Sunday, December 2, 2007

Up Close and Personal With April Jacob of Pink Beauty Cosmetics

Now that I finally completed my interview with Michael DeVellis I can now move onto my interview with Pink Beauty creator April Jacob. It's over a week late but it's better late then never so lets move on! After my fabulous 5 days of Pink Beauty, I thought it would be appropriate to end it with an interview to get the goods on the creator of this amazing makeup line. After a few emails back and forth with each other, I could already tell the interview would be easy going - like two girlfriends chatting about their favourite things: makeup!

My interview with April took place November 22nd at 3 pm. We were supposed to meet in person at a Starbucks downtown but due to a surprisingly icy few centimeters of snow we decided to do a phone interview instead. Plus, we both agreed it was in her best interest to stay away from icy sidewalks especially being 8 months pregnant (that's right - her and her hubby are expecting their first baby)! Having been there and done that, I totally understood.

Right before I called, I could feel nervous jitters starting to set in. I always get a little nervous before an interview especially if it's with someone I admire. However, as soon as I heard her voice, my nervous jitters quickly disappeared. The excitement in her voice and bubbly attitude made me feel like I was talking to an old friend. I was expecting an "I'm-too-cool-for-you" attitude that is all too familiar with some people I've come across in the fashion industry. So, it was a nice surprise.

April, who has been a makeup artist for the past 10 years in all aspects of the business including television, film, print work and fashion as well as working at various cosmetic counters, had a good idea of what women wanted out of a cosmetic line.

"In my past experience I felt that consumers felt over whelmed by products that were currently on the market with how much time, effort and skill that we required to replicate a certain look. I knew I had to create a line for the everyday women that required minimal time and effort to use but still gave maximum impact and for reason all the products in Pink Beauty are buildable texture."

When I think of the colour pink, I think of beauty, femininity, delicate, and soft. Pink to me, is such a personal colour because it really brings you back to your childhood. To like pink, you have to be a real girly-girl at heart and the name "Pink Beauty" definitely reflects that. And if you're also wondering about the cute little dog in her Pink Beauty logo, there is also a personal story behind that and the inspiration for the line.

"I absolutely adore the colour pink - as do a lot of others! I was inspired by the beauty and purity of the colour pink. It represents so many beautiful things like grace, femininity, compassion, self acceptance – just to name a few. I wanted to create a line that would inspire inner beauty. So Pink Beauty not only makes you look good but feel good too! My dog Neesha was part of my inspiration for our icon Penelope – who is Pinkie’s dog in Pink Beauty. She is very dear to me and is with me everyday here at the office. One of the things that the colour Pink also represents is friendship and so I wanted to represent that element with our silhouette icons Pinkie and her little dog Penelope. Every colour collection is inspired by their glamorous adventures - the first one being Beloved which was our Spring/Summer 2007 Collection."

I loved how the products were named after old fashioned names because it reminded me of the glamourous women of the past. Sharing a love for Old Hollywood glamour, deciding on the names also had a personal attachment for April.

Photo: "Elsie" is the lipstick shown in the middle - one of my faves!

"I wanted to have fun and playful names for the shades. All of the lip sheers are named after old fashioned girls names which is reminiscent of the old Hollywood glamour feel that the line has. Elsie and Beatrice lip sheers are named in honor of my two late grandmothers. I also wanted the lip sheers to have more of a personal connection - we all get attached to our favorite shade of lipstick that we wear everyday! Dearestwhich is one of my all time favorite products in the line – was actually a bit of a mishap in the lab. I was looking to create a pinky bronze shade with a touch of pearl as all of the glosses from our Glamour Glaze Lip Gloss collection have. The lab submission came back with way too much pearl but I just loved the effect that it had with the two shades of the pink and bronze mixed together. I wore it everyday for the next few days. I received a ton of compliments from friends and even total strangers! Everyone wanted to know what I was wearing on my lips. I knew I had to keep it as it was and for that reason I named it Dearest! "

Choosing the names is just one aspect of creating a top-selling makeup line. Packaging sometimes can be make-it or break-it for me. A product not only has to have functionality but appealing packaging as well. I just adored Pink Beauty's matte pink packaging.

"I spent a lot of time designing the packaging of Pink Beauty. I absolutely love beautiful packaging! All of the products are done in our signature baby soft pink. I get a lot of positive feed back from consumers about how they love that fact that their Pink Beauty really stands out in their makeup back amongst a sea of black products! There are two elements to the packaging – the soft matte pink packaging which represents the vintage old Hollywood glamour feel to line. However, when you pop off the top you see the glossy black which represents today’s modern sophistication. After all - Pink Beauty is all about 1940’s Hollywood glamour meets modern day sophistication created for today’s modern glam girl!"

As a makeup artist I'm always looking for products that will enhance my kit and make my job easier. Because her products are buildable and multi-use it's perfect for the makeup artist on-the-go (and for anyone on-the-go!). Pink Beauty is a favourite with the makeup artist for Crossing Jordan and is currently being used on set! Right now, there isn't a makeup artist discount, but in the future she is thinking about implementing a makeup artist reward program. When the beauty line was first established it was made to cater the everyday glamourous woman. Now that it's fan base is growing, the line will be expanding in the future to include a foundation line and accessories with the possibility of refillable pans. The foundation line will be in stick form because it's the easiest to use that can be applied with your fingers. The foundations will be yellow-based and not pink-based. Yay!

I love hearing about other women's 'must-haves' in their makeup bag. April dishes on what are staples in her makeup bag. "I love Cream Radiance Rouge because it's a multi-purpose product that can be used on the eyes, lips, and cheeks. 'Delight' would be the shade because it's the most neutral and doesn't have any red in it." Bonus tip for her Eye Splendor Shadows: they can be applied with your finger if you want a single wash of colour! The texture is almost a creamy powder. I tried it and the pigment actually applies with the same intensity as using a brush!

Every woman has their own signature 'glam' look that makes them feel glamourous and beautiful. "My favourite look is to do a red lip and keep everything else soft and sheer. I don't even use a liner on the eyes...just lots of Lash Extravagance Mascara in Lavish." One of my favourite looks as well! Great look for the many holiday parties coming up! And now that she's a new mom-to-be, April lists 3 products every mom-on-the-go needs. "Definitely Lash Extravagance Mascara, Cream Rouge Radiance for the eyes, lips, and cheeks and finish with Glamour Glaze Lip Gloss because it's the quickest to apply. It's not heavy or sticky and has lasting colour."

April loves creating new products. Her love of traveling and seeing other cultures inspires her everyday. What she loves about being a makeup artist is being able to build personal connections with different women everyday and helping each of them find their inner pink glow! After speaking with April, I really felt her personal connection with Pink Beauty. It isn't just another makeup line with a name stamped on it because you can tell she put heart and soul into it. She listened to what women wanted and designed the line for women on-the-go who want a little glamour without all the fuss.

As the conversation winds down, we gab about what she likes to do when she's not working. "I love traveling and spending a quiet night with my husband and my dog Neesha". With the soon-to-be addition to the family, those quiet nights will probably get a little louder hehe. We talk a little more about motherhood and first time jitters. It's great hearing about what she's been feeling and going through because it's like I'm experiencing it all over again. Could we be seeing a lip gloss named after her baby? I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Congrats April and I wish you all the best! Thank you again for such a wonderful interview and for bringing out my inner pink glow!

Pink Beauty is sold in various Holt Renfrew locations across Canada and now online at

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