Artist Couture: The Official Glow Authority

Founded in 2014 by celebrity makeup artist and beauty influencer, Angel Merino, Artist Couture was created to inspire self expression and celebrate individuality through makeup artistry. They are more than just a brand, they are a community of artists, makeup lovers, and creators. They are the #GLOWGETTERS!

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #98 series on my blog.

Angel Merino AKA @mac_daddyy knows a thing or two about makeup.  The former MAC employee and celebrity makeup artist (Ariana Grande, Christina Milian and Mel B to name just a few) is the creator behind one of the hottest indie brands – Artist Couture.  Found at Sephora, Artist Couture is a YouTube love with many beauty creators raving about the accessible luxury brand’s first palette release – Supreme Nudes.  A YouTube star in his own right, with 167,000 subscribers and 1.4 million Instagram followers, Merino recently released the Caliente Summer Collection – an homage to his Latin heritage.  The launch was designed to complement all skin tones and includes a mini palette with an array of 8 wearable & vibrant shades, a red lipstick, and two high-shine glosses.  

There is something special about the Artist Couture formula.  Your products whether it’s the Supreme Nudes Eyeshadow Palette or your Diamond Glow Powders have received universal praise.  As a makeup artist, what was missing for you that led you to create Artist Couture?

From my experience in the industry, I always found myself having to mix multiple products to get the desired finish or the desired impact or the desired colour that I wanted. So, I took a look at my kit, my makeup style and what was trending in the makeup space at the time and I found this void for high-impact products which led me to create them. I started with the Diamond Glow Powders and those are loose highlighters, but they pack a really big punch. We’re all about high impact with minimal effort.

I was able to produce a product that is super high-impact without having to mix 5 different products or layer various products to get these results. Creating my own eyeshadow palettes now, I’m really able to create colour stories that I feel just kind of hit every mark. I’m doing it in a way that is compact, it’s sleek and it’s easy to carry. But, at the same time, it has everything you need to create wearable day looks – warm looks, cool looks and sultry evening looks. I’m able to create colour stories that fit my needs and fit the needs of makeup artists.

Colourful eyeshadow palettes and bold lipsticks are having a moment.  Caliente is different – the colours seem more vivid than other colourful collections.  You call it a tropical fantasy (fantasia tropical).  Tell us the inspiration behind the collection?

The collection is inspired by my culture and my heritage. I really wanted to pay homage to my upbringing and being able to translate all of those things within colours. I was actually really inspired by J Balvin – he’s a Latin star. He made an album called “Colores” where he named each song after a colour. I’m super inspired by music and art. When I was listening to the album, I was hearing the music, but I visually saw the colour. For me with creating this colour story, there were certain aspects that I wanted to bring to life. For example, the yellow shade is called “cultura,” which means culture. When I think of my culture and all that it encompasses, I thought that yellow was the perfect colour to represent that.

With every shade in the palette, I was able to think of something that I wanted represented or something that meant a lot to me and I was able to put a colour to those thoughts, memories or moments. That’s how I created Caliente. We created a really beautiful story and I also feel like it’s perfect for summer – super fiery and hot. You’re really able to create colourful looks with the collection. And for me, in quarantine, I wanted it to be a situation where people are able to have a little taste of summer, even though summer looks different this time around. It’s about being able to bring summer into your home through your makeup looks and really playing up your eyes since that’s all you can see with masks.

You can definitely create a bold look with the shadows, the lipstick and the glosses.  What application tips do you have for people who want to try a more colourful look but are intimidated?

I think a lot of people are intimidated by colour because they think that they have to include all of these colours into their look. Some of the shadows in the palette, whether it’s fuego, which is more of that neon orange, or libres which is more of that neon pink or mamasita which is more of that pink/red are vibrant. People automatically assume that you have to put those colours all over your eyelids which is not the case at all. You can really take a step back and do a look that’s more wearable for you. Even creating a really good graphic liner with these tones is a good way to start to get your feet wet with colour so it’s not overwhelming. I like to do a neutral tone on my lip but then add a pop of colour on my lash line. With this palette, the tones that are a little bit more vibrant are pressed-pigment so you can use them as blush as well.

Larger eyeshadow palettes with up to 30 shades are everywhere.  Your shadows are more compact and there is no colour duplication.  How does being a makeup artist who happens to be a makeup influencer impact your choices when it comes to developing a colourful launch like Caliente?

For me, one of my biggest things when I was a working artist and freelancing, you literally take so much stuff with you on set. When I first started, I felt like I needed to have every foundation in the spectrum, every finish, every colour, every brand, and I felt like that across all categories. I was just finding myself lugging a ton of bags onto set. It was really just inconvenient for me. So, with my products, everything is multi-use, everything is multi-functional – and that really is to diminish the idea that you need to use multiple things for one look.

Specifically, with my palette, the stories are carefully curated so that it is exactly what you need to create full looks. You have your transition shades, you have your pops of colour. You have a good balance of mattes, shimmers and high-metallics. All of the packaging is super thin and lightweight so it doesn’t take up too much space. So, even if you’re not a professional makeup artist, and you’re just a makeup enthusiast, you can have one of those palettes with you on the go and easily throw it into your backpack, your makeup bag or your purse and it doesn’t take up too much room.

What did it feel like the first time that you saw Artist Couture in Sephora?

It was literally a dream-come-true. That was one of my biggest goals, to able to walk into an environment like Sephora and see my brand. The first time that I saw it, I burst into tears. It was such a big moment for me in my career. You work so hard to get an idea off the ground and then when people start to support your brand and purchase your product, it starts to become a reality. But, when you see it in an environment like Sephora, it was the biggest validation for me as a brand and as an artist. It really made me feel like I was on the right path in my career and it made all of the hardships, blood, sweat and tears that I had gone through to get to that point completely worth it.

Artist Couture is really about a community, which is unusual for a makeup brand.  You call them #GlowGetters.  Why was creating community so important to you both personally and as a brand owner?

Community is really important to me. That’s the way I’ve been able to build myself as an artist, and an influencer, through my platforms – creating a sense of community. I think that the great thing about social media – something that it’s given us – is that we are able to find people that we can identify with, relate to, and connect with. Especially when you don’t have that around you. Growing up, social media wasn’t a thing, there weren’t a lot of gay men that I could ask questions to or have as examples. I went to middle school and high school and I think I had like one gay friend. But, now on social media, you’re able to find people that look like you, that you identify with and you’re able to have a sense of inspiration. So, for me, it’s all about finding that human connection and people you can connect with.

I wanted to ensure that everyone who was a supporter or a fan of the brand felt like they were a part of something bigger. I wanted it to be a safe space and a place that people could turn to. Now more than ever, people aren’t just buying into brands because of pretty packaging or pretty colours, but because of what the brand stands for. So, for us as a brand, it’s really important for us to scream at the top of our lungs our beliefs. We’re super pro-LGBTQ+ rights and initiatives. Obviously, I am a gay Hispanic male. So, it’s definitely really important for us to be vocal about what we believe in because I think that consumers identify with that and that also, in turn, creates more brand loyalty.

You always talk about the importance of skincare when it comes to makeup application. Is a skincare line something that you are looking at for the future? How do you get your flawless complexion?

I would love to develop skincare. That’s my goal when it comes to my brand. But I really want to make sure that I’m taking my time with developing it because I want to make sure that I’m creating really amazing formulations, using great ingredients, and creating skincare that’s effective. I think skincare is so important because in order for your makeup to look good, you want to start with a good canvas.

Growing up, my mom always taught me to moisturize your face, etc., so it’s always been instilled in me. I’m all about my skincare in the mornings and in the evenings. And you know, I recently turned 30, so now more than ever, I’m very mindful of my skincare routine so that we’re keeping those wrinkles and crow’s feet away. I’m trying to preserve my youth, so skincare is a really big thing for me.  

What’s next on the horizon for Artist Couture?

We have a couple more exciting collections that we’re launching before the end of the year. Something a little unexpected that I think people are going to be really excited about. But, looking forward to 2021 we are finally going to be playing into different categories. We’re going to start to get our feet wet with a little bit of complexion. I’m super excited about that because it’s something that’s been in the works for the last couple of years. To finally see it come to life and put it out there for people to experience is really exciting.

SHOP ARTIST COUTURE WEBSITE

Jared Leto Launches Beauty Brand After Years of People Asking for His Skincare Secrets

Jared Leto announced his new brand, sharing, “I’ve never been really interested in beauty products. But I’m interested in the idea of taking care of ourselves in the most natural way possible.”

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #97 series on my blog.

Jared Leto is entering the House of Beauty.

The 50-year-old is credited with unlocking the secret to eternal youth, as his wrinkle-free skin has remained an unsolved mystery for years. But the House of Gucci star is ready to finally share his secrets with the launch of his new beauty brand.

On Oct. 18, Jared introduced Twentynine Palms, an 11-piece line that offers skincare, body care and hair care products. And while the actor maintains he’s no beauty expert, he knows a thing or two about prioritizing wellness.

I know I’m a student here, but I think that’s the best place to be,” he told Vogue. “I’ve never been really interested in beauty products. But I’m interested in the idea of taking care of ourselves in the most natural way possible.”

Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman—whose brand is named after the California town near the Joshua Tree National Park—has enlisted ingredients inspired by mother nature, including prickly pear extract and kaolin powder.

Because of this challenging, unforgiving environment,” Jared said, “these ingredients have to be incredibly resilient to survive.

Jared’s foray into the beauty space comes eight months after he opened up to Men’s Health about his youthful appearance.

People started talking about my age and that sort of thing 10 years ago,” the Oscar winner said in March. “As you get older, people start saying, ‘Ah, you’re still young.’ And then there’s this age where they go, ‘Really?‘”

And while he understood that everyone wants to know his skincare secrets, he teased that he was going to keep everybody guessing. As he put it, “At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter.”

But it turns out, he’s ready to share a glimpse into his routine.

EONLINE

With Ciara’s New Brand OAM, Radiant Skin Is Just a One-Two Step Away

Of all the burning questions our minds have been inundated with this year (Who will date Pete next? Do I need curtain bangs?) perhaps the most common one asked is: Do we really need another celebrity beauty brand? It’s no secret we’ve hit peak celebrity beauty brand fatigue, with each release that enters the fold—seemingly every other week—eliciting constant eye rolls from consumers who are still trying to catch up to the last one. However, there’s a new celebrity brand from Ciara that might make you, dare I say it, 1, 2, step

Like her other purpose-driven extracurricular ventures—House of LR&C (Love, Respect, and Care), which the star founded with husband Russell Wilson and entrepreneur Christine Day, and its in-house ready-to-wear brand LITA (Love Is The Answer)—Ciara is launching a skincare brand, OAM (On a Mission) that further drives the notion that love is at the root of everything, even skin.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #96 series on my blog.

How you view yourself in your most natural state sets the tone for how to speak to yourself and the level of confidence you radiate when you step out into the world. For a moment, the red carpet darling struggled with accepting her bare face, so she challenged herself to forgo makeup when necessary.

When I was younger, I used to think that I needed to have a full face of makeup to love my most beautiful self. As I got older, I told myself I’m not going to allow myself to feel like I have to have makeup on all these different enhancements to feel beautiful and confident,” Ciara says. She admits she frequently used body wash and body lotion on her face, and dabbled in microdermabrasion occasionally. Despite efforts from her makeup artist, Yolonda Frederick, who serves on the OAM advisory board and suggested the singer start using eye creams (“I didn’t believe they actually worked”), it wasn’t until OAM’s inception that Ciara realized the power of a simple skincare routine, effective ingredients, and reliable skin experts.

It’s that three-pronged approach that OAM is based on. Two years in the making, OAM’s aim is to simplify your skincare routine with clinical-level formulas that make maintaining healthy skin less intimidating. 

When I talk about being on a mission to make clinical skincare simple, the idea is a simple, one-two step process is all that you need. We’re not going to overcomplicate things. Because honestly, when you go into the skincare stores, it is overwhelming. Where do I start?” she says. With the Vitamin C Hydrating Cleanser, of course. About 10 minutes into the interview, Ciara reaches for the interviewer’s hand to give an impromptu demonstration of the entire OAM regimen, starting with step one. Each bottle is designed with a numbering system (in the shape of a C) to help guide the consumer through the routine. 

The cleanser gets your makeup off really good, in one wash. If you have on eyeliner, that’s a little more tricky,” she warns. She’s correct; the rich foaming lather of the cleanser is a godsend for folks who typically wear more sheer foundation formulas or powders. Thicker formulas will need the assistance of cleansing oil, followed by the Vitamin C Hydrated Cleanser, which doesn’t leave your skin feeling stripped of its nutrients. 

I wanted a line that tells me the key things that I need for my skin to be radiant, to have that glow up, to be as smooth and even as possible, and to eliminate the dark circles and the lines,” she says. Enter: Vitamin C Brightening Pads. Designed to be the second step in the routine, these pads are lightly doused with OAM’s signature Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex, which contains a mixture of peptides and three different forms of vitamin C, along with other active ingredients (like ascorbic acid in the Vitamin C Serum—step three). The potent use of vitamin C isn’t just a clever spin on the singer’s first initial.

Our bodies don’t produce vitamin C, so I wanted to create products with very unique, very special forms of vitamin C. The way it performs in our products is different. With the Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex in all of the products, it releases vitamin C in micro doses throughout the day so your skin’s not getting irritated with the amount of vitamin C that it’s receiving. I call these the liquid gold for the face because it really is game-changing,” she explains. Don’t be intimidated by all this vitamin C talk—OAM is safe for sensitive skin. Ciara sampled the range throughout the pandemic and even during her pregnancy with her youngest child, Win. “More than anything, this stuff works. I literally was building up my line when I was pregnant in the pandemic, and that was the most sensitive skin I possibly ever had,” she says.

The singer speaks of the products’ ingredients and benefits with the knowledge of a student who’s never missed a day of class. It’s a testament to the board of trusted skin experts she personally selected to help her along this journey. Ciara, along with board-certified Dr. Tiffany Libby, former Sally Beauty VP of Digital Strategy and Innovation JC Johnson, celebrity makeup artist Yolonda Frederick, and a cosmetic chemist named Maha, married their respective passions to produce a line that’s not only backed by experts, but also addresses the concerns of women of color. 

Ciara admits she’s well aware of celebrity brand fatigue, but what sets OAM apart, she says, is that commitment to women of color. 

When I was preparing to launch, I had no idea there were that many celebrity skincare lines. But what I also realized is that there are only a few women of color skincare brands in this space. And for me, being a woman of color, I thought hopefully I can be a part of that great space where you’ll see more women of color-led brands. I don’t think that one person has to be doing it and only one person can win,” she adds. 

OAM’s range is priced between $28 to $62 for single products, with the option to buy the complete bundle for $160, available now on oamskin.com.

ELLE

‘Prince of Darkness’ Ozzy Osbourne Launches Line of Cosmetics

Heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne has debuted a makeup line in collaboration with Rock and Roll Beauty, complete with a coffin-shaped eye shadow palette.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #95 series on my blog.

The products are available at American beauty retailer Ulta and on Rock and Roll Beauty’s website, according to an Instagram post from the so-called “Prince of Darkness.”

The collection features dark shades and macabre packaging in line with the singer’s own style, which has often featured dramatic dark eye makeup looks.

And one item pays homage to one of the musician’s most memorable onstage moments: an eye shadow palette in the shape of a bat, just like the bat whose head Osbourne bit off while performing in Iowa in 1982.

The line also includes a handheld mirror, a skull-printed makeup bag, and three candles. 

Unfortunately for “Black Sabbath” fans, around half of the items in the collaboration are already sold out, as of Friday afternoon. 

Rock and Roll Beauty, an American makeup brand, has previously released makeup collections designed to celebrate Jimi Hendrix and Def Leppard.

CNN

Meet Evanie Frausto, Bella Hadid’s Go-To Hairstylist

Evanie Frausto is the reason why you want bubblegum-blue ringlets piled into towering proportions. Think of those extravagant pyramids of colourful confection – the sort you’d imagine Marie Antoinette dining on – but in wig form, and you have just one of the opulent looks Frausto created for Lil Nas X in his video for his hit single, “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”. Let them wear wigs.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #94 series on my blog.

A master of the surreal, Frausto has turned Bella Hadid into Poison Ivy, and made artist and photographer Petra Collins brunette; styled model Aweng Ade-Chuol’s hair into peroxide blonde finger waves and locs, and gave Kendall Jenner such long hair extensions that they trailed on the ground behind her. “I push my work to be a little bit offbeat,” the Mexican-American hairstylist tells Vogue. “I hope that people will feel inspired by it.

Growing up in Orange County, California, Frausto moved to New York where he was taken under the wing of legendary hairstylist Jimmy Paul. Manipulating hair and wigs to sculptural effect, since embarking on a solo career, Frausto has worked for everyone from Fenty to Helmut Lang. Here, the rising star shares some of his proudest moments.

What was your earliest beauty memory?

I grew up with my mum and my grandmother and my mum’s four sisters, who are all glamorous. My mum never left the house without her makeup or her hair done. Just being surrounded by such powerful feminine energy made me see how transformative makeup and hair was.

Did you experiment with your own look?

When I was a teenager, I was influenced by the MySpace scene. It had such a specific look: it was so punk, but also I thought it was pretty — making your hair different bold colours and having piercings and wearing eyeliner. I was constantly changing my hair colour and putting new piercings in my face, and just playing around with self-expression.”

Were you confident in your pursuit of self-expression?

I grew up in a traditional Mexican household and everything that I was exploring was against that tradition. I was the first in my family to be born in the US, so it was confusing to still be in this household and yet be queer, different, and feel ‘other’. But once I found my community and my group of friends, I felt confident as that weirdo kid with the piercings and hair extensions.”

What drew you to hair specifically?

Hair was always the crown, the cherry on the cake – it’s a way of finishing off how I felt, it was a mood, a way of expression. I always gravitated towards it. Working with hair now, I love and appreciate the sculptural element of it, getting my hands in there and manipulating it.

How did you go from experimenting with hair to pursuing it as a career?

I owe it to my mentors. They introduced me to a world I never knew existed, especially Jimmy Paul. I fell into it accidentally; the only reason I went to hair school is that I was a crazy teenager and university in the US is so expensive. One thing led to another, I moved to New York and was pulled into the fashion industry.”

Do you approach hair as its own entity or do you view it as part of the whole look?

I see it both ways, especially working in fashion. Sometimes I get those shoots where I can just create the piece or make the sculpture. I’m fortunate to work with teams that trust me to do my thing, bring it to set and they work around it. But there’s definitely a part of it where I’m helping to bring out a specific look or mood. I’m very much into both.”

How would you describe your creative process?

I’ll talk to the stylist or the photographer, and they’ll give me the initial idea or mood. I work off feelings, so I’ll start doing something that’s in my head but if it starts to go another way, I just follow it. I go with the flow versus trying to mimic something exactly. I look for inspiration in everything and it changes.

There was a moment where I was looking through Instagram, but lately I’ve gotten into books and I’ve been going to thrift stores and vintage shops, hunting for old magazines. I just found this amazing Armani book – it’s so inspiring and a lot of it is stuff I haven’t seen on the internet. I also get inspired when I go back home to Orange County and visit the Mexican-American community. The hair looks are so specific to that community – like chunky highlights or warmer tones.”

What’s been your proudest moment so far?

Honestly, it’s such a hard question because I come from so little so every opportunity I get I’m excited about. I’m proud to be working with people I’ve looked up to and who inspire me like [Vogue Italia editor-at-large] Patti Wilson and Bella Hadid, and that I have such good relationships with.

When working with someone like Bella, how much of her personality plays into how you conceive a look?

Oh, a lot. She really works hard and she studies. Whenever I do something with her, I’ll have my references and then she’ll have her references, and we work it out together. I’m so open to being collaborative. I want the models to feel good so I always love hearing what they think.”

What do you want your work to say about beauty?

I can find beauty in everything. It’s more about a feeling or emotion versus trying to achieve something that’s beautiful. But at the end of the day, I find it beautiful. Beauty is embracing individuality and uniqueness, and not being afraid of things that make a person a little different.”

What are your hopes for the future in terms of your own career, and what are your hopes for the industry at large?

In terms of my own work, I hope to continue to grow and learn. One of my favourite parts of the job is meeting all the other creatives, so I want to continue to grow my relationships with people, and collaborate with people who inspire me. In terms of the industry, it’s been a crazy couple of years. The industry has been pushing for diversity and inclusivity, and I hope that it continues to evolve and grow.”

VOGUE

Brad Pitt Unveils His Genderless Skincare Line

I Love What Gwyneth Has Done With Goop”: Brad Pitt Unveils His Genderless Skincare Line Exclusively To Vogue.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #93 series on my blog.

Brad Pitt has not read the beauty tutorial memo. Vogue dives 25 minutes into an exclusive interview with the actor, producer, philanthropist, wine producer, and newly-minted skincare brand founder at Château Miraval, the sprawling property and vineyard in the South of France that Pitt bought with his ex-wife Angelina Jolie in 2012, and after a few quick-fire questions they arrive at the inevitable part of any skincare founder interview: “What’s your regimen?”, with a certain amount of trepidation. “Can we have a product demonstration?

Pitt baulks, smiling. “I’m not doing that!”

Maybe just talk about how your routine has evolved, then? Just don’t make it too QVC,” Vogue suggests to the Academy Award-winner, hoping he might warm to the idea of applying face creams while being filmed.

I wouldn’t know how to do that, unless it was a comedy,” Pitt says, laughing. “Actually, Sandy [Sandra Bullock] and I did once try to develop a whole idea of a husband and wife team, who were QVC’s most successful salespeople, but we’re getting a divorce, we hate each other, and we’re taking it out on air as we sell things… That’s as far as we got.

While the world never got the Pitt-Bullock rom-com it deserves, the 58-year-old isgiving us Le Domaine, a science-meets-nature line of genderless skin care essentials that he developed in partnership with the Perrin family, the renowned Château Beaucastel vintners who are also Pitt’s partners in the fan-favourite Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rose. 

While he made a conscious decision not to front the brand as the “face” of Le Domaine (there will be no campaign portraits, no Brad on TikTok, and very few interviews after this one), Pitt has been as hands-on as it gets with its concept and development, which is based around the familiar story of grape-based antioxidants that has long been mined by more established brands. But Le Domaine has approached the science in its own way, appointing one of the world’s leading wine and human health specialists, University of Bordeaux Professor of Oenology Pierre-Louis Teissedre, to determine which of the 13 grape varieties the Perrin family grows on their estates in Provence had the most relevant antioxidant properties. 

That research began over 15 years ago, and may have resulted in the next big thing in skincare: GSM10, an exclusive molecule in Le Domaine’s Serum, Cream, Fluid Cream and Cleansing Emulsion that combines potent properties from the seeds of Grenache grapes with the seeds and skin of Syrah and Mourvedre grapes. It serves as a powerful antidote to oxidative stress, which can break down collagen and contribute to the myriad physical signs of ageing. Professor Nicolas Lévy, a leading scientist in progeria – an extremely rare genetic disorder that speeds up ageing in small children – provided additional insights for the project. Having identified the way progeria affects the natural ageing process, he developed ProGr3 – Le Domaine’s other patented active ingredient – which is derived from grapevine tendril resveratrol, and aims to keep skin cells healthier, longer.

Finally, there’s the magical nature of Miraval’s soil itself – the terroir, as it’s called by oenologists when discussing the growing conditions unique to specific grapevines. In this case: terrace upon terrace of olive trees; miles and miles of otherworldly lichen-encrusted woodland; and air so thick with lavender that at one point one seriously wonders if it’s being artificially pumped in. No pesticides are used at Miraval, where all farming is done biodynamically. The clay and limestone-rich soil is ploughed and the vines aren’t irrigated, which encourages their roots to reach deep down into the ground for moisture. The deeper the roots grow, the better their interaction with the soil, which creates that much sought-after complexity in Miraval’s grapes, as well as in the olive oil that’s produced on the property, the combination of which makes up the base of the 96% natural, vegan and sustainable line. Refillable bottles are punctuated by a clever packaging detail: wooden caps recycled from old wine casks.

Later, while stuck at the EasyJet terminal in Marseille with Teissedre, he tells Vogue that the research into this project has been incredible, even by his standards. And that’s something Pitt is more than happy to be a part of. “Through the ages, Château Miraval has always been this hub of creativity, it has so many places within it where you want to sit and think and expand and explore, and make beautiful things,” he says from one such vantage point in the well-appointed outdoor living area, which overlooks a football pitch he created for his family. That’s not necessarily reason enough to get into what is already a very saturated skincare market, Pitt concedes. But Le Domaine’s efficacy just might be. “I know there are new products nearly every day that people are trying to launch, but if I hadn’t seen a real difference visually in my skin, we wouldn’t have bothered.”

Here, Pitt reveals his “little, simple regimen”, how Gwyneth Paltrow influenced his early skincare habits, and why self-love just may be the best secret to ageing well.

How did the Le Domaine project come about?

Brad Pitt: We had been talking about it for so long I don’t remember now how it originally started. I remember reading about the health properties of grape skins as something we wanted to investigate. But the initial idea, right from the beginning, comes back to this place. It’s just steeped in creativity and it’s so fertile. We make olive oil, truffles and honey here. Reinforced concrete began here. Reinforced concrete! That’s insane! In the 1840s Joseph-Louis Lambot invented ferro-cement, a precursor to reinforced concrete, and made a concrete boat that was eventually pulled out of the pond here and now resides in a museum in Brignoles. We had some pillars – test pillars – up in the courtyard. He went on to make the first two buildings in reinforced concrete, and now of course everything is built that way. It’s pretty extraordinary.

And was skincare meant to be a part of this creativity? Had you been secretly thinking all this time, “I must have a skincare brand?”

No, and truthfully we wouldn’t have done it unless we felt there was something valid here, something original, something that worked. I get sent stuff all the time and… ugh. It’s just all the same for me. But this last year we have been testing Le Domaine and I was really surprised by the results, and that for me, made it worth going forward.

Have you always had a good skincare routine?

[Very long pause]. No.

I was so sure you were going to say yes, because one imagines you would be well looked-after…

Well, when I’m looked after, I do [have a good skincare routine]. I just want to keep it simple, you know what I mean? That said, I’m actually thorough now. I’ve been whipped into shape by my dear make-up artist friend – we started together 30 years ago – Jean Black. She is pretty special. So whenever we’re on a film she keeps me healthy, and then she’s like, “try this”, and, “try that”.

You look like you have great skin anyway. I can’t imagine it takes much!

No, not really, I don’t, but now… I mean I have my little, simple regimen.

So, what do you do? Gua Sha?

I don’t even know what that is.

Facials?

Rarely. I get antsy.

Did you ever imagine yourself as a beauty baron?

[Laughs]. I’m not sure what a beauty baron is…

It’s like if you were to achieve Estée Lauder-level success.

If Le Domaine is successful, do we get baron status? Yeah, no, I didn’t [imagine that]. Landing here – at Château Miraval – opened up a lot of ideas that I wouldn’t have normally considered. And a big part of it is sustainability, this idea of zero waste is something that is really important to this area and important to me. But listen, when we first got here, I mean, I never thought about having a winery either! I just wanted a beautiful base in this area and it happened to have a winery. And it happened to be hemorrhaging tonnes of money. So we had to go to work. And then we went out on a search and found Marc [Perrin] and his family.

A clever idea. You majored in journalism, I’ve read..

I did, I didn’t graduate, but I did.

Do you wish you had followed that career path?

[Laughs]. I think I’m pretty happy with where things landed! I wouldn’t have objected to that, but I’m feeling alright about my day job.

How do you feel about film star-fronted business enterprises in general?

When I started out it seemed shameful to do a commercial, for some reason. You were called a sell-out. I really think the hip-hop guys changed all of that. They made it okay – even cool – to spread your wings a bit, to try some other things. And now it’s really exciting that you can, you know, explore other corners [of your creativity] like the old Renaissance artists in a way. And I love what Gwyneth’s done [with Goop]. She is still a really dear friend, and she has built this empire. She has always had that in her as a curator, and it’s been a lovely creative outlet for her. In fact, come to think about it, she was probably the first one who got me to even wash my face twice a day… maybe.

What pressures have you felt personally around ageing in the film business?

I don’t want to be running from ageing. It’s a concept we can’t escape, and I would like to see our culture embracing it a bit more, talking about it in those terms. Something we discussed [in founding Le Domaine] was this headline of “anti-ageing”. It’s ridiculous. It’s a fairytale. But what is real is treating your skin in a healthy manner. And it’s something I’ve learnt to do for my business, but it kinda makes you feel better. I grew up with a country mentality, kind of you know, Dial Soap once a day and then move on. And I think that we’re learning that if we love ourselves, if we treat ourselves a little better, then there are long lasting benefits to that. So just age healthy, age in a healthy manner.

Speaking of, I watched Benjamin Button last night. Was it strange to see yourself looking older in that role?

No, no, it wasn’t at all, I was kind of fascinated by it, really. And by the way? All those prosthetics, six hours of prosthetics? Tore up my skin. They destroyed my skin!

How and why is it important to you that Le Domaine’s approach is genderless?

Again, I don’t know if it’s just that I believe in being all-inclusive as much as possible? Or maybe it’s about us guys needing help from others in understanding how we can treat our skin better? I mean, I probably got more from my female partners in the past. We kept the smell very neutral, very fresh, and very, verysubtle. I mean, I’m the kind of person who will change hotel rooms if I can smell the cologne of the last person who stayed there! It’s too much! It’s too strong! Keep it subtle. Let people come to you. Don’t force it on others. That’s my feeling (laughs). For smells, I mean. I stand by that for smells!

Do you have any special memories of Miraval?

This past spring was special. We had a good five or six weeks out here. The stories you hear about Provence in the spring, why people come here. Well, it’s real. And I can’t quite describe it, other than the freshness in the air, the light, the… I don’t know, it’s just a real feeling of peace and harmony and the nights are so soothing. In summer you get the symphony of frogs, they lull you to sleep. I have a lot of artist friends from different disciplines, and they were here this spring, we were having a laugh. One was working on his music [at Studio Miraval], one was painting, one was designing a clothing line, and so on and so forth. They’d go off to their respective corners to work on their respective things, and then we’d come back here to cross-pollinate over a meal, or a game of petanques, in the spot we’re sitting in now. Making an artist community has always been the idea here, and it’s really nice to see that happen.

What’s the future looking like for you?

The older I get the more I think about quality of life, and time expenditure, and I sure would like to point it more in this direction. I think after lockdown it seemed to be on a lot of people’s minds, like, how are we spending our time, why are we grinding so much, what are we dedicating our lives to? And I think that family and friends at the end of the day is all that matters.

VOGUE

Jonathan Van Ness’s 5 Beauty Commandments To Live By

What’s that you hear? Beauty vloggers around the world shaking as Jonathan Van Ness enters the YouTube arena. Van Ness, the grooming expert on Queer Eye and host of his very own podcast “Getting Curious,” is joining the ranks of the mascara-wielding and palette swatching elites with the debut of his new YouTube channel entitled JVN Beauty. The industry vet (he’s been doing hair professionally for over ten years) will do what he does best— chop, curl, dye, and braid his hair and that of his family and friends. But, Van Ness wants to ensure us all that it doesn’t stop just there. The channel will cover all types of beauty, from skincare to wellness, with the ultimate goal of each viewer feeling seen in the content. 

Ahead of the launch, JVN sat down with ELLE.com to share a few of his beauty commandments. Plus, take an exclusive first look a the new channel above.

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Always Have a Mantra Moment

As an added rite to combine inner and outer beauty, Van Ness turns to mantras. “You want to be present when you’re putting on your skincare. Often, it’s going into a positive affirmation, mantra moment where it’s like, I’d just be saying like, ‘Thank you body. Thank you for getting me through. Thank you for doing everything you’re doing.’

For Van Ness, celebrating skincare or hair rituals is more than just the end result. “Part of what makes you look beautiful is when you’re experiencing life and connected to your joy and your passion,” he says. “Sometimes, that’s not all skincare and haircare and makeup. Sometimes for me, it’s a lot of cats. It’s a lot of gardening. It’s a lot of figure skating and a lot of gymnastics.” Paired with therapy, a soothing beauty ritual works wonders for JVN’s mental health. “It’s a time where I’m giving myself a look over and just getting into gratitude and clearing my mind.

Go Back to Your Roots

Though Van Ness has become a pioneer in every sphere he enters, his background is behind the salon chair. “I want to share what I’ve learned. I did hair full time from the time I graduated from hair school in October of 2006 until April 2018. That five and six days a week for 12 years.” So be prepared for some high-quality hair content coming from JVN’s channel. “It’s been such a long time since I had my hands in hair. I was like, I miss doing hair, and I miss salon life. I miss talking about hair and thinking more about hair.

Slather On SPF 

No UVA or UVB rays are allowed in this house. Van Ness’ best skincare advice? Wear sunscreen every day. “The sun does not come into play anymore,” Van Ness warns. “I really, really, really love a gorgeous mineral based sunscreen because I just love that thick protective vibe that mineral sunscreen can give me. I love them. I also just got really into the powder sunscreen to refresh, so I don’t have to go over my skin with a cream every few hours outside, which I really wish that I would have used sooner.”

Invest In A Good Haircut

While some people may be horrified about a three-digit price tag on a haircut, for JVN a good haircut is like a wise investment. “I think that people that aren’t hairdressers do take for granted and don’t realize that especially if it’s a long layer haircut, like this 150 bucks, you shouldn’t need to get another haircut for six months. Really, it ends up being 150 divided by six. It’s like 30 bucks a month. Honey, it’s a fire sale.”

“Everyone Is Gorgeous”

Though he’s known for giving off-the-cuff beauty advice in his Instagram comment section, Van Ness hopes that this new medium will become a reference guide for all things haircare, skincare, and self-care. “I can’t wait to share it with everyone,” he tells ELLE.com. “Whether you’re like a brand new beauty beginner or you’re someone who has been into this for decades, I want there to be something that’s in there for everyone and a place for everyone to feel welcome and to learn.” 

JVN’s channel is dedicated to making sure everyone feels welcome and beautiful for anyone who feels like the beauty community has often had a narrow focus. “Everyone is gorgeous. I want everyone to know that they’re gorgeous.

ELLE

Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist Sir John Swears by These Five Makeup Essentials

I always say that beauty is a feeling,” notes celebrity makeup artist Sir John on his beauty philosophy. “The way we make people feel is a destination—you become a destination of energy when you can do that.” While the pro is most known for his work with Beyoncé—including her glam at the 2022 Oscars and her British Vogue cover—he has garnered quite a Rolodex of star clientele. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Serena Williams, Zendaya, and Naomi Campbell (who happened to be his first celebrity client), to name a few, have all sported his glam on endless magazine covers, music videos, and red carpets. Not to mention a slew of brand partnerships with L’Oréal, Barbie, and MAC.

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And the sought-after makeup pro doesn’t have any plans on slowing down anytime soon. “One thing I know about life, especially at this big, grown age of mine, is that the finish line continues to get pushed back,” he continues. “There’s a Roman saying: never rely on past glory. Yesterday’s win is yesterday’s win. No matter what I did yesterday, that’s cool, but I’m really obsessed about what’s next.” Following two decades of experience, he’s adding another role to his ever-evolving resume: chief creative officer of Ctzn Cosmetics—driven by his commitment to building equity and diversity in the industry.

Founded in 2019 by a trio of sisters, the brand seeks to create products inclusive to people of color, inspired by their South Asian heritage. “I loved how authentically compelling they were when it came to what [they] want to champion for people who don’t always get invited to the party,” he says of his appointment. Sir John’s decision to join a promising up-and-coming brand, to him, is a reflection of the evolving beauty landscape.

He continues to say that he’s seen so many shifts in the industry throughout his career—noting specifically the emergence of men’s makeup. “I love the fact that we live in an era of exploration, where everyone can have a vehicle to make them feel better about who they see in the mirror,” he says. So, it’s clear Sir John is eager to create safer, more inclusive spaces and share the wealth of knowledge he’s learned—from normalizing Botox and filler to dishing his best makeup tips.

I love making the eyes look like different shapes with liners,” he explains. “Liners would be my favorite thing to do if I didn’t have any other makeup on me.” He’s particularly enjoying how people are playing with colored, whimsical liners on TikTok. “Also, my ultimate hack is making sure you set concealer with loose powder—never pressed powder. It’s too heavy under the eyes and drying.” Otherwise, he has a penchant for what he dubs invisible sculpting: “I love the way I sculpt and contour; you’re not supposed to see it but rather offer structure.” To do this, he will do a cream sculpt, then buff in a taupe or cooler colored tone to create dimension on the face.

Sir John’s approach to makeup has transformed in tandem with the industry and his clients. When asked if he thinks Beyoncé’s look has evolved over time, his response is “abso-fucking-lutely.” Though he admits she certainly knows what she wants, he has learned how to not only have conviction but consistently soak in new knowledge. His biggest advice? “Have faith in your eye, in your references you’re pulling. Where do you want to take this person?

With that, Sir John gave Vogue a sneak peek into his makeup kit—including his five must-have products.

1. Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick

  • Key Benefits: “These are the best for sculpting,” says Sir John. “I sculpt and bronze with everything that looks like this. I’ll take a tiny bit on the back of my hand, and I’ll start to buff wherever I want that shadow.
  • More to Know: A lychee fruit extract-infused dual-ended contour and highlight stick to illuminate and shape the face.

2. Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick

  • Key Benefits: The Fenty Beauty Match Stix is another top pick of his for his signature sculpted contour. For a lasting lifted appearance, he sets the cream contour with a cool-toned powder to keep everything in place all day or night.
  • More to Know: A buildable cream-to-powder contour stick that delivers a matte finish.

3. REN Clean Skincare Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask

  • Key Benefits: “This is amazing,” says Sir John. “It literally resurfaces your skin immediately; even if you’re super sensitive, it’s not a problem. I’ve been using it for years.”
  • More to Know: An exfoliating mask powered by a blend of glycolic acid from pineapple extract, lactic acid from passion fruit, and papain from papaya to refine skin texture and improve radiance.

4. MAC Fluidline Eye Liner Gel

  • Key Benefits: “I love this because it doesn’t move, it doesn’t go anywhere,” says Sir John. He recounts etching a perfect cat eye while on Beyonce’s On The Run tour using this pot and MAC’s liner in Graphblack. “[The liner] didn’t move through two hours of cardio. They’re worth their weight in gold.”
  • More to Know: A waterproof, smudge-resistant gel pigment formulated for up to 16-hour wear.

5. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

  • Key Benefits: Sir John counts this NARS concealer as one of his favorites, along with its matte pot formula. Pro tip: just make sure the under-eye is properly hydrated before applying.
  • More to Know: A creamy concealer infused with balancing and light-diffusing powders, along with magnolia bark extract, grape seed extract, and vitamin E to hydrate, brighten, and correct.

VOGUE

Ciara Is Launching A Skincare Line OAM: ‘Meet My Secret Sauce’

On Monday, Ciara announced she’s leveling up and jumping into the beauty game by launching her own skincare line.

Called OAM — which stands for “On a Mission” — the beauty brand drops online September 15.

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You’ve been asking… and here it is. Meet my secret sauce,” the “One, Two Step” songstress wrote on Instagram, calling the line “years in the making.

The Instagram Reel shows comments fans have left over the years asking the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model, 36, to drop her skincare routine.

It’s the flawless skin for me,” one reads. “Baby them pores was no where [sic] to be found!” another gushes. 

In the comments, one fan asked, “Now can we get the workout plan?” and a follower added, “She got that business head.”

Ciara worked with a team of dermatologists to clinically test the products on 96 women.

Ciara’s line is launching with five “clinical-level” products, which she worked with a team of board-certified dermatologists to perfect, testing her potions on 96 women with different skin tones. 

OAM is rolling out a Vitamin C Hydrating Cleanser, Vitamin C Brightening Pads, 20% Vitamin C Brightening Serum (which she calls “liquid gold for your skin”), Vitamin C Eye Revitalizer and Vitamin C Radiance Moisturizer, with prices ranging between $28 and $62.

OAM was tested on women of every skin tone on the Fitzpatrick scale, which classifies skin type based on pigment and sun reaction.

I would say this is truly a missing piece in skin care today,” the “Like a Boy” hitmaker told Allure. “These products are for all skin types, so that’s why we wanted to do [the clinical testing] with every skin tone.” 

Ciara joins a long list of celebrities with their own beauty brands and skincare lines, including Selena Gomez, Hailey Bieber, Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, Halsey, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna.

PAGE SIX

Lil Nas X Enters the Beauty Space in Full Force With New YSL Partnership

Lil Nas X is the newest U.S. ambassador for YSL Beauty. “I’m happy to be a part of something so unique and groundbreaking,” he shared.

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The “Old Town Road” rapper has already cemented himself as a style icon with his gender bending looks in daring prints, patterns and silhouettes. So, it only makes sense that he’d tap into the beauty space with a bold new partnership. 

On Aug. 26, Lil Nas X announced that he’s YSL Beauty’s latest U.S. ambassador.

The 23-year-old is the face of The Bold campaign which introduces the new Rouge Pur Couture: Bold collection. It’s a line of 12 high-pigment lipsticks that YSL Beauty described were “for those who aren’t shy.”

I’m happy to be a part of something so unique and groundbreaking in the beauty world,” Lil Nas X stated in a press release shared with E! News. “Shout out to YSL for embracing me and my campness and for inspiring change for the next generation of beauty.”

The “Industry Baby” rapper explained how his new beauty gig is another way for him to showcase his creative expression.

Building my brand is an ongoing process as I continue to try new things,” he told Complex, “but I’m all about having fun, standing out and making a statement, and creating great music.

He continued, “Everything I do is an extension of that, and I’m always looking for ways to break the mold.”

No matter the route Lil Nas X takes, he said when he’s driven by something he’ll “completely dive in and indulge myself in it, to the point where I’m doing things that I haven’t done before.”

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