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A Bridge to Beauty

by Becca Hensley

In life sometimes it takes reaching a low point to see more clearly. That’s what happened to Sarah Biggers-Stewart, founder and CEO of Clove + Hallow and, most recently, Clover.

Sarah had been working as a makeup artist when she came down with a debilitating illness. She was bedridden for six months, depressed and panicked. Nothing conventional helped, so she turned to holistic medicine, where she learned to embrace a complete lifestyle overhaul. Thirty days later, miraculously, she was back at work, feeling better than ever. A convert to cleaner living, she turned to her occupation. Could she now also “weave clean beauty into her professional kit?” Determined that fabulous quality, dramatic shades and clean beauty were not contradictory, Sarah decided to create her own cosmetic line. “I never looked back,” she says.

Clove + Hallow became an instant upscale success, something she didn’t expect. She’d wanted it to be accessible to all, so she pondered how to bring non-toxic beauty to the masses. Having a baby only made Sarah more determined to ensure no child would snuggle up to dangerous ingredients or kiss a toxin-covered cheek. With Clover, Clove + Hallow’s sister line, Sarah fulfilled a dream to bring clean products to everyone at an affordable cost. Last summer, the vibrant collection launched at RiteAid stores across the nation.

What is the ethos behind your brands?

We are committed to using ethical and skin-loving ingredients, sustainable packaging, empowering women of color, and doing it all at a price point that won’t break the bank.

What does wellness mean to you?

I look at wellness holistically—mind, body and spirit—and when the three are in harmony, you feel content. You feel strong and in control. I can’t say I’ve achieved that perfect balance just yet, but I keep inching closer and that feels awesome.

What is your favorite new product?

From Clove + Hallow, my favorite would have to be our Line + Define liquid eyeliner. It’s a really tough formula to develop with clean ingredients, but one of my favorites to wear. From Clover by Clove + Hallow, I am partial to the Pressed Silk Blushing Balm and Plush Pigment Sticks. Both apply effortlessly and make me feel fresh and pulled together with just a few quick dabs.

Give us some examples of ingredients that are good for us in your products.

Some ingredients featured across many of our products are naturally supportive, such as squalane, sunflower seed wax, castor oil and jojoba oil. Within different formulas these may do different things, but ultimately they moisturize and nourish the skin.

Why does clean beauty mean so much to you? And to us?

For us, it’s simply about being thorough and thoughtful. We vet all of our raw materials and finished formulas for safety, going so far as to use an independent toxicologist to screen our products. We also abide by a Clean15 formulation strategy, which forces us to formulate thoughtfully by limiting our products to 15 or fewer safe, skin-loving ingredients.

What inspires you?

Nowadays, I find motherhood to be my main source of inspiration. Being a mom serves as my internal motivation to be my best and build something of value each and every day, to make products and packaging that are better for the planet my children will be living in, and to develop formulas that empower women everywhere to look and feel their best without investing a ton of time or money.

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