Paige Padgett, a leading authority on “green beauty,” was once told by beauty experts that she wouldn’t be able to provide safe and eco-friendly makeup artistry. After four years working in a salon and perfecting her technique, Ms. Padgett set out on her own as a freelance makeup artist, dividing her time between fashion shows and commercial work. Her global conscience pushed her to develop chemically safe alternatives to potentially toxic and eco-unfriendly products, and in 2007 she launched her own 100% “green” makeup kit. She strives to provide the highest quality of environmentally friendly products without sacrificing beauty or taste. She is currently the Green Beauty Expert for trainer Jillian Michaels’ Wellness Team.
Tell us a little bit about your history. How did you get interested in makeup artistry?
I have always been intrigued by makeup. As a child, I would watch my mother put on makeup and think how pretty she looked. She always wore the smoky eye look. After I graduated from college, I received my esthetics license and started a small business doing eyebrows and makeup. Many of my clients were in the entertainment industry and started asking me to do makeup for shoots. Eventually it became a full-time occupation. It was a natural progression. About 6 years ago, I became interested in chemically safe makeup and gave up toxic cosmetics to specialize in green beauty.
What is your green beauty philosophy?
My philosophy is to educate yourself. Some people have sensitivity to certain chemicals while others do not. Everyone will have different criteria for what chemicals they will allow for and which ones they will not. Of course, ideally, we would never have any toxic chemicals in our cosmetics but it is not realistic to think people will never use certain products they like. The best rule of thumb is to think of your cosmetics like a nutritional diet and follow the 80/20 rule: if you have a clean beauty routine 80 percent of the time you can use your favorite blue eye shadow or hair conditioner 20 percent of the time. Think of it as your ice cream Sunday. If it becomes too rigid people won’t want to try to be chemically safe.
What are your 3 favorite green products for the summer?
- Hands down my favorite summer product is Softcup Reusable, a safe, eco- and body-friendly alternative to tampons and pads. A single Softcup Reusable can be used for an entire menstrual cycle by cleaning the product regularly, at least every 12 hours. It’s ideal for summer especially if you are active and enjoy going to the beach, long hikes, bike rides, kayaking or sailing, etc. I surf and it gives me confidence knowing that it’s not only comfortable but I can wear it for long periods of time. It also eliminates much waste since the average cycle uses about 20 tampons. Plus, it’s not associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome. It’s genius! I love it.
- Derma e Clear Vein Creme Spider Vein/Bruise Solution is another fabulous product for summer. I bruise easily and have spider veins. This formula contains horse chestnut and grape skin extract among other things to help with and address these problems. It is also very soothing and helps reduce swelling.
- Zuzu Luxe Lipstick in Dollhouse. The trend for lips this summer is pink lipstick. This pink is fun and fresh. Pair it with a black bold cat eye for an edgy nighttime look or a nude eye for day. Either way, it will get you noticed.
Are there natural ways to preserve beauty products? How do green products stay fresh?
Yes there are. Many companies are now using white willow, grapefruit seed extract and other natural alternatives to preserve their cosmetics including vitamin E. They all work very well. There is no excuse to use toxic chemicals. The European Union has banned 1,100 toxic chemicals and they still have quality cosmetics; so can we.
Tell us about your relationship with trainer Jillian Michaels.
I met Jillian on The Biggest Loser. I filled in for her makeup artist who was unavailable one day and ended up staying on for the entire season and then through 9 more seasons. Naturally, I became her personal artist. Now, I work on nearly every shoot with her. Meeting Jillian was one of the best things that has happened for my career. She is very supportive of all the things I want to do and didn’t hesitate to agree when I told her that I was going to use all chemically safe makeup. What I love most is that she enjoys being chemically safe with her makeup as it aligns with her nutritional and lifestyle choices. She is quite organic and eco-friendly in her daily life.
What comes next for you?
I just became the Green Beauty Expert for dailyglow.com. It’s a huge honor to be included on a panel of such esteemed experts, so I’m really looking forward to being part of their team and contributing green beauty pieces. I am also working on a small collection of makeup with an organic company, which we hope to launch in fall 2012. Additionally, I am writing green beauty book and always working on my website paigepadgett.com to make it better and more informative.