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EXCLUSIVE: Gigi Hadid’s Makeup Artist Erin Parsons Talks Gigi x Maybelline

The brand's global makeup artist — and the supermodel's personal go-to — advised Hadid throughout the development process.

In the age of celebrity and influencer makeup lines rife with glitter and metallics designed to reap the most Instagram likes, Gigi Hadid’s collection for Maybelline aims to give the everyday consumer something more wearable.

The collection has been much hyped on Instagram, where over the past two weeks Hadid has been teasing the products and campaign images to her 36 million followers. Following hero item the Jetsetter Palette’s sold-out launch on boots.com in the U.K — according to an Instagram post by Hadid, it was out of stock within 90 minutes — the entire 14 stockkeeping unit collection launched in the U.S today on ultabeauty.com, and will launch in Ulta Beauty doors on Nov. 5. Prices range from $7.99 for a lip liner to $29.99 for the collection’s hero, the Jetsetter Palette.

Anchored by the Jetsetter Palette — which includes all of the makeup products Hadid says she carries with her when she travels, from eyeshadow to bronzer to lip balm — the full collection is based on two signature looks created by Hadid and her personal makeup artist, Erin Parsons, who is also Maybelline’s global makeup artist.

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The two looks, called East Coast Glam and West Coast Glow, were designed to be looks Hadid would wear herself in the locations where she spends most of her time — New York and California. The full product lineup includes tinted primers, liquid eyeliners, lipsticks, lip liners, lip kits, a fiber mascara, gel eyeliners, eye shadow palettes, an eye contour palette, eye shadow and eye contour brushes, and a liquid strobing product. The Jetsetter Palette includes eye shadow, highlighter, mascara, an eye brush, two shades of concealer, bronzer, blush, eye highlighter, a face brush and two shades of lip balm.

“Everything is really true to Gigi and what it is that she actually wears — she wouldn’t come out with a palette full of [glitter],” said Parsons in an exclusive interview with WWD. Parsons was by Hadid’s side as she spent the last year developing the collaboration with Maybelline, advising on product quality along the way. “She wasn’t trying to do something crazy. They’re not huge prices for the products, but it’s still hard-earned money — you don’t want something that sits in a box and collects dust.”

Parsons said the Jetsetter Palette was designed for Hadid’s real need for a cohesive palette that would incorporate all her travel essentials in one place. “Me and Gigi were on the Tommy Hilfiger [press tour] in London and we had to get her ready in 15 minutes in an airport bathroom.  I had all my products on the ledge [of the sink],” said Parsons. “If we’d had that palette we would have done her makeup on the plane. She created it in mind for people who travel a lot. It’s just so convenient and you look fresh, it’s not a palette of crazy color. Everything works and you feel pretty.”

The East Coast look is the more dramatic of the two. For Parsons, one of the look’s standout items is the eye contour palette, which comes in two shades and is meant to re-create one of Gigi’s signature eye looks, which her Instagram fans have dubbed “eye contouring.” Parsons said the five matte shades available in the palette — one contains warm tones and the other has cool tones — when used together and applied to the eye cream to the eye crease, create a depth to the crease that is similar to what contouring does for cheekbones but “without overloading with makeup.” Parsons also mentioned black liquid liner in the East Coast collection is the “blackest” they could make it. “I wanted them to have a black liquid liner with a felt tip — I am always on the hunt for the blackest eyeliner that glides on smooth and that you can use a q-tip to fix it when you’re doing a cat eye.” And the fiber mascara, also part of the East Coast collection, is a new technology for Maybelline. “The mascara is a standout for anybody who wants their lashes longer and thicker,” said Parsons.

The West Coast look is centered on glowing skin and neutral eye shadow shades, and for Parsons, a key product is the tinted primer in Medium Deep, which mimics a liquid bronzer look Hadid wears regularly. “We always bronze [or contour] her skin with liquid — it allows the real skin to show through,” said Parsons.

Parsons noted that the several of the products come in two colorways to accommodate for lighter and darker skin tones, or a desired look — for instance, the eye contour palette and the eye shadow palettes both come in warm and cool tones.

The six lipstick shades were named after important people in Hadid’s life — for instance, a warm orange-red shade is named after her best friend Austyn, and a universal red is called Khair, which is her sister Bella Hadid’s middle name. Parsons has her own shade, a deep mauve with purple undertones called Erin.

“This was really true to Gigi. She wasn’t trying to do something that was outside of what she loves. She does nude and orange-red lipsticks and she loves a cat eye,” said Parsons. “It’s classic staples with a Gigi twist, because it’s [shades] that she loves. If anybody uses these products, they’re just going to feel really pretty.”