Staying true to core values in the beauty industry with Kristen Arnett
A rare hybrid in the beauty industry, Kristen Arnett, has unique expertise in “green” and a career that’s spanned working as an international makeup artist, educator, writer, speaker, product developer and brand consultant (in both English and Italian languages) over the past 20 years.
She’s been called a “Green Leader” by ELLE Magazine, a “Top Eco Influencer” by Eileen Fisher and a “Natural Beauty Guru” by Whole Living.
A highly sought after makeup artist in her own right, Kristen is one of the few in the world working with non-toxic, natural and organic makeup. She delivers high-performance results that help keep clients’ skin looking spectacular under any circumstance — garnering praise from celebrities, top models and regular women alike.
1. You believe to be and feel truly beautiful, in a lasting way, we must believe we are worth the effort. How do you suggest we exercise that muscle of believing we are worthy of feeling or looking beautiful?
First, we’ve got to be in agreement that there’s nothing you can fix about yourself externally that will make you feel better internally. So it really starts with raising your own level of self-worth by healing the wounds that have allowed you to be less-than-loving to yourself. We all grow up with issues, dysfunctions, childhood bullies and traumas. But we do not have to carry those around as adults and let them run our lives.
I’m a huge fan of good therapy and a big practice of spirituality. I know all too well how it feels to look in the mirror and feel un-pretty; to battle acne in my youth for 10 years, and compare myself to other women I could never look like.
It took a lot of internal work to feel truly feel beautiful – without trying to be someone else’s version of pretty.
For anyone interested in one of the most powerful exercises I was ever taught to do, I put it in a free guide called the Confidence Booster that improves the way you see and experience yourself in the mirror, boosts your self love and confidence before you walk out of the door in an easy, 5-minute exercise!
2. Was there a shift when you began to integrate your healthy beauty philosophy into your makeup artistry practice?
Yes! Working backstage at Fashion Weeks all over the world, I saw how the models’ skin was becoming sensitized to standard professional cosmetics to the point they couldn’t tolerate them.
It was then I met May Lindstrom, a model I worked with (way before she became a famous skincare formulator). I was still struggling with acne, and at her encouragement, I switched my traditional products for natural alternatives, and my skin was clear and glowing like never before!
After more research, I soon became convinced that a lot of the traditional ingredients used in cosmetics are harming both our health and our environment.
So I risked my career when I became one of only four makeup artists in the world working in fashion (at that time) who was committed to using safer, natural products.
I made the leap because I truly cared about each and every person I touched.
You can read the rest of my personal journey here:
3. What is the most rewarding part about being a makeup artist and working from a place of love and kindness?
It’s been a deep honor helping thousands of women (in person and online) be healthier, feel amazing, and look fantastic — while supporting ethical products.
When people are in the makeup chair, in such an intimate and vulnerable physical space with me, it’s amazing how quickly they’ll open up about their lives and inner struggles.
During the 20 years I’ve worked with women of all ages, backgrounds, and careers, from around the globe, I’ve noticed that we have more in common than we realize - and that all of us need more love and reassurance for how we feel beautiful and we simply shine when we feel empowered to fully show up in the world.
That feeling comes from within. On one hand, it has nothing to do with lipstick, but I’ll tell you sometimes the right lipstick can cause that little shift in a point of view that allows a huge breakthrough for someone to stand taller and take up more space in a really positive way.
4. Why do you feel it is important that as a society, we forget the word “anti-aging”?
I could really go on about this for days. Let’s put it this way. There’s NO such thing as stopping the process of aging, except to die. Beauty marketing has made it clear that women are their most attractive in their 20s.
So we spend our money and energy trying to freeze ourselves into one decade of a potentially 8-decade life. We need to ditch the idea that getting older is ugly if we’re ever going to be valued for something more than just superficial beauty. Women need to claim the same privilege men have when it comes to aging. It’s not only normal - it can actually be sexy!
I wrote this article when I turned 38 with some wisdom from other folks over 40. I think it’s an awesome read!
I started a Facebook group for positive conversations and support around navigating beauty as we age, called Healthy Beauty Over 40
5. What is one beauty ritual you cannot live without?
My nightly skincare routine. I almost said, “washing my face,” but I would never wash it and then leave it to dry without some very sumptuous moisturizers and serums. Never.
Even in college when I’d stumble in drunk (yep, I was a totally normal college kid), I would at least wash the makeup off my face and slap on a moisturizer before passing out in bed.
This is the most important page of the entire website to me because it is the very core of what this work is about and my best attempt to put into words what I believe in my heart.