Make-up, a vector of pleasure and positive emotions!

Primum non nocere” (“first do no harm”!) Is the first principle to respect in make-up,” explains Dominique Bouvier, CEO, of Strand Cosmetics Europe. With its varied textures and presentations (lipstick, foundations, mascaras), make-up enables to play with both the aesthetics of the face but also the emotional responses related to self-image and one’s interactions with others. Make-up provides a multidimensional response: in the affirmation of the female identity while taking care of the skin, lips and eyelashes. Explanations…

MakeUp in…™: The skincare dimension of make-up cannot be denied today?

Dominique Bouvier: Absolutely! Make-up increasingly takes care of the lips, eyes and complexion, with skincare actives and integrated UV filters in their formulas; the skincare dimension of lipsticks expresses itself around notions of hydration, comfort, SPFs etc… For mascaras, “skincare” claims revolve around nourishing and protective aspects for the eyelashes, and of gentleness for the eyes. For eyeshadows, they must suit sensitive eyes, they must be hydrating… For foundations, they must provide shine, hydration, anti-aging, anti-UV protection…

MakeUp in…™: This has not always been the case in history!

Dominique Bouvier: That’s true! Between 1945 and 1960, women are under the influence of films and Hollywood stars. Lip and eye make-up intensifies, there is a craze for eyeliners. Make-up becomes an essential component in the daily lives of women, it is a high end beauty accessory slipped in the handbag. Between 1960 and 1980, we witness the start of the women’s liberation movement. Women fight for their rights and make-up emphasizes the naturalness of their complexion. This is the era of fresh complexions with a make-up that is both natural and elegant. Between 1980 and 1990, it’s the emergence of the active woman and the quest for “control”. She is looking for a look that is both young, with complexion as a top priority for a complete mastery. It is the explosion of foundations (2-way cakes, emulsions with treated pigments, tinted creams, no transfer, long-hold claims…). We also witness the arrival of complexion perfectors (brightener, corrector, healthy glow…).

To note that make-up products from Japan start making a name for themselves and that Strand starts using treated pigments as of the 80s to boost colours and increase the hold of make-up.

In the late 1990s, we are witnessing the explosion of make-up, which has truly become a means of expression and communication. It’s true that the Internet reduces borders and that new trends are emerging with high fashion and personalized make-up (Terry’s made to measure Beauty concept: “luxury applied to beauty”), Clarins’ anti-pollution make-up… Not to mention the rise of make-up Artists, Dany Sanz in France, Bobby Brown in New York, Mac… and the influence of mineral trend from the U.S. (Bare minerals). It is during this period that Strand continues to develop its expertise in the diversification of make-up and skincare textures. We work with trend agencies, as part of partnerships, collaborative research projects, in scientific and technical watch.

MakeUp in…™: Finally make-up goes beyond the mere notion of “making up”?

Dominique Bouvier: Whether they relate to caring for her body, her face or her hair, to treat them, to take care of them, to decorate or perfume them, all these gestures, – dating back to time immemorial for some of them – echo what man has deep down inside of him, that is to say, to express his self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-esteem and self-control.

During the care routine, the person will perform some gestures on her, which were before done by the mother. The psychological dimension provided by the care routine is mostly noticeable when it’s performed. While make-up is an anticipation of the effect produced on others and of the resulting reactions it provokes. A woman makes up to love and be loved.

MakeUp in…™: We are clearly in a quest for “wellness”!

Dominique Bouvier: Through various experimental approaches including observations, questionnaires, assays of stress mediators,… it was demonstrated that the use of a cosmetic product could have an influence on emotional reactions, social relations and human minds. Thus the role of cosmetics is not confined to mere aesthetic and performance features, it is also a vector for pleasure and positive emotions.

Today’s make-up positions itself as an interface between the individual and his environment. Two main categories define the motivation of women to wear make-up: seduction, in order to stand out or “camouflage” to blend into the crowd. To embellish is to make things or people beautiful or more beautiful! It could be translated into “to make more attractive”.

MakeUp in…™: What are the benefits of make-up?

Dominique Bouvier: Unquestionably make-up helps a woman become more assertive: she is reassured of having corrected imperfections on her face or body. The person experiences a feeling of lesser vulnerability and is therefore appeased, she immediately becomes more beautiful.

Make-up is also partly a mask. It provides a sense of freedom to the one using it. Besides, the great array of variations that it offers, enables a woman to express her creativity to reach this impossible dream to be every day in her life “not quite the same, not quite another” as Verlaine said. Isn’t it a guarantee of an endless love?

There is also the therapeutic dimension: The fact to make-up helps reclaim one’s image, one’s body. To feel beautiful despite the illness is an essential step in the healing process. To recover a “healthy look”, offers a reassuring picture to one’s environment, other peoples’ look being fundamental in the reconstruction process.

MakeUp in…™: The emergence of the famous BB Cream is indicative of this new “care” dimension in make-up ?

Dominique Bouvier: It is indeed! At the beginning, the BB Cream (Blemish Balm) was used by German dermatologists to hide scars, calm and soothe the skin after a facial peel or any other act. Imported in Korea, BB Creams enjoy a huge success in a country where women usually apply up to seven layers of different products onto their skins. In a single gesture, this unique product treats, protects and evens up the skin tone immediately. Then we know the development of BB, CC,… creams on the Western market. You should know that on average, women take 30min/day to prepare themselves and two thirds of them say they are too busy to take good care of themselves. Hence the emergence of these “All in one” and “One suits all” products that provide a comprehensive, fast and easy solution to busy women: it’s the so-called “multifunctionality” trend.

MakeUp in…™: We have also entered it seems in another era, that of “personalization”?

Dominique Bouvier: The search for customized products is important for 6 in 10 women. It is the adaptation of the product to a target, to a very specific need. In this area we will find the make-up of acne-prone skins (efficient but not too expensive because often targeting teens, the texture anti-acne actives) the make-up of mature skins, (anti-aging actives, moisturizing and comfortable treatments to take care of these skins which have a tendency to become dehydrated or thinner). We also observe a personalization of foundation products, which are now available in many different shades to suit all multi-ethnic skin tones (the Humanae project), the use of smart pigments.

Finally, we are also seeing the emergence of corrective and/or post surgery make-up with a help of dermo-cosmetics in targeted therapies to make-up for side effects (for example, in oncology xerosis problems, acneiform eruptions)…

Skin lesions often have a significant impact on the self-image. Although they are not life-threatening, their psychological impact almost always affects the daily lives of patients. Taking care of yourself (beauty treatments, the fact of making-up) minimizes the negative effects and improves the quality of life of patients. It is important that it is part of the medical care and that it improves their quality of life without further aggravating the wounds. This make-up should be corrective, with very high coverage (with lots of pigments) to hide the scars, securing, safe (non-irritating, non-allergenic) and waterproof.

MakeUp in…™: And finally what are the news concerning Strand cosmetics Europe?

Dominique Bouvier: We are working on the quest for the perfect complexion by combining the product/tool complementary for a targeted make-up result. Hence, on the occasion of MAKEUP IN PARIS, the DUPONT DE NEMOURS, STRAND COSMETICS EUROPE and LOUISE WITTLICH companies have decided to present the result of a collaboration started during the 2012 edition and focusing on the brush/product ideal couples, to achieve a natural make-up.

This partnership has enabled to adapt the composition of fibres according to the product pick-up and the desired make-up result. Thirty different textures were tested: primers and bases, foundations, concealers, blushes and powders resulting in fifty-six product/brush combinations. These were evaluated according to a number of criteria: coverage, brightness, hold, brush design, fibre stiffness, ease of bulk collection and of product application. The most performing combinations were selected and enabled to propose four perfect brush/product couples for a flawless and completely natural nude make-up. Anisa International, a designer and manufacturer of brushes, joined to the project, bringing her expertise on the work of the fibre to create brushes matching the brief of the make-up Artist.