Off the back of launching her Westman Atelier makeup line into the UK, celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman will add a ‘clean’ mascara to the collection in September.
The range of products, available exclusively on Net-A-Porter, is informed by Gucci’s love of luxury and passion for clean beauty, a combination that she felt was largely absent in the beauty industry.
Luxury Briefing discovers more about Gucci’s quest to create a clean beauty brand that doesn’t compromise on luxury.
You’ve been a successful makeup artist for many years and have been affiliated with some top-tier luxury beauty brands – what was the prompt for you to start your own makeup line?
I have been working in the industry as an editorial artist and began to see there was space in the market for a luxury brand that also speaks to wellness and integrity. Combining luxury, efficacy and clean formulations, I looked back at the brands I came across in my career and decided I wanted to create a brand that provides everything you need for the ultimate beautiful, natural complexion. In particular, I wanted to create exceptional modern make-up that marries clean, plant-based ingredients with the kind of skin-improving performance you’d expect from cutting-edge skincare.
How did your partnership with Net-A-Porter manifest? Was there a specific reason that you decided to go down the e-commerce route as opposed to a brick and mortar presence?
NAP is the standard for curated luxury products and a great way to launch into the European market. We are in no rush, and they are a great partner. Brick and mortar will come, we just need to decide what is the best fit.
Did yours and your husband’s [Rag & Bone Co-founder David Neville] experience in the fashion industry inform the design and the functionality of creating your products?
I think it was more inspired by a shared passion for a certain aesthetic. We both love functionality and we share and have very harmonious views on design and orientation. It makes it so much easier to work together to share this view, we never argue over what something should look like. There’s a mutual respect there.
Why was it important for you to create a makeup line that was primarily composed of natural ingredients?
I was raised in Sweden and have always been a vegetarian, meaning I have lived life with a holistic mindset in everything I do. This clean, conscious approach to living led me to create Westman Atelier, which merges clean beauty with high performance. I have used ‘plant-first’ actives with breakthrough innovation and exceptionally beautiful textures. It was particularly important to me to use only safe, consciously-crafted ingredients as I felt that truly mirrors my own life ethos; clean, conscious but with zero-compromise on luxury.
Do you have a favourite product in your line?
I love every single product in my line, however, the first product I had in mind was the Vital Skin Foundation Stick. In the last couple of years, I’ve had rosacea that has really flared up and I wanted a product that would help me feel confident in my skin, but it also had to be easy to apply and not feel like I was wearing tonnes of make-up or a formulation with lots of bad chemical ingredients included.
So, the foundation stick I really made from my own skin ‘wish list.’ I really needed it for myself! It has so many skincare ingredients in there that we’ve included at proven efficacy levels so that throughout the day, the product is actually working on soothing and calming your skin. In terms of ingredients, it’s a true skincare formulation, an anti-redness correctional product.
Do you have any further product developments on the horizon?
As we revealed at the UK event, we are due to launch a mascara in September – Eye Love You takes inspiration from our clean-beauty ethos and existing collection. The mascara contains 96 per cent natural-origin ingredients and the formula harnesses plant-powered science to improve the quality of the lashes while providing a lush, fluffy, super clean finish.
As well as this, there will be a new shade of Baby Cheeks, Choquette, launching in August here in the UK. This shade is my summer must-have – blend into apples of cheeks for a flushed peachy nude glow, across lids for extra definition and a warmth of colour, as well as dabbing to lips for an everyday natural nude pop.
Can you explain why you decided to formulate a clean luxury mascara?
Many women consider mascara their ‘desert island’ product, and the one thing they reach for every day. Natural formulas are often disappointing; they smudge easily, go crumbly and can make your lashes feel heavy and uncomfortable. But it’s when you look at the ingredients in some of the synthetic versions, that it gets really shocking.
As a brand, we believe in the possibility of high-performance makeup that is free of questionable synthetic ingredients. Mascara has historically been a particularly tricky ‘clean’ category to crack — requiring labs to reformulate without commonly used chemicals including PEGs, irritating ethanolamines, and additional toxic compounds. These are some of the ‘red-light’ synthetic ingredients found in many best-selling luxury performance mascaras, which are banned from Westman Atelier, such as Parrafin and Triethanolamine.
What inspired the name Westman Atelier?
I like the idea of pairing something quite masculine with something very feminine. Westman is a pretty masculine name but what we’re doing is quite eminent. It allows more freedom and doesn’t feel as restricting as having the name include ‘makeup’… it can be more than that.