The New Gucci

American-born make-up artist Gucci Westman just launched her own cosmetic-brand – chic, sleek and easy – applying the same style as she’s doing for clients like Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston and designers like Badgley Mischka. Growing up in an ashram and living an almost sugar-free life, the beauty icon focuses those guidelines or principles in her ingredients as well.

Make-up by Gucci Westman

Do you still get excited about doing the fashion shows?

Yes, absolutely. A lot of makeup companies no longer want to invest in fashion shows because they’re not seeing the payback anymore. But we support designers with our products and artistry – because there is a payback. At this moment I’m doing shows not because of the money. It’s an image tool basically.

Why do you think the big companies are getting out of this?

They don’t see the return, they don’t see money – of course the exposure is there, but at the end oft he day they know they pay these makeup artists to use their brands that day but they know, that’s not all they use. It’s a little bit smokey-mirrors.

Maybe it depends on the brand. Your products are high in quality and people like to use it, but there are brands who are obviously buying into it…

That’s true for sure. I was a global creative director for Lancôme and Revlon, that was such an honor and priveledge and a learning experience.

But, if you’re unable to speak to other brands then it limits you. When you do interviews and you’re only able to speak about one thing, you can tell the journalist gets bored.

I feel really lucky that I’m in a position to be quite honest and transparent about everything I say now. I am obsessed with my brand because it’s exactly everything I want it to be! I wanted to start with a complexion system. I wanted to sort out a system, where there are choices and it’s not overwhelming but you still have fun. Where you never gonna be like, oh my god there’s to many things, I can’t choose. You have to be able to play. It’s almost like a wardrobe, but more your makeup wardrobe and you don’t have to wear the same sweater every day. We started of very tight and precise and I focused a lot on starting small and only put out what you need to begin with.

Gucci Westeman backstage

So skin is your focus.

Many of our products have skincare benefits and are multi-use. I actually got roascea four years ago, which is very frustrating and there’s not really a cure for it. I decided that I wanted to make something that would help me, not only cover skin. First of all, I didn’t want to have silicones in my foundations. Silicone for me was a big no no. Still, I wanted a beautiful texture and it’s very complex to achieve that without silicone.

Plus, I wanted to have active ingredients that sooth and calm redness and inflammation.

Was it hard to invent something new? There are already plenty of brands…

As a founder of a brand there’s always gonna be something that is unique to you because it’s made out of your own perspective, your personal passion, so there will always be something that is different to existing brands. We started this journey four years ago. I wanted to do this for a long time but I had restrictions because I had contracts. So, once I left Revlon, I was able to really look at this in a fashion were I can be like, ok, let’s do this.

Ingredients seem to be important to you…

I knew I wanted to work with a lab that wasn’t known for natural or organic, I knew I wanted to work with the lab that I had worked with before because they are famous for innovation and color. And I wanted to force them to remove all of the toxins and harmful ingredients. The first trials were terrible. But we got there!

When I was a little girl, we grew up in this ashram, my mother and I and my father. We were so healthy – and I still never had meat in my life. It’s funny because I rebelled when it came to sugar and all things like that because I was never allowed to wear makeup or have sugar. Maybe that’s why I am a makeup artist because my mom wouldn’t let me wear it. So I have always been questioning the ingredients. My parents – we moved to Sweden, we grew up in kind of like, not a farm but used the farm up the road as our backyard. So, we went and got our milk from the cows, sometimes ourselves. We grew all our vegetables ourselves. My parents made their own cheese. They made everything super healthy, organic.

But with the sugar and everything like that I really wanted to try things. So I remember being at a party; I was like maybe 4 or something like that and I snug around the corner because I ordered this drink called Sherly Temple and it has these red cherries. So I snug around the corner and then my Mums hand, pops in the glass and takes the cherry and she said “you can’t drink that, that’s gonna give you cancer!”. And I was like “what are you doing, that is the best part!” and she said “no, the red dye is gonna give you cancer”. It always stuck in my head. So I was sitting with the chemist – because I worked directly with the chemist myself – and I told them the story. So I didn’t want this particular colorant that is usually used in make-up. I’d rather use crushed up beetle wings – I find it more ethically. I know that’s maybe not right either, but at least it’s more natural and intuitive.


Working with her own brand backstage at Fashion Week

What about the packaging? It looks super chic!

I always wanted to do sticks too because that’s how I learned to do makeup in make- up school in Paris. I wanted it to be very intuitive. There were all these goals that I had: it had to be fast and make your life easier. I wanted to have a shift from Instagram because it makes me a little bit disappointed in how that messaging has played out. My approach is more to amplify what you look like and not transforming yourself.

Was there one special moment in your career, where you thought, I have to do my own line now?

I always thought about it. I am fascinated by formulas and ingredients and I always had a skincare approach to makeup. I was always mixing skincare into make-up and creating another color, another texture.

I had a great idea for Revlon, but I think maybe it was a little bit before its time. I was gonna do a green line for them together with Barney’s. Because Revlon, initially, started off as a prestige brand. They gave me the go ahead, but then somebody stopped it. We went really far, but it was a long time ago and it was maybe to early for its time. Today I’m glad because it gave me the freedom to do my own brand, finally!

Baby Cheeks Blush Stick - DouDou
Brush Blender 2
Beauty Butter Powder Bronzer
Brush Powder 2
Vital Skin Foundation Stick I
Laura Dunkelmann
[Photo ]
Februar 25, 2019
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