Kristofer Buckle, the makeup artist whose star-studded client list includes Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Blake Lively, Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, can dish it out as well as any diva — and that should come in handy as he dishes about his new makeup line to a national audience on QVC.
“I speak directly to these powerful women, and I think they appreciate a direct approach,” he said. “They appreciate someone being honest with them and not being full of fear of anxiety. I always tell aspiring makeup artists the most important thing they have is their opinion because that’s their vision and point of view. So, if someone asks them to do a very specific look and they have a different way of doing it, bring it up because that’s what they’re paying for. They are paying for an expert and you better bring one.”
Buckle plans to be just as honest and authoritative with the women of America on Jan. 25 and 26, when his namesake brand is set to debut with hourlong appearances on the Millennial-oriented Beauty iQ and QVC, respectively. He wants to tell them: step away from lacquering your faces with heavy-handed makeup that might be flattering in retouched Instagram posts, but leads to overdone looks in person and step toward versatile makeup that doesn’t distract from your natural beauty.
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“My philosophy is intelligent beauty and glamour. Instead of being so obvious and overt with your application, there are ways of building in glamour so it is not like painting lines on your face and being so obvious,” said Buckle. “We are so aggressive about contouring, highlighting and lashes. It’s too much. There is magic in the subtlety of it all. It doesn’t mean less makeup, it means smarter application and smarter products.”
Buckle’s smarter beauty arsenal for QVC is comprised of eight products priced from $32 to $42, the majority of which are duos for multifunctional usage. One of the standouts in the selection he pointed to is Triplicity Perfecting Foundation Stick, a travel-friendly full-coverage foundation-cum-concealer that is formulated in five shades: fair, light, medium, tan and deep. “Not everyone needs full coverage, but it’s better to be armed with a product that can take care of the worst case scenario,” said Buckle. “It’s designed to be very movable, so you can put a small amount on your face and move that all over to not have as much coverage.”
Buckle is cognizant of not overloading customers with choice after choice. His Brow Champion Brow Enhancing Duo is available in two varieties — blonde and dark brunette — and contains powder, pomade and a brush to define and fill in brows. “We are giving a person what they actually need to get the effect they might see on a celebrity that I worked on instead of saying you have to buy this brush and then another product and then another product,” said Buckle. “A lot of the guesswork is taken out.”
Full Disclosure Scalp Cover Duo, a concealer cream and hair powder in blonde, brunette, black and salt-and-pepper options to amplify hairlines, is a surprise in the product roster. “As a makeup artist, it was always a little bit shaky for me to delve into the hair zone at work, but my eye goes to what I think is needed and, with clients, if I thought their hair could look thicker or their part was a bit sparse, I created a shadow to fill in their hair,” said Buckle.
With Scalp Cover Duo, he said, “You literally paint it on your scalp, and it makes you look like you have way thicker hair, and it’s waterproof. People think I’m not going bald, but the truth is my hair is see-through.”
The rest of the products are A Trick or Two Dual-ended Eyeliner and Mascara Duo, Cashmere Slip Lipstick Duo, Power Lock Makeup Setting Spray and the highlighter palette Light Enhancing Duo. Of Light Enhancing Duo, he said, “A lot of times highlighters are too cool, and they end up looking ashy on a lot of skin tones. This one is very wearable. It is a rose gold that can be worn on more skin tones.” Of the Cashmere Lipstick Duo, he continued, “The texture of the lipsticks was very important to me. I wanted them to read as a matte, but not dry, lip. Lips should look inviting, appetizing and edible and, when they are too dry, lips look texture-y and bumpy.”
Buckle explained A Trick or Two Dual-ended Eyeliner and Mascara Duo is a nod to the classic Hollywood power punch of dramatic lashes and black liquid eyeliner. The eyeliner features a corrective tip that can be reversed to provide a fresh tip. To keep all the products in place, Buckle rounded out his assortment with makeup setting spray. “Other ones are extremely aggressive with alcohol. The experience of it being sprayed on the face is choke-worthy. This one is buffered with grapefruit, so you don’t get the alcohol smell, and it’s a very fine mist, so it is buildable,” he said.
The collection launching on QVC isn’t Buckle’s first foray into products. Two years ago, he began a partnership with Los Angeles-based brand incubator and owner Hatchbeauty on items sold at Costco as part of the Beauty’s Most Wanted program that also has released products with renowned hairstylist Orlando Pita and manicurist Jenna Hipp. Hatchbeauty is involved in developing Buckle’s most recent merchandise, too. Industry sources estimate the products headed to QVC will generate $15 million in retail sales during their initial year on the market.
Buckle believes the range he will present on QVC makes the case that his celebrity-approved makeup methods are relevant to regular women, and he anticipates diving deeper into color cosmetics once that case is made.
“My point of view is a little bit different,” he said. “It’s not the usual conversation that people are used to hearing about makeup, and I thought it was important for people to get on board with my philosophy before I started introducing colors, so that when I do, it will make sense.”