How does one launch a makeup line in 2020—a year mired in mistakes, change, chaos, rule-breaking, and shape-shifting? If you’re Swedish fragrance brand Byredo—you embrace it all. Founder & Creative Director Ben Gorham and innovative makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench imbued that spirit into the brand’s first foray into cosmetics. It’s a six-product launch that tosses out convention and re-conceptualizes cosmetics.
Come October, and the products can live on your beauty shelf. But the idea for a Byredo makeup launch has been living in the minds of Gorham and Ffrench rent-free for about two years; they tell ELLE via Zoom. “We shared this outsider’s perspective,” Gorham says of enlisting Ffrench for the project. “Her creations were about pure expression—not referring to the norms of the industry.” Ffrench admits she was hesitant about joining forces unless she could put her own forward-thinking mark on the makeup. “I had mixed feelings because I wasn’t really that interested in commercial makeup,” she recalls. “I find it very repetitive, and it’s always the same product and campaign imagery. I said, ‘I will do this if we can really do something different.'” She added, “We wanted to create not only an innovative, interesting product, but we wanted to challenge the way people use them.”
Enter Byredo’s inaugural line, which includes 16 multi-use color sticks, 15 lipsticks, lip balm, mascara, black liquid eyeliner, and three eye shadow palettes. The duo bucked commercial conventions in favor of ethical ingredients, easy application, and inclusive mentality—all genders and identities welcome. And it’s housed in packaging you’ll be proud to display on your vanity.
“You absolutely get bored of a product over a year, but it’s a testament to say I’ve been working on this for ages—it’s a product that still doesn’t exist on any makeup counter—and I’m even more excited,” Ffrench says of the new drop. Ahead, a breakdown of the genre-bending products.
The Color Stick
In many ways the focal point of the launch, these 16 (vanilla-scented!) shades range from dewy Vienna to creamy Destroyer. Each hue is curated with bespoke colors and textures. They can be blended together and worn on eyes, lips, or cheeks—your color, your choice.
“I love the idea that you can have one color stick and it doesn’t matter your skin tone or where in the world, you would be able to wear that color on your face,” Ffrench explains.
A trio of products comprise the eye component of Byredo’s new line:
Space Black Mascara
This rose-scented mascara is long-lasting and resistant to both water and humidity. Its dark hue can be applied with a short silicone brush for the ideal lash length. Consider the results out of this world.
Technical Black Eyeliner
A high precision brush applicator gives this liner a smudge-proof finish. Plus, your cat eye will be humidity resistant for up to 12 hours—a necessity right now.
Three Eye Shadow Palettes
When conceiving lineups for Byredo’s palettes, Gorham says he wanted them to “inspire needs you didn’t know you had and inspire a future horizon.” Consider us on the final frontier because we’re coveting all three items.
Each comes equipped with different finishes: matte, metallic andultra-glitter. And each is crafted around a separate theme: Necromancer, Syren and Corporate Colours. The shadows are lightweight, long-lasting, and blended with the swipe of a fingertip.
Whether you’re more “quick dab of lip balm before I head out the door” or “bathe me in red lipstick, please” Byredo’s listening. Both lightly-scented with iris and apricot accord, these products will do wonders for your pout.
This 99.8% natural balm offers hours of ultra-hydration for the exchange of a single coat. It’s smooth, scented, and utterly genderless.
Depending on each of the 15 shades, these sticks offer satin and silky matte finishes. The hues are designed to complement all skin tones and boast very Instagrammable names. Divorce, Dancehall Queen, Red Armchair, and Worship Her are among the standouts.
Beginning next month, Byredo’s makeup line will be available online and in stores, including London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Stockholm, Singapore, Dubai, Seoul, and Taiwan. The product will also be available via select partners in the USA, UK, France, Sweden, Hong Kong, Korea, the Middle East, and Japan.
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