If you could start your own makeup brand, what products would you start with?

While trying to fall asleep a few days ago, I was struck by an idea of how I’d want to see a brand roll out their eyeshadow range. I’d love to start with a set of shades like this:

  • Back to Basics:  six matte and six shimmery “brow bone” shades (I put “brow bone” in quotations since some could be used as transition or brightening shades on other skin tones), six matte and six satin/pearl transition shades, and six matte and six shimmery crease shades; with the goal being to cover  to try and cover light/medium/dark and cool/warm skin tones for basic neutrals.  This would be part of the core collection that would only be changed to address customer feedback for a particular shade. (36 shades)
  • Smoke & Mirrors:  three sets of six shades in white-to-black smoky eye, beige-to-bronze smoky eye, and mauve-to-taupe smoky eye.  These would be a mix of mattes and shimmers to add more basic type shades but would also be standard. (18 shades)
  • Colors of Wonder:  I’d like to have a selection of shades that fill out the range by adding color, both in terms of brighter pops of color (like cobalt blue, chartreuse green) as well as more muted, nuanced hues (olive green, plum, lavender) — maybe around 36 shades or so that would remain part of the permanent line (until enough feedback showed that there were certain shades that weren’t working at all).  I’d then like to have a rotating, seasonal selection of 24-48 shades to address shifts in trends, seasonality, and so forth.  If there were certain shades that were particularly popular, then they might get added to the permanent line or get an extended availability window.

I think I’d prefer to launch several types of products at once rather than a single type (like eyeshadow), but my approach for developing color/finish ranges for other categories would be similar — trying to create a good spectrum of light to dark, cool to warm, matte to metallic — and encouraging and finding ways to layer and mix shades to get in-between variations in the short term.

— Christine
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I love your brain: the creativity plus executive functions are unrivaled. I do believe this will happen. Based on your positive perfectionism (interesting that a good thing often has a negative connotation, and I certainly don’t mean it negatively…) your line will leave the others in the dust. The line will be value packed and inclusive. Count me in deep.

First of all, I would start with ALL cool shades lol. Nothing warm-toned because everything seems to be warm, especially lipsticks. I would create cool corals, cool reds, pinks, plums and berries with blush to coordinate. AND…NO MATTE LIPSTICKS!! 😂 No palettes. Eyeshadow singles only with ery unique shades. And the packaging would be very sturdy and heavy. Think Guerlain’s gold lipstick case but with more beautiful detail. Even the eyeshadow singles would have the weighty gold case. Might be pricey…but my collection would be worth it. Very high quality products.

First I want this green palette 😍😍. Please tell to Colourpop to make it, its awesome 😊
Then I will buy some basic nude pearl, satin, matte and shimmer colors in one travel friendly palette and then some purple mauve colors.

I would focus on lips. A variety of colors in all finishes. I would want them to all be comfortable to wear on the lips but still be smudge-proof.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I think I’d start with colourful stuff first. A range of eyeliners that double as lipliners, a range of duochrome liquid eyeshadows, a range of lipsticks, etc. Next would come the base products, which I will definitely make super inclusive. I think if I had a brand it’d be all about having fun and disrupting people’s comfort zones.

Let’s make this happen. If there’s anyone who knows how makeup should be (besides Our Ladies Pat, Charlotte, and Lisa), it is you. Can we do a GoFundMe for this? Also, I have no idea how you haven’t been approached to do a collaboration. Or have you…?

I personally would start with an under eye setting powder that doesn’t make the under eye are look dried out. I have only found 3 and I’ve tried tons. Kevyn Aucoin The Gossamer Loose Powder in Diaphanous which is $72 and it only contains 0.11 oz or 3 grams of product. This is my holy grail but it is too expensive and I run out of product quickly so I only use it on special occasions or events normally only on my under eye and fine lines. My drugstore option is from Target it is Pixi by Petra Quick Fix Powder in Translucid that’s what it’s called not a typo,lol! It is on the pricier end of drugstore at $20 for 0.19 oz. My newest find is Becca Cosmetics Undereye Brightening Setting Powder which is $25 and only contains 0.09 oz or 2.7 grams. I can imagine this is a product if created well would be one that many people would love. Im 36 and I like to bake the under eye especially in the spring and summer but it can look extremely dry and crazy with the wrong powder. I have combination skin dry under eye with a very oily t-zone so the next product I would create would be a mattifying primer that doesn’t cause white patchiness or caking. The Make Up For Ever Mattifying Primer and the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector can cause that on me the new Becca Velvet Blurring Primer,Cover FX Blurring Primer and the Benefit Porefessional are amazing at blurring our pores but not shine. I would create one that blurs out pores and prevents shine from breaking through. I would also want to make a palette of modern cool toned mattes like variations on grey greens, gray purples, mauves, taupes,black toned purples things I don’t see a lot of in other palettes and cooler leaning creams for brow bone and inner corner and it would be different from the colors in the Viseart Cool Mattes.I would call it Edgy Mattes.

Have you considered the RCMA No Color Powder? Another pleasant surprise was the Maybelline Fit Me! pressed powder. Ben Nye used to be my go-to, but I haven’t used it in years, so I don’t know if the formula has changed (I used Translucent, which was truly colorless). All are very affordable options, and work well under my dry under eye.

I also wanted to echo you to try the RCMA No Color Powder – it’s absolutely fantastic. I have some dry patches and this is the second powder that I’ve found that doesn’t dry me out. The other is by LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs, and it’s their Mystifying/Mattifying Powder – but as you have a dry base working with, it might not give you what you’d like. RCMA can be bought on beautylish with a super low price point. MMP can be had on LCL’s website.

I have the RCMA Powder and I do use it to set the outer portions and fine lines on my face. I also use it to set Pro Longwear paint pots as my eye lid primer. I think it’s great for baking contour lines on the face and nose. In the summer it works well for me. I’m going to bake with it one day this week because I haven’t tried it under the eye in awhile and I will let you all know how I felt about it. We have a greenhouse business and I do a full face many days to test my products. I think 95% of powders in the winter make my under eye look dry in my opinion. In the summer it a whole different set of issues. I am an admittedly a harsher critic on my makeup that most others. I love certain powders for different areas of my face just like primers because of my combination skin. I love the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder for setting my t-zone but if I bake my under eye with it I don’t like how matte it is in that area even in the summer. Ive tried it all the KVD setting powder and the little tinted ones specifically for brightening the under eye in Peach which was way too darkening on me and the Petal was drying. The last time I used the RCMA I do remember it being better than most.

This is awesome! I love the thought behind how you would want the eyeshadows to roll out… it makes sense and includes everything under the sun that any self-respecting makeup junkie would want. I have started playing around making my own eyeshadows and you have given me great inspiration and ideas of what colors I want to work on next!

What a complete and thoughtful approach! My first thoughts are from another angle:
> Custom palettes: I really like this option for Buxom, MUFE and ABH. So all available as singles/refills, and options for cases that are hardy (and pretty/artistic would be a bonus).
> Easy, and even pleasant, to get: available in stores or failing that, at least easy to order, consistently well fulfilled orders, and with excellent attitude toward customer service. I don’t use as much MUFE as I could because local Sephoras have very few options in-store. I order from Beautylish because they’re just great, but I’m not up for dealing Sephora online ordering. So I buy less MUFE and Sephora stuff, and more from Beautylish than I would otherwise.
> Balance: Yes, warm neutrals has been done, done, done. But — these are my basics, and the pendulum in this business swings so far I’m sort of watching to see if in 6 months there will be no warm neutral shadows available anywhere.

Where’s the “Love” button? I like all your ideas, Christine.

I’d start with eyeshadows and blushes, and would make each color as a single that could be easily removed from its package and added to an empty palette. Several sizes of those palettes — four shadows, eight, twelve, plus some that held some eyeshadows plus a couple of larger blush pans.

For finishes I’d have matte, satin, and shimmer but no flaky glitter. For eyeshadow colors I’d include more grays and silvers and not just ten million browns for neutrals, and would have wearable mauves, roses, greens, plums, navy blue. Not many/any neons like orange or chartreuse.

You should totally start your own makeup brand! I think you’d probably have a really interesting and innovative brand and a lot to offer consumers. .

Perhaps you could explore doing it in collaboration with an already established brand that has resources to support a Temptalia offshoot or curated line? Seems like you something very valuable to bring!

First off, I would keep my line accessible by having its price tier in the mid range. Next up, inclusivity. Not just in the base products various depths, but also according to the many variations of different ones undertones in base products, as well as speaking to different skin types. Both oilier, and dryer.
For color products, you can bet I’d start with eye products! Doing very involved eye artistry is my “thing”, so of course this passion would have to have a creative outlet! There needs to be a brand that produces high quality shadows in a variety of finishes, has a fabulous easy to work with formula, and that doesn’t do a thousand shades of warms! Don’t get me wrong; I love good, high quality warm neutrals for myself, but that doesn’t cover all the bases for others tastes and needs. However, you know I would also be in to creating some very unique, uncommon shades, too, right? Duochromes and otherworldly goodies for a certainty! Oh, and absolutely a fan of being able to customize one’s own palette, as opposed to pre-made palettes. Those pre-mades should be kept to just a few (later on, several) well-curated ones.

For lips, I DO believe that there has to be a high quality, yet very kind to ones lips, lipstick that is under $30 that no one has made; YET. 😉

I’d focus on base products, in a wide spectrum, no SPF (but I’d create a separate sunscreen that worked well with the foundation!), and in smaller, more affordable sizes, for those who may have to mix. I’d also include a few “mixers” to adjust undertones, and make those in a couple of sizes (still small, and very affordable).

While I would love to see more cooler toned eye palettes, the reality is, they don’t sell as well. Warm tones, while not for everyone, have a farther reaching appeal, as they are flattering on more skintones.

As far as color cosmetics go, there really is nothing that isn’t currently covered; in fact, I’d say the market is actually oversaturated, which is causing more competition, but not for the better. Prices are dropping, sure, but the tradeoff is often quality. The same goes for the constant cranking out of poor quality LE products. Previously CF brands are being pushed to sell in China, not necessarily to make more money, but to actually maintain their profits.

Also, my base products would be CF/Vegan, talc-/ petrolatum-/ paraben-/fragrance-free, formulated without common allergens, and as inclusive of all skin types as possible.

The separate sunscreen that works with foundation is an awesome idea. Because they definitely don’t all mix well with other skincare,foundation,etc.

If I were starting a makeup brand, I would begin with 2 sets of shades: warm neutrals and cool neutrals, incorporating a variety of finishes: mattes, satins and shimmers.
Then I would add a set of purplish shades, then a set of greens.
I would finish with a set of mixed shades of colour.
For Lipstick shades – a set of 12, all creamy and moisturising (no mattes and no nudes) in varying shades of coral, peach, rosy, browns and berry.
All excellent quality.

I’d do palettes based on undertone and depth of coloring – so both warm and cool, 4 different depths from light. to dark – that’s 8 to start. Releases would be: Eye – Face Shadows, Lip – Cheek. Foundations later. Cruelty free and non-toxic. Highest quality, and multi-use formulas.
Eyeshadows : 6 color palette plus coordinating mascara: light to deep tones, mix of textures, use wet or dry – will work as shadow/liner/eyebrow color/contour/hilighter. Colors can be mixed to create other colors. (eg. champagne + rusty rose = shimmery antique pink)
Package says which eye colors it was designed to compliment. Include Neutrals and shades that maximize beauty of skin and eye color.
Eg: Warm Light: blue or green eyes: champagne-gold satin (food-safe for use on lips/highlighter/brow) , caramel matte (shadow/brow/contour/liner), teal matte, plum shimmer (safe for lips), rusty rose shimmer (safe for lips), bright khaki metallic. Warm brown mascara.
Idea : With a great foundation/concealer this palette is all you’ll need , perfectly suited to your coloring, each product used in mulitple ways.

I would definitely make a niche line, maybe something that avoided ingredients associated with health risk, like Burt’s Bees, but that was maybe mid to high end price range, and more high performing. Also it would be more in tune with fashion rather than hippy dippy looking health conscious stuff. I think the target would be the sort of conscientious consumer who shops at everlane or cuyana — modern femininity, fewer and higher quality items.

I would start off with basics, like foundation, lip gloss, some brow paint pots, pencil and liquid eyeliner in brown and black, a 12 shadow office work day palette with 1 brow bone color (or light color on darker skin), 3 shimmery “transition” colors (undertones of mauve, yellow, reddish), 1 cool gray matte, 3 colors like olive, lavender, navy, 1 dark brown, 1 black.

NAIL POLISH! I come up with ideas for polishes I’d want to make in my head all the time, like what I’d name them and what colors/finishes they’d be.

I’d also do tube lipsticks (like regular bullets) or something similar to a ColourPop Ultra Satin formula with a comfortable semi-matte finish that’s not too dry. I’d definitely do unique, less “wearable” shades.

Nail polish! I have the name picked out and everything. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile. I have the colors and finishes in mind and I’ve got my cart all loaded up on etsy, I just have to pull the trigger and start frankening. Maybe in the summer when work isn’t so hectic.

*I’ve been saying for years that if I ever had my own company, I’d start with foundations, concealers, and other complexion products for the skin tones and undertones that most companies don’t cover.

*I’d also love to do some really great eyeshadows, including the brights and finishes I love, a truly all-purple palette (no neutrals, no shades that look purple and then go on brown), and all cool-toned palettes because there aren’t enough on the market for those who need them. I’d try to make a neon palette similar to the now-discontinued UD Electric Palette, minus the crappy silver, and including a neon red and a neon yellow.

*Lipsticks in unconventional colors that aren’t sheer or patchy. I like that more mainstream companies are branching out, but it seems they all go purple, blue or teal, a green, and black. And 9 times out of 10, they’re not very good. I want opaque bright yellow, non-patchy dark purples, rich cobalts, bright mint. Not the wussy transparent stuff that are at best lip toppers, not real lipsticks. And I want matching lipliners that are of just as good quality.

Oh, I’ve been planning mine for years… 😀

I’d focus on colour products first and would have themed collections, releasing 6 sets a year each with their own unique packaging (same size and shape just different colours and graphics). I’d start with…

12 pan eyeshadow palettes in slim rectangular plastic palettes with magnetised bases and removeable standard sized pans. A mirror but no brushes or extraneous faff. 4 shade blush and highlighter palette, same set up but with bigger pans. Variety in tones and finishes but still keeping to the theme. 8 lipsticks, (just traditional style bullets) and at least 3 eyeliners. Shade selection, finishes and product names so they are cohesive and work as a unit, regardless of how many pieces you purchase.

Bomboniere – little gifts/candy themed. Apricots, tan browns, pinks, golds and berry shades which, yes I know is hardly groundbreaking and has been done before but it suits so many people and I love it. I adore the idea of a shimmery cream, confetti flecked highlighter called Funfetti Cake. White bakery box and coloured ribbon style printed packaging.

GenieUs – cool, smutty jewel tones, old gold, pewter and mushroom taupe eye colours, deep muted blushers with a satiny iridescent highlighter. A mix of dark but sheer lipsticks and softer matte neutrals. Antique gold, deep teal and glittery charcoal eyeliners – no black or brown because I expect most folks have those already. Royal purple, teal and bronze patterned packaging.

I’d also do a greenery jungle/wild garden theme, something to do with periodic elements (because I am a massive nerd with a makeup loving heart), something around royalty or renaissance because why the hell not and something reminiscent of vintage fashion and fabrics (if I can get houndstooth patterned blushers!!!).

That’s what I’d start with, anyway.

The Back to Basics palette idea is genius Christine I think many different skintones would be able to wear it and lots of people would want to purchase it. I usually switch between several palettes lately for my brow bone highlighting shade and it would be so nice to have several options in one palette. The only one I can think of right off the bat that has a matte yellow undertones and a matte peachy undertone brow bone shade that work for my skin tone is Just Peachy Mattes from Too Faced.

I like palettes that are already put together, so although I like the idea of singles I think customers like me need a palette. I would like to see palettes with your eyeshadows and then for some not too much extra cost you get to choose a companion palette of basics for your skin tone including black, inner highlight, transition color, and brow bone shadow perhaps. I don’t understand why every palette needs to include a black, inner highlight and brow bone color when you could just have a small compact of these basics around to go with everything.

What a great question! My girlfriend and I were talking about doing this, so this is a good place to start dream planning a bit. 😉

I know eyeshadow palettes are hot and what I REALLLLLLY like the most about makeup, but I like what Fenty did, start with the base. And so as a women of advancing years what I think is lacking is quality, affordable makeup (foundation) for over 40’s or anyone with wrinkles, deep pores, and textured skin that isn’t heavy yet covers but naturally. The best I’ve found for me is Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup, but I know it has reviews were many feel it doesn’t cover enough. So I’d really go for making something in that line with a moisturizing capability and another in a combination T-zone control because every one of us over that age doesn’t have dry skin. And of course, I’d focus on difficult skin tones (at least the ones I hear have the hardest of times), the pale girls like my little daughter (ivories in neutral, peach, yellow), the olive hues and the deep almost blue appearing dark tones.

Second, again with the same skin texture issues focus, I’d make a special Clarin-like smoothing creme but in a primer version. I just haven’t found that perfect smoothing primer that fills and leaves your surface super smooth, but not like it has a cream or silicone on your face. Clarin’s Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch in a primer is what I’d be shooting for!

And unlike Fenty, I wouldn’t do highlighters or glosses next, but I’d do a Bobbi Brown/MAC idea of the Pot Rouge (where you can use the one color for the lips and cheeks). And I’d do it in a cream, three colors (and it would be hard finding what colors to do because truly Bobbi had the of the best a great universal pink and coral, and one of my favorites, her Telluride), but taking a stab at it, I’d do a light, slightly popping pink, a coral like my Versace compact and a deep orange.

That would be my starting lineup (liquid foundation, primer & lip/cheek pot)

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