During a trip to the bay area a few years ago, I popped into the Sephora on Powell street and became fast friends with a vivacious store employee named Katie, who was finishing up a biomedical degree program. Despite working at a store where pretty much no ingredient was verboten, she was vehemently anti paraben or any suspect ingredients. That, along with her science background and obsession with good, effective cosmetics made her my Sephora guru. She even wrote out a list for me of ingredients to watch out for under the title "Hell no!" We continued an email correspondence for some time afterwards, and I'm grateful to have benefited from her expertise.
For those without a personal Sephora sherpa, I'm happy to be your guide. Below are the best options from the iconic beauty mecca: