THE IN-TRAY

The technicolour world of too faced’s jerrod blandino

HE’S THE MAKEUP MASTERMIND RESPONSIBLE FOR SOME OF THE MOST IN-DEMAND AND RAZZLE-DAZZLE PRODUCTS ON PLANET BEAUTY. NOW, TO MARK THE LAUNCH OF TOO FACED’S PEACHES AND CREAM AT MECCA, JERROD BLANDINO SPOKE TO THE MEMO ABOUT HIS JUICY INSPIRATIONS.

Right from the beginning—20 years ago to be exact—Jerrod Blandino intended Too Faced to be an unapologetic celebration of glamour, whimsy and femininity. Since then, he’s conquered the world with playful yet powerhouse products, such as Better Than Sex Mascara, the Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette and Born This Way Foundation. Blandino, along with his co-founder and husband Jeremy Johnson, works from offices in Orange County, CA, which are decorated with riotous pink, gold glitter and crystal chandeliers. This season at MECCA, Too Faced launches Peaches and Cream, a capsule collection based on Blandino’s favourite fruit. It seemed the perfect moment to hear from the face behind Too Faced.

TM: Can you explain the genesis of Peaches and Cream? How did it come together?
JB: “I wanted to create a collection infused with the skin-loving power of peach essence and sweet fig cream. Growing up, those are two ingredients my Italian grandmother used as natural remedies and cure-alls for dryness and acne. My family has relied on these amazing ingredients for years, and I wanted to modernise them. With Too Faced Peaches and Cream, you’re able to achieve a moisture matte finish juxtaposed with sparkling and shimmering elements that mimic the beautiful look of a dimensional peach.”

Peach is a recurring theme for Too Faced, from the colour to the actual ingredient. Can you explain your fascination with the fruit?
“A peach is the sexiest fruit out there! It smells delicious and has a beautiful textural fuzzy playfulness to it. They come in so many gorgeous colours, from light cream to yellow, all the way to the deepest, darkest plum. And then, when you cut it open, it shimmers and glistens in the most beautiful, feminine, sensual way.”

Can you nominate your favourite products from the collection?
“Peach Perfect Foundation, for sure. It has the most incredible moisture matte finish that I’ve ever seen. I worked so hard to make sure that this foundation is full coverage, but natural enough so that it is undetectable. It wears for 14 hours and is truly a foundation you can live in. It looks just as fresh at the end of the night as it did when you first put it on.”

What does “owning your pretty”, a Too Faced mantra, mean to you?
“It means owning who you are and your own unique perspective on beauty. It means having the confidence to rock the style that makes you feel good and loving every minute!”

What inspired the name Too Faced? And has social media made women even more “too faced”?
“The name was inspired by my regular clients who would visit me at the counter when I first started in beauty. I called them “too faced” because these women would lose their minds if we happened to be out of their favourite shade of lipstick, or their must-have mascara. It took so much effort to be that vain—and they were my favourite customers because they were the most fun. Social media is one of the most amazing things to happen to our industry. I have the most wonderful relationship with my fans and my friends who are social stars. It’s an authentic relationship where we get to share our thoughts and make this industry even better through voicing our creativity and visions.”

What’s it like working alongside Jeremy? Are you workshopping ideas over dinner?
“Honestly, it’s absolutely fantastic. We are the perfect team. He’s strong where I’m weak, and I’m strong where he is weak, and we perfectly balance each other out. We don’t take work home, and I think that is so important. There’s no one in the world I trust more than Jeremy. He lets me be as wild and creative as I need to be, and I know he’ll make sure it comes out just as it needs to in the end.”

Is your Beverly Hills home as colourful as the brand and brand offices?
“Yes, it is, and I decorated the entire palette of the home based on Too Faced products! There is a beautiful blue paint from Shadow Insurance, there’s our Too Faced pink, and there’s lavender from our White Peach shadow palette. There are tons of Too Faced influences all over the house!”

What do you regard as your breakthrough product? The one that went viral first?
“Too Faced created the world’s very first glitter eyeshadow. While working on our original collection in 1998, I brought in a vintage 1970s black shirt with silver metallic thread going through it that I had bought at a store called Aaardvarks on Melrose Avenue. It was my favourite shirt and I’d always wear it to this club in Hollywood that played seventies music and had huge, glamorous stars there like Madonna and Whitney Houston. I set out to make a shadow that looked like this shirt. When I asked the lab tech to put glitter in the matte black shadow, they told me it couldn’t be done. She spoke about binders and ingredients and I pushed her and told her to add more binder—and it worked! As for viral, we’ve been playing in the social media space since the beginning, so it is hard to pick just one product. Of course, our Better Than Sex mascara is all over social. It is the number one mascara in the US, France, and in different countries across the globe.”

Do your bestsellers vary in different markets? Australia versus USA for instance?
“Our bestsellers tend to be the same all over the world, but there are certain colours in collections that tend to do better based on the climate and culture.”

What’s the secret of your eyeshadows? What makes them so buttery and blendable?
“We use pure pigments and we don’t put any fillers or ingredients in our shadows that don’t need to be there. Everything is about enhancing the shadow experience. We work tirelessly to push innovation to wear longer, show truer, have full payoff and blend beautifully.”

Why is Better Than Sex such a cult mascara?
“Because it is the best mascara in the world, obviously! Mascara is the most difficult product to create in cosmetics. Better Than Sex has a unique formula and the perfect brush that come together to make the perfect mascara. We’re so grateful for the love people have given it.”

Will the mermaid and unicorn collections continue? And what’s the next mythical inspo?
“The continuous animal inspo is our Clover collection, and all of his friends that are in the collection. The narwhal, the bunny, the panda, the cat and everything in between! We are creating products with the proceeds going to charities to help animals everywhere. Clover is my and Jeremy’s baby. He even has his own Instagram account, @clovertheexplorer.”

When you’re developing your makeup collections, who inspires you?
“Our customers first and foremost and our amazing retail partners like MECCA and the employees. If I can make you happy, and delight and surprise you, then I’ve done my job. I always aim to inspire you and lift you to a whole other place, and I want you to have fun being a girl or a pretty guy!”

How did you celebrate your 20th anniversary this year?
“With an amazing Too Faced 20 Collection called “Cheers To 20 Years”. We created a collection of throwbacks from 1998, reimagined with a 2018 twist, and conducted the biggest model search in Too Faced history to make a dream come true for one lucky girl, who became the face of the entire collection.”

What’s up next for Too Faced?
“I’ve created a collection of shimmery, sparkly makeup with fruits to celebrate life with. Our Tutti Frutti collection is for the extra girl or guy who can never get enough glitter in their life! There are juicy pops of colour, a dewy foundation that will be a game-changer and everything is individually scented.”

Interview by Emily Deacon
July 2018

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