Sometimes you meet a makeup artist that is so beautiful, skin so flawless, eyes so clear, that you’re fairly certain she’s landed on the wrong side of the camera. This is what happened when I was set to get glam for The Critics Association panel for Suits, and in walked Kayleen McAdams – celebrity makeup artist to the stars, and coveted by the likes of Sofia Vergara and Jessica Biel – that Kayleen McAdams. Genetics are clearly on her family’s side in the world of fawn worthy beauty (ahem, her sister is actress Rachel McAdams).
Though I was in LA for work, I had made some time to meet with a Vedic meditation coach (a long story for another day), and despite feeling relatively embarrassed about my hippie dippie California girl inclinations, Kayleen was on board to chat about all of it. No judgment, totally open minded. And yet cool enough to fall into a fit of laughter when I couldn’t remember the mantra I’d been given and kept confusing it with the name of a Middle Eastern meat dish.
All that aside, it was a lasting impression Kayleen made – not just for looking so naturally beautiful, but also for embracing natural products to be used on the skin. The skin is the largest organ on your body, so while you spend a fortune buying organic foods to eat, it’s time to think about the natural things you want absorbed into your skin as well. (I know, I know… one more thing to worry about, but it’s true).
I asked Kayleen, who recently launched a bookmark worthy how-to makeup channel on style.com called Beauty Icons, to list her absolute favorite eco beauty products. You don’t have to look at the faces she paints to trust her judgment on this one, all you have to do is look at her. I’m in.
- Bite Beauty Lipsticks – Food grade products and yet the most amazing bright pigmented lipstick. I am absolutely obsessed with this entire lip line (that’s all they make!) but the lipsticks hold an extra special place in my heart. Any preconceived notions you have that cosmetics that are actually good for you don’t have the same color pay off goes out the window with this line. I recently visited their Lip Lab in Soho and mixed and matched – creating my own signature creamy formula lipstick, I even got to choose the scent!
- REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil – This rose body oil is the most luxurious treat that I can’t get enough of. I just picked up my (almost empty!) bottle to read the ingredient list and it proudly claims “NO petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, synthetics fragrance, synthetic colors, T.E.A, D.E.A, glycols, silicones, pegs, et al”. It’s the perfect post shower oil that I often mix with body lotion for a little extra moisture. Bonus: I always receive compliments when I use this product!
- Phillip B. Maui Wowie Volumizing & Thickening Beach Mist – I may be a makeup artist but every day I’m surrounded by some of the most talented hairdressers in the world and have picked up a few tricks along the way. This beach spray is one of my favorite products because it is paraben & phthalate free and smells exactly like the beach (it must be the Sea Salt, extracts of Algae, Orchid, Tahitian Gardenia, Aloe Vera & oils of Kukui and Coconut). To know me is to know that I never style my hair, all I use on a daily basis is this secret weapon. Interesting tidbit: it’s also of a favorite of the Byrdie Beauty editors!
- Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil – I had the pleasure of meeting Josie a few months ago and was blown away by what an intelligent woman and entrepreneur she is. She is a really inspiring lady who has changed the way the beauty industry thinks about eco friendly products. The line is constantly being reworked and the number of products they have made with Argan oil is unbelievable. The popular Infinity Cream (which I use in the winter for my cuticles and extra dry skin) now comes in color formulas. We all love to get bang for our buck, so this multiple that gives intense moisture and color for both lips and cheeks is money well spent.
- Eco Tools – 100% cruelty free, with handles made from bamboo, makes these brushes a great eco-friendly choice. My favorite thing is how accessible they are no matter where you live. They’re sold at Target, Walgreens, CVS, etc. so anyone can get their hands on them. There is a wide range of both makeup and hair brushes and they are the perfect shape no matter what effect you want to achieve. Try their Kabuki brushes, they are amazing!