Eco beautiful: 10 minutes with Lina Hanson

One of the most inspirational people out there when it comes to both being green and knowledgeable about all things beauty is Swedish celebrity make up artist and author, Lina Hanson. In 1997 Lina moved to London, where she began working in fashion, relocating three years later to New York City to pursue her true passion—a career in the makeup industry. Lina was personally trained by celebrity makeup artist Jeanine Lobell (creator of Stila Cosmetics), and just a few years later has a prestigious client list of her own that includes the likes of Naomi Watts, Natalie Portman, Portia de Rossi, Jewel and Mandy Moore. Her skilled artistry has appeared in publications like Vogue, In Style, W, and Elle as well as on the runways for big name designers like Nicole Miller, Betsey Johnson, Nanette Lepore, Alice Roi, and Lily Pulitzer. The now-resident of Los Angeles has also collaborated with some of the industry’s most well-known photographers such as Ellen Von Unwerth, Nino Munoz, Tom Ford, Art Schreiber, and Doug Inglish. As if all this weren’t impressive enough, she is also the author of “Eco-Beautiful: The Ultimate Guide to Natural Beauty and Wellness”, a beautiful looking book on the topic of getting eco-beautiful -- something Lina says isn't just a shallow buzzword. "Becoming eco-beautiful is about being good to the environment," she has said, "and being good to yourself." The book covers everything from skin-friendly diets to DIY masks and brings a great Zen approach to getting all dolled up for a night out. I was lucky enough to track the extremely busy woman herself for a chat about being beautiful, and being green.

Is it hard being green in an indutry so devoted to constant renewal, throwing out the old and discovering the new? Fashion and beauty aren’t always related to sustainability!
I think the more women educate themselves on what it is that they’re putting on their skin, the more they will realize all-natural skin care and cosmetics is a better alternative. And, more and more eco-friendly cosmetic companies are coming out so women are starting to have more options now, whereas before the only eco-friendly makeup you could get was in select health food stores. I don’t think green beauty is just a trend, I think it’s a new way of life.

You work with very beautiful women every day, but what is your definition of beauty?
I truly believe that beauty comes from the inside out. If you feel great it will show!

Who is your favourite person to work with?
I don’t think I have a favorite person per se, but I do feel very lucky as I’ve worked with some amazing, interesting people and my experiences have all been very positive.

You’re a fan of DIY when it comes to skincare, which to some people – like me! – has all been a case of trial and error. What are some brands that you’d recommend?
DIY skincare can take a little time and patience but it can also be a lot of fun! But some natural skin care companies I recommend are Suki, Dr Hauschka, Weleda, Intelligent Nutrients, and Jurlique.

Do you get frustrated by the bigger companies out there slapping the word “natural” all over their products to lure people into thinking that they’re organic?
It can be very frustrating since it’s just another marketing ploy. I recommend looking at the ingredients on the product you’re buying. If there are tons of ingredients you’ve never heard of, they’re most likely not natural. Just do your research. You skin will thank you. That being said, I do feel that makeup with natural ingredients is superior to conventional.

What about foods, what are the top things to eat for your skin?
In my book, I have an entire chapter on just foods that are good for your skin. The absolute top things in my opinion are blueberries—they’re very high in antioxidants and low in sugar. Artichoke is very high in Vitamin C and a great antioxidant. I also recommend drinking tons of water and staying away from sugar as much as you can.

You are primarily a make up artist, do you work with any brands in particular, and why?
As a makeup artist I get to try a lot of great makeup brands but my top favorite brands right now are Josie Maran Cosmetics —She has a wide range of beautiful eye shadows, blushes and lipsticks that I love using on myself and my clients. I also love Suki Color—it is an organic makeup and skincare company that offer great cream shadows, cream blushes, and foundation.

You wrote Eco Beautiful: The Ultimate Guide to Natural Beauty and Wellness. Have you got any more books in the planning?
I’m actually in the early stages of developing my own natural makeup line. Maybe eventually I’ll do another book that will cover my own makeup brand but right now my line is keeping me busy!

What are some everyday tips that are pretty low maintenance, that we can do to make a small difference to our skin and to the world?
Try start incorporating eco-friendly and natural products into your beauty regimen. I’m not telling you switch your entire life right away, but by making small adjustments to your regimen, it will be make a huge difference for not only your skin, but the environment as well.

And lastly, what is your desert island product, the thing that you couldn’t be without?
A good moisturizer with SPF in it. I like to keep my skin moisturized at all times and I’d have to protect my skin from the sun on the desert island as well!


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