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Makeup comes in every colour of the rainbow. Nowadays, we can access a dizzying variety of hues, shades and finishes for every part of our face. But this is a fairly recent development. Flashback to the mid ‘90s, and pink and beige seemed like the only choices available in high-end cosmetic brands. Back then, red was as bold as you could go. In 1996, Urban Decay exploded onto the scene with a riotous selection of edgy lipsticks and nail enamels, shade names like Oil Slick and Acid Rain, and the provocative tagline, “Does pink make you puke?”
As the brand’s chief creative officer for over two decades, Wende Zomnir has long been one of the most influential women in beauty. Zomnir, who has always believed in the expressive power of makeup, has launched a knockout line-up of inspirational products from her offices in southern California. Here, she talks about her greatest hits, her proudest moments, and the product she’d most like to invent next.
TM: What are your favourite UD makeup moments from the last 20 years?WZ: “The rainbow glitter eye look we created for the launch of our Heavy Metal Glitter Liners. The launch of our first Naked Palette. The Gwen Stefani collection and Vice Lipstick launch, we’ve never launched over 100 of anything before, it was so exciting to release that many lipsticks at once!”
What UD product should every beauty junkie own?“Easy, All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. We spend so much time putting our makeup on…why not keep it fresh? It was formulated exactly for this purpose. It’s a lightweight, airy mist that not only feels amazing, but has been tested to help your makeup last up to 16 hours. It’s amazing! We also make a version called De-Slick for oilier skin, and Chill for dry skin or hot climates.”
What’s your personal favourite, the product you can’t live without?“One I use all the time is our Naked Flushed Palette. It comes in a few different shades, but it’s a single pan palette that has a combo of blush, bronzer and highlighter. I feel like if I only had to take one product on a tropical vacation, I would probably take this one. I can use the blush on my eyes and my cheeks, the highlighter on my brow bone and on my cheekbones, and the bronzer all over and sometimes I even use it to contour. I feel like this is a little compact contour palette and an all-over face palette in one. It’s really sleek and slim and you can also mix all the shades together if you want because it’s only one pan.”
What still excites you about makeup?“I love that makeup is always evolving. Last year no one could get enough of liquid matte lips, and next year I think it’s going to be all about glossy lacquered lips.”
Which is your favourite Naked palette?“This is like asking which my favourite child is! I have different favourites for different looks. Lately, I’ve been reaching for my Naked Heat palette most often.”
Who are your personal makeup muses?“Some of my favourite makeup muses are based in Sydney! I get a lot of inspiration from influencers because they are also makeup junkies like me. They look at a lot of products and some of my favourites are Chloe Morello, Lauren Curtis, Michelle Crossan and Karima McKimmie.”
It’s winter here in Australia. What are your preferred ways to wear colour in the colder months?“As its get colder, I like makeup to go a little bolder. Instead of light summer eyes, try something more muted, but darker…like an inky blue or a rich burgundy. If you choose one with a few silvery flecks in it, then the effect tends to have a little less intensity, but just as much depth. I also like to wear smokier or jewel-toned eyes paired with a pale lip for every day, and something more lush for evening.
What product would you like to invent, but haven’t figured out how?“I would love to create a photo filter that you can pin to your jacket, turn on with the flick of a switch, and instantly surround your face with the perfect 360-degree lighting and a soft blur.”
Interview by Alexandra WhitingJune 2018
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