Simply put, makeup often seems like magic, doesn’t it? Every lipstick tube and eye shadow palette appears to have been concocted by beauty-savvy elves who then drop them off on makeup shelves and counters for our ravenous consumption. As lovely as this sounds, this is just not the case. In fact, it takes the vast efforts of professional teams, product brainstorms and lots of research to conceptualize and create out favorite products. To glean some insight on this creative process, we consulted with a beauty wizard from one of our fave brands: NYX. Check out what Joyce Kim, AVP of Product Development for NYX had to say about the science behind the brand’s addictive products.
Makeup.com: What’s been the key to the meteoric rise of success for NYX?
Joyce Kim: For us, it’s all about the integrity of the product. We strive to keep the quality and performance of each item in tact. Instead of putting all of our money into this expensive packaging, the brand invests in the payoff you get from the product itself. At the end of the day, you want the long wear, the color, etc. The product development team at NYX is made up of individuals who love wearing makeup, love color and love long-lasting products. More importantly, we love makeup that leaves an impression. Every time we develop something, we ask ourselves, ‘Would we wear this?’ Otherwise, why would we expect anyone else to? We always want beauty to be affordable and not a luxury. Everyone should be able to make themselves feel better by throwing on a red lip or creating a smoky eye. Everyone should have access to that transformation.
MDC: NYX is constantly outdoing itself with color payoff and amazing collections. Where does your team draw inspiration from when coming up with a new color palette, product or collection?
Kim: My team and I are constantly inspired by real people. We’re really driven by what we see on social platforms. We pay attention to the looks artists and makeup lovers create for themselves. We’ve seen people put eye shadow on top of lipstick to create a crazy effect, and we ask ourselves, ‘Why don’t we make that? Why don’t we make a top powder for lipstick?’ or, ‘Why don’t we create a crazy eyeliner color instead of having someone try to make it on their own?’ It’s simply about responding to what we see online. We’re in this great age of color now where people are embracing completely out-of-the-box looks. It used to be standardized colors and products: red lipstick, neutral eye shadow, etc. But now people are rocking rainbow hair and orange lipstick and really working it!
MDC: What’s next for the brand?
Kim: We have these great vehicles of discovering artists, and not just makeup artists but creative artists who master in body art and what not. Our annual NYX Fine Artistry of Cosmetics Elites Awards (FACE), for example, celebrates these creative individuals, and it gets bigger and better every year. The talent is just mind-blowing and out of control. Because of this, I would like to see us move into cinema makeup and look into body paint and using different mediums to create various textures for those looking to do more than just beauty. I think in the future that could be a great transition for the brand, especially since we embrace that community so much. In terms of future product launches, I’m still seeing full color everywhere. This is great because there was a period when all you saw was nude lips and nude eyes. It’s really exciting to see color staying around and transforming into interesting tones. Now we’re seeing these deep browns, sepia tones, dark burgundy shades and even slate grays!
MDC: How does a product go from idea to makeup shelves?
Kim: We get inspired by trends that we see, as well as by listening to our consumers. Because of all the social platforms at our fingertips, one look, color or product can spread like wildfire. So, we always try to figure out how to listen to our consumers and make sure we’re giving them everything that they want. We’re not just making product to put something out there. We’re making product because we believe in it and we’re excited to wear it and for people to have it.
MDC: What is your personal go-to lip color right now?
Kim: Our Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Cherry Skies or Vintage. Vintage is a burgundy with a brown undertone. I used to just be a Chapstick girl and I could never find my perfect nude or neutral lipstick. Once I discovered that I look OK in red, I went for it!
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Photo: Diana Crisan