Talking with Kristen Arnett, International Celebrity Makeup Artist & Founder of Green Beauty Team
I had the true pleasure of talking with Kristen Arnett, international celebrity eco makeup artist and founder of the Green Beauty Team, last week. She is as warm and passionate as she is talented and as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Kristen went out of her way to fit me into her busy schedule after wrapping up New York Fashion Week and before heading to Milan for their Fashion Week. I have to admit that I was really excited about this interview and learning more about Kristen. Her work intrigues me and I always enjoy meeting new, fascinating people and learning about them. There was something very easy and natural about our conversation, as if talking to an old friend. Her love for what she does, the people around her and the planet were evident as she spoke. Kristen is a true leader and definitely one to talk about in green makeup artistry!
OBT: How long have you been using green products and incorporating them into your work as a Makeup Artist?
Kristen Arnett: In all, it’s been about 15 years that I’ve been using green products and less than two years as a fully eco-friendly makeup artist.
OBT: What made you decide to start using green products?
Kristen Arnett: A model that I worked with while living in Italy peaked my interest when she brought along all of her own unmarked bottles of skin care to set. Her skin looked amazing and being a product scavenger, I wanted to know more about what these products were and why she slathered olive oil all over her body. She explained how the skin acts as a sponge and went on to say that the majority of beauty products had toxic and potentially carcinogenic chemicals in them, which could irritate the skin and damage the body. Since this was something I’d never considered before and I had struggled with acne the majority of my life trying everything from chemical peels to drugs, I thought maybe all of those ingredients were doing more harm than good. I started doing more research into the subject and realized that I had never thought about the negative ecological impact of these chemicals on the environment. 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 good for the planet. It was a win-win. I then began to feel hypocritical using anything else on my clients for work, and that’s when I started converting my professional makeup bag.
OBT: How do you stay educated on the best organic, natural and eco-friendly products to use?
Kristen Arnett: Constant research and reading other people’s reviews like Organic Beauty Talk.
OBT: What’s in your green makeup bag?
Kristen Arnett: It’s actually more like a giant suitcase! To name some of them…I use a lot of Alima Pure. I really like Alima Pure’s line as a whole. I like Primitive lip liners and lip colors and sometimes Jane Iredale and Youngblood. I love Revolution Organics All-Over Skin Cream and 100% Pure’s Luminous Primer. I really like Youngblood’s Mascara and Josie Maran’s Gogo Mascara. Coconut Oil is a staple in my kit. I also use Cleanwell Hand Sanitizer a lot and love the way it smells and how it doesn’t dry out my skin!
OBT: How do you stay green on the go?
Kristen Arnett: Preparation. I travel with reusable and recyclable items like my own water canteen and a hot thermos which help to really cut down on waste. I also don’t compromise on the products I love and take them with me everywhere. I rather refill my products than constantly going out and buying travel sizes. Again, it helps me to cut down on waste.
OBT: What is The Green Beauty Team?
Kristen Arnett: The Green Beauty Team is made up of me, a panel of experts and our readers who are interested in transforming their personal care from being less toxic to healthier and more natural. It had to be a team effort because while I can talk about makeup all day, I knew I wanted a site that went deeper than that into the subject of beauty. So the experts on the website are actually all friends of mine who are passionate and knowledgeable professionals in their fields. Our readers are important because they ask questions and provoke research that is really important to delve into more.
OBT: Why did you start The Green Beauty Team?
I was already on my way to going green as a makeup artist and had been personally very eco-conscious for a couple of years. I was surprised at the level of interest that I sparked with both women and men whenever I spoke about using more natural products. People would ask so many questions that I kept wishing that I had one place that I could send everyone for information. The majority of the recommendations about beauty on the internet a few years ago seemed to be from non-makeup wearing, “crunchy” types. I wanted to bridge the gap of a professional makeup artist and green aficionado to give women credible product recommendations and tips. I saw the Green Beauty Team as such a great way to expand my reach and to connect with people that I never would have had access to otherwise. The goal is to spread the word as far as possible and help to reach the people wouldn’t normally seek out this type of knowledge.
OBT: What’s the best thing about being a green beauty?
Kristen Arnett: Absolutely and without a doubt, it’s truly healthy beauty for the self and the planet! It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you are making choices that are so ultimately beneficial and have lovely side effects!
OBT: What inspires you?
Kristen Arnett: Color. I’ve traveled a lot through Italy and found myself just stopping and staring at colors and textures on building. I also love nature. The intricacies and the transition of a flower are very inspiring to me because people are like that as well. We all transition. There’s something beautiful about every single person. Sometimes it’s about revealing that beauty, sometimes it’s enhancing it, and sometimes it’s encouraging it not to hide. In that way, people are very inspiring with their beauty….which is actually the real reason that I got into makeup…watching that transformation occur.
OBT: What’s the coolest project that you’ve worked on?
Kristen Arnett: I’ve worked on a lot of cool projects but the one that stands out right now was helping friend Vicci Martinez from The Voice. This project was really neat because I knew her and then I started watching the show and got really into it. Vicci and I started talking one night and I found out that she was coming through NYC for her media tour for the day. I cleared my calendar so that I could do her makeup. The reason that this project was cool was that Vicci was so inspiring to me. I met Vicci at a bar in NYC when she jumped up with her guitar to play acoustically at an open mic intermission for a band that I went to see. I was so blown away by her voice and that I immediately went to introduce myself. She is so passionate and authentic. It’s been amazing to see her get her “lucky break” and be there by her side to watch how people responded to her and embraced her with so much praise and sincere excitement. To watch her grow more into herself has been a complete inspiration and the coolest experience.
Click this link to read the rest of the interview and read the answers to questions like:
OBT: Can you share few of your top makeup tips with our readers?
OBT: What do you love most about Organic Beauty Talk?