Having an opportunity to meet a founder behind a beauty brand is always insightful, meeting a person responsible for marketing strategy, development of the brand, as well as the brand’s founding make-up artist, who develops and tests everything, is doubly interesting.
W3LL People is an organic make-up brand and James Walker, co-founder of the brand told me that Imelda, founder and owner of Content, organic beauty boutique, was one of the first people in Europe to approach them for stocking W3LL PEOPLE products ( US born and created ) in her store. I have been already familiar with their range, having used their foundation/concealer, bronzer and blusher in the past but found their packaging a little too simple, not sleek enough and it is a well-known fact that often our decision about the purchase is guided by the visual perception of the product within the first five seconds. Well, James and Shirley Pinkson, his business partner in arms, took the lessons learnt from their customers on-board and have now re-launched their products with new, sleek packaging ( Hippie tested, Diva approved ) and updated formulas and let me be clear-their mineral make-up is unlike any other I have tried on my skin.
The day before I met James and Shirley, they participated in the opening of the new store from the H&M team, called And Other Stories, right on the Regent street and their products are stocked up there already ( ‘make-up that’s sexy as sin, but pure as saint’ ) – who knows, maybe Colette will be knocking on their door next .)
James, a softly spoken man with a strong personality talks about the brand with an all encompassing passion but it is when he mentions the elegance of their packaging designs that I smile and happily nod to him, as it is the first time I heard someone working with organic make-up say that.
Shirley sat me down by the counter and examined my face, before deciding on the shades that will suit me-and there are lots of shades/finishes to satisfy even the more discerning customer. First thing that popped into my mind, looking at Shirley, is that she has the most beautiful, dewy, blemish free skin I have seen lately-when you see beautiful skin like that in magazines you immediately think ‘can’t be, must be photoshop’. Considering that she travels and works at a very fast pace, it really makes you pay attention and ask the question-what do you use on your skin ?! Shirley has worked in the beauty industry for many years ( for Mac and Nars ) before starting W3LL People with James, so it is very reassuring that a make-up artist who is an experienced perfectionist, seems to constantly learn and evolve.
Shirley cleansed my face with Tata Harpers replenishing cleanser and applied a moisturiser, before getting a WP Kabuki brush, that feels exceedingly soft when touching you skin ( and due to its short handle is very comfortable to hold in the palm of your hand ) and showing me how to apply Altruist Satin Mineral Foundation. Now, I am not a fan of mineral make-up full stop ( until now the only exception to the rule has been RMS Un Powder and Studio 78 bronzer ) -I have tried different brands in the past and found that products either made my skin feel dry and look pasty or that they needed to be re-applied several times throughout the day, annoying me. Well, this mineral foundation is different. It has triple milled pigments and includes antioxidant ingredients like rose hip and acai berry. You dispense a little bit of foundation into the lid ( the size of the 50p coin ), angle the brush, swirl it a little and apply it all over you face, with the downward strokes, from your ears inwards. You then follow it up with Hedonist Luminous Mineral Bronzer ( it helps to balance your skin tone and enhance skin’s natural glow ), applying it to the areas on your face where the sun ‘hits’ it naturally, not forgetting the side of your temples and under your cheekbones for contouring. Shirley is very generous with advice and tips and holds firm opinion that ‘ make-up should never precede you ’, but rather enhance your best attributes. A case in point is my picture below, with one part of my face made up by Shirley and other untouched.
I also get to try Luminist Mineral Glow that is a useful tool for highlighting and brightening your skin and can be worn on its own, after you apply your serum/moisturiser. It boasts ingredients like rooibos, rose hip and white tea and all of the W3LL PEOPLE make up has aloe vera as one of its main ingredients that has been known for centuries to be a wonderful tonic for women, helping to balance their hormones, skin and bodies. With this make up range you will also nourish your skin from outside too, as aloe vera has been proven to help heal sunburn, improve moisture levels and smoothness of the skin. It is also full of vitamins and minerals.
Shirley went on to apply Narcissist stick foundation under my eyes and on my eyelids-it is both a foundation and concealer in one and it gives a creamy, satin soft focus, balances the skin and hides imperfections. Shirley says to me that you should always apply concealer before your eyeshadow, so it ‘acts as stick tape for your eyeshadow’. The eye shadows have bright pigments but look more subtle when applied to eye-lids and stay put for several hours, without obvious ‘creasing’. By the same token, she says that ‘a painter never uses unprepared canvas ’, so you need to tailor-make products to the best of your needs, abilities and time frame. In my case she used two contrasting shades of brown, to enhance my eyes and finished with some soft black eyeliner and Paganist lipgloss on my lips ( not gloopy or sticky ). Shirley loves mascara and one is in the works, so for now she used the one she had with her. I also loved spearminty Nudist colourbalm stick that tastes as good as it looks ( it contains aloe to sooth delicate lip area, green tea to protect against free radicals and omegas to keep you lips hydrated ), so again, plenty of options for you to choose from. The new sexy white packaging, with green edged labels and dots of colour on the tubes, to let you know what it looks like, set against white background, is modern and easy to carry around, without it taking too much space or creating a mess. Mineral powder products come in the clever see-through cans with white lids that stay put solidly.
The beauty of W3LL People make-up is that there are no universal rules, you can explore colours and products to your heart’s content and find the best way they will work for you and your make-up routine. I have walked around for the rest of the day after Shirley’s make-over, did an interview and came back home looking as pristine when it came to my make-up, as when I left Content. If that is not great formulas, that enhance who you are, you tell me which are?
W3LL PEOPLE products have no nasties in them, like parabens, petrochemicals, glycols, sulphates, silicones or artificial ingredients.
p.s. Packaging that you see in my pictures is new, you can see all of the products at And Other Stories store. If you go to the W3LL PEOPLE website, the new packaging pictures haven’t been uploaded just yet. If you want to pre-order specific products from Content, then contact them directly via phone or e-mail.