Path to Greener Makeup Pastures: Eco-Friendly Cosmetics
We Love Eco-Friendly Cosmetics!
Makeup artist Kristen Arnett talks to Equally Wed about her journey of converting to an all eco-friendly makeup kit, plus tips on bringing green into your own makeup routine.
Makeup is supposed to enhance our features—open our eyes, plump the lips, rosy the cheeks—but after the products have been washed away from our faces, we can be left with chemical-induced blemishes, ironically having the opposite effect of makeup’s function.
So when Kristen Arnett, an accomplished freelance makeup artist whose clients range from runway to bridal to television, was introduced to eco-friendly products while living in Italy, she was instantly intrigued. During a photo shoot, a model boasting a flawless face had brought a collection of unmarked skincare bottles. “Her skin looked amazing and, being a product scavenger, I wanted to know more about what they were,” says Arnett. The model explained how the majority of beauty products contain toxic and potentially carcinogenic chemicals, which irritate the skin. “Since I had struggled with acne, trying everything from chemical peels to drugs, I thought maybe the ingredients were doing more harm than good,” Arnett says of her epiphany. “I started researching and realized that I had never even thought of the ecological impact of chemicals. As soon as I saw the difference in my own skin—how it glowed and looked less inflamed—I was convinced. What turned out to be good for me was also planet-friendly. It was a win-win!”
She dedicated the next year to turning her makeup kit green, but between saying goodbye to the beloved products she had long been devoted to and finding eco-friendly ones that matched her high standards, the transition wasn’t an easy feat. “It’s very unchartered territory,” she says. “It took a lot of energy, patience and outreach to source products and then take risks of using them. But I’ve since discovered brands that I love and can’t pry away from!”
While undergoing her organic conversion, Arnett was bombarded with questions from others who were interested in natural products. “I kept wishing I had one place I could send everyone for information,” she says. With an abundance of new resources and recommendations at hand, and a talented entourage of holistic friends who were all professionals in their fields, GreenBeautyTeam.com was born.
“A few years ago, the majority of recommendations seemed to be from non-makeup wearing, ‘crunchy’ types,” says Arnett. “I wanted to bridge the gap of pro-makeup artist and green aficionado to give women credible product recommendations and tips.” And the response has been overwhelming, especially with the LGBT community, which, according to Arnett, is exceptionally susceptible to a holistic lifestyle.
She particularly recommends eco-friendly products for brooms. “If she isn’t used to wearing that much makeup on a daily basis and hires someone who coats her face with potentially irritating ingredients, she risks having a reaction that could be rather unsightly the days following her wedding. Not usually how people like to spend their honeymoon.”
As a lesbian, Arnett understands the importance of making each bride comfortable in her appearance—something that not all makeup artists can grasp. “Many artists have a standard approach to makeup and don’t understand the art of restraint and keeping it natural,” she says. “When it’s a very femme bride, it’s all pretty straightforward. But for the brides who are more androgynous or butch, they can benefit greatly from makeup in photos to even out their skin tone, remove under-eye circles, and cut down on shine. It must be done in such a way that they feel beautiful, not caked with makeup, and 100 percent comfortable with who they look like—a fresher version of themselves!”
Whether she’s playing the role of makeup artist, website designer, educator or content creator, Arnett is continuously making the world a greener place, one beautiful face at a time.
Kristen’s Must-Have Products
|1. A salmon-tone concealer for under the eyes, like Jane Iredale Circle Delete #2 for light skin and #3 for darker.|
|2. Primitive Makeup Lipstick, which is incredibly moisturizing and comes in beautiful easy-to-wear colors.|
|3. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer to add a glow on the cheekbones, brow bones and the inner corners of the eyes.|
|4. Youngblood Mascara, because great lashes help eyes to really pop in photos.|
Kristen’s Tips for Going Green
Going green should begin with skincare, including deodorant, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo and lip products. Think of all the most sensitive, absorbent areas on your body and change out those products first.
1. Familiarize yourself with harmful ingredients and start looking for them on labels. If you can’t pronounce it or you can’t eat it, then it’s probably not the greenest.
2. Do a little research online for replacement suggestions on your beloved products. Get friendly with the sales staff at a natural food store. They tend to have good suggestions.
3. Ask for samples or buy travel sizes before you commit to a full-sized purchase.
4. Keep your expectations in check. Even if you switch from one regular product to another, there will be a difference and may not be one you initially like. The same goes for going green. There are products that work wonderfully, but it may take you a couple of tries to get there.
5. Don’t freak out, get overwhelmed or give up in the conversion process. Just take it step by step, and know you are doing something better for yourself and the planet.
PHOTOS: Wedding photos: Robert McNary Photography; Kristen Arnett photo: courtesy of Kristen Arnett; product photos courtesy of respective companies