The off-beat cosmetics brand was created by Netherlands-born Ellis Faas. In the ’90s she opened Amsterdam’s first make-over studio, combining a passion for fashion and photography with an extraordinary talent for applying artistic make-up. ‘Face Value’ soon became world-famous and before long gained the attention of renowned photographer Mario Testino, who swept Ms Faas away with him to Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles.
From these fashion capitals Ellis’ reputation grew and grew until she found herself suddenly leading an army of make-up artists styling Fendi and Chanel shoots for Karl Lagerfeld.
With creativity and vision fizzing in her veins, it was only natural that Ms Faas would go on to launch her own make-up range. She wanted to create products that solved problems, including:
First of all, she wanted to tackle the problem of ‘the handbag jumble’, where women spend longer sifting through their make-up bags looking for a product than they do applying it. To solve this problem, Ellis introduced pen-style applicators in place of the usual pots and pallets so they could be neatly organised with Ellis Holders and Ellis Clips.
Ms Faas’ second concern was animal testing. Her ‘only tested on supermodels’ policy ensures none of the ingredients used in her products are tested on animals.
While practicality and ethics are noble causes, they don’t exactly scream ‘style’ in the cut-throat fashion world. Ellis found her edge in the macabre yet creative claim that her colour pallets are inspired by the human body – including the blood in our veins, and the freckles and blemishes on our skin.
True, the colours on offer are demure with not a neon in sight, and demure certainly doesn’t have to be boring. With Ellis Faas the emphasis is in the texture, and the way the colours complement or contrast with the skin. Faas plays with natural beauty in a way that produces subtle yet extraordinary results.
We recommend Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes, a cream eye-shadow with coffee extracts designed to boost collagen and elastin production for skin protection. The product has a spongy mousse-like consistency that glides on beautifully for a soft, velvety look. Creamy Eyes colours can be layered and blended for a dramatic look, or blended at the edges for those who prefer to capitalise on their natural beauty.
Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes costs £23, available from Selfridges.