For too long brands and the public alike have equated natural makeup with “the natural look”. Here’s why one makeup artist is changing that perception, one bold lip at a time, plus the people to follow for fierce green beauty inspo...

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One common presumptive equation calculated in the beauty industry is that organic and natural makeup  = boring. The thing is, all too often, this assumption isn’t too far removed from the truth. Conscious beauty companies have a habit of deducing that, in seeking out natural makeup, their customers desire products that comply with a natural aesthetic too; think sheer balms, neutral eyeshadows and a generally light touch where pigmentation is concerned. Of course, “no makeup makeup” isn’t going anywhere, but many occasions and moods call for more than just a wash of shadow or lick of liner- if we’re going ‘out out’, we want smoke, glitter, gloss and a bullet of no-nonsense punchy lipstick, and we want it yesterday. Who’s with me?

Well, Miranda Kerr’s makeup artist and founder of RMS Beauty  Rose-Marie Swift  for one.

Rose-Marie Swift

To be clear, she’s been making high quality organic makeup in vivid shades for nigh on a decade and sees no reason why the consumer need sacrifice colour range or payoff for the sake of environmentally friendly and ethically produced products:

“People think that “clean” beauty products imply makeup that can only be used to create a natural look. So wrong. Natural beauty to me not only suggests beautiful skin, it can also mean a bold, powerful eye, brow or lip.”

Coming from a makeup artist known for her signature red lip, her case (and look) is strong, and she wants to disseminate the message that just because your cosmetics are kind, that doesn’t mean that your makeup can’t be ‘extra’.

A case in point is RMS Beauty’s new Wild with Desire Lipsticks, launching at the end of October into  Space NK . The name doesn’t hold back and neither does the pigment or staying power. In Rose-Marie’s words, “they can be compared to a green version of Tom Ford’s lipstick range, with comparable high impact color.” I’m inclined to agree- I went for a berry shade that’s pure glide-on gothic glamour, and it actually improved in impact throughout an evening of cackling, red wine drinking and chocolate pudding eating (I’m not usually this decadent but can confirm the lipstick is full-on luxe). The colour lineup is also extensive from the get-go, with even more shades planned for spring 2018. Rose-Marie has focused as much on individual lip undertone as longevity of wear and the fact that most of us end up eating our lipstick to produce a range that can compete with the MACs and Tom Fords on the market while also remaining stringently non-toxic and made with food-grade, eco ingredients.

It’s not just the opaque lipsticks that drip with Hollywood glamour either- the  RMS Vintage Cake Liner , £22.50, is inspired by 50s style film makeup, and the deep black pigment is akin to synthetic makeup alternatives- there’s no holding back if you’re aiming for Sophia Loren sultry level liner. Incidentally, Rose-Marie only found the holy grail of natural black pigment when she linked up with a female chemist passionate about making organic cosmetics that could be even better than the synthetic “real deal” in both performance and ‘pack a punch’ colour. Obviously there’s the fact that the natural ingredients have an affinity with the skin and environment, but you don’t want that to be at the expense of a killer red lip or Bonfire Night worthy smokey eye. If it’s a bit ‘meh’, it’s not happening. After all, Rose-Marie needs her makeup to make a statement on some of the most famous faces in the world (Gisele, Demi Moore, Tilda Swinton…) and falling flat on the red carpet isn’t an option.

Speaking of which, from bold and bright editorial shoots to film premieres and backstage beauty looks, the following makeup artists and brands use natural, organic and cruelty-free makeup to dramatic effect, whether in the scope of a pop of blue on the eyes, Monroe-worthy red lip or sprinkling of biodegradable glitter. Basically, despite the ethos, they’re anything but “safe”.

Justine Jenkins: @justinejenkins

Celebrity makeup artist and cruelty-free makeup artist Justine was not only the vegan makeup brush consultant to my Ultimate Guide to Makeup Brushes and Tools , but also uses said brushes to push the envelope where the image of natural beauty is concerned. Her work walks the red carpet on the faces of Fearne Cotton, Elisabeth Moss and seemingly half of the cast of Game of Thrones, and touches such as electric blue liner at the inner corner of the eyes, eco-friendly jewel toned glitter on lids and aubergine lips showcase the ‘out there’ aspect of conscious beauty. Like Rose-Marie, her penchant for a bright lipstick is well known- you’ll rarely see her without some kind of orange-hued red on the go.

Lou Dartford: @loudartford_mua

Graphic liner, Instagram @loudartford_mua

A green makeup artist since 2009, Lou  puts ethical makeup to eclectic use. Also partial to biodegradable glitter, if she can’t find a shadow stick that’s loud enough in the eco-beauty sphere, she’ll use a bright lipstick across lids instead and take a magazine spread to an edgy new level. Think graphic liner, painterly primary coloured eyes, lashlines so smokey they’re practically on fire and ‘outside of the box’, creative makeup touches on the daily.

The fact that she found her expertise in technical effects while studying costume and makeup at the London College of Fashion starts to make a lot of sense when you whizz through her Instagram feed.

Kjaer Weis: @kjaerweis

Danish born makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis is committed to using natural origin raw materials to achieve high performance, professional grade makeup that’s put through its paces in starry environments regularly. Emma Watson rocked a series of Kjaer Weis red lips at last year’s Beauty and the Beast premieres, meanwhile shadow pans are intense, daring and all refillable and recyclable if sustainable smokey eyes are more your bag. Weis was also one of the first to nail a natural mascara- no mean feat in the organic beauty lab apparently.