EXPERT INTERVIEW: Kristen Arnett Talks Natural Beauty and Reveals What’s in Her Make-Up Bag

Posted in Content Beauty


We’re excited to present the latest guest of our ‘What’s in Your Make-Up Bag’ series: renowned make-up artist and green beauty expert Kristen Arnett. Having been working in the beauty industry for over 15 years, Kristen is one of the pioneers of natural make-up and an outspoken believer in enhancing beauty without the need for harmful chemicals, educating the public through her work – and we love her for it! We caught up with the in-demand ‘green’ make-up artist to chat about her views on the industry.

Of course, we also asked her to share the staples in her make-up kit that she brings on every single job and asked her a few questions we’ve been keen to get her views on. Green beauties, take note…

Kristen on being ‘green’ ….

  • How did you become interested in the organic sector?

Funny story that… many years ago I met May Lindstrom on a photo shoot. She was the model and I was the make-up artist. We stayed in loose contact and one day met up in Europe where I was living and she was traveling for work. I watched her pull out a glass bottle of water from her purse to drink from and then slather her legs in oil from an unmarked bottle. My curiosity peaked, and so the conversation began, and she started to tell me about the toxins in traditional cosmetics. Years later, she’s the creator of her own successful line and I’ve become a true advocate for this world of organic beauty.

  • Great skin is the foundation of good make-up. What are you favourite green beauty tips for healthy skin?

Food is your best skincare! If your tummy and hormones are a mess your face will be too. I spent ten years trying everything regular dermatologists gave me to clear my acne. Then, I cleaned up my diet and stopped using so many harsh products that irritated rather than healed my skin. It starts with food, cleaning out the liver, and then choosing products that are organic and soothing. Here’s a great article on Green Beauty Team about taking good care of your liver, written by one of our professional experts in nutrition.

  • We love your stance on ‘green-washing’. Which seemingly ‘natural’ brands are top of your list to avoid?

I spent many years keeping my mouth shut about brands that were ‘green-washing’ in beauty because I was worried about the backlash or looking like someone who just wanted to say bad things. Really, I’m so tired of people being lied to and I just couldn’t stay silent any longer! I have a list of 22 brands, that is quickly growing in number, which you can see here. The brands I think people were most shocked to see on the list (editors note: and which we get asked about ALL the time instore!) were Tarte, Josie Maran, Aveda and LUSH. I also did a full breakdown that took me six hours of research and writing to put together on why Tarte was called out as one of the worst offenders, in my opinion. You can read that in-depth article here.

  • Having painted the faces of many models and actresses do you have any moments that stand out as highlights of your career?

Of course! Karlie Kloss is a recent supermodel I worked on and is one of my highlights because I got to spend the entire day with her roaming around the city to her favourite spots with beauty editors from around the world. She’s a very healthy gal, which of course was one of the reasons we got along so well. We ended up at her private home in Manhattan and she demonstrated baking her famous Kookies. They were delicious! Karlie truly lives up to her reputation as a kind and intelligent woman.

And lastly, what’s in your make-up bag?

  • W3LL PEOPLE Bio-Brightener: This highlighter gives a sheen that doesn’t look too glittery and adheres to all skin types very well.
  • W3LL PEOPLE Narcissist Foundation: It has such a great texture and a good amount of coverage that never looks too made up. All the models I put this on fall in love with it!
  • Jane Iredale Circle Delete Under Eye Concealer: Having a salmon-toned concealer to counteract blue under the eyes is the most important part of covering dark circles.
  • Jane Iredale Eye Pencil: A solid, reliable eye pencil with great pigment and a selection of wonderful colours.
  • rms beauty Creamy Eye polish in Solar: Who doesn’t this look amazing on?! I put it on eyes, cheeks and lips. This is amazing on darker women. Depending on her shade, I’ll mix this with a highlighter to give a sunset glow.
  • rms beauty Lip2Cheek in Smile: It makes the old, young and the tired, awake. I reach for this product constantly to put on cheeks, lips and even eyes. Yep, that’s one of my secrets! A small dab on the crease makes your eyes’ colour pop.

Need help to make the switch to green beauty? Book a ‘Detox you Make-up Bag’ consultations with our resident beauty experts instore! We’ll find the best products fit for you.