Makeup artist by day and punk rocker by night, Yana Chupenko is creating a cosmetics line named after her band Shiny Mama.
The Russian-born musician knows plenty about makeup, having served as director of product development and marketing for eight years at renegade makeup company Tony & Tina. With the company's unique "Vibrational Remedies" philosophy that color, aroma, sound and thought affected spiritual well-being, she developed products like the aromatherapeutic eye pencil. But since Procter & Gamble discontinued the brand two years ago, Chupenko felt the need to create her own makeup line to satisfy the brand's consumers.
"Shiny Mama is about rock 'n' roll with some independent punk spirit. I wanted to incorporate all my knowledge of makeup, trends, design and performance art. Every product is designed to be like a little treasure in your hands," said Chupenko, whose eye shadows feature spoons as jewelry charms. "Some formulas are similar to what I had done with Tony & Tina"
Launching early June, Shiny Mama is set to introduce its Snow Queen collection on its Web site shinymamabeauty.com. Retailing for $15 each, the four eye shadows are designed to be used with other eye shadows, lip gloss and lipstick. The collection features two eye shadows in Shimmer All, available in Ice and Pink Crystal, and two in Glitter All, available in Snow and Pink Champagne.
Although the four eye products are more about "glitter and shimmer," Chupenko has plans to take the rest of her collection into the "natural and organic" realm. All items in the Shiny Mama line are designed to act as complements to consumers' existing color cosmetics products.
"The trend is toward natural and organic mineral-based makeup without preservatives," said Chupenko. "Tony & Tina was one of the first to incorporate aromatherapy and extracts with essential oils, and I'm trying to do the same by creating something healthy for you"
Although Shiny Mama will initially be available through its Web site, Chupenko plans to expand distribution in specialty beauty boutiques and begin a grassroots campaign with mass mailings and e-mails.
"I'd like to take the old punk-rock independent approach and bring that independent spirit back," said Chupenko.Industry sources estimate Shiny Mama will bring in $500,000 in first-year retail sales.
Chupenko is developing a face and bronzer palette with "multitasking" products. The new shimmer will be able to be used as a body shimmer in addition to nail polish.
While Tony & Tina excited the tween market, Chupenko is branching away from the "Vibrational Remedies" philosophy in hopes that Shiny Mama will have a wider appeal among consumers.
"I'm keeping away from Tony & Tina's major philosophy," said Chupenko. "My message is that makeup is good for your soul and makes you look good. If you look good, you'll feel good and put your best foot forward"
Chupenko's passion started in high school when her mother, who's a cosmetologist, got her interested in makeup.
"All my life, I've seen her with some muck on her face," said Chupenko, who added that her mother works at Georgette Klinger in New York. "She's the one who taught me how to make masks out of eggs and brew all types of formulas on the stove"
Chupenko formed her band, Shiny Mama, nine years ago and since has toured Europe and the U.S. with renowned punk, hard-core and metal bands. As lead singer, Chupenko named the band after a nickname given to her by friends from the lyrics of an Eighties rock 'n' roll boogie band, Raging Slab. Chupenko claims her two passions complement each other.
"I live my job, so while I was working at Tony & Tina, I'd run to work. It was like my art project, and I knew something fabulous would happen," said Chupenko. "I try to put some art into everything I do"
Chupenko sees her face as a canvas, with makeup allowing her to become a different character. When performing, Chupenko tends to go for a smoky eye and pale lip.
"I used to use way more makeup and heavy, smudgy eyeliner," said Chupenko. "Now I go for the 'less is more' approach"
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