In the first part of our interview, Kristen shared with us her incredible journey so far in the green beauty industry. In this second segment, she explains her criteria for selecting the best clean products currently available on the market, her beauty philosophy now, and what drove her to launch one of her biggest undertakings yet, the Green Beauty Team's Best of Beauty Awards and why it's unlike any other.
I believe in sustainable beauty, aligning how we look with who we are at that moment. The beauty industry has long preyed on women's insecurities and makes them feel like they're "less than" for not looking a certain way. I want to change the conversation and use makeup to help empower women, make them feel as beautiful as they are and spread a message of self-love and care.
I've also discovered that being and feeling beautiful are integrally tied to wellness. If you aren't healthy, you will not look and feel well. It won't matter how much makeup you wear.
That's why it's so incredibly important to use beauty products that use safe ingredients that are ethically sourced. For example, I used to think that all honey and beeswax harvesting wasn't a big deal: bees make honey and beeswax as a natural function. But there are big differences in how these substances are obtained and it should only be done in a way that harms neither the bees nor the environment.
2. How do you choose your beauty products?
Shopping for natural products can be tricky because these days, everyone claims to be natural! I always look at the ingredient list first to see what it contains but it's not always an easy call because there is still a lot of controversy even about the most commonly used ingredients. For example, as a makeup artist, I like dimethicone because it gives foundation a lovely texture that's very easy to work with. While it hasn't been proven to be dangerous for the skin, it isn't biodegradable. So, I know that a lot of my clients aren't comfortable with it. Sometimes, it's a personal call, too.
I also keep up to date with the latest research because information about ingredients change all the time. Some ingredients that were considered harmless have later turned out to be toxic and vice versa. The thing that I love the most about Hynt is that Meryl, the Founder does the same and aren't afraid to reformulate their products when new information about an ingredient comes to light and they would communicate that back to their customers, too.
3. Can you tell us more about your awards?
I created the Best Of Beauty Awards because women have asked me for years to create a list of my favorite natural beauty products. To be honest, this is something that I didn't want to do at first because there are so many wonderful beauty products out there and I haven't tried every single one because that's impossible!
While I was going through the selection process, I felt it very difficult to do justice to all of the ones that deserved to be selected.
I also didn't want this list to be just about me and the products that I like for my tastes and work. It had to include products that would work for everyone. For example, I had to leave out one of my favorite foundations because it was available in only three shades, not enough to cover an entire spectrum of skin tones. I also took into consideration the ethics of a company and, obviously, their ingredient lists – that was the first thing I looked at! That's why I ended up with 95 products in 4 different categories with 33 subcategories!
The funny thing is, companies had no idea I was creating these awards. Of course, throughout the years, a lot of companies have sent me their products to try, which is why I was able to test so many, but they didn't know about this project. None of the products that made the list were sponsored. I simply think that they are the best you can currently find in the green beauty world.