Pro Logic: Kristen Arnett Shares Her Green Makeup Picks Sunday 22 April, 2012
Makeup artist Kristen Arnett shares how she got into the eco-beauty movement, why she feels it’s important and what eco-minded products she has found that not only meet her natural standards, but also perform.
For makeup pro Kristen Arnett, founder of GreenBeautyTeam.com, exclusively using eco-friendly beauty products is a no-brainer. “We have limited resources on our planet, so for me to not consider the impact I’m making on this world wasn’t acceptable,” she says. Her mission: Create something beautiful while not making the planet ugly. Through her website, she seeks to educate makeup lovers by giving the green beauty movement a professional’s insight. One eco-educational tip she shares: Though the word “synthetics” incites an outcry among green-minded purists, using certain synthetics in products is sometimes a necessity—especially with waterproof formulas where natural alternatives simply don’t exist. “There are what I’ll call ‘safer’ synthetics. It’s the toxic synthetics that are linked to cancer or are known skin irritants that are a problem,” Arnett relays. “The compromise for both professionals and consumers centers around efficacy; sometimes to have an effective, performing product, you may be looking at a formula that is as naturally derived but also contains a few synthetic ingredients that allow it to deliver on its claims.”
What better time than Earth Month for Kristen to share how she got into the eco-beauty movement, why she feels it’s important and what eco-minded products (sprinkled throughout the post) she has found that not only meet her natural standards, but also perform?
“I decided to become a ‘green’ makeup artist when I became personally aware that I no longer wanted to use makeup products containing carcinogenic ingredients on myself; I felt guilty continuing to use non-eco products on my clients,” she says. “Also, we have limited resources on our planet, so for me to not consider the impact I’m making on this world wasn’t acceptable—especially with cosmetics! Why does something that is made to create a more beautiful version of ourselves have to make our planet more ugly?
“Switching over to natural or eco-minded products, I think, is a small step to take as a conscious consumer,” she continues. “And when you’re looking for products, it’s more than just packaging; most companies use green materials for their packaging. It’s got to be more than that—the ingredients, the formulation. It should be the whole thing, from A to Z.”
Kristen’s preference for natural or organic products boils down to this simple fact: “They’re better for peoples’ skin. Skin irritants cause rashes or breakouts; isn’t that a deterrent to the end goal? I find that, more often than not, people come back to me two days later with no reaction or pimples resulting from the natural makeup I use. We’re used to having our skin suffocated by makeup; and afterward we typically have to use more makeup to cover up the effects of a bad reaction.
“That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of trial and error to finding what you like, what works for what you’re doing,” Kristen continues. “When I work with film or weddings, you need a heavier application, which means more makeup. It wasn’t an easy transition. For my editorial work, it was a challenge as well. I pushed and pushed until I found natural products that could cross over. But you know what? It’s been fun. I don’t know why I would go back to use anything different.”
Searching for efficacy has led her to products that aren’t without some synthetics, but that’s OK with Kristen. “There are products you need to bend the rules with: anything waterproof, for instance, or eyelash glue. Mascara—there are great brands that are safe, but they do have synthetics. I’m OK with this as long as there’s not lead, formaldehyde or anything crazy near the face. (For instance, Youngblood and Josie Moran Cosmetics are very safe, natural products, but they do have synthetics.)”
But in the end, the search is worth it for this makeup artist. “We all have somebody in our lives who has had a skin condition, such as eczema, rosacea or acne, or, more seriously, someone who has had cancer, and we see the impact this has on their lives as well as the people’s lives around them,” she laments. “As consumers, we need to make that connection. Being beautiful is being healthy—it has to do with wellness. If you’re unhealthy, it doesn’t matter how much makeup you put on. Make choices that can positively impact your well-being and these choices in turn will positively affect your beauty.”
Being as passionate as Kristen is regarding green beauty led her to create GreenBeautyTeam.com, a place where both consumers and professionals can learn more about the somewhat elusive and confusing world of eco-beauty. “Green beauty is largely unregulated, and I feel that education on the matter is lacking,” she says. “People may know to always turn over the product and look at that back label of ingredients. But they may not know that they shouldn’t trust the front label; so many products use the term ‘natural’ on their front label when they have no right to,” she says. “Sadly, people are duped on a daily basis.”
Additionally, when Kristen was doing her own research on eco-beauty, she found that the majority of recommendations on the internet seemed to stem from non-makekup-wearing “crunchy” types. “I wanted to bridge the gap of pro-makeup artist and green aficionado to give women credible product recommendations and tips,” Kristen says.
Not wanting the site to focus solely on makeup, she reached out to holistic professionals to contribute content on everything from self care to skin care to give a well-rounded view of green beauty. “I really look at this site as a team effort,” Kristen says. “Anyone can be included, even and especially the readers. I saw GreenBeautyTeam.com as such a great way to expand my reach and to connect with people I never would have had access to.”
Visit GreenBeautyTeam.com for Kristen and her team’s eco-beauty tips and education..