Look to any beauty editor’s dressing table and you can almost guarantee there’ll be a bottle of Byredo‘s now iconic Mojave Ghost or Gypsy Water perfume nestled comfortably amongst a curvy Anissa Kermiche vase and artfully draped Missoma chains.
Instantly recognisable with its squat glass bottle, domed black lid and minimalist typeface, Byredo‘s obscure scents with mass appeal sparked a new gen of niche perfume brands loved as much for their looks as the liquid inside. And now, they’re making their move into make-up.
A meeting of the industry’s most sought after creative minds, Byredo Makeup is a collaboration between founder and creative director Ben Gorham, and beauty’s wild child, make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench. ‘I liked that she was a non-conformer, an outsider like me,’ Gorham told ELLE.
Known for simultaneously straddling the worlds of fringe art and design whilst fronting major luxury beauty brands such as Louboutin and Burberry, Ffrench lands perfectly in the beauty venn diagram sweet spot: a profitable combination of boundary-breaking ideas, backstage expertise, and a natural affinity for modern luxury.
The result? A sculptural make-up collection housed in packaging that could casually slip into a Guggenheim exhibition, with bold and experimental colourways sitting alongside high quality make-up bag essentials. In short, it’s really bloody cool.
‘I didn’t set out to create “products” but instead a “colour library” that could translate into products,’ says Gorham. ‘The collection design is a curation of objects, different shapes and forms.’
Confident in their anarchist approach to beauty (it was in development for two years after all), Byredo is launching with six different products including the ambiguously titled Colour Stick in a whopping 16 shades. Designed to be used for everything from blusher or highlighter, to eyeshadow or lipstick, Gorham saw the Colour Stick as a ‘tool for self expression’ rather than being limited to a traditional function.
For the less experimental, there’s practical expertise built into the make-up as well. The simply titled Mascara in Space Black is pleasingly ergonomic to aid precise application whilst the Eyeliner in (aptly named) Technical Black has been designed with the longest tip possible to give a super straight line. ‘From a technical point of view, as a MUA, it was really important to make it easy and exact to use,’ Ffrench told ELLE.
A lip balm, 15 lipstick shades in matte and satin finishes and a trio of seriously touchable gold oyster shell eyeshadow palettes complete the collection.
The final question on our lips – what does it smell like? Of course, that’s new as well. ‘It’s a new scent, it’s sophisticated , vintage, with a touch of fruity floral. A signature scent for the line,’ confirmed Gorham.