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Kristofer Buckle has been working with superstars since the ‘90s, when he started out making up models like Eva Herzigova and Karen Mulder. Fast-forward to 2017, and he’s still all about blondes, as the makeup guru to Mariah Carey, Blake Lively, Sarah Paulson and Kelly Ripa. But that doesn’t mean his new makeup line is only for the fair-haired. The QVC exclusive Kristofer Buckle beauty collection (launching Jan. 26) contains eight products for consumers of any coloring and even includes scalp-covering makeup called Full Disclosure ($42) — in Blonde, Brunette, Black and Salt & Pepper — that’s meant to amp up the hairline of those whose manes are thinning.
During his QVC spots, Buckle says he’s thrilled to be sharing his tips and revealing some perhaps surprising ideas. “I think I’m speaking to smart women,” he tells THR. “Women who have listened to the rhetoric of regurgitated beauty information, misinformation. I’m going to explain why I do things the way I do them, and some of those are going to be different from what they’ve been told and shown and trained to do.” He also says he’s speaking to women who look at the seemingly impossible beauty ideals on red carpets and will “tell her that it’s all a matter of details and process, but you can get there, too.”
One of his big ideas: that the eyebrows are not actually the frame to your face. “It’s not true. Your hairline is the frame to your face. Your eyebrows are the frame of your eyes. But if your hairline is creeping back because of tight ponytails, weaves, extensions, thyroid problems, pregnancy or aging, then the shape of your face is changing,” says Buckle, who advises trying Full Disclosure to reinforce the hairline and return youth and vitality to the face.
“We’re so used to hearing these throwaway statements, and what they do is build up and mislead people. Most women are not artists — they’re moms, professional people, and they do many things, whatever their passions are, but they are also burdened with the responsibility of being their own beauty consultant and makeup artist and hairdresser, so being specific is important.” His plan to educate those tuning in seems to be as important as the products. But, he says, “It’s kind of like a stopwatch. I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to get all the information out in a short amount of time.” His Light Enhancing Duo ($35) contains a cream and a powder, which he says is a strategy to achieve versatility and the longest wear possible. And he promises durability from the “pillowy” Cashmere Slip Lipstick Duo ($33) — a semimatte finish Buckle says looks three-dimensional on the mouth and is “what you want lipstick to be” — as well as the game-changing Triplicity foundation stick ($39), which can cover a tattoo without feeling heavy.
The formulas for QVC have been in the works for a year and a half, but Buckle says, “I’ve been working on it for 20 years, probably without knowing I was doing it, because a lot of what we’re putting out are things I was mixing up myself out of necessity. I’ve been ordering raw ingredients from labs and distributors and making my own stuff, formulating without realizing it.”
The initial output is just eight products, but it’s because Buckle wanted customers to get his theory first, before launching more color cosmetics. “When I come out with color — shadows and blushes — I think the audience is going to understand why I made those choices. I think it’s better to grow with them.”
As for his clients, he certainly has grown with many of them and has a deep understanding of their likes and dislikes. For example, when working with Carey, “I always approach in a very iconic kind of way to keep her very consistent, so if you’re expecting Mariah Carey to walk in the room, you’re getting exactly what you want.” She will never wear a red lip, he says (“can’t stand it”), but Lively, whom he describes as “more of a fashion girl,” plays a little more. And Christina Aguilera “will do anything — ‘glue that on my forehead if it looks good.’ She loves experimenting and exposing herself through makeup.”
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