BLKonBLK - - Blk Beauty -


Ste­fan Knight: Hi Ella, how are you? Ella Yelich-o’con­nor: I’m great thanks, how are you! Ex­cel­lent thank you. It’s great to get the chance to chat in amongst your busy sched­ule. I know, it’s been crazy busy. First up, I wanted to ask you about your ear­li­est beauty mem­o­ries. I don’t know if you can call it beauty, be­cause I don’t think it looked very good. I was quite young when I started wear­ing eye­liner to school and I would buy $2 shop eye­lin­ers, I used pen­cils for a long time and then my friend said have you tried liq­uid eye­liner and I thought it had to go in your eye so I went into my eye and then shut the lid… Un­der the lash?!! Yeah, I opened my eye and I could see with this eye that the other one was com­pletely black… The whole eye?! All over the white and ev­ery­thing! Wow, quite cool. But it was burn­ing. Wow, not cool. It was cool for one sec­ond, so I had to rinse it out pretty fast. Ouch, crazy ex­per­i­men­ta­tion! Yeah, but I did do a pretty heavy black eye­liner for a long time, so I guess that’s my first beauty mem­ory. Nice. Where did you get the idea to do that black liner from, was there a pic­ture you saw or some­one whose style you were in­spired by? I don’t know. I was think­ing about that the other day, be­cause at the time ev­ery­one was into lip­gloss and like very lit­tle eye make-up and I just kind of went straight for a crazy eye. I mean I had my friend’s sis­ters and stuff that were quite cool, I guess we were in­flu­enced by them, but I don’t know, I’ve kind of al­ways gone straight

for stuff like that. For the ex­treme? Yeah. How about your first makeup pur­chases, so it started with the $2 shop pur­chases but has it pro­gressed from there? I still to­tally rate $2 shop make-up, you get a lit­tle burn some­times but noth­ing that bad, ha ha ha... I used to get a lot of great lip­sticks from there, like zinc lip­sticks in crazy colours, you can get greens and blues and stuff. Would you wear those colours? Yeah, yeah all the time. The blue, I still have my blue zinc. Fab, are they the type of zinc that you wear on your nose to pro­tect you from the sun? Well I think so, but th­ese ones re­ally just look like lip­sticks, you can get glow-in-the-dark ones, you can get all dif­fer­ent sorts. They sound cool. I re­mem­ber when I was a kid they used to have this flu­oro zinc in a stick that you’d wear as a sun pro­tec­tor on the beach… Yeah I think this is like that but a bit weirder… Right, I used to wear mine as a lip­stick and tell my par­ents that I had to wear it to stop get­ting burnt, but re­ally it was an early form of get­ting away with wear­ing makeup as a boy, ha ha…. That’s awe­some ha ha… Do you have any ad­vice for girls who are get­ting started with ex­per­i­ment­ing with make-up? Just do what makes you feel pretty and feel cool. I don’t think there are any rules or any lim­its, just try stuff out. Peo­ple will tell you if it looks weird and you can try some­thing else. I used to do all sorts, like glitter and lit­tle cell phone gems that I used to stick to my eyes and to my face and stuff. It was su­per weird and prob­a­bly didn’t look that good, but… They’re all just dif­fer­ent forms of or­na­men­ta­tion though aren’t they… Yeah, and it was about ex­per­i­ment­ing and just fig­ur­ing it out. So just try it, you know, Just Do It #NIKE… I re­ally love that pic­ture that you did with Kiekie where you stuck all of those $2 shop fake tat­toos to your hands, that was a great ex­am­ple of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion go­ing re­ally well. Yeah, that was so cool. I wish we’d used that for some­thing but it didn’t end up hap­pen­ing… You should to­tally do that for some­thing some­time, it was a re­ally cool look. Thank you. Yeah I loved that. Is there any­one you ad­mire as a beauty icon, from mod­ern time or even an­cient his­tory? Right now some­one who I’m re­ally in­spired by is FKA Twigs, she’s just got what I think is a re­ally dis­tinct look that no one is do­ing right now, she looks beau­ti­ful. I love her! That pic­ture of her with the LOVE kiss-curl on her fore­head…. Amaz­ing! Another per­son that I’m in­spired by, for a dif­fer­ent rea­son at the mo­ment is Brooke Candy… Oh my GOD that ‘Op­u­lence’ video… Oh man, she’s just amaz­ing and every­day is just a com­pletely new look, new hair new makeup, com­pletely new styling, she’s just so ver­sa­tile. I love her! She’s just about putting the whole thing on, there’s no rule of tak­ing one thing off be­fore you leave the house, she puts 10 more on, it’s more, more, more. she’s to­tally about ev­ery­thing!! Yeah, it’s hard to pull off, but I think that to me is true style and true beauty, just be­ing so many dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters like she is. She’s very cool. She’s started work­ing closely with Ni­cola Formichetti who had pre­vi­ously been cre­ative di­rec­tor for Gaga. It feels as though he took it to a cer­tain level with Gaga and now he has this new more ex­treme girl who is will­ing to go so much fur­ther… To­tally, she’s part fu­tur­is­tic, part 20s glam­our… Part cy­borg ro­botic beauty queen, when I first saw that ‘Op­u­lence’ video I almost com­pletely lost my shit. I just re­mem­ber think­ing this has just changed ev­ery­thing. She’s great. I read some­where that when you were cre­at­ing the Pure Hero­ine lip­stick you spent a lot of time tri­al­ing and test­ing the for­mu­la­tion as much as the colour. You said the kids who would end up buy­ing and wear­ing it wouldn’t have a make-up artist on hand to help them so you wanted it to be re­ally wear­able and ver­sa­tile. What tips do you have for us­ing th­ese prod­ucts? The good thing about th­ese prod­ucts is that you can ba­si­cally use them even if you aren’t that good. It was im­por­tant to me that it was this way and that’s why they have the fin­ish that they have. I find that if a lip­stick is too matte, or too dry, it can be hard to pull across your skin be­cause theres not that much fric­tion and if you make a mis­take with those lip­sticks then it’s hard to fix. But be­cause this is quite move­able it’s easy to put on and if you screw up then it’s easy to fix it with your hand or a tis­sue. The other thing that was im­por­tant to me about this, be­cause a lot of the lip­sticks I wear in my time off are stains, I wanted to make it so that you can dab it on for a light colour and keep it wear­able and youth­ful. I wanted there to be the op­tion of be­ing able to wear it as a stain or be­ing able to do the full lip. Amaz­ing! It makes a big dif­fer­ence hav­ing such a strong pig­ment to use as a stain be­cause you still get such a good strength of colour with­out hav­ing to layer it up too much. Ex­actly. So I wanted ask you about how cre­at­ing th­ese prod­ucts phys­i­cally hap­pens. I mean are you in a lab­o­ra­tory? Are there sci­en­tists in white coats? Paint the pic­ture for us. Ha ha… No, so I ba­si­cally sent a re­ally long, re­ally spe­cific email about the colour that I wanted and about the fin­ish that I wanted and I ref­er­enced other MAC lip­sticks for both colour and tex­ture. Then MAC made up a bunch of sam­ples which I would try on my nights off, on my days off, ap­ply­ing by my­self, so I could fig­ure out if they were the right fin­ish, if they were the right colour. So no white coats I’m sorry. Ohhh… I was imag­in­ing some kind of Willy Wonka lab fun. No, just the de­liv­ery of lip-bul­lets. Ha ha… How long did the process take, from be­gin­ning to end? I would say it was a cou­ple of months, it was a while ago now. I kind of knew that one stood out from the rest, the colour was per­fect and once we got the fin­ish sorted it was all good. So would you like to do other shades of lip­stick for MAC? I would like to make more, but I def­i­nitely like it how this is my shade. So this MAC col­lab is such a great fit for you, I mean with Am­ber D be­ing your per­sonal artist and beauty side­kick. Are there other things that you would like to cre­ate prod­uct-wise though, is there more you want to say as far as beauty prod­ucts go? While I was do­ing this I tried to think of other prod­ucts that I’d want to do but, be­cause a) I wanted them to be prod­ucts that peo­ple could ap­ply re­ally eas­ily, you know the felt tip eye­liner is so straight-for­ward and I wanted them to be about high­light­ing fea­tures that you like, rather than cov­er­ing up things that you don’t like. I mean I don’t have the best skin and it’s been a strug­gle for me for a long time, so it wouldn’t be right if I was sell­ing young girls things to make them per­fect. Find the fea­tures that you love and ac­cen­tu­ate them, so I guess that’s why I kept it sim­ple, but it would be cool to do more, I want to do nail pol­ishes, I love crazy nail pol­ishes. Sounds cool, you should to­tally do that. So you have had the chance to work with some pretty stel­lar makeup artists, in­clud­ing the fab­u­lous Am­ber D who we all love here at BLACK. What have you learned from hav­ing such amaz­ing peo­ple do your face, has this changed the way you use makeup and ap­ply it? I def­i­nitely have, though I am on the amat­uer end of the scale in terms of ap­ply­ing make-up, with me it’s bet­ter to keep it sim­ple than to try some­thing crazy be­cause I prob­a­bly wouldn’t do a great job. Also when I’m not work­ing I like to wear as lit­tle make-up as pos­si­ble to let my skin breathe. I think a big thing, though, is be­fore I started work­ing with make-up artists reg­u­larly I would ap­proach make-up by think­ing pow­der, pow­der, keep it as matte as pos­si­ble, be­cause I didn’t want to look oily. But now I’ve learned that it’s about bal­ance and look­ing mois­turised as op­posed to just look­ing su­per-dry. Do you mean choos­ing the right prod­ucts to use in the right ar­eas and lay­er­ing things in a sheer way to get the best ef­fects? Rather than go­ing straight for the full cov­er­age mask look. Yes and I’ve found a great tinted mois­turiser that I love that’s light enough to make it work. It’s all about find­ing what works for you per­son­ally re­ally isn’t it. It is yes. So fi­nally, I wanted to ask you about clothes and style, you’ve been wear­ing some pretty killer Euro­pean de­signer clothes lately while you’ve been trav­el­ling. Thanks. Has this trip home given you the chance to re-stock on NZ la­bels? I def­i­nitely need to do that. But I’ve been wear­ing this amaz­ing Karen Walker green long coat every­day when I’ve been away, which is great. But I want to get some more Miss Crabb dresses while I’m home. The other thing I al­ways wear is Lonely Hearts Lin­gerie, Lonely Hearts is my favourite NZ brand, I think they are go­ing to con­quer the world. I haven’t seen stuff as beau­ti­ful any­where else, I might need to re-stock with them. Cool, thanks so much my dar­ling, it’s been great chat­ting with you and best of luck with the tour! Thank YOU, it’s been cool. The M.A.C Of­fi­cial site

Pho­tog­ra­phy: CHARLES HOW­ELLS Fash­ion Ed­i­tor: RACHAEL CHURCH­WARD Make-up: am­ber d for M.A.C Cos­met­ics us­ing Pure Hero­ine range Hair: Ste­fan KNIGHT us­ing O&M Model: JESSICA THOMP­SON at Red 11

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