We recently connected with Beth Walker and have shared our conversation below.
Beth, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Let’s kick things off with your mission – what is it and what’s the story behind why it’s your mission?
I am a Holistic Esthetician and Professional Makeup Artist who exclusively uses *non-toxic beauty and skincare products on my clients, myself and my family.
The story behind my mission was simple; If I’m going to make a career out of being a makeup artist I had better use the products I’m most confident in, and that’s supporting brands that don’t use nasty ingredients, packaging bad for the environment or test on animals !!!
The EU have banned about 1300 beauty product ingredients and the FDA have banned only about 30, which I find alarming.
Going all-in as a clean beauty makeup artist has been the best career move. Not only are the products wonderful to work with but they are also great conversation starters. My clients will tell you that they have often chatted in-depth with me about health and wellness and as a result it’s not just a simply makeup application, but often an education on what causes their skin issues like contact dermatitis, and what they can do to improve it. Many of them leave with the name of a holistic spa or functional medicine practitioner I recommend they see.
*The Clean Beauty Movement is a rejection of conventional beauty brands and their use of possibly dangerous ingredients such as but not limited to;
Parabens, Synthetic fragrances
Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), Phthalates, Formaldehyde
Aluminium compounds, Hydroquinone.
The movement has also placed a spotlight on environmental pollution (hello plastic micro beads, I’m looking at you) and environmental sustainability in the industry. Pre “clean beauty”, few conventional brands were discussing the impact of packaging on the environment, or how vital it is to practice ethical ingredient sourcing, partnering with non-profit organisations or tackling environmental problems.
Now that the Clean Beauty Movement is alive and kicking, we see more options on the market for recyclable, zero waste and reusable packaging, alternatives to plastic, eco-friendly inks and certified sustainable cardboard.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
In 2004 I emigrated to the States (Boulder, CO) from Wicklow, a small fishing town on the south east coast of Ireland. My parents both had careers in the cosmetic and skincare industry back in Europe; My mom was an esthetician and beauty educator for a large makeup and skincare company based in London, and my Dad was the manager over the Irish branch of this company, that’s how they met. As a result of their career’s there were boxes and boxes of cosmetics at home. This early exposure granted me the ability to understand “makeup application”… It was far from clean makeup though, that movement was a few decades away!!!! On the home front growing up, there was a strong emphasis on natural remedies like herbs and most especially homeopathy. There was also an almost daily conversation about holistic health and wellness, growing organic food, keeping chickens, beekeeping and the like. I look back and see how I’ve woven this all together into my career as a clean beauty makeup artist and holistic esthetician. In the here and now and you’ll find me doing makeup for large campaigns with brands like the North Face, Reebok, Sorel Footwear, or touching up the talent on a video for Clean Eating Magazine, grooming a yogi for a Yoga Journal magazine cover shoot, getting a bride ready for her Big Day or spending hours with a client as we fine-tune her cosmetics and skincare. All these work adventures and more will always come with my kit full to the brim with clean, non toxic beauty products.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
I think (can’t be sure) that my reputation within the industry I’m in has been built by my willingness to help people. For example, I’ll never shy away from a person seeking advice on health, skin or hair issues (and if it’s out of my expertise I know just the right pro to refer them to). I will often share samples from my work kit so a client (or often a crew member) can take home a cosmetic or skincare to try out for themselves. I don’t sell the products I use so I love to use this opportunity to promote small businesses (Like Aillea Beauty, Alchemy Face Bar and Jones and Co), skincare by brands like Indie Lee, Khus Khus, Pleni or Revy and cosmetic lines like Hynt Beauty, Ilia and many more
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
I’d be remiss to not mention the effect of the pandemic on “non essential” businesses like my own. I know many pro artists who decided to retire from the industry due to the market for us pretty much tanking. Surviving it mentally and financially was tricky at times, but here I am, and I’m very grateful about that.
- Website: www.bwmakeup.com
- Instagram: @bethwalker_ecobeauty
Image One; Rebecca Caridad Image Two; iPhone 11