In 2018, we beauty lovers know it’s not just about your finished makeup look, but also about the quality of products you put on your skin. So the best way to not only look beautiful, but feel that way too (a must on your wedding day!) is to invest in green beauty products. We’re sure you’ve seen a slew of products with “natural” or “organic” plastered across the front of their bottles, but it isn’t quite that simple: As the FDA has no guidelines on what constitutes a real green beauty product, most brands are touting their creams, cleansers, and other products as natural, without any actual validation of those claims.
That’s where the experts come in. Katey Denno is one such beauty guru who is responsible for the radiant faces of women like Mindy Kaling, Amanda Seyfriend, Amber Heard, and a whole host of others. Few know green beauty the way she does and she even launched her very own YouTube channel to make it easier for all of us to approach makeup more responsibly. Here, we talked to Denno about why green beauty is important, how she uses organic beauty products on her celebrity clients, why everyone should be investing in green beauty, and more.
Why green beauty is important:
“If you make a point of eating organically and filtering your water, it only makes sense that you’d also want to do the best for your body (and the planet) when it comes to the makeup and skin products you use every day,” Denno affirmed. “Our skin is a great protective barrier, but we know with certainty that what we put on our skin does enter our bloodstream (think about the nicotine patch, or the birth control patch), and the sad truth is that mainstream beauty products contain known toxins and known endocrine system disruptors that mess with your hormones.
Of the more than 1,000 ingredients that the European Union banned from use in cosmetics, the U.S. has banned fewer than 10. We must become label readers, we must become diligent about supporting companies that care about our health, and at the very least, we must look to those who’ve done the research (like myself and so many others leading this clean beauty charge) for guidance.”
Why everyone should begin using green beauty:
Denno explains, “Mindy Kaling once said: ‘I always thought that me and any green beauty product were mutually exclusive until I met you!’ I’m often asked about the luminous skin looks I give everyone from Amber Heard to Amanda Seyfried, and I have to give most of the credit to the green beauty products I use on them.”
"There is no reason why anyone should be using skincare that isn’t 100 percent nontoxic," Denno continues. "Companies making makeup have met the challenges of formulating head-on, and have developed lipsticks that stick around and are bold and full of pigment, foundations that melt into skin and give the glow you’ve always wanted...so there truly is no reason to subject yourself to using less-than products."
Why Denno created her own YouTube channel:
“I’m constantly asked questions about how products I use perform and how I use them to create the red carpet looks I give my celebrity clients,” the makeup artist explained. “I’m all about doing it unedited and raw, and there are no paid ads, so viewers can get a close-up look at colors and textures, complete with my tips on how to use them. I think it’s been a huge hurdle for green beauty brands, not having the money to pay for celebrities in their advertisements, which, you may not have realized, helps drive sales like crazy.
My hope is that I can use my platform to make consumers more familiar with products that are good for them and the planet and hopefully put pressure on the mainstream brands to make the changes to ingredient lists that they should.”
Some green beauty dos & don’ts:
1. “Don’t be scared of products from brands you’ve never heard of!”
2. “Don’t feel like you need to throw everything you’re currently using in the trash and spend all of your money on new products,” Denno divulged. “Start small, assess what products cover the greatest amount of your skin (body lotion, face serums) and what products you find yourself reapplying often (lipstick, powder, hand cream), and start there.”
3. “Ask stores and e-commerce sites for samples of green beauty products,” Denno advises. “They’ll almost always provide them.”
Denno’s favorite green beauty picks:
An Everyday Face Oil
True Botanicals Clear Face Oil: “This keeps skin super hydrated at the deepest layers and blemish free,” says Denno.
SHOP NOW: Barneys New York, $110
For Refreshed Eyes at All Times
Biossance Eye Gel: “I love a lightweight moisturizing product for use around the eyes that hydrates effectively, but doesn’t mess with my concealer application and won’t cause my mascara to transfer to the skin beneath my eyes. This is the one!”
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $54
The Perfect Coverage for Your Big Day
Juice Beauty Phyto Pigments Compact Foundation: “You’ll look dewy and radiant with this gorgeous, medium-coverage foundation: It can be applied lightly for a natural look or layered for more coverage. Perfect for the big day!”
SHOP NOW: Ulta, $45
Long-Lasting Eyeshadow for All-Night Partying
Kjaer Weis Eyeshadows: “The best in the business, these shadows blend seamlessly, come in a great variety of colors, and stay put.”
SHOP NOW: Revolve, $50
Lip Shades for the Perfect Ceremony Kiss
Kosas Cosmetics Lipsticks: “Super emollient, gorgeous shades that offer superior pigments and over-the-top hydration. They’re the perfect way to color your lips on your big day!”
SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $28
See more: 8 Ways to Host an Eco-Friendly Wedding