How to make your skin look beautiful - that is the most basic of the basics.
Skin Alison Raffaele is a new line of cosmetics that dares to focus on base makeup to gain the beauty of buff. The excellent balance of concealment and transparency is its strong point.
"When we think of makeup, we tend to think of colors, but the most important thing is base makeup. If your skin looks beautiful, any color looks beautiful on it." However, there were no good base makeup products in the marketplace. Alison Raffaele, a makeup artist who actively works with fashion magazines and bridal magazines, decided to develop the base makeup product to dissolve the frustration.
"I tried to make a concealer that hides troubles naturally, a foundation that covers them, and a perfectly transparent powder that completes the makeup," she states. She submitted her business plan to her father and borrowed business funds from him.
She liked makeup from her childhood. When she was ten years old, she used to go to Bloomingdale's with her mother and chose cosmetics that she could buy with her $10 pocket money. She got makeup and advice on beauty treatment. When she was sixteen, she had a part time job at cosmetic counters in department stores. She says, "While my friends were working in McDonald's, I was working in Macy's and Saks wearing high heels. I was proud of working with adults in the beautiful world." Nevertheless, she did not think makeup would be her career at that time. She majored in art history in college and planned to go to graduate school to be a curator. "When I was a sophomore, my friend told me my vocation must be makeup. I thought makeup was just a part-time job, but I noticed that it was what I really wanted to do," she says. Fortunately, she became a chief assistant of Bobby Brown right after she graduated college. She made up celebrities and traveled around the world as a makeup trainer and that experience helps her a lot now. "Under your skin is yourself, so your mind appears directly on your skin. But your skin and your mind do not always agree. Sometimes your skin is tired or gets pimples even though your mind is fresh. Base makeup can fill in the gap."
(Captions Top) "I love people. It is more significant for me to make ordinary women beautiful and happy rather than to make celebrities beautiful."
(Left) The base makeup products Alison devised possess an exquisite combination of concealment and transparency. Beauty base skin tone is a liquid foundation that covers troubles, and gives transparency if used with wet sponge, 5 colors $35.00 each. True concealer 7 colors $22.60 each. Transparent finish powder, $27.50. Skin Alison Raffaele is sold in Henri Bendel and Sephora.
Makeup tools that help provide a delicate finish will be sold this autumn. Powder brush $50.00, small brushes $23.00, foundation sponge $5.00 etc.
Hide and Seek - Makeup artist creates line around
Concealer isn't as glamorous as eye shadow or lip gloss, but it's the one product that most women would trade everything in their makeup drawer for if they could just find the perfect one. That's one reason Alison Raffaele built her company around concealer and transparent powder. "The problem with color is that it has the lowest rate of loyalty, and the highest rate of impulse buy," she said. "Skin care has a very high rate of loyalty. What a lot of people do not realize is that complexion, foundations and concealers also have a high rate of loyalty.
"Armed with that knowledge and the simple fact that I could not find a concealer that worked under my eyes... this is where I decided I was going to make my mark." That was in 2000. She had worked with Bobbi Brown on product development and as her first national makeup artist and international trainer, then launched her own successful editorial career as a makeup artist.
What kept tugging at her conscience was the business end of the cosmetics industry. She missed it. Her heart was not only in doing makeup, she said, but in education and development. "I saw a niche market not being addressed - for complexion, concealers and powder," she said. "Everyone was doing color."
Skin by Alison Raffaele was born with two products - True Concealer and Transparent Finish setting powder.
"The whole philosophy behind the line, and this is really the truth of makeup is that you can do any look," Raffaele said. "You can do a very sultry look, natural look, avant garde look. You can do a lot of color or little color with your makeup. The most important thing is your skin look flawless first. Start with perfecting the canvas... If that canvas isn't perfect, it doesn't matter what you put on top of it."
Raffaele decided she was going to educate people, and with that knowledge she would give them easy-to-use products that really work.
"I don't believe in making a professional product that only a professional can use," she said.
Her goal continues to be to reach out to all women by providing easy-to-master products so that women everywhere can create their own professional look with confidence and ease.
Raffaele's True Concealer, still the company's best seller, caught women's attention immediately. What woman doesn't at one time or another have dark circles or a spot that needs to be covered?
"What makes any product in my mind a superior product is the ease of use and obviously the effectiveness of the result," she said. "With concealer, it tends to be coverage and blend ability. You need to have a product that covers whatever needs to be covered yet at the same time blends into the skin so it appears natural.
"At the same time, you don't want a product that blends but doesn't cover. You might as well put facial moisturizer on."
Raffaele already has 21 years of hands-on experience in the cosmetics business. She started behind the makeup counter at a department store when she was 16.
It's that knowledge of what works, not only on her own skin but the thousands of faces she has touched, that helps her connect with customers. After the launch of her signature products, she followed with brushes, foundation and color.
She met her husband through the
business when he was a sales engineer for packaging at Victoria's Secret.
"He's president of the company," Raffaele said. "He brought with him his whole operational experience, which was the perfect complement to my creative experience. The two of us are really able to propel the company forward."
Today, Skin by Alison Raffaele products are sold internationally.
"You have two eyes, a nose and mouth," she said. "Women are women, and vanity is vanity. The experience of wanting to look good is a universal one. It is something that translates across borders. It's not something that's foreign to anyone. It's easy to take a cosmetics company around the world."
Still, Raffaele is selective about the stores that carry her products.
"As a makeup brand, it's important for me to be in a store that's a beautiful store, with a knowledgeable and talented staff. At the end of the day, those are the people who are representing my company, my brand. I believe in education. I believe you shouldn't buy something and go home and not know how to use it."
Raffaele said upgrading existing products is as important as introducing new ones. At one time, women accepted what companies gave them. Now they want products that work. They want products with ingredients that are good for the skin, products with sunscreen. Today, a product needs to be multi-beneficial, she said. It has to adjust to a woman's lifestyle.
Before introducing more color or treatment products, Raffaele said she wants to find a way to put more skin care benefits into her products.
"When I develop products, I think about how it's going to feel on the skin. If it doesn't feel good, how are you going to look good?"
So, what's her favorite product in the collection? "True Concealer," she said. "I don't go anywhere without it."
From The Oklahoman By Linda Miller, Fashion Editor