bulk of your makeup off without having to scrub incessantly, which can lead to irritation or even cause blemishes.

Dependably Clear Blotting Sheets
Okay, I’m the type who looks forward to using an oil-blotting sheet midday more than lunch. Seriously. There’s just so much satisfaction in taking in the visual of removing shine (my one true nemesis) and unclogging my pores…it’s almost as good as picking off a scab. I’d just run out of a generic pack of blotting sheets that I wasn’t crazy enough about to repurchase so it was perfect timing. The Honest Beauty Dependably Clear Blotting Sheets ($9) do their job and do it well. The bonus is these are super nice to use to blend things like bronzer along your bone or to soften the rim of your lips after applying lipstick. This was suggested on the site and I tried it and couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this genius idea. Like, game changer.

 

Is Honest Beauty worth the money?

Dani: I think all of the products are reasonably priced. The only product that I had an issue with at first was the Beauty Fluid. Based solely off of size, it is just not worth the money for me. For the price, it should have come with at least an ounce of more product. BUT, and this is a big but if you can’t already tell, since you don’t need a lot of product, the small sized bottle actually works itself out.

Amber: There’s just something so comforting knowing that what you’re using so intimately with your skin, is made without parabens, gluten, silicones, petrolatum, synthetic fragrances, or dyes and wasn’t tested on animals. That alone increases the threshold for what is deemed ‘affordable’ when it comes to beauty products. I have no problem paying more for clean, ethical products. That said, Jessica’s products are priced pretty much smack-dab in the middle between drugstore and higher-end products, which is great because you can buy a premium product without breaking the bank.

While all the products performed well, I desperately wanted to find a holy grail product from Jessica’s brand since I love what it stands for and I didn’t. But because of how clean and conscious the brand is, I definitely want to try more from the line. For now, because I’m not so demanding when it comes to my eye cream, it’s definitely one that I plan on repurchasing. The eye cream is generously sized, so that one is definitely worth the $28. The oil-free beauty fluid comes in a pretty small container, but even if you slather your face in it, it’s thin enough to last tons of uses so at $28, this is worth the money as well. And since it’s easier to find an affordable apartment in NYC than a loose powder that doesn’t get into my contacts, I’m looking forward to repurchasing the Blurring Powder again as well.

 

Final rating

Dani: 5 out of 5 for Honest Beauty. I really like the Honest products. I was really hoping they all preformed as well as they looked, and I’m so happy to say that they do. One of the best things about the brand is that if you never heard of the Honest Company and know nothing about what they stand for, you would never guess that they’re completely natural, non-toxic products (Made without: parabens, paraffins, talc, petrolatum, mineral oil, or synthetic fragrances); they don’t look like it, they don’t smell like it, and most importantly they work just as good as all of the mainstream products I’ve tried, high-end and drugstore, if not better. Another thing I love about the company is that returns are accepted within 365 days of receiving your product. I can’t even think of another brand that offers this. And of course, all her products are not tested on animals and made with no animal by-products. This is one of my top favorite brands at the moment, and I actually mean that.

Amber: I’m giving Honest Beauty a strong 4.5 out of 5. I didn’t find the hero product that I was hoping I’d find, but overall the performance for the majority of the products was stellar. The products also are ideal for a #shelfie, and let’s face it – in this Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube world we live in, how a product looks is tantamount to how it performs…right?

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Have you tried anything from Honest Beauty? Was your experience to par with ours? Anything we didn’t try that we definitely should? Let us know by leaving a comment in the comments section below.

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