When celebrity makeup artist Nikki DeRoest and beauty industry exec Cerre Francis first met in a Pilates class 15 years ago, they didn’t know they would one day bring a makeup line into the world. The more that the friends talked about beauty and skin care, though, they eventually noticed a hole in the market: Everyday makeup products, like powder and blush, don’t contain SPF.
As long-time members of the beauty industry — and two Aries who know exactly what they want — the duo set out to create something new and unique that would stand out on the shelves. Enter: ciele cosmetics, a line of sun-smart, acne-safe makeup products that are just as beautiful to use as they are beneficial.
“I have gotten way more sun spots as I’m getting closer to 40, and that’s always an irk of mine,” DeRoest tells Bustle. “It’s a constant battle dealing with them — or even healing spots from acne — so I was like, ‘Why has no one made a blush with SPF in it?’ My cheeks are where I get all of my sun damage, so if I could use a product every day that I know is adding extra layers of sun protection, that’s what I want.”
While the FDA recommends reapplying sunscreen every two hours, Francis notes that the rules are murky — and hardly anyone actually wears enough, anyway. “It makes people think more about sunscreen, and [they’re] wanting more of it,” she says. “If you have a ton of liquid blushes to pick from, why wouldn’t you choose the one with the SPF?”
As of August 24, 2023, ciele cosmetics will be launching with three SPF-spiked makeup products: Blush & Protect SPF 50, a liquid blush; Filter & Protect SPF 30, a skin-blurring powder; and Tint & Protect SPF 50, a tinted serum that’s available in 13 shades. “I feel like I’m doing a favor for Gen Z because I definitely wasn’t wearing sunscreen when I was in my 20s or even early 30s,” DeRoest says. “These are products for the younger generation to set them up for success, but also for women like us who want to improve our skin as we’re getting older.”
That said, Francis does acknowledge that sunscreen and liquid makeup can be scary for folks with acne-prone skin, which is why they focused on choosing non-comedogenic ingredients in their formulation process, as well as ones that are good for your skin — think niacinamide, allantoin, and bisabolol.
“I have a history of dealing with acne, so I really studied and worked closely with my esthetician and mentor on learning about how ingredients affect problematic skin,” DeRoest says. To land on what works and what doesn’t, she culled products from her own makeup bag and embarked on a period of trial and error.
DeRoest found that coconut oils/butters, isopropyl myristate, acetylated lanolin, algae extract, artificial dyes, isopropyl palmitate, and talc were the worst culprits for her skin. “As soon as I eliminated those, my skin cleared up within months,” she says. “That really taught me the impact of how pore-clogging ingredients can affect acneic skin, and so that was also a big pillar and passion when creating ciele.”
DeRoest and Francis considered absolutely everything when creating ciele products, including how they would layer on top of other skin care formulas. If you’re a 12-step routine girly, you can rest assured ciele’s skin tint and blush will go on smoothly without pushing your other products around. Both formulas are designed to be buildable, DeRoest says, so you can dabble a bit on with a fingertip or use a brush to really push it into your skin on the days you want more color payoff.
As a makeup artist, DeRoest was also conscious of creating the right type of finish with the tint. “Traditionally, a lot of skin tints and serums are really, really slippery, or they change when you touch them,” she says. It’s why ciele’s was formulated to create a natural, clean-canvas finish that allows you to add glow where you want it. The tint, which uses a mineral-based SPF, will also blend in smoothly without leaving a white cast.
DeRoest admits she wasn’t the biggest fan of face powders prior to creating her own, but quickly realized it was just because there aren’t any on the market that she actually likes. “This one is lightweight and velvety, and I’m obsessed,” she says. “We named it Filter because it truly filters out the pores and really blurs and smooths.”
While this line was formulated with makeup artistry in mind, it’s also ideal when you just want to throw something light and get out the door. “Both of us are the laziest,” DeRoest says, which is why they aimed to make products and packaging that are easy to use. “Even though I’m an artist and I work with makeup all the time, my personal routine is really simple — I don’t like to spend a lot of time getting ready,” she says. So you’ll find that this trio of products are basically foolproof.
And although all three of ciele’s products contain SPF, DeRoest and Francis still recommend wearing your go-to sunscreen underneath. “We don’t want to replace your daily sunscreen,” Francis says. “You should be still using a daily SPF prior to putting anything on to really get the FDA-recommended duration of coverage.” You can never be too careful when it comes to your skin, after all.
Shop ciele online at Sephora as well as the brand’s website starting Aug. 24 and in Sephora stores Sept. 1.
Zdrada, J. (2022). The influence of cosmetics dedicated to oily and acne-prone skin on skin parameters. J Cosmet Dermatol. doi: 10.1111/jocd.15143.