Growing up in the 1970s in Vancouver made it hard to dream about the fashion world. Hockey, maybe, but not fashion! Now, in North America especially, there has been an explosion around makeup. Vlogging and YouTube have changed our access to products. I would tell my 15-year-old self to keep on doing what you believe in and you’ll eventually get that dream job.
“My proudest career moment was when I was offered the job as creative director for YSL Beauté. I remember thinking ‘How did I manage to luck out and get that?’ because there are so many other talented people in the universe. It has been five years since I joined the team, and I have put my personal stamp on all of the products. That’s something I’m very proud of. Our lab makes the formulas, and if something I want to make is not possible, they still try! This is why it took four years to develop Mascara Vinyl Couture: They had to develop a transparent base [typically, mascaras have a white base that dilutes pigment] before they could even put the colours together.
“With Vinyl Couture, I wanted to push the boundaries of what can be done with colour and mascara. In the past, YSL Beauté has always had coloured mascaras, and I wanted to reinvent that tradition but with a pop twist. You can play by mixing, matching and contrasting the colours with different eye-makeup looks, and that’s their appeal: Makeup should be fun and creative.
“I get inspired by keeping my eyes open and being aware of everything. I just have eyes to the universe.” n
Since his arrival at YSL Beauté, Simmonds has been constantly innovating the collection. His latest addition is YSL Beauté Mascara Vinyl Couture ($39), which comes in nine colours— from the blackest black to (yes!) hot pink.