Clean Beauty with Makeup Artist Cassie Lapthorne


The fashion industry isn’t alone when it comes to the impacts it has on the environment. The beauty industry is a key player in the harming of our natural world and our bodies. 

“According to the latest reports from Zero Waste Week, beauty packaging amounts to 120 billion units every year. That includes plastic, paper, glass, and metals, all of which end up in landfills year after year.” - Trvst

But trashing the planet isn’t the only issue, your everyday beauty products might be trashing you too. 

In the USA the FDA, which regulates the beauty industry, hasn’t been meaningfully updated since 1938, according to an article from VOX.

Some consumers are taking action, according to an article from VOX, “There have been some high-profile lawsuits like the Johnson & Johnson ovarian cancer talc cases, in which juries have awarded multimillion-dollar settlements to people who claimed using baby powder for years caused their cancer. Then the hair care company Wen settled a $26 million class-action case because one of its products was allegedly making people’s hair fall out.”

CVS even committed to removing paragons and other ingredients from its 600 in house brands by the end of 2019.

In 2014, following consumer outcry, Johnson & Johnson removed a type of preservative from its baby shampoo that releases very small amounts of formaldehyde into the air.

Hair stylists like Jayne Matthews, from Edo Salon, experienced stories of chemical poisoning from being exposed to chemicals on an on-going basis in her hair salon. She has now switched her entire salon to being chemical free and teaches women how to cut their hair on their own from home.

The world is changing around us for the better. We are seeing sustainability become a crucial factor for shoppers when they are choosing which brands to shop from, it’s the same in fashion as it is in beauty.

We need to stop putting unnecessary chemicals on our bodies, into our bodies and our environment.


Discovering the dark side of the beauty industry when it comes to its impacts on people and the planet can be confronting. It can also be overwhelming and confusing! So we asked one of our campaign makeup artists her thoughts on the makeup industry when it comes to clean beauty, ethical practices, and natural ingredients. Meet Cassie Lapthorne, a model, makeup artist and soon-to-be naturopath.


We hope you enjoy hearing Cassie’s story and getting some tips from her below.

Many different cultures throughout time have recognised illnesses as a detachment from Nature – often gods or spiritual entities would enforce disorder because of this.


It seems that turning to Nature can heal ailments physically, spiritually and emotionally. 


Naturopathy works in conjunction with this in practising beliefs of Holism and Vitalism, to see the world, body and health as a collective whole.


Naturopaths aim to benefit and work in conjunction with Nature. Alongside this, art, identity and sociological beauty has always intrigued me. Investing in an on-going understanding of physical, spiritual, emotional and mental wellbeing as a whole, I am currently studying Naturopathy as I continue my makeup artistry practice. 


Prior to Covid, I had been travelling for 6 years as a model. Slowing down and changing pace meant that I saw a lot of changes when it came to my physical and place-based identity. The changes meant that I saw a lot of the positive and negative aspects of such a fast paced industry.

One of the most important things I noticed was the extensive applications of products and how they can affect both the applier and applicant. As a makeup artist and a model, I could see the disruptions the harsh makeup products could cause – including rashes, hormone disruptions, burns, or simply pain and redness or irritation. 

This can all be after being cruelly tested on animals, to put any perspective on what our poor creatures must go through and why it is so important to invest money (and thus power) to businesses with an ethical code of conduct.

It can be hard to make the switch as there is so much to learn, finance, confusion and accessibility can create challenges however change starts with knowledge.

There is the question of why wear make-up or hairstyles at all...However there is no denying the power of art and self-expression in finessed times and places.

If I didn’t have peroxide blonde hair and an eager spirit when I was 18 would I have had that opportunity to dance with Kylie Minogue at the Logies and in her music video? Or feature in Vogue, travel to the countries I’d always wanted to see before getting too tied down by life?

There is a time and place for hair and makeup – But natural ingredients and a natural you will always take the cake.

Yet when it comes to the modern world, expressing oneself is extremely reliant on beauty products – even toothpaste is considered a beauty product. So as we aim to express our personality through gender, art, culture, age, and so forth in a way that feels comfortable to us, beauty products play an important role.

Some products also aid in physical ailments due to pregnancy, disease, misfortune, or manifest the ability to reflect an internal identity externally/ So, there’s no denying the connection and communication beauty products can bring to yourself or others.

Something I find so powerful in hair and make-up artistry is that if I get the brief right, it is so incredible to see someone look more like themselves, thus feel more like themselves. I find fulfilment in being able to bring a persons confidences and contention within themselves to life through my artistry by helping them see themselves in a way they weren’t able to before.


Here is my advice on product choices and application:

Cleaning your hands and your face and taking care of your skin

I opt for cleansers without Suds (ability to foam) as it can dry the skin out, stripping its natural oils and altering the natural pH and capacity to fight bacteria


Wash brushes weekly to avoid bacteria build-up (makeup artists after every use and never cross contaminate across products, benches or faces to prevent spread of disease and germs)


After face is completely clean, use a Gua Sha or cold apple to massage over entire face to reduce puffiness and bring blood to the surface, an apple being a biodegradable and forgiving option.


Apply serum, I use Vanessa Megan’s Auric 24K Gold & Wild Herb Radiance Serum *. Ensure that if pregnant or applying product to a pregnant women that they do not get exposed to excessive applications of Vitamin A as it can cause birth defects as-well as concentrate in breast milk causing harm to your baby. Massage face with hands after in upwards strokes, kneading and bringing blood to any creases in the face, providing a more lifted and plumped appearance. Don’t be too vigorous to not irritate the skin too much prior to applying makeup.


If sections of your skin are unblemished with even skin tone, don’t cover it. Only put make-up on the parts that need coverage. There’s no need to cover skin that is already healthy and beautiful as it is most beautiful naturally. It will also allow the finished look to appear more natural with real skin exposed as- well as keeping it healthy over time by avoiding blocked pores. If you have a tanned body and a paler face as most of us use sunscreen predominately on the face, colour match to your chest and opt for a certified organic light foundation, bb cream or zinc to colour match face to body that allows your skin to still breath and only conceal dark circles/blemishes where necessary.


What to watch out for when buying new skincare and beauty products


For everyday products ensure that they are certified organic, you can check this online, as there are many loopholes in ingredient labels to try to make profit. “Fragrance” can contain up to 1000 unknown ingredients hidden under the ‘one’ ingredient*. The first ingredients are what the product is predominately made up with, so if it says ‘Aqua’, you are paying for majority of water. If a label has truly organic properties the botanists would have named it in Latin to identify the genus and species of the plant e.g. Peppermint as ‘Mentha Pepita’ as opposed to purely ‘Peppermint Oil’. I personally use Ere Perez Arnica Concealer as it contains arnica flower extract that has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties alongside cocoa butter and sunflower seed oil to promote antioxidant rich moisture.

It is important to build antioxidant processes to inhibit oxidation, where chemical reactions can produce free radicals (unpaired highly reactive molecules) that can damage and change cell DNA. Antioxidants can build up through vitamin C application directly on the skin, such as RORH’s Kakadu Plum Vit C Serum or ingesting antioxidant rich foods regularly, Davidson plum containing some of the highest antioxidant properties although having a bitter taste.


The French Paradox is epidemiologist’s observation of France having one of the lowest cardiovascular disease rates after Korea and Japan aside from high bread, oil and alcohol intake- it is assumed to the antioxidant properties of moulded cheese and red wine. I’m not promoting dairy or alcohol, they also eat at a smaller meals socially and have less processing of food, however it does highlight the significance of antioxidants alongside indulgent situations.


Gumbi Gumbi is a native tree (Pittosporum Augustifolium) of traditional bush-tucker that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples have consumed for thousands of years. It contains antibacterial and antiviral properties to prevent colds, flus, combat cold sores and repair cracked lips. One of many incredible traditional bush tucker ingredients. For hydrated lips try to drink as much water as possible until you don’t need lip balm at all.


Contouring & Colour 

I like colour on the face where you naturally would get kissed by the sun. So you could add Ere Perez Beetroot colour tint to the highest points of your cheek bones to create a lift in the shape of your face as opposed to the centre of your cheeks that sometimes can create a drooped appearance. A touch of pink or red to the tip of your nose as the sun would. In combination with bronzing, crème bronzers and/or foundations in a darker hue of your skin tone have quite a natural look as well as a hydrating appearance. I love Ere Perez Oat Milk Foundation as both a bronzer and a base. Application to look natural would be directly under the cheek bone to chizzle the face and the build-up can be as much as you desire that area to be defined. Bronze around the top of the forehead blended very well towards temples as the sun would touch it naturally. Bronzing the top of the forehead is good for people with high foreheads, as well as cheek bones for rounded faces that desire definition as dark hues draw the subject in and light draws the subject out so the shapes appearance can be curated.


Eyes & Eyeshadow

I love the education system Rae Morris has created. You can find the complimentary or intensifying colour matches to your eye based on true eyeshadow colours. I personally use my hands for my own makeup in combination of Rae’s Vegan Bronze brush and eyeshadow brushes as their brush texture and shape is articulated so beautifully.


Only powder T-Zone and allow eyelids, cheeks, outer aspects of face to glow from natural oil/perspiration, or apply Biode balm for dewy affect. Use Q tip and Micellar water to remove make-up from freckles to emphasise natural markings and use brow pencil to emphasise it if desired.


Using Naturopathic Philosophies in Your Beauty Routine

From what I have learned through study and life experience thus far when making conscious choices, I think it’s valuable to run through the Naturopathic Philosophies of:

  • First do no harm – Avoid creating wastage, buying/applying harsh chemicals regularly, supporting businesses with corrupt intentions.
  • Tolle Causum - Treat the cause. Don’t just cover health or insecurity problems, support within. This includes finding beauty products with active, helpful, and natural ingredients.
  • Vis Medicatrix Naturae - Turn to the healing power of Nature, through time and resource. Find natural ingredients and spend time in nature for inner and outer healing.
  • Tolle Totum - Treat the whole person (inside to outside / organs than skin, Nature, community, mind, body and spirit). For instance, the Medical Medium promotes the use of celery juice to treat internal gut issues to help prevent eczema and dermatitis.
  • Prevention - Beware of products that invoke temporary positive reactions on your skin that you can become reliant on over time. Certain products can create specific hormonal reactions or surface level reactions that might work, but over time you become reliant on the product and if/when you stop using it, the problem will come back. Try to find products that treat the cause and therefore prevent ongoing issues. 


My Ethical Essentials :

- Bradwyn Jones Pro Styling Mat, environmentally friendly denim - Re- Comb, Marbled recycled plastic combs

- Kirin Street Vegan leather Kit

- Dalmatian Quartz Gua Sha

- Gracious Minds Oil to Milk Cleanser

- Biode balm

- Vanessa Megan Serums

- Ere Perez Oat Milk Foundation (base and bronze)

- Ere Perez brow pencil

- Ere Perez jojoba eye liner

- Ere Perez Avocado waterproof mascara

- Cover FX translucent powder

- Vanessa Megan Rose Spray

- Mandarin & Basil lip balm


With love, 

Cassie Lapthorne

You can find me at Saints of The Wild or work with me at The Uncommon Agency