The story of Make Up For Ever begins when founder Dany Sanz, a painter and sculptor, was asked by friends to do make up on bodies for a theater show. Seeing her painting come to life was the “aha” movement that led to creating the color cosmetics brand loved by professionals as well as consumers. Along the way she opened the first professional make up school in Europe in the 1970s, with students that came from all corners of the world and eventually became ambassadors for the brand. With the strong bonds that grew between her and her students, a base of users developed for the brand that is headquartered in Paris but now available worldwide. Read on for more of Dany’s story.
Tell us a bit about your background. What path led you to become a makeup artist?
I studied sculpture and painting, and was working in a theater painting sets one day when a body painting show was taking place. When the make-up artist on the set saw that I knew how to paint, they asked me to help because they were short staffed. When I saw my body painting coming to life on stage I had a revelation: “my painting is moving!” From that moment forth I fell in love with the art of make up. I continued my craft and word began spreading that there was a woman in Paris painting bodies! As a result, make up artists began asking me to teach them how to paint bodies. I thought it was funny because to me, I wasn’t a make up artist. Nevertheless, I agreed to teach them skills in painting and thus gained a following of young make up artists learning from me. And the rest is history…
What inspired you to create MAKE UP FOR EVER?
In the 1980’s there were very few products available for professional make up artists and those that were available came in a limited number of shades. I began formulating my own products in my tiny Parisian basement for both myself and my students to use. News in the beauty industry traveled fast and make up artists from all over Paris began to come to me for my products with highly pigmented formulas and incredible shade ranges. I never planned on creating my own make up brand but as my formulas became more and more in demand, I felt it was time to take things one step further and create MAKE UP FOR EVER.
What is MAKE UP FOR EVER’S point of difference? How does it distinguish itself from other professional brands?
MAKE UP FOR EVER is a creative and artistic brand. It is a brand that make up artists have an emotional bond with. I was first a make up professor and have taught thousands of students, but I have always communicated with them in a natural, instinctive and romantic manner. This has created a special atmosphere around me and it was essential for the success of MAKE UP FOR EVER. Other brands develop products only because they see a marketing opportunity behind it. We develop products to answer the needs of make up artists and people working backstage. Development is driven by a genuine willingness to solve a professional issue. And 90% of the time, make up artist issues end up being the same issues that real women face: they all want long lasting performance, foundation that provides flawless yet invisible coverage, products that are easy to apply and spectacular formulas…. As I often say, the daylight is as cruel as the spotlight on a TV show.
Where do you find inspiration for new collections?
My inspiration comes from my everyday life and exchanges with women from all nationalities. I love to walk around Paris, especially the Marais district, to be inspired by the women around me. I find inspiration everywhere. I like being in a city as watching people going about their daily activities interests me a lot. I look around me and the ideas immediately flow in scenarios and flashes. Sometimes I even take out a piece of paper and draw details so as not to forget any of them.
Please share a professional tip with our readers that they could adapt in their daily makeup application?
All women should care about the primers they use. The preparation of the skin before makeup is very important and it’s a step that is often missed. I suggest using our HD Elixir, which can be used alone as the very first step of a make up routine before a primer. Apply gently around the eye with circular moves from the bottom to the top of the eye and apply on the entire face with light touches. You’ll see that the application is quick, easy and convenient.
How do you balance your professional and personal life?
I must admit that they mix quite a lot since I spend the better part of my day at work or traveling for the brand. I would say what allows me to “escape” is my gardening. I like to spend time outside my home in my garden or when my schedule permits it (which is rare) and I also like to travel with my husband to Bali, where I find a lot of inspiration and where I am able to relax.
What’s next for MAKE UP FOR EVER?
2012 is an exciting year for us in lipsticks… I am looking forward to our next launch, which is going to be great for the brand and will complete an already-existing best-selling range. The concept, the colors, the product – I really can’t wait for everyone to see what we’re going to unveil.