over the rain­bow

Beauty direc­tor Vanessa hit a colour-block wall at the Cali of­fices of Ur­ban De­cay

ELLE (Canada) - - StoryBoard -

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

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