African Botanics $160
The all-natural beauty expert adds new green essentials to her friend and client Chelsea Handler’s beauty repertoire.
Known for her extensive knowledge of all-natural beauty, Katey Denno is as beloved for her effervescent energy as she is for her ability to create a flawless complexion. Clients (who include Amber Heard, Chelsea Handler, Connie Britton, and Mindy Kaling, among others) rely on her holistic approach and ingredient insights. In her new quarterly column for The Violet Files, Denno uses her expertise to analyze and fill any voids in her clients beauty regimens with the best in natural beauty.
First, Denno suggests the essentials that would best suit the cosmetic wardrobe of her friend and client Chelsea Handler. And Handler, whos new talk show Chelsea airs tomorrow on Netflix, was certain she was already doing a bang-up job when it comes to her beauty regimen, but that was before she heard about Denno’s additions. (It’s worth noting that the two started working together after Denno cold-emailed Handler to offer help refreshing her look.)
And although Handler admitted, “I didn’t even know I had to wash my face until I was in my twenties,” and “I just started drinking water at the tender age of forty,” Denno has gotten her client thinking about what she puts in her mouth and on her skin. “Chelsea drinks green juices and eats super healthy, which we all know is step one to make skin glow,” says the organic guru. “I’m always sharing my take on the world of green beauty and, to my delight, she’s usually pretty into hearing what I have to say.”
I use this highlighter on Chelsea every day when she’s filming her show, and she also needs one for home—it gives skin so much life and is super hydrating. I apply it on top of her cheekbones, along the bridge of her nose, and on her cupid’s bow to give her the natural look she loves.
I’ve never known anyone as fastidious about a manicure and pedicure as Chelsea. It would make me so happy if she switched to five-free nail polish. This RGB Base Coat would be a great addition because she would at least reduce her direct exposure to toxins and give her nails (and therefore her bloodstream) a protective barrier.
Name: Katey Denno
Known For: Flawless, dewy skin
Where to Find Her: Los Angeles
Clients: Chelsea Handler, Connie Britton, Mindy Kaling, Amber Heard
Katey Denno didn’t know that the occupation of makeup artist existed until she was in her mid-twenties and was seated next to one at a dinner party. Denno, a social worker at the time, learned from her dining partner that “as an assistant I could travel the world, make three hundred dollars a day, and get to see things I never thought I would—and that the food on photo shoots was fantastic,” Denno recalls of the sudden revelation. “The next day, I called in sick to work and assisted her on a Nautica campaign. It was nothing like what I thought ‘work’ had to be.”
Denno had been (unconsciously) preparing for this vocation long before she set her sights on the beauty industry. “I was schooled on how to do makeup while I was a social worker in clinics serving HIV-positive patients,” she says. “My male-to-female transitioning clients showed me how makeup transformed them into the person they felt most comfortable being, and I was able to use makeup-talk and application as a catalyst for emotional transformation.” The experience also sparked her passion for green beauty (Denno uses only natural products). “It was the culmination of years of social work with patients with compromised immune systems and learning how to examine ingredients,” she explains.
It didn’t take long after that fateful dinner for Denno to get her big break. After only eight months of assisting, an agent at The Wall Group called her in for a meeting and said she was ready to go out on her own. Clients like Christy Turlington and a smattering of celebrities (Amanda Seyfried, Felicity Jones, et al.) soon followed.
Denno has since made a name for herself as a guru of all things green beauty, and she caters to an impressive roster of celebrity clients, including Amber Heard, Connie Britton, Chelsea Handler, and Mindy Kaling. Two years ago, she relocated to Los Angeles because of a high concentration of West Coast clients (not to mention the draw of the great weather). One of the artist’s favorite Los Angeles pastimes? Strolling through different neighborhoods and stopping to smell the flowers. “I find my inspiration in the subtle differences in shape, petal texture, and even scents,” she says. “They remind me of facial features and how makeup feels and smells.”
KATEY DENNO’S KIT ESSENTIALS
Presenting the many benefits of May Lindstrom’s blue-toned beauty balm.