Beauty advice that the pros will tell you but others won't

The question of expertise comes up often because we have access to a great deal of information on the internet, and it’s up to us to figure out what’s real and what’s hokey. Unfortunately, these days there are too many people posing as experts with absolutely no background at all in their field.

Once upon a decade ago, a person had to show their credentials before earning people’s trust. Lately though, it’s enough to have thousands of followers—frequently most of them bought—and act like a leading expert to be called one. Certainly for the people who cultivate their expertise, these are challenging times that seem unjust because all too often the authentic professionals are overlooked for the louder, more airbrushed versions with the biggest fan club.

The problem is that sometimes the advice is wrong, ridiculous, or at worst harmful. It can happen in the skincare industry (which is why you need to ask these questions before buying) and it can happen with makeup application and video tutorials too.

One way to protect ourselves from misinformation is to seek the authentic professionals. When I do, their pro-tips save time, money, and—last but not least—space in cabinets and drawers.

How to define a beauty expert

lip + mirror

That’s why I love interviews and sessions with authentic beauty pros like celebrity makeup artist Kristen Arnett, founder of the Green Beauty Team. When I asked her to define a beauty expert, she said that it’s someone who has spent years training and researching their particular expertise to understand how to address a variety of people, ages, and concerns to create a desired result through their craft.

“When it comes to makeup,” she said, “it’s part art and part skill set that must be developed through the experience of working on hundreds of faces to mix, match, paint, blend, give color, definition and harmony utilizing different cosmetics to achieve a range of looks.”

According to Kristen, there is no one-size-fits-all model to follow, unlike the over-generalized tips found in many YouTube tutorials.”Yes, there are fundamentals that each woman can apply—and learning on herself and even from other women can be a great way to get some tips, but free advice is not always the best advice.

“If you went to a doctor for advice who had only ever treated himself/herself and hadn’t practiced on any other patients and had no supervisor holding them accountable, wouldn’t that freak you out? I’m not saying beauty experts are the same as doctors, but skin is a major organ! Eyes, lips, and our bodies are affected by the things we do to them topically. So to be considered a credible authority on the subject of beauty, their work also must go beyond the individual self practice.”

She has seen too many of those tutorials sharing bad or even dangerous advice, as well as using makeup wrong.

Thousands of people have clicked to watch one vlogger share how she likes to use an oil-based, natural foundation as an eye primer. Sure! If you want to see makeup slide right off—which totally defeats the purpose of a primer.

“When you see a DIY makeup recipe, be extra vigilant. Bacteria is a major problem in normal cosmetics, which is why parabens existed in the first place. Just because someone wrote about making a product in their kitchen with natural ingredients, does not mean it’s safe—those folks have no accountability or testing that proves whether or not it’s really safe to use.”

How true that is and the reason why it’s important to read about the hidden dangers of DIYs and to follow the six rules for a safe DIY.

Beauty advice that the pros will tell you but others won't

How would an expert consultation work?

Imagine a simplified, well-edited beauty bag that has been curated for you by someone who works with the best beauty in the business, as opposed to dropping dollars on the latest trend that may not translate well on your face. Actually, a skilled professional can recreate a trendy runway look during a private lesson and make it work for you. That is a honed craft and what an authentic expert has to offer.

Kristen explained, “When you hire a professional, you’ll still have to do your research to find the best one who is the right fit for you.

“Whenever I do online or in-person Healthy Beauty Consultations for clients, I talk to them at length about their needs, and work hard to customize my suggestions so they are realistic given each client’s individual features, lifestyle, age, climate, preferences and willingness to spend time making themselves up.

“With a background as a corporate cosmetics trainer, I developed the skill to distill large amounts of information into a package tailored for the person sitting right in front of me. So that woman can take her package of knowledge, specially created for her, and say goodbye to money draining trips to the store buying cosmetics that don’t work for the rest of her life.

“Only a long-time pro will know what special tweaks make things go on better or easier to really enhance a woman’s face. I am not going to tell my clients do something I have not tried on myself and on at least five other people first.

“There are many brands that never see the light of day after my initial trials because though they might work for me, I can’t get them to perform on others, so they just don’t get my stamp of approval.

“When someone comes to me asking, ‘what’s your favorite foundation?’ My answer is always, ‘it depends on skin type, texture desired and under what conditions it will be used.’ I just won’t do a cookie-cutter reply. It would feel disingenuous.”

jane iredale "in the blink of a smokey eye" palette

What the pros tell you that a beauty counter MUA doesn’t

I worked with Kristen years ago. Actually, that’s how we met—I hired her to teach me and then wound up interviewing her for the newspaper I was working with at the time because she’s a wealth of knowledge and knows how to articulate it well. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting much from my consultation—with good reason.

Any time I sat down to get my makeup done at a department store beauty counter, I hated the results. One time I compared the finished look to a flamingo with tacky turquoise eyeliner (no offense to the actual bird, but I didn’t think flamingo pink worked as well on me as it does on it)! So, I figured with Kristen, at the very least I’d get the insider scoop on what a clean makeup pro was loving and that I’d buy a ton of new products that I didn’t need, then wash off all the makeup as quickly as possible when I left. Well, that didn’t happen.

Even though I assumed that I already knew all there was to know about doing my own makeup, Kristen blew me away with tips and tricks that I never would have considered, using clean makeup that I already owned or recommending a few key products and colors that updated my stuck-in-the-previous-generation look.

She didn’t rush the process to get to the next client (as so often happens in the stores), so I contentedly peppered her with questions the entire time. What’s awesome is that she’s not only a makeup artist but she also lives and breathes living an eco-friendly, healthy lifestyle. That makes her a treasure trove when it comes to nutrition, skincare, and healthy skin maintenance practices.

Years later, I’m still following her advice and making sure not to make certain mistakes. I had no idea that I was putting on my blush wrong all these years and where to place colors to open up my face. Of course, she helped walk me through the endless maze of eyeshadow, highlighter, and contouring. Her final touches to my face brought the entire look together in a way I wouldn’t have figured out myself. I entered a skeptic but left utterly surprised and impressed.

“My motivation is never based on commission, and that’s why people trust me so much,” she said. “Yes, it’s an investment to tap into decades of knowledge. Particularly because I am one of the few professional makeup artists daring to work so intensely with natural formulations. The research and experimentation started over 6 years ago, and it is endless.

“So when it comes to talking about green beauty in particular, then as a reader, you really need to take notice of where you are getting your information from. My rule from day one on Green Beauty Team is that all of our contributors must be professionals or highly knowledgeable experts in holistic beauty to write for us. Maybe it’s less sexy, but let me caution folks,  just because you like the personality of the blogger you follow, doesn’t mean the advice is valid.” ←Tweet this!

Amen, Sista!

Special offer

If this describes you:

  • you feel lost in the confusing green cosmetics world and want to learn how to navigate the brands
  • you are ready to find makeup that will work just right for you
  • you want to avoid costly mistakes
  • you want to duplicate looks you love but don’t know how
  • you want to have a stimulating, educational, and fun dialogue with an expert (and learn more than you think you will)

Then I highly recommend scheduling a Virtual Healthy Beauty Lesson with Kristen today.

Here’s how to take advantage of the special offer*:

  • Enter “saritasfriend” in the “redeem coupon” box
  • Book by June 30, 2016

You will receive:

  • A 15% savings
  • A copy of Kristen’s “5 Daily Affirmations To Support Your Beauty Detox”—a powerful way to shift your beauty from the inside out—sent right to your email.

Also, make sure to subscribe to her sites: Green Beauty Team, Kristen Arnett, and follow her on social media to stay current on the latest updates: Twitter: @KristenArnettGB | Facebook: Kristen Arnett’s Green Beauty Team | Instagram: @KristenArnettBeauty |

* This offer ONLY applies to the Virtual Healthy Beauty Lesson. This is not an affiliate link. All opinions my own, unless quoting Kristen.

** Photo of Karlie Kloss and Kristen Arnett courtesy of  Shawn Brackbill; first photo is of Kristen’s work in Coco Eco Magazine with rms beauty lip2cheek & lip shine found here; featured image courtesy of Jane Iredale