Tag: green beauty

Pretty makeup, that’s what they want.

June 16th, 2016 — 12:50am

christina3  christina1

‘I want my makeup to feel light, look glowy and sheer, and basically, just make me look like the best version of myself’.

Unless I’m doing makeup for an editorial, 90% of the time this is what I hear from the person I’m about to make up.  It’s come to be my favorite kind of makeup look to create, in large part because I love watching my clients reaction when I’m finished. Who doesn’t like to make people feel good about themselves? It may be a superficial ‘feel good’ at first, but it seeps in. I watch moods change, frown lines soften, and interactions with others become lighter and more at ease.  Makeup really is transformative, and it doesn’t need to be heavy anywhere on your face, contrary to the heavy eye and brow makeup and pancake face with highlights and lowlights and contour and strobe trend that just won’t seem to go away.

This is what I used for this light and glowing makeup on the beautiful Anna-Christina Schwartz:


May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden Facial Mist– the scent is incredible and I use it as much for the aromatherapy for myself, as I do for my clients.

Biossance ‘The Revitalizer’ – a super light squalene moisturizer that’s good for all skin types.

Kjaer Weis Foundation – I use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to gently buff the cream into skin – the smallest amount around her nose, on her forehead, and around her eyes, patting it in with a damp beauty blender.

RMS Living Luminizer – not a surprise, I love to use this coconut oil based highlighter on the cheekbones, along the bridge of the nose, and the cupids bow.

I lined her eyes gently with cream shadow sticks from Ilia Beauty, in a gold/brown called ‘Age of Consent’, and a bit more heavily with ‘You Spin Me Round’ – a dark gray/black shade. I blended them in with a cotton swab so they melted into the lash line – both top and bottom.

Ilia Polka Dots and Moonbeams luminizer – I press this more dense, less emollient (than the living luminizer from RMS) highlighter into the inner corner of eyes to draw attention and make eyes dazzle even more.

I always curl the lashes at least once, focusing on getting that outer corner UP! It really makes eyes stand out. Two or three coats of a very black mascara on top, and one slight coat on the bottom lashes finishes the look.

Brows: Eco Brow in ‘Sharon’ lightly filled in her brows, and I used a cotton swab to ensure no hard edges. I brushed her brows up and held them in place with a little liquid (non-aresol) hairspray from Rahua on a spoolie brush.


I usually use cream products that I swirl on the apples of the cheeks, but for this look I experimented by mixing a powder blush with a powder bronzer. For this I used ‘Blushing Rose’ and ‘Soft Terracotta’ from Dr. Hauschka and a medium sized fluffy brush.


Gressa Skin ‘Bare’ Lip Boost over a bit of balm from R.L Linden. 

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Pack Like a Pro with My In Flight Essentials

September 5th, 2015 — 7:14pm


Over the past few years I found myself on an airplane as often as 3-5 times a month. It was awesome to travel so much, but in hind-sight, also pretty darn overwhelming. You’d think with all that travel I would’ve learned something about making my time on the plane comfortable and productive, and slowly but surely I did come to hone my skills at packing the perfect carry-on.

This is what I’ve been toting around with me as of late:

  1. RL Linden Thousand Petals Facial Mist.I use this to spray my face, my hair, and the person next to me if they’re stinky (kind of just kidding on the last part).
  2. Waxelene – Petroleum Jelly Alternative: An easy to transport tube of healing, creamy ingredients that I use on lips, cuticles, and anywhere my skin (or hair) needs a little help.
  3. In Fiore – This beautiful little compact contains a deliciously scented solid oil and wax blend that i like to use for my lips, around my eyes, and on my cuticles. A few years ago, the wonderfully talented hairstylist, Danillo, introduced me to this line, created by a good friend of his, but only recently did my friend, Spirit (of Spirit Beauty Lounge), reintroduce me to it. The whole line is incredible, although I’m still figuring out how, and on which body part to use each of the products.
  4. Ilia Beauty’s Balmy Nights to scrub away that corner-of-the-mouth-yuck.
  5. Hope Gillerman’s Tension Remedy Essential Oil Blend: I love Hope’s whole line of products, and I’ve become very reliant on this to get me through plane rides and trips abroad.
  6. Tata Harper’s Aromatic Irritability Treatment – A beautifully blended myriad of scents I like to roll onto my wrists, temples, and sides of my neck. It’s been a long-time favorite and it’s another one of those multitasking products I often use as a perfume, as well.
  7. My To-Go Ware travel utensils set. I always bring my own food on planes and I made a promise to myself that cutlery would be one way in which I’d cut down my contribution of landfill waste.
  8. Individual eye drop containers – I slip one in my pocket and put one in whatever console/back of chair pouch is available. (My contacts tend to shrivel up on my eyes during a long flight.)
  9. An orange, a handful of organic raw nuts (almond or walnut), a sliced up pepper, and depending on how long the flight is, something heavy and belly-filling to help lull me to sleep. Luckily the American Airlines terminal at LAX opened a Real Food Daily – a great organic vegan restaurant – so I generally stop there if I didn’t make a meal at home.
  10. Again, depending on the length of flight, if it’s an exceptionally long one, I’ll board with a clean face, and after 7-10 hours, I’ll go into the ladies room, spray my face with the Be Happy antibacterial toner from Jenette’s All-Natural Skincare and, with very clean hands, apply either Jenette’s Be Clean face oil, Pai Rose Hip facial oil or Marie Veronique Organics Facial Serum (all of which I transfer from their larger bottles into teeny weeny ones).
  11. My travel ipod. I have one specifically for traveling that’s loaded with everything to pep me up when we’re about to land and I’ve got a long day ahead of me, to tons of beautiful Hindu chanting music that I listen to over and over and over and over. Thank goodness for ear bud headphones!
  12. An eye mask, this one from Bucky, in particular. I like this one because it doesn’t press on your eyes, or the bridge of your nose, which makes me almost forget I’m wearing a mask.
  13. The MacBook Air: This little piece of machinery has changed my life. For years I lugged around my 16 inch MacBook Pro, causing serious damage to my back and my shoulder. I have no idea why I waited so long to switch it up.
  14. Despite the weight of my shoulder bag having dropped considerably when I switched laptops, I still frequently feel sore in the shoulders, and sometimes the lower back, so I’ve taken to packing the stick on or Velcro around disposable heating pads. I really dislike that I’m being wasteful with this, but the one time I tried bringing my deliciously lavender and husk filled re-useable heating pad, and asking the stewardess to heat it for me in the microwave, I was given a stern, perplexed look, and a very definite ‘No’.

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Inside the Detox Market: My first Green Beauty Workshop on the west coast!

November 13th, 2014 — 5:56am


Taken from the original posting at The Chalkboard Mag.com :


WANT TO LEARN a few tricks of the trade from a woman who preps A List gals on both coasts for award shows and light night fashion – I mean, talk – shows? Perfect. We’re talking to celeb makeup artist Katey Denno about all things natural beauty, and this one knows it all.

Katey is one of our go-to beauty consultants here at TCM and with good reason. She paints the faces of gorgeous gals like Christy Turlington (get the look), Isla Fisher (get the look,Mindy Kaling, and Amanda Seyfried with her “mostly” natural beauty kit and creates looks so luminous she’s got half of Hollywood calling.

Recently we joined Katey for an evening inside West Hollywood’s The Detox Market for a green beauty workshop extraordinaire. Along with a dozen wellness-minded ladies ready to take thorough notes on paper and face, we sipped on Pressed Juicery mimosas and watched as Katey created look after look with some of our favorite natural brands.

Katey means business when it comes to beauty. Below we talk honestly about what’s going on in natural beauty and a few of her favorite things. Our thanks to the Detox Market for hosting the kind of event that pushes green beauty one step further – and teaches us to properly curl our lashes. Here’s Katey…

THE CHALKBOARD MAG: In the workshop you talked about ingredients to avoid. What are the 3 that top your list? 
KATEY DENNO: Fragrance/parfum; sodium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate (SLS/SLES); and oxybenzone.

TCM: We’ve talked about this many times: performance and non-toxicity are just about equal in our minds! If a lipstick is non-toxic but awful, why even put it on? Talk to us a little about the brands that are making the cut for you right now…

KD: I absolutely agree. We’re fortunate to be alive in a time in which a number of (mostly women) decided to forge ahead and find ways to make beauty products safely – and the options from which to pick are growing daily. My current go-tos include: Lina Hanson body oil – this blend is deliciously fragrant and has transformed my skin. I use it on my clients before they walk the red carpet all the time; YULI face oil – another oil blend that’s transformed my sensitive, outbreak-prone skin beautifully; Tammy Fender eye cream – I’ve been an eye cream user since age 17, and this one is one of the best I’ve ever tried. Tammy’s line is magical; Burt’s Bees lip crayons are super pigmented and rich in colors that are both classic, and right on-trend; and Kjaer Weis eye shadows – they’re the most blendable and incredibly beautiful of all shadows I’ve tried, with just the right amount of shimmer.

TCM: You’ve got a ton of celebrity clients. Are there any products your girls are really loving right now?

Click here to read the rest of the interview.

Thank you so much for coming to class, and for having me on thechalkboardmag.com!









Special thanks to our beautiful model, Anna Crysell.



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Be perfectly on-trend with two of my favorite rich, classic, fall lip colors.

November 10th, 2014 — 3:44pm



When my friend Jessie stopped by my house recently, I couldn’t resist asking if I could dress up her lips with some colors of the season. I knew she would look gorgeous in Burt’s Bees all-natural semi-matte lip crayon, ‘Napa Vineyard‘, and boy oh boy, did she ever. I topped it with just a bit of Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in ‘Rose‘ to keep her lips feeling perfectly moisturized.

Later in the evening when we were getting ready to go out, I had a thought: we should add a few coats of Burt’s Bees all-natural lip gloss in my favorite deep, rich purple-tone, called ‘Starry Night’, and see what happens.

The result was so super pretty. A very different, but still deep, richly pigmented, multi-dimensional color, just perfect for falling temperatures, snuggly sweaters… and a hat.

If you’d like help finding the shade I think will look best on you, click here and here to explore the Burt’s Bees Lip Shade Finder and Lip Tip Library.

Thanks for showing off the lip colors so well, beautiful Jessie! xxx

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Burt’s Bees. The opinions and text are all mine.

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For The LOVE of Green Beauty, Part 2, begins tomorrow!

February 17th, 2014 — 12:00am


Look at this amazing, glowing skin. I want my skin to look and feel like hers, all the time!

Regardless of whether the temps where you live have you showing off some skin, or covering every inch in fuzzy, wooly warmth, it’s always good practice to treat the skin on your body with the same TLC that you show to the skin on your face.

The next 6 days of giveaways, brought to you by Spirit Beauty Lounge. com  + The Beauty Of It Is. com, can help. It’s time to GET GLOWING!!

During each of the next six weekday mornings, you’ll  have up to 6 ways to enter to receive one of our favorite green body beautifiers: from oils to lotions, body washes, and wash cloths. The scents and textures are delicious and I’m so excited to share them with you.

Oh, and just so you know, this beautiful models’ skin was prepped with one (if not more) of the fantastic green beauty products that we will be giving away in the next six days.  This skin can be yours!!

The steps to enter each day are the same as they were last week – super simple, but just to clarify:

1. You don’t have to have a facebook page, a twitter account, or an instagram account to enter, HOWEVER, the more points you can rack up, the greater your chances of winning.

2.  Enter every day!

3.  Instagram isn’t listed on the giveaway entry set-up simply because I couldn’t figure out how to add it! However,  posting a cute picture that shows us why you want what’s being given away, and tagging my account (katey denno, NOT the beauty of it is) and spiritbeautylounge, will get you extra points, as well.


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She’s smart, beautiful, fun & funny, and she owns my go-to online store for the best in green beauty products.

December 29th, 2013 — 4:24pm


We can all benefit from having a mentor, and Spirit Demerson, the owner of the eponymous online green beauty boutique, SpiritBeautyLounge.com, has been that for me over the past few years. She always has her finger on the pulse of what’s about to explode onto the green beauty scene, and she possesses the most broad mental database of all things green beauty product-related.(sometimes the extent of her knowledge and memory freaks me out!)  Also of great importance: I genuinely love, and use, the products she stocks, and I think her customer service is top notch.

She’s the biggest game in town (and the country) as far as online green beauty shops go, and you can see from her website that she has a very high level of aesthetic integrity. What you can’t see from her site, however, is what I’ll be sharing with you below: the inside scoop on Spirit Demerson. We had a lot of fun during the little photo shoot in her home that you’ll see below, and then Spirit answered my questions that are geared to let you in on  what this trendsetter/tastemaker is thinking, wearing, eating, drinking, putting in her home, and doing in her spare time.  Plus, she shares how she got involved in this industry in the first place, and what she thinks makes Spirit Beauty Lounge the very best place to shop.


Katey: What about who you are and what you’ve done in life prepared you to create Spirit Beauty Lounge?

Spirit: I have a funny background in all of the things I do everyday; design, beauty, retail, business and technology…I follow my passion, which has led me all over the place. I would go to art school, then take business classes, manage a beauty supply store, then go away to Spain on a modeling contract, go to cosmetology school, then fashion school, then take programming and networking  classes…in no particular order. I’m a fiend for information. When it comes to things I’m interested in, I can be an obsessive researcher.  Since I have so many loves, I wasn’t sure what career path I could stick to – until something formed that called on many of my passions at once, especially green beauty and business.


Katey: What questions do your customers reach out to you to ask?

Spirit: I hear from a lot of women when they’ve reached the end of their rope – they either want to get off of the chemicals they’re dependent on (steroid creams, accutane, benzoyl peroxides…), but fear a catastrophic withdrawal, or they’ve been trying natural line after line, product after product, and aren’t getting any results. That’s where we come in!  Offering a holistic, comprehensive analysis of your whole beauty routine, and finding alternative green beauty upgrades and solutions is my specialty.

It’s also funny sometimes to hear the way we women describe ourselves.  We all, including myself, can really over-dramatize our conditions.  I’ve seen women with enviable beautiful skin, describe it as dull, aging, hyper-pigmented, sensitive, scarred, congested, enlarged pores, roseacea…I think partly because we now are so educated about beauty and have this dermatologists vocabulary to describe things, we “see” more issues than we ever did before.


Katey: What does a day in your life look like?    

Spirit: My office is a couple blocks from my home but I prefer to work from home as much as possible.  I’m more productive in complete quiet, with candles or incense, my two computers, and my iPhone (this is New York quiet) I start with a morning routine that probably includes some 20 odd products or so (I’m a junkie!) and have a cold-brewed coffee and green juice before starting on emails, reviewing inventory, meeting with vendors, and then meeting up the “The Girls” (the office staff) to go over customer or order issues of the day.  I’ll have 2 or 3 more green juices throughout the day, and try to get my sig. other to take me somewhere amazing for dinner, before curling up into bed with my cat, Fatty.



Katey: When do you feel your most beautiful?

Spirit: Superficially – that moment before I leave the house, all dolled up, head full of possibilities and ready to conquer!  Spiritually, when I’m hosting a guest in my home or a dinner party – the lighting, candles, music, food, decor, the conversation is stimulating, everyone is gently intoxicated….bringing souls together in calm, sparkling interaction…creating symbiotic, harmonic beauty – that’s magic.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.08.20 PM

Katey: What do you do when you’re feeling unattractive and down in the dumps?

Spirit: My blessing and curse is that I’m an obsessive researcher.  When I’m really low, you may catch me spending hours on dermatology and plastic surgery websites, planning out my Frankenstein transformation.  But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned there are two healthier, more productive ways to fight that: 1. Exercise and 2. Put on heels and a bold lipstick!


Katey: What do you indulge in that is so not what people think of as ‘green living’?

Spirit: My guiltiest sin is fashion! I generally eat, buy and consume all organic and non-toxic but I have a weakness for beautiful non-eco clothes and shoes. My best effort is to only buy what I love, and will wear for many years (reducing consumption of ‘disposable’ clothing), to only buy natural fibers (admittedly many are worse than synthetic environmentally), and to observe the 1 in 1 out (to my sister as handmedowns) rule so I keep the collection small. But still, I’m the first to admit that what I spend on wardrobe could be put to better use.  Usually I’m a ‘Miranda’ but in that way, I’m a Carrie Bradshaw.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.16.41 PM

Katey: What are you excited about that’s in the works for SBL? 

Spirit: Kjaer Weis’ new foundation and May Lindstrom’s new face balm are rocking my world right now. They both did something that really hasn’t been done.  With the new foundation, it’s none of the shiny, heaviness of an oil-based foundation, but with all of the velvety coverage of one.  It applies like a thin veil yet still has significant coverage.  When I use it, I almost scratch my head like ‘how did that happen?” The May Lindstrom balm is filled with all these amazing, precious, rare active ingredients that aren’t just anti-inflammatory and hydrating, but actually encourage the skins own natural UV resistance and stress resistance – which means its a godsend for the type of skin that tends to react to EVERYthing. 

We’re doing an exclusive launch soon of a line that has a crazy cult following they built entirely on their own, and sort of under the press’s radar.  Our “early adopter” clients have already been begging us to carry it for a year now so I’m expecting a lot of excitement!  Keep your eyes peeled!


Katey: What’s in your beauty bag right now? 

Spirit: My ‘5 Minute Face’ is RMS Beauty Un Cover Up, Kjaer Weis Eyeshadow & Blush, and W3LL People Lip Shine.  People always ask me what I’m wearing when I have it on, which is unusual for makeup.  I kind of love that.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.23.21 PM

Katey: Why green beauty? (interpret this however  you like)

Spirit: Because we’re worth it.  Truly, it’s deciding to treasure your health, wellness, longevity and radiance, and a way of telling ‘Big Beauty’ to back off.  They hide the truth.  They rape the planet.  We deserve better…no, we deserve The Best.  Keats wrote: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” 


Katey: 5 things that your fans don’t know about you.

Spirit: I love watching Nancy Grace, Lifetime Movies, and eating waffles & sausage in bed on Sunday.  

I still listen to and consider myself punk rock.  

I’ve had 7 piercings and two tattoos.  

Beauty is only my 4th or 5th passion/obsession, under art, design, food & beverage, fashion and technology. 

I’m incapable of doing my own hair or nails & have to have them done every week.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.15.43 PM

Katey: What about a brick and mortar store?

Spirit: I would absolutely love to go brick & mortar here in my favorite city [NYC]! It would take some help but I think that would be amazing.  The name Spirit Beauty Lounge was actually the name of the project I wrote the business plan for in the first place – which was a modern organic luxury spa boutique with a lounge vibe. That plan grew into something else so rapidly, there really wasn’t a chance to come up with a name.  It became a virtual beauty lounge.  I have made plans to still get the brick & mortar concept going, but the site’s growth keeps me really busy!

Thank you, Spirit, for sharing so much with us. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next. xoxo


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TONIGHT!!! It’s finally here! A Night for Green Beauty!

September 4th, 2013 — 3:57am



Tonight marks the first ever gathering of green beauty product creators, fans, and those who are open to knowing more, just in time to kick off NYC’s Fashion Week. Hurrah! This one-of-a-kind green beauty pop-up hosted by La Bella Figura is taking place tonight, September 4th, from 5-9pm, at the James Corbett Studio, and will cost you nothing, but promises to be extremely rewarding. Plus, I’ll be there introducing you to your new favorite lip color.

Pressed Juicery will be treating us right by providing us with delicious refreshments.  Plus, you can have your hair braided at the braid bar, and try out all of the very best in safe beauty products from brands including – but probably not limited to:

Dr. Alkaitis, Lina Hanson, Olie Biologique, SW Basics of Brooklyn, Joanna Vargas Skincare, Hope Gillerman, Annee DeMamiel, Lurk Perfumes, Tela Organics, One Love Organics, Vered Botanicals, CV Skinlabs, Revolution Organics, Ilia Beauty, Kjaer Weis, May Lindstrom Skin, Kahina Giving Beauty, and La Bella Figura.

Some of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to a NYC non-profit called Hair2Help, (thank you James, Corbett!) which offers free beauty and wellness services to cancer patients and their caregivers.

See you tonight!




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I love this look I did on Julianne Moore: Hot pink lip stain + redhead = FANTASTIC!

February 21st, 2012 — 11:01pm

There’s been a lot of buzz about lip stains over the past few years. I love them for times when I’m not going to be with my client, after our initial hour together, to check that her lipstick hasn’t smudged or faded. You can use them with a lip balm, allowing just their color to show, or layer a lipstick over top for increased intensity of color.

On two separate occasions last week I used a lip stain from Josie Maran called Jitterbug. Both days Julianne was wearing a black top so I thought it would be fun to brighten up the look with a great, vibrant lip color. We loved how it looked so much that we decided to use it again the next day. I love putting hot pink on a pale, pinky-skin-tone’d redhead. Jitterbug is a really intensely bright hot pink, and the beauty blog world was all a-buzz with commentary on how great she looked wearing it.

Using a lip stain requires some prep that you’re likely not used to if you normally wear a lipstick or gloss. These steps are very important, or you’ll lose both the beauty, as well as the effectiveness of the product.

  1. Gently exfoliate your lips prior to application. This should be done EVERY day (another post will follow on this because it’s so often overlooked, and really so necessary). The quick and easy way to do this is towards the end of your shower, use a washcloth, a soft toothbrush, or even the pads of your fingers to gently remove the dead, scaly skin that collects on the lips. EVERYONE should do this – men, too.  When I go to get someone ready to walk the red carpet I start our session with a lip exfoliation by handing them an organic baby wipe and having them rub it gently in small circular motions over their lips.
  2. Generously apply a NON-PETROLEUM lip balm. This is where I stand on the whole lip balm thing: petroleum and petrolatum do a great job sealing in moisture if it’s there already. However, most of us have dry lips and need to add moisture, rather than just sealing the skin. (Plus, do you know where petroleum comes from? Yuck. That’ll be for another post, as well). Choose a lip balm that’s formulated with shea butter, beeswax, honey, or any other natural oil – anything natural that will absorb and hydrate is what makes sense to me.  Don’t you notice that when you use a lip balm with a petroleum base, you have to reapply just as soon as that slick feeling goes away? Your lips deserve better!
  3.  Very important: Once the non-petroleum lip balm has had a few minutes to absorb, kiss the back of your hand, or a tissue (or give it to another set of dry lips via a kiss), and remove any trace of it.
  4.  There are two styles (in my opinion) to lip stain application.
    a. For a more natural look: Start staining the center of the lips and then fade towards the edges.
    b. For a more deliberate, constructed look, outline the lips (you can even give yourself a little extra help along the edges if you want a more full look, particularly on the cupids bow and along the top edge) and then fill in the center.
    Be careful to stay within the lines since these pigments really do stain.
  5. Finish with a lip balm that you’ll put in your pocket and reapply as needed. You can also choose to use a gloss if you want more shine.
  6. Enjoy touch-up free, kissable lips, with color that lasts for hours and hours!

Side note: I like Josie Maran’s lip stain line because the colors are intense, they’re not tested on animals, they’re paraben-free, they’re fragrance-free, and the packaging is mostly recyclable.

Side note #2: If you accidentally get the lip stain coated with lip balm it will clog up the felt tip. If this happens, gently press the tip into a slightly damp, warm wash cloth. It should do the trick.

Side note #3: The only drawback is that the few formulations I’ve tried have dried out within the tube/pen container thing pretty quickly, making them one of those items you use a few times and then return to find it too dried up to use again. Maybe there’s a trick I’m missing to bring them back to life that’s not listed on any website?


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