Glitter is a staple in any holiday beauty look—but have you ever stopped to think about what happens to your glittery red lip after you wash it off at the end of a long night? Just this week, headlines across the world covered the news concerning scientists calling for an outright global ban of plastic glitter because of it’s impact on our oceans and water supply.
If you’re trying to make your beauty routine a little cleaner or more eco-friendly, this news can make it feel like your days of having fun with bold colors and glittery textures is over. That’s not true. Just ask Christy Coleman, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist who has been advocating for clean and eco beauty before it was cool.
Coleman, who is the Head of Creative Design at Beautycounter, gave us her best tips for nailing a bold and festive holiday makeup look with sustainability and health in mind. “I think that in the past people haven’t necessarily associated clean with being glam,” says Coleman, who created the makeup look in the image above for the brand’s holiday campaign. “I think people automatically think clean is natural.”
Biodegradable glitter does exist—but it’s expensive and hard to find. That’s why so many brands still use the stuff made from plastic. “I wanted to create a glitter like eyeshadow with mica so that can really give you this immediate glitter-like effect on the eye,” says Coleman, who did just that with Beautycounter’s new Eye Sparklers Palette. Ethically-sourced mica looks just like glitter, but with irregular and smaller flecks. It can be layered to get a dramatic metallic sheen, or lightly pressed on lids or lips for a hint of shimmer. We like using our fingers, not brushes, anytime shimmery flecks are involved to ensure it gets placed right where it needs to and stays there.
START WITH SKIN
The chicest makeup in the world won’t look that way if the skin underneath is dehydrated, flaky, or otherwise irritated. “I think it’s important to take care of yourself because the holiday season is so busy,” says Coleman. Her best advice? “Use peels during the week so your skin stays bright. So when you go to put makeup on, your skin looks really cared for.” Sheet masks are often the skincare product of choice before a big event, but the individually-wrapped masks are a masterclass in waste. Instead, choose a hydrating mask housed in an aluminum tube or a glass jar (we love Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask).
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WHEN IN DOUBT, GO GLOSSY
You don’t need glitter or mica to shine. “Glossy textures photograph really well,” says Coleman. “Applying a balm on the eye that is transparent gives a glossy effect when photographed without having to put on heavy eyeshadow.” This can be as simple as swiping a clear natural lip balm (remember, petroleum jelly is a byproduct of the fossil fuel industry!) over your favorite eyeshadow or on a bare lid. Or choose a colorful lip gloss and apply it on your lips, eyes, and cheeks (Beautycounter just released a set of fruity, non-sticky jelly glosses reminiscent of ones we used in our teens). Sheer balms and glosses are not going to have the longest wear but it will look decadent on skin in holiday party photos.
Many natural and organic makeup brands like Ilia and Westman Atelier make blushes, bronzers, and highlighters in creamy formulas made with nourishing oils and beeswax. These are idea for dry skin types, but all skin types could benefit from using a cream instead of a powder in the colder winter months. The added benefit is that your skin will look extra glowy—never cakey. “For people that have oilier skin I like to put on the cream blushes and then go back over with a color that’s similar in a powder to help set it and give it a little more staying power, since creams can move on you,” she says.
Makeup wipes are quick and convenient, especially after a long night of champagne. But they’re often not biodegradable, compostable, or even recyclable. In fact, they’ve been deemed one of the worst beauty offenders in terms of their eco impact. “Makeup wipes are something I am really passionate about. As a makeup artist you are going through a lot of wipes,” says Coleman. “Ours at Beautycounter are biodegradable and really great for touch ups. If you’re at a party and you’re having a really nice time, keep them on your nightstand so you can lean over and pull one out before bed.” Drugstore brands Almay and Simple have both recently launched biodegradable and compostable wipes. Another option would be to use a cleansing oil to remove your makeup. Ethically-sourced cleansing oils are great for breaking down heavy pigments and waterproof makeup without stripping your skin.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
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