Kat Von D tells all on her new launches and the creative process

Kat Von D tells all on her new launches and the creative process

Foto: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Kat Von D Beauty continues to be a top selling brand in the makeup industry and the line has new fall launches coming in October. Kat Von D announced the addition of new shades to her existing foundation along with the release of a new concealer and setting powder. As if that wasn't enough, the tattoo artist will be changing the packaging to her products for an even edgier look. The Mexico-born makeup guru was able to spill the beans and tell us all about how it all started, the creative process and what's next for the brand.

First beauty memory

“My first beauty moment is actually kind of gross. I was at this park. I found that somebody left an eyeliner on the sink [of the bathroom]. It was a brown liquid eyeliner. I remember being like 'Oh, what’s this?' I intuitively knew that this goes on my eye. I had no idea who's eyeliner it was but I did know that once I put that eyeliner on, it changed my eyes. I put it in my pocket, I didn’t tell my mom and I would put it on secretly in my room.” 

Getting into the beauty business

"It wasn’t a matter of saying I wanted a makeup line. I think a lot of girls might have that growing up but I didn’t think for me, that was a possibility. When Sephora approached me about 8 years ago, I sat in the creative room with their team. They were shocked and surprised, happily surprised, that I was already a beauty insider. I was like super nerdy about the kind of makeup that I liked. They saw an opportunity to create something that’s different and hadn’t been made before, and I just saw the opportunity to creatively express myself in a different medium. It just made sense. I thought we were going to make just one lipstick and fast-forward to now, it’s so many shades."

Capturing as a makeup line

"The head of formulation development team, Nancy, she was like “I wore Bachelorette for my wedding,” which is one of the shades from the Everlasting collection. That stuff really hits home to me because that becomes a part of people’s memories and to be a part of somebodys wedding day without even being there, that’s the radest thing ever. That to me is the purpose of making this makeup— giving the tools for people to be able to express themselves and then just celebrate life through makeup. There are plenty of makeup lines out there that teach you how to make your lips bigger and all this other stuff but I don’t give a f*ck about that stuff. I just want to create stuff that makes people have fun doing makeup." 

The brand’s authenticity

"I’m painfully involved in the process of anything I do. I am a control freak but it is because at the end of the day, I don’t want a licensing kill. I want to create things that when I die, I will continue to be proud of them. It’s easier to just put your name on stuff and collect that paycheck. I just don’t have any interest in that."

Inspiration for product names

"I get a lot of sh*t from people for these names being controversial. The intention was never to offend anybody; I’m just inspired from everything like my friends to my exes to music, architecture, elements of nature, all that stuff. I never name anything just like 'oh it’s a coral shade, let’s call it Coral Castle.' No, Coral Castle has an amazing story behind that. There is going to be one person who buys this lipstick and maybe will Google what Coral Castle is and when they do, they’ll have their mind blown. It’s passing inspiration."

Ed's Moon Fountain

A photo posted by Coral Castle (@coralcastlemuseum) on

Lolita's true meaning

"I always dread when anyone ever asks me. Originally that shade was named after a friend of mine, after her daughter. She was so sweet, her name was Lolita. My boyfriend at the time— we broke up and she totally f*cked him. So I was like ‘I’m never going to refer to Lolita as her daughter anymore. I would say ‘oh it’s inspired by the Harajuku girls.’" 

Ok. So, now we know where all the inventory of Lolita is... at the @katvondbeauty booth at the #IMATS!

A photo posted by Kat Von D (@thekatvond) on

Lock It Revolution— focusing on complexion

"This last year, I spent dedicating our focal time and development on complexion. There was a demand for more shades [Lock it Foundation], which we are extending to 13 shades the existing foundation this fall. Concealer, that was one that we spent a lot of time with several revisions on the formula to have the most silky, comfortable, creamy formula that would not crease, would not give you wrinkles, and would really pack a punch as far as being able to conceal everything from tattoos to dark circles under your eyes to blemishes to hickies. That is going to be 20 shades. One thing that I’m really excited about is the white concealer and that is something that will be launching in addition to the 20 shades. I think it will speak a lot to the main consumer but definitely for pro-artisity because you will be able to use that to cut other shades or make custom ones."

Lucky 13

"Every time I visit Sephora, I go and talk to whoevers working and really just pick their brain. After talking to so many people and asking ‘What’s your shade?’ people would tell me ‘I use a combination.’ That’s cool and all but I don’t want people to have to buy two foundations. I think that they should buy their exact shade so adding 13 shades to the existing number of shades that we have was something crucial for me."

Magical brushes

"The main component has a sculpted wand appeal to it. I love Harry Potter so I was pretty inspired by that." 

Change of design

"I wanted to give the entire complexion franchise a face-lift. The old design was cool too but I felt that I love when I look at my vanity and everything is very cohesive and everything matches and that was something that as a composition was important to me. The drip was really inspired by the wax seal logo that we used for awhile but in real-life, when I write someone a love letter, or a Christmas card, I actually do have a piece of wax that you light and you just stamp with my monogram on it. That was the transition. This is literally a love letter that I want to give out to the rest of the world."

Creative process

"I think it would be easy to follow all the predictions that come in. I don’t really have much interest in that stuff. My creative team and I tend to lock ourselves in and really just create things that we want to make. There is not one single that I don’t use, there is not one single product that I’m not proud of."

Becoming global

"It is tricky to try and become global and it’s taken so much work and it continues to do so. I get bummed out when stuff gets put on eBay. I have a screenshot of Lolita when it first sold out— it was on eBay in the U.K. for $3000. I remember going ‘please don’t spend the money on that.’ We’re finally exploring options to be able to finally sell in the U.K."

Future launches

"Everything takes a while to go from an idea to production. We have so much in the pipeline from lip liners to nude palettes to new highlights. Metal Crush Lip will be coming out soon. New mascara."

No favorites 

"If you were to ask me to choose between my tattoo liner and one of my red lipsticks, I would ask if death is an option."

Metal Crush Lip

"It’s been a challenge to find the right component for it and that’s really the only thing that’s been holding us back. We think we may have gotten it so it’s going to come out soon. When I had most of those swatches, the response was so insane. I see other brands are totally trying to do the same thing but I cannot wait for you to try it out. Not only is it foil looking but it’s super comfortable. It’s super similar to the everlasting formula but a tad bit softer. It is like magic for your lips."

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