Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg, aka Jamie Makeup, is best known for creating Blighlighter, a unique blush-highlighter hybrid designed to give wearers a “red carpet glow.” Blighlighter officially launched in October 2020, after years of Greenberg making and applying a DIY version on her clients, who include Jessica Alba, Kaley Cuoco, and Rashida Jones.
But what fans of Greenberg may not know is that her love for the environment and passion for sustainability guides everything she does, including the development of Blighlighter.
“I wanted Blighlighter to be as clean as possible, I didn’t want to have anything bad in it,” Greenberg tells Green Matters exclusively on a recent Zoom call, while promoting her partnership with Excedrin. “I wanted it to be everything good for you, so while you wear it, it helps your skin. I wanted it to be vegan, cruelty-free, have sustainable packaging, carbon neutral secondary packaging, and then give back 1% for the Planet.”
Now, Greenberg is using her makeup skills to spread awareness for Excedrin’s new #MYgraine movement, which kicks off today, June 10, and encourages migraine sufferers to share their migraine experiences through visual expression, in hopes of inspiring undiagnosed people to acknowledge their pain and see a doctor.
Greenberg has been suffering from migraines since she was a teenager, though she wasn’t diagnosed until nearly six years later (which happens to be the average “migraine diagnosis gap”). “In my high school years, I was getting these symptoms, like the crazy throbbing behind the eye, or sensitivity to light and sound,” she tells us. “It’s such an inward pain that no one can physically see, so it’s super isolating and scary.”
Greenberg created two makeup looks for the #MYgraine campaign that show what her migraines feel like, and she encourages other migraine sufferers to use their own favorite art form to do the same, and post the results on social media. “If I could share my art and show my pain, maybe it would raise awareness for sufferers and help close that gap,” Greenberg says. “They don’t have to suffer in silence.”
To learn more about how sustainability influences Greenberg’s personal life and work as a makeup artist, we asked her to share her Green Routine with Green Matters.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
GREEN MATTERS: When developing Blighlighter, why was it important to you to incorporate environmentally-minded values?
JAMIE GREENBERG: For me, environment is everything. Without it we have nothing. We’re done. We’re caput. And I have three kids, and I want to imagine that they’re going to live a long life with their kids and grandkids, and I just hope they can have what I had. So for me, it’s really important to worry about that and worry about the effects of climate change.
As a small business owner, it’s really hard, because you don’t have tons of money, so a lot of the sustainable packaging is more expensive. But my goal is to have everything eventually be recycled. We did not put mirrors in the Blighlighter compacts, because that way you can rip the top off and throw it in a recycling bin, and same with the bottom. But the pin inside is not recyclable. So we’re getting there, and I try to do the very best with the budget.
GM: Why is protecting the planet important to you?
JG: I grew up at camps, and my family would take us [on trips]. I’ve seen pretty much all of the U.S., and other countries too. And to think that if we don’t get our act together, all these amazing natural resources and these amazing natural areas could disappear, or stop producing, or not be there anymore. That’s always been in the back of my head with everything.
GM: How have you made your work as a makeup artist and business owner more eco-friendly?
JG: I’m really into finding brands where you can just buy a palette and put it into the packaging. Zara just launched a whole line, and all of their products are refillable. There’s also a brand called Antonym that does all wood and refillable pans.
So instead of buying these massive things… you can just get the refills. It actually is inspiring me — maybe when we sell out of Blighlighter completely, the next packaging will just be the case, and we’ll put a mirror in it so you can keep it forever, and you just replace the pan.
GM: What advice would you give someone trying to make their makeup routine more sustainable?
JG: There’s an amazing company called Face Halo. It’s just this microfiber pad that you wet, and you don’t need anything else to get off your makeup. And you can wash them a million times and use them over and over again, instead of using wipes to remove your makeup.
And just being a little bit more conscious as a consumer. Buying more quality rather than quantity is better. Don't just willy-nilly buy. As humans, we’re so enticed to buy at the drop of a hat. We get a high from it, and the more we see, the more we want. But if you can really just be more conscious of your purchase power, you can get better products that are better for you and better for the environment.
GM: Are there any recent sustainability trends in the makeup world that are exciting to you?
JG: I thought this was really cool, and I’ve now received two — actually three! It’s called Boox, and it’s a reusable shipping box. I had my team look into this for us. I’m really into trying to figure out less waste with cosmetics.
GM: What is the biggest misconception about living sustainably that you have discovered?
JG: People think it’s more expensive and that it’s harder to control, and it’s just not true. Covergirl is now changing everything. It’s just a matter of time, and the way that it will change as a complete industry is if everybody starts to care about it and be present in the change. There are so many brands that are really starting to do the work to make it easier. And again, all you need to do is be properly informed.
GM: Are there any notable clients you work with who are into sustainable or natural makeup products?
JG: I work with Rashida Jones, and she loves natural products, just loves them. So any time that we can find new products that are natural, cruelty-free, vegan, she’s so happy to try, and she really tries to use most products that are good for your skin and natural. So I love that.
"Green Routine" is a series from Green Matters that invites notable people in the environmental space to share the efforts they make to live more sustainably.