Celebrity makeup artist , Paige Padgett, (right) getting her client and good friend, fitness & health expert, Jillian Michaels, dolled up for her photo shoot

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Paige Padgett: Interview with Celebrity Makeup Artist & ‘Green Beauty’ Expert

By Bridget Campos, 9/8/2015

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How to get a glamorous red carpet look that’s natural and chemical-free

You have probably heard of the term ‘Going Green’ becoming the standard of living for many people nowadays. Consumers are seeking out organic items and even demanding that companies provide quality brands in their food, cars, or household products that are safe for the planet and their family.

Being environmentally conscious is not just for hippies or ‘tree huggers’ anymore, but rather, a new movement that everyday people from around the world are embracing. But have you ever considered going green when it comes to using cosmetics?

Celebrity makeup artist, Paige Padgett, is an expert on green beauty products and has been featured in such publications as Elle, Shape, Vegetarian Times, and DailyGlow.com, as well as, television, radio, and podcast appearances on “Martha Stewart Radio”, “San Diego Live”, and “Green Is Good.”

Paige’s list of celebrity clients includes former tennis pro, Anna Kournikova and fitness trainers, Jillian Michaels & Bob Harper, from the hit TV show, The Biggest Loser. The professional makeup artist and mother of two talks about why eco-friendly cosmetics have been getting a lot of buzz lately and the importance of gradually removing toxic products from your daily beauty regime.

Bridget Campos News Features: What inspired you to write your first book, The Green Beauty Rules?

Paige Padgett: I had chosen to write this book because I felt like there was not that many green beauty books on the market. There were several books about chemicals in cosmetics that sort of filled the gap but not completely. And then there were other books that focused on making your own cosmetics. But I wanted a book that was more on beauty and less on chemicals. However, in my book, I wanted to reiterate about what type of chemicals to stay away from, just in case some people are unaware of this type of information.

So, The Green Beauty Rules, focuses on how to create beautiful looks, why be green, and how to find tried and true chemically-safe beauty products.

BCNF: Do your celebrity clientele prefer you use green beauty products on them? And if so, is the quality the same as regular brand name products?


Paige Padgett: Sometimes my celebrity clients don’t know the difference. But I personally think they are the same, though I haven’t used traditional beauty products in over 10 years.

I would say that green beauty products made now are so naturally sophisticated that they definitely rival traditional beauty products. Some green products are not quite there yet, but really close. So, yes, I do use only green beauty products on clients unless they request not to. And it has happened in the past with one particular celebrity (I won’t say who) but she only wanted premium brands that she loved, which I got them for her. Sometimes I’ll sneak in a green beauty product without my client knowing it. And after they find out, they really don’t mind.

BCNF: I like the point you stated in your book that ‘avoiding toxic food is just as important as avoiding chemicals in cosmetics, because they are just as harmful to your body.’ Do you believe that eating healthy food plays a big role in having great looking hair and glowing skin?

Paige Padgett: Absolutely! It’s the number one thing you can do. If you’re eating processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, it has to be in moderation. But you have to follow through with a healthy diet. You have to be aware of your lifestyle in general and keep your chemicals in balance. Smoking and drinking too much alcohol is bad for you, and it shows in your skin. Also, your hair is not going to be lustrous looking if it’s not getting the nutrients it needs. I have seen this in both humans and animals.

BCNF: You also mentioned in your book that not all beauty products that are labeled ‘Natural’ or ‘Organic’ are really pure products; in what way?

Paige Padgett: I’m currently formulating a tanning lotion, which some people might think it’s a bit unorthodox for a green beauty expert to advocate tanning, but I only promote safe tanning. So in formulating my tanning lotion as an SPF, I know it’s not going to be certified USDA Organic even though the lab I am working with is certified to do USDA Organic products, because my product contains pigment. It’s not possible because there is no mineral that can be labeled organic. All minerals are made in a lab (even if they were mined) it’s still not organic. The USDA defines an organic product as being grown from the ground, meaning agriculturally cultivated. Even vitamin C and vitamin A supplements are made in a lab, because it contains ascorbic acid and palmitate. So a person might think that because a food is labeled organic that it contains natural ingredients, but in reality there can be added synthetics in it that are made in a lab.

BCNF: Where can you find beauty products that are certified by the USDA National Organic Program?

Paige Padgett: I believe there is a list online at the USDA Organic website. But I know Ecocert contains a database of eco-certified products and they help in overseeing USDA with their certifications. However, you’re more than likely to find USDA certification on skin care products than in cosmetics, because they are hard to find. But if you are able to find USDA certified cosmetics than that’s a bonus. Personally, I look for chemically safe first, then natural, and then organic-- all in that order.


BCNF: What are the most toxic chemicals people should look out for when reading labels on cosmetics?

Paige Padgett: I don’t know about what is the most toxic item to look out for because there is so many that are equally bad. You don’t want to get too many chemicals in your cosmetics, cleaning products, or food. It really comes down to how much you are getting in your body. You can even inhale chemicals. The number one reason women get lung cancer more than men is because they clean more. It’s really a close circuit. Take for example, fragrances. Some people overuse the recommended daily use. But I know hydroquinone (a bleaching agent found in skin care products) is pretty toxic because it is a petrochemical that has been banned in Canada and Europe. So I would say any product that contains ingredients that are hard to pronounce is something you want to avoid. Again fragrances alone can contain 30 to 300 toxic petrochemicals.

Fragrance is a subject I wanted to ask you about. Do you think perfumes should list their ingredients?

Paige Padgett:
I do. I know, since it is a proprietary, companies don’t have to list their ingredients, because they are considered ‘scent blends.’ But the reality is people want to know what’s in the products they are buying. A lot of green products are required to list their ingredients on fragrances and cosmetics. I know perfume companies are concerned with their products being replicated, but that’s not an easy thing to do. One day I would like to create my own fragrance and share the ingredients. But I really think perfume ingredients should be listed.

Have you ever used herbs or fruits to replace actual makeup?

Paige Padgett:
Yes, I think it’s great. I have made facial masks, lip balm, and some color cosmetic items. It’s a fun thing to do.

What chemically-safe products can parents use for their young children?

Paige Padgett:
I like Shea Moisture. They do body lotion and body washes for babies. The Honest Company makes amazing products for kids. Nail polishes by Ella+Mila is great. Their Mommy and ‘Me’ collection is something I use with my little girl. Also, a good petroleum jelly alternative I use is called Waxelene. I use on my baby and even my cat. But those are some really great brands that are toxic free.

People readily embrace top brand names such as MAC, Revlon, or Estee Lauder. When do you think more people will be willing to accept green beauty products instead of the popular brand names?

Paige Padgett:
I think they are already starting. Hopefully, my book will nudge some people to get really interested in using green beauty products they have not heard of. But I believe in the next five years, this eco-friendly movement is only going to get bigger. Soon everyone will be interested in green beauty products.

BCNF: Thank you Paige for taking the time to talk with me. I personally enjoyed reading your book because it’s very informative and goes into detail about certain types of chemicals. Like Formaldehyde that’s in cosmetics. A lot of people actually don’t know about that. I only knew that because my mom was a cosmetologist and told me about it. Growing up, she would tell me to not use makeup that often because of the chemicals put in them.

Paige Padgett:
Oh, wow, your mom was very progressive. That’s really cool. But it is true. For red carpet and TV events and I use Georgie faux lashes for my clients instead of the regular ones that contain a formaldehyde adhesive, which can irritate your eyes and skin and is a carcinogen. But, yes, formaldehyde is a big problem in beauty products. I really hope people will see The Green Beauty Rules as a huge value to them because they will know what chemical-free products they can use.

‘The Green Beauty Rules: The Essential Guide to Toxic-Free Beauty, Green Glamour, and Glowing Skin’ is available to purchase online or in retail & book stores now