NEW YORK — Scott Barnes, makeup artist to stars such as Mary J. Blige, Sarah Jessica Parker and, until last June, Jennifer Lopez, is about to share his products, and his penchant for “making women look expensive,” with a more...
NEW YORK — Scott Barnes, makeup artist to stars such as Mary J. Blige, Sarah Jessica Parker and, until last June, Jennifer Lopez, is about to share his products, and his penchant for “making women look expensive,” with a more pedestrian clientele.
Starting with an Oct. 9 launch at Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship in New York, Barnes will be selling his eponymous 130-stockkeeping-unit line to Saks doors in Detroit and Los Angeles, and will complete a rollout to four Holt Renfrew doors in Canada. This follows a limited launch of the brand on QVC last spring.
“I’m with all these people in Hollywood all the time and it’s so interesting to see real women,” Barnes said, during a recent interview in his white lily-filled Manhattan apartment. “They’re actually appreciative…as opposed to the million-dollar Hollywood shoots, where no one’s appreciative.”
If Barnes sounds a bit bitter, it may be because of his falling out with Lopez, with whom he’d worked closely for the last four years, using her as inspiration for his product, Body Bling, a tinted, shimmering moisturizer that Sephora carries. The two haven’t spoken since Lopez’s impromptu wedding last June, when Barnes claims he did the makeup for the star and her wedding party but was never paid. He dismissed as “nonsense” rumors that she’d fired him after learning he was planning to write a tell-all book about the diva.
“That’s ridiculous. How can you fire someone who’s freelance?” he asked, adding quickly, with characteristic Hollywood spin, that, while he has not spoken to Lopez since her wedding, “I still love her, she’s like family.”
A publicist for Lopez, reached Wednesday, declined to comment.
While Barnes said he’s not writing a gossip book, he is shopping around for a publisher to sell a how-to beauty book called “It’s Only Makeup.”
“I really love to take people and work on their image,” said Barnes, a former painter who still uses his Cuisinart to formulate the initial batch of many of his products. “I feel like an image maker, more than just a makeup artist.”Barnes’ line, a 20-item portion of which he originally featured in a QVC appearance last April, includes a cream-based foundation that can be thinned out “so it doesn’t go on pasty,” he noted; a cold-fused liquid foundation that Barnes said has technology to prevent it from oxidizing; eye shadows containing multiple pigments, so that the colors change as the product goes on the skin, and “luminizing” oil and mist that can be mixed with foundation to give skin a sheen. Barnes eschews traditional lipstick in the line, selling gloss and liquid lip color instead.
The line contains products inspired by some of Barnes’ famous clients, including Lil’ Kim, for whom he’s named Gold Digga’ lip gloss; Scarlett Johansson, who inspired a lip gloss called Scarlet Starlet, and even Lopez, for whom he created the liquid lipstick shade Suggestive. Barnes also sells false eyelashes called Marissa (sic) for the iconic Marisa Berenson.
Primarily a color line, the range includes a few treatment products to address Barnes’ “obsession” with perfect skin. Among them: a Japanese-produced rayon moisturizing mask, cut with eye, nose and mouth holes. Reflecting his Hollywood training, Barnes has made the eye holes extra large, to allow for simultaneous eyebrow plucking and lash tinting.
“I don’t know anyone who has five minutes just to sit with a mask on their face,” Barnes said. A constant doodler, Barnes has made the packaging intriguing, introducing a bento box-like makeup kit containing his core products, and selling a trifold mirror to allow women to see above and below their eyes.
Prices range from $12 for a set of false eyelashes to $48 for a bottle of Body Bling. First-year retail sales estimates for the color line are about $8 million, said Barnes’ general manager, Michelle Williams. Barnes’ Web site, scottbarnesbeauty.com, will be selling products by the end of October, Williams noted.
This spring, Barnes also is planning to launch a men’s treatment and color line, a women’s fragrance, and more women’s treatment products. He’ll introduce a men’s fragrance either next spring or for fall 2005.
And if that’s not enough to keep him busy, Barnes will be auditioning the makeup artists to work the counters at Saks and Holt Renfrew, working on music videos and editorial shoots and trying to further his own television career. He just finished a pilot for the E network and is a consulting beauty expert for the syndicated show Life & Style, with Kimora Lee Simmons.“It takes a lot of time and attention, but I love it, so it’s okay,” said Barnes, declaring, with only the sheerest hint of irony, “This is Scott’s world. I can do anything I want.”
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