The world of makeup artistry is ever changing from following trends, making new ones and seeing what exists within the cosmetic and skincare industries. We had a chance to chat with Karim Orange on celebs that she has worked on, her about new line that she has collaborated with via Vapour Organic Beauty, being a Low Beauty Makeup Artist and what that means in a world where we are navigating green, non-animal tested products, sustainable as well as other products.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background and how you became a Makeup Artist.
KARIM ORANGE:I have been a professional make up artist for over 25 years. When I was younger I always loved the beautiful girls in the magazines with makeup on. They always looked so happy. I started as an assistant to another celebrity makeup artist. We worked on over 100 videos a year in the early 90s. My big break was touring with Mary J Blige. After that I beat out 23 other make up artists for my spot at The View. This is where I received my two Emmy nominations.
AM: Who are celebrities or projects that you have worked on that we would know?
KO: I worked on The View and with artists like Jay Z, Nas, Sean Puffy Combs, Lauren Hill, Rosario Dawson, Goldie Hawn, Mary J. Blige, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, The Dixie chicks, Deepak Chopra, I've even done Donald Trump's makeup.
AM: How did Inner Orange come about (from it's name, your partnership with Vapour etc)?
KO: Vapor Organic Beauty and I have been working together in different capacities for over five years. I have always respected them as a brand because they have always been inclusive of all shades. The name Inner Orange is of course a play on my last name. I find that orange, the color, usually makes people feel excited. The sun has hues of orange, changing leaves have beautiful tones of orange. Some amazing foods are orange. Orange makes you glow. Inner Orange is about glowing strong in whatever-you do, and the colors in the collection reflect a 'glow strong' attitude.
AM: What products are currently in Inner Orange and what are your plans for this portion of the line in terms of extending the product range?
KO: Inner Orange currently consists of two collections. The first collection is called Spark and it's for light to medium skin-tones. It consists of peachy and soft gold neutral tones. The Crave collection consists of warm burnt orange shades and rich chocolate browns. It is more for medium to darker shades. Inner Orange will continue to develop with Vapor Organic Beauty. You will see the addition of seasonal colors and products to support the crave and spark collection, giving you more possibilities.
You will also see additional products under the Inner Orange umbrella. The next product is a synergistic essential oil blend called Inner Orange, which will be available in January on the Inner Orange website.
AM: When we talked with you at the event, you explained that you're a Low Beauty makeup artist - can you explain more about what this and misconceptions that people may have on this title/category?
KO: Over the years I have seen the words clean, green, organic, sustainable, natural all used to describe more conscious personal care products. These are the words that I have used to describe personal care products. Recently, I have thought about what it is that I do. What it is that I would like to teach women. It became a concept that I have personally coined to describe my practice which I call 'Low' Beauty. It's very easy for the average person to understand. Everyone likes things in life that are low! Low mortgage rates, low-risk activities, low pesticides in food.
Low beauty is three basic steps and rules, that I try to follow.
*As a makeup artist, I try to use the minimum amount of products to get maximum results. When I teach a woman how to do their make up I try and make it as simple as possible. If she is currently using 10 products I try to get it down to five or six.
*I also try to introduce products with low undesirable ingredients.
*Lastly I try to pick products with low carbon footprints. Sometimes the low carbon footprint part can have shades of grey.
AM: How did your journey to being a Low Beauty artist come about?
KO: My journey as a low beauty make up artist came about by trial and error. Using minimal products came about on a tour with Mary J Blige. At the time, Mary had her own makeup kit that I was using. Somehow her make up kit got left behind at the last venue. That night I had to do Mary's make up with a few products. It taught me how to be a minimalist. Also working on The View (live television), where you have no extra time for extra products, confirmed my minimalistic approach.
The need to use products with low undesirable ingredients came about through my personal nightmare. A lipstick that I had been using every day for years sent me to the emergency room because of a sudden allergic reaction. I didn't wear lipstick for almost 10 years after this. I also started making the connection between women and autoimmune disease and what we put in our bodies. There are so many women that have reactions to something they have been using every day. The body one day says that's enough, and makes the immune system go haywire. I was lucky that my reaction happened on the outside of my body immediately. I was able to stop using the product, a lot of women are not so lucky when symptoms happen internally.
The low carbon footprint aspect can be a bit overwhelming. While I understand that sometimes companies can't do everything right, they should still make an effort not to intentionally incorporate practices that are wrong and harm the earth or animals. They should support sustainable practices and know every element of their manufacturing.
AM: There is a growing conversation among many about the need to transition a number of beauty products from those that are chemically based to those that have less as well as those that have not been tested on animals.
What products swaps do you suggest for mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, foundation, eyeshadow, cleansers, toners, moisturizer etc. Are there any products that you suggest that people continue to use that may not be Low Beauty oriented but are safe to use?
KO: You're trying to get me in trouble with this question (lol). I believe in education not scare tactics because I'm a magician, not a preacher. I encourage women to switch three products first - their lipstick because they eat it. Their body lotion because your skin is the biggest elimination organ in the body, and your nail polish because the nail beds are so porous and traditional nail products are so toxic.
Let's also remember that I am a makeup artist and I love makeup. I still follow the trends and products in traditional makeup. I have to relate to any woman that comes to me for a consultation. I have to understand what she is using and why.
So, if you come to me as a virgin when it comes to owning cleaner versions of beauty products, I'm going to be very gentle with my recommendations. My first step is to educate you and get you out of any lipstick that has toxic ingredients. With that being said if you're addicted to your Dior Show mascara (which I know is fabulous) I'm going to say enjoy it and tackle other things (first things first).
Here are some of my favorite products (yes they all fall under Low Beauty lol)
Mascara: Mineral Fusion and Gabriel Cosmetics
Eyeliner: Zuzu Luxe (they have a ton of fabulous colors and shades, for both eyeliners and lip liners).
Lipstick: Any color you love that's nontoxic.
Foundation: I love Vapour and Mineral Fusion in liquid formulas. (they offer so many varieties and formulations). I also like Au Naturale sticks and ZuZu Luxe for powder.
Eyeshadow: Most mineral shadows are ok. Just make sure they are not made in a country that tests on animals. Also, try and find some that contain no FD & C Dyes.
Cleansers, Moisturizers, Toners: Try brands like Indie Lee, Kimberly Sayer, Dr. Hascka and Even Healy. All of these brands are amazing.