Interview with Kate O’Brien
Like those of us who have already embraced green beauty, it was learning the truth about the chemicals that go into most cosmetics that moved Kate O’Brien to start her Alima Pure mineral makeup line more than six years ago. With her pure minerals, she has been able to create products safe enough for her daughter (and the rest of us!) to wear. The Portland-based line is especially loved by GBT’s founder Kristen Arnett, who uses it herself and on clients. Below, Kate answered questions for our Green Beauty Team Spotlight feature.
What inspired you to make your line green? Was there an “a-ha” moment that fueled your interest in more natural products?
For me, there was an “a-ha” moment when I learned that the makeup I grew up on was full of known toxins. My first thought was, “I bet you could make beautiful makeup that’s completely safe.” My second “a-ha” moment was when I realized my daughter would come to me wanting to wear makeup. Safe makeup became a real priority at that point.
What’s the biggest reason you think it’s important for people to be conscious and careful about the beauty products they are using?
Health. There is a lot in our environment we can’t control. But we can be careful about what we buy for ourselves and our family.
What would you say is the most satisfying part of your work? Has there been a work highlight or achievement you can share?
The biggest surprise — and source of ongoing delight — is how wonderful customers are. We have amazing customers and we get a steady stream of the most wonderful notes from them. It completely makes all the work worth it.
Recently, Alima Pure Foundation was just chosen by Women’s Wear Daily in Japan as the top natural foundation. I visited our partners in Tokyo earlier this year and saw our display at a very exclusive boutique and I did have a moment of awe — thinking about how we started Alima and how popular it is in places like Japan and France. That amazes me, too!
Do you have a favorite beauty tip or secret–or piece of advice you can share with our readers?
If you aren’t satisfied with the way you do your makeup, keep practicing — it will come with practice. As a young woman, I was not at all expert about applying makeup and I didn’t understand how some women were so good. Now that I have been lucky enough to work with makeup artists, I know a lot of it is practice. Some of it is also talent, but a lot is just taking the time to figure out what you want and then practice it!
Visit Alima Pure’s website to see their incredible range of all-natural makeup.