Photo Credit: beautyinthebag.com
Born in Cannes, France, Valerie Giraud’s passion and love for fashion and beauty brought her to London where she began her career as a makeup artist. Eventually making her way to Miami – one of the film capitals of the world – she gained top TV and film celebrities as clients and lived by her motto: Your skin deserves clean ingredients, it just shouldn’t be at the expense of the looks you love.
Taking her own advice and coupling it with passion and creativity, Val realized she wanted to create the best organic, cruelty-free makeup line and brushes. The result become the luxurious brand – Antonym Cosmetics.
After three years of product development, Antonym was introduced into the US market in 2013. Since then, the makeup line has had a wonderful reception and is used by makeup artists on top celebs such as Robin Wright, Keira Knightley and Felicity Jones.
Valerie chatted with Beauty in the Bag and shared her best skincare advice, and inspiration behind the brand and what products she can’t live without.
1. As a makeup artist & beauty expert, you probably take great care of your skin. What products do you recommend most to your clients and why?
As a makeup artist, I try not to recommend any skincare in particular as it can be tricky since you never know how a person’s skin can react. The one thing I do is tell clients is that skin care is the most important part of a daily routine and they should always clean and moisturize.
2. Tell us your story behind Antonym Cosmetics. Who / what was your inspiration to create the makeup line?
As a professional makeup artist, I was always on the lookout for cleaner products. I had tried natural makeup and it just didn’t perform well enough. The products were clean but the pigments weren’t strong enough or the coverage was too light. Nowadays, with high definition and tens of thousands of megapixels, every detail is visible, so I had no choice to work with traditional brands. And that’s when it hit me…that was my inspiration. On top of it, I was pregnant at the time and eating organic and even more focused on a clean lifestyle. I embarked on a three-year journey of discovery, research and product development.
In 2013, we launched Antonym at an event in Los Angeles. Since then the brand has organically grown (no pun intended), mostly in the US market, but also abroad in Australia, Pakistan, Israel and Dubai. 2017 has been very exciting. We launched with Sephora in their new natural section. Next year the plan is to expand into key European markets. Antonym has been Ecocert certified since its inception, assuring customers that ingredients are natural and organic. And since we’re huge on animal rights and being cruelty-free, this year we received the Leaping Bunny certification. We’re true animal nuts! Lola Lash Too Mascara is named after one of my dogs, Lola, who had the most amazing lashes. Right now there are probably some of our dogs in the office.
3. What is in your cosmetic bag and on your bathroom vanity?
I wake up with Juara coffee scrub. Then Matin et Soir Ialuset Hyaluronic Acid Cream (100% hyaluronic acid concentration in cream) avec 3 goutte de retinoid acid. Then I usually use either Juara Sweet Black Tea & Rice Moisturizer and/or few drops of Juara Radiance Vitality Oil. It seems like a lot but it takes no time.
As for makeup, I first use a little of the Skin Esteem in Medium Beige Light, applying with my finger for lighter application. Then I lightly apply Antonym Baked foundation in Medium Beige with a powder brush and Antonym Cheek Crush on my cheeks and eyes. A heavy coat of Lola Lash Too and either Antonym lipsticks Koral or Pinkish lightly applied on my lips. I like a natural look for daytime.
I usually change the way I apply my foundation at night or for an event. I use the foundation brush as it can deposit more product and be built up on areas easily. Rose blush is my go to as well as either Croisette or To The Moon And Black. And of course, Noir eye pencil and at least one more coat of Lola Lash Too. At night, I like using Collosol Eau De Lait to remove my makeup.