AN INTERVIEW WITH CELEBRITY MAKEUP ARTIST PAIGE PADGETT

Paige Padgett, makeup artist to the stars (and most specifically, Jillian Michaels!), is revolutionary in the beauty industry and is finally revealing her brand of beauty magic in her first book The Green Beauty Rules: The Essential Guide to Toxic-Free Beauty, Green Glamour and Glowing Skin. Filled with tips and tricks to get glamorous, toxic-free make-up looks, this green beauty expert has the 411 on killer toxins and chemicals found in most beauty products. The Green Beauty Rules is a simple, step-by-step beauty detox plan which guides readers on what to try, buy and toss for a healthier and gorgeous lifestyle.

Chapter by chapter Paige explains why she got started on this green beauty journey, what to look out for, and why to care about the ingredients of your favorite cosmetics. Paige explains, "After attending Ken Cook's 'Ten Americans' lecture, I was blown away to find that an average of 287 chemicals are found in our bodies. Some of these chemicals were banned 30 years ago. Shockingly enough, some of these chemicals compound in our bodies and are passed down through our parents. Since then I decided I would eliminate toxic chemicals from my cosmetics and teach others how to do it as well.”

Since making the greening shift can be overwhelming, Paige holds the reader's hand throughout the transition. She stresses to take things one step at a time, figure out what products work best for you, and how to get the most out of certain products that can be used for more than one need.

We chatted with the author and makeup guru on some of her best green beauty tips and why the industry is at a crossroads. Read on for her answers!

What makes a beauty product "green"?

For me it's being chemically safe and ideally with primarily natural ingredients. Organic is a bonus especially for make-up. It's impossible to find color that is 100% organic but often you will find organic ingredients. I strive for chemically safe ingredients.

What is the difference between organic and natural?

Unfortunately, the word "natural” means nothing in marketing and on labels. There's no regulation for the term. Organic is more regulated but regulation is a bit lax and ambiguous for the average person. According to the USDA, in order for a product to use the term "100% Organic” it must be just that, excluding water and salt. To use the USDA Organic seal a product must be at least "95% Organic excluding water and salt.” To use the word "Organic” a product must have 70% or more organic. If a product has less than 70% organic ingredients the term "organic” is not allowed on the label anywhere. So you see how confusing it can be. You really have to research it.

What are the different eco-certifications out there and which ones should we pay the most attention to?

ECOCERT, a French certification, and USDA Organic are the most common in the US for cosmetics. There are others such as NSF International (NSF), Organic and Sustainable Industry Standards (OASIS) and Organic Consumers Association (OCA) which are US organizations as well as BHID, a German certification, The Soil Association in the UK; Certech, a Canadian organization and Australian Organic are all respectable seals and should be sought out.

When looking for a green beauty product, what ingredients should we see at the top of the label?

Natural ingredients you can pronounce. For example, castor seed, apricot seed or sunflower seed oil are first in a lip gloss. The closer they are to the top the higher concentration of the ingredient. EcoDiva note: We stock only products with ingredients we can get behind, and we've done the work for you! Feel confident when perusing our shop—you're getting the best of luxury, green beauty!

If people choose not to 100% go green, what are some harmful ingredients you recommend that they avoid?

Omit fragrance. By eliminating fragrance you can cut out 30-300 potentially toxic chemicals. More than 90% of chemicals in fragrance are petrochemicals. Phthalates are especially of concern since they are fragrance and are linked to a birth defect in boys. If you see the word fragrance, perfume or parfum, don't buy it.

What do you feel is the most common misconception people have about green beauty?

That one must sacrifice beauty and performance to be clean and environmentally friendly. You don't have to sacrifice performance, taste or beauty. Especially today; there are so many gorgeous and luxurious chemically safe and eco-friendly products on the market. The colors have come a long way too. They are no longer muddy. You can have vibrant pinks now.

I do artistry for celebrities, television and magazine shoots using chemically safe make-up and it's always glamorous. There are so many options out there you simply have to find what works for you. As with all cosmetics, people prefer different textures, colors, smells, etc. You have to learn about every product individually to know if you like it. It is the same for all cosmetics.

Being a make-up artist - is it realistic to be able to do your job well by only using all-natural, green, clean make-up?

It used to be hard to be 100% clean as a professional artist because brighter, more vibrant colors are needed but that has changed in the past 5 years. I approach green beauty like a diet—in terms of our skin, it eats a high percentage of what you put on it (60%). At this point, I always say if you are clean all week and you want to wear the neon lipstick on the weekend, then wear it. It is the 80/20 rule—you can pick and choose your chemicals for the other 20 percent.

What are the top major toxic chemicals to watch out for? Why?

Look out for parabens, fragrance and petrochemicals. Parabens are in nearly everything so you are getting much higher accumulations of them than other chemicals and fragrance has potentially hundreds of toxic chemicals. Petrochemicals are linked to so many diseases such as birth defects and cancer.  

What makes you feel beautiful? 

I feel beautiful when my confidence is high and when I'm living an authentic life staying true to my values and principles. I try to practice grace and gratitude every day. Some days I am more successful than others it's definitely it's a practice. When I'm successful I feel beautiful. Of course if one has great hair,  clear skin and is fit helps, but it's not the biggest part of feeling beautiful for me. 

What easy makeup tip could you share with us? 

Line your bottom waterline with blue or green liner to really gives your eye color a pop. It's subtle and looks great in person and on camera. 

What do you do when you feel burned out or overwhelmed? 

I re-center myself by spending time with daughter. She makes me so happy and grounds me. I also like to be in nature. If I can't get away then I check out from my computer for a few hours and listen to music. Meditation helps but I'm terrible at it. I'm trying to teach my daughter how to mediate with toddler meditation (it's a minute for every year so for her it's two minutes), which I have a hard time doing. If she can grow up with the practice she can use it as a tool for the rest of her life. It's a gift I can give her. 

What has changed most about the green beauty industry since you began your career? 

The biggest change I have seen is consumer awareness and demand for natural and organic products and as result there has been a major growth in the natural cosmetic industry. Formulations have gotten better and more sophisticated. That's where I've seen the most change. Government regulation is still moving at a glacial pace.

Thanks for your input and beautiful voice, Paige! We're happy to have shared your story and can't wait to see what you do next.

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