As an actress, I've learned some amazing beauty secrets from years of working on set with professional makeup artists, and I wanted to share them here in case they help you simplify and green your routine. To create this list, I sought the expertise of Jennifer Snowdon, the first green makeup artist I ever worked with. Hope these ideas help you make the switch to a simpler, greener makeup routine.
1. Learn to love rosewater.
I'm a huge fan of rosewater. It's inexpensive and has a ton of uses. Jenn says she watches actors' skin during the day and after several hours of drinking coffee, she tells them to try a quick spritz of rosewater mist over makeup. It hydrates, plumps, and the aroma refreshes you—no need for that coffee!
I also love rosewater as a toner, and after removing makeup. It makes me feel clean but not too dry, it smells divine, and my daughter loves a spritz, too.
Sometimes I'll also spray it into a washcloth and put it in the fridge to wake up my face for a 4am call time. I even spritz it into my bed to refresh my sheets if I only have a few hours to sleep before heading back to set and want to feel luxurious.
2. Just go Hawaiian.
Remember that pina-colada smelling crap we used to slather all over us in the sun? Well there's a healthy, easy way to experience that again: coconut oil! It's my new obsession. I use one from Tropical Traditions for everything from taking off makeup to baking brownies! My 4 year-old loves eating it by the spoonful or on her dry patches during chilly NYC winters. For more coconut oil ideas, go here.
3. Do a gentle lip scrub.
Jenn says lots of actors don't realize there's an invisible buildup on lips from waxes and other ingredients in lipsticks. EWWWW! So it’s great to do a quick, gentle scrub each week with a soft toothbrush and coconut oil. And instead of applying lip balm on those freshly scrubbed lips, I suggest Wiseskin Elixir Salve—no buildup, but lots of healing properties, and it's also great on minor cuts, burns, cuticles, elbows, etc.
4. Use fewer products and save time.
We both love products that can be used a bunch of ways—like the ones above. We want to work fast so we have more time to play! Jenn turned me on to Boom Trio by Cindy Joseph—it's now basically our go-to personal makeup kit. The Color is perfect on cheeks, brow bone, and lips, and the Glimmer highlights cheekbones, brightens eyelids or under brow, and you can mix it with Color on lips for a frosty evening look... All I add is a bit of liner and mascara. Also, I'm addicted to Cindy's GLOW stick—I use it for everything, it's instant organic moisture and highlighting! Love her stuff. And love her mission and beauty beliefs.
5. Get your glow on!
So I was addicted to Yves Saint Laurent’s touch éclat, but knew if was not good for me, so I started looking for alternatives with fewer chemicals. I just discovered Alison Raffaele’s Luminizer, which adds brightness to eyes and lifts dark circles (one of the side effects of being a busy mom/work/green girl). Jenn also taught me to use it next to the nose and inner corner of the eye and blend up onto the lid and down into circles. It can be applied with your concealer and just a touch works wonders blended into to a sunken area, minimizing the appearance of puffiness.
6. Cut the grease, lose the aluminum.
Another key product on set is anti-shine, but lot of anti-shines contain aluminum, which is not a healthy choice. Jenn just found a healthy alternative that she even recommends to parents of child and teen actors: Blot Out Offensive Shine + Oil Control Cream. It's made with Aloe Vera, a quick, easy way to be greener and avoid aluminum.
Also, on set and off I love, love, love blotting papers! When I was a greasy teen, I used cheap ones from Chinatown, but found they had talc in them - yuck! Jane Iredale makes blotting papers and so does TACHA, which are fabulous for evenings out because a few sheets can even fit in a pocket! Grab a green gloss (I love TARTE) and you're all set!
7. You don't have to change everything at once.
One of my big suggestions for change is this: as you use up something, try replacing it with the green version. Remember: you don't have to replace everything all at once, just aim for a little at a time. If you have a fav product, keep it—no guilt—but think about what you're running out of and if you might be willing to experiment with something new and greener next time. Don't forget to recycle the bottles and read your labels! And keep learning!
Hope these tips help you get started. And remember what K.G. Mills said: “The most inexpensive facelift is a smile!”