The coconut oil that saved Fashion Week

Little known fact: a few stealth makeup artists are sneaking natural beauty products backstage in their bags.

Fashion Week model getting makeup
Little known fact: a few stealth makeup artists are sneaking natural beauty products backstage in their bags.

That’s not typical at Fashion Week, where mainstream beauty brands, like Tresemme and Maybelline, Revlon, and Shiseido dominate the hair and makeup you see on the catwalks.

But among the scores of makeup artists that are needed to beautify hundreds of models are some that favor natural skin care. Kristen Arnett is one of them. “People always look at me curiously backstage,” explains the international makeup artist, Fashion Week veteran, and founder of the Green Beauty Team. But as she explains it, her beauty subversion often pays off.

“The last model to arrive for a show yesterday was covered in kabuki makeup and hair teased out to the fullest in a geisha explosion,” says Arnett.

“We had 10 minutes to get it off her face, create a sleek hair style, and get her makeup looking like the rest of the models. It’s such a near-impossible feat, l thought it was a joke, like with a hidden cameras,” she says.

The team was scrubbing away at the model’s skin with baby wipes, and it wasn’t budging, when Arnett came running across the room with her RMS Coconut Oil. “It came off instantly, with no irritation. I saved this model’s skin with coconut oil,” she says proudly.

What other green beauty products are making their way backstage at Fashion Week? Arnett gives us a peek… —Melisse Gelula

Photos: Kristen Arnett


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John Masters Organic Lip Calm soothes and protects lips that may have been stained with a deep plum color for one show, scrubbed, and re-colored at several more shows over a day.

CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture minimizes redness, hydrates, and helps keep skin healthy despite what’s being done to it during Fashion Week.

“Sponsoring makeup brands don’t typically have a skin-care line, so we artists get to bring whatever we want for skin, BUT we are not supposed to leave it out on tables or be photographed using it. Sometimes people will come with tape and cover the bottle to hide the brand,” says Arnett.



Shobha rose cloths Arnett likes Shobha Rosewater Freshening Cloths for makeup removal and touch-ups in place of the all-too-common baby wipes. (Those are meant for behinds not faces!)

“Because I use natural, non-irritating skin care to remove makeup and prepare it to create the perfect base, it ensures the model’s makeup looks fantastic and her skin doesn’t break out in a reaction. If you don’t get the skin right, none of the makeup will be right,” says Arnett.




Lately Arnett’s been seeing a lot of models with a face full of pimples, itchy dry patches, or skin that has an instant rashy flare-up when it’s coated in the “wrong” kind of foundation. In case that happens at her next show, Arnett’s well-armed. “My kit may just have some foundations from RMS Beauty or W3LL PEOPLE in it today,” she says.



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