Debby Clements has been obsessed with makeup since she was in grade six. Remember those scrapbooks we used to paste-in all of the important stuff of our lives? For me, it was movie tickets, notes from friends, pictures of teen idols and boys I was crazy about. Well, Debby’s didn’t have much of that stuff in it… hers was a compilation of make-up articles taken from her mom’s magazines, even some ripped out of doctor’s office magazines (come on, we all do it!).
“My cousin had a playhouse and in it was a green, hard-shelled suitcase that was FULL of makeup cast-offs from Max Factor, Avon, and Mary Kay.” To Debby it was a treasure chest. “Now when I think of that suitcase, the professional in me is shocked by how full of germs those ancient cosmetics must have been,” she laughs.
Although she didn’t formally take up her makeup artistry profession until she graduated from a professional licensing course in 2010 (you must be a licensed makeup artist to practice in New Brunswick), Debby dabbled in makeup as she moved around Canada with her husband Mark (who serves in the RCMP) and daughter Avery.
Since coming back to her hometown of Moncton, in just three-and-a-half short years she has become an in-demand makeup artist for weddings, formals and even national magazine photo shoots. At the time she was working on her licensing, her father became ill and eventually succumbed to cancer. Debby made herself “crazy” googling about chemicals that can make us sick. As her focus turned to makeup, she discovered that lipsticks, eye shadows, and blushes actually used crushed cochineal beetles to colour them (aka carmine, cochineal extract or natural red 4) and a host of other “crap” like heavy metals and known carcinogenic chemicals.
Devastated at the thought of going into a trade that could make people sick (Debby told me the average woman uses two kilograms of lipstick each year… and where do you think it goes? Not just onto our teacups), she started researching the possibilities of developing her own line of natural, all-organic, vegan, preservative, and gluten-free cosmetics. As she researched, she found Internet sources and a mentor in the West who guided her through the process.
Welcome to Happy Hippy Cosmetics! Whether you shop in person, or through her website, Happy Hippy carries a complete line of cosmetics, skin care products and brushes that are all of the above and more. The only thing she doesn’t carry is mascara, because she hasn’t found a product that meets her strict requirements.
Debby quite modestly says what she does isn’t a cure for cancer, but through her personal makeovers, and make-up tutorials, she is making the world a better place for us women with sensitive skin, and things that we are not happy about on our faces.
Personally, I had pretty much given up. I have sensitive, reddened skin that people no longer say gives me a healthy glow. After learning about Debby’s mineral-based foundation, I went to see her. I can honestly say it has been life changing for me. In 30 seconds I can put a teeny tiny bit of mineral foundation of my face and the red becomes a healthy glow again! It doesn’t feel like I’m wearing makeup, and it actually protects my face from the sun. How perfect is that?!
I went to see Debby another time and she actually showed me how to apply her triple-duty eye shadow to form lovely, natural eyebrows. (Honestly, one misfortune at a makeup store and I looked like I was in permanent surprise mode; what I had left have grown thinner and lighter over the years). So now, even though I don’t often wear eye shadow or even mascara, my face looks pretty darn good, even if I do say so myself. I feel confident in a way I didn’t before.
It may be an unfortunate by-product of our first world society, but it isn’t shallow to want to look good when everyone else is trying so hard to do the same. If 1/24th of a teaspoon of mineral powder is gonna do that for me, I say that’s both high impact and low impact. And believe me, I tell anyone who says I’m looking great about Debby and Happy Hippy.
Bravo Debby, you truly are making the world happier, one person at a time!