over the rainbow
Beauty director Vanessa hit a colour-block wall at the Cali offices of Urban Decay
My perspective on beauty was, in part, shaped when I was a teenager and our family moved to Europe. My high school had 26 different nationalities, so there were a lot of girls who didn’t look the same as the others. It wasn’t the kind of cookie-cutter situation that you sometimes find. I was exposed to women who looked different and expressed their beauty differently—I think that really stays with you and makes you more open to possibilities.
“I have always loved makeup and how it can transform your face. I used to tape pictures of all the supermodels on my mirror and try to do my makeup like theirs. (I was sent home from school for wearing too much makeup!) My routine now really depends on what I’m doing. It can be full-on ‘Okay, it’s an entire day of hair, nails and makeup,’ with contouring and everything, or it can be what I call my ‘Little League’ makeup, which is beauty balm, sparkly eyeshadow, a little liquid liner, mascara, lipgloss and I’m out the door. Urban Decay was born in 1996. I was at North Texas University, where I met [cofounder] Sandy Lerner; she had this idea to start a company. When you walked into the cosmetics department in the mid-’90s, prestige beauty was pink and beige and red, and that was it. If you wanted blue or crazy purple, you had to go to the drugstore—and it was junk. You couldn’t really get an amazingly true beautiful colour. We started mixing and experimenting in my garage! Our attitude was ‘Women with an alternative perspective want great makeup too.’” n