I was on a film shoot in Los Angeles and an incredibly good looking man was doing my make up and we got to chatting and I found out he was not "just" the makeup artist; he was the owner of an entire cosmetic company built upon the idea that everyone is beautiful and cosmetics should be used to bring out what you like about yourself; not make you into someone you're not. I was wow'd. Terrified the answer would be "No," I managed to whisper, "But is your line cruelty free?" The man's eyes snapped at me as he said, "There is no scientific need to test on animals and I don't do it. I test my products on myself." He then pointed out the little cat and elephants on his logo (scroll down for a picture) and noted he's an animal lover himself. *Love*
It was a long day of filming, but, at the end of the day, my skin was fresh and glowy and felt wonderful. This makeup was a winner! The man was and is Blue Michael and his company is Blue Michael Cosmetics. Shortly after the film shoot in LA, I met up with Blue in New York and told him about the Film Lab and its work on deconstructing negative beauty images in mainstream media. Blue jumped on board to support the cause and I got the opportunity to interview him. Here is a brief portion of some of the most interesting of our Q&A. For a video of the whole interview, filmed by Kirtland Washington for LIVE!, click here!
1. What does the phrase "Ethical is Beautiful. Be Beautiful" mean to Blue Michael Cosmetics?
As a cosmetics line, Blue Michael Cosmetics is all about the client and what they really want in the sense of what kind of products they want and a easy but great way to use them. So it fits their life style. So "ethical is beautiful" is where we stand. Being also the first Puerto Rican-Dominican owned cosmetic company in the world, we really want to show all skin tones and skin types, how beautiful they all are. This is the reason why we use the hashtag #BYourBeautiful because we want to celebrate the client's idea of beauty.
2. We believe beauty shouldn't come at a cost of life or love or the environment, which is one of the reasons we love Blue Michael, which is cruelty free and celebrates simple, good-for-you ingredients. Can you tell us a little more about how Blue Michael works hard to be sustainable, responsible and cruelty-free beauty?
It's pretty easy: 'keeping it simple'. In creating a brand that's not just to make money but really thinking about what clients really want. A company that can give you great products that are healthy to use and being current about what is going on in the fashion world and the world at large. The environment is so important to all our lives so let's be clean and safe. Also, instead of just telling you what you should wear as a makeup look, we want to celebrate your beauty. The person you are inside and out. Female or male or what you identify as. We are here to celebrate that, the person, nothing less. Also being mindful on who we work with. We really love working with companies that are likeminded.
3. Blue Michael's hashtag is #BYourBeautiful. What was the thought process that went into the creation of that hashtag?
#BYourBeautiful came from the simple idea 'Let us celebrate you. With Blue Michael Cosmetics." Your beauty is what really matters and the happiness that brings to you and that world. Loving yourself brings happiness and joy. That is a game changer in itself. So we really promote that the best way we know how.
4. YOU were a model; what made you decide to leave the profession and how did it impact your decision to create a cosmetic company?
Well, modeling can last a long time but I wanted to do more behind the scenes and behind the camera. So I learned to do makeup on women and men. Everything from drag to runway to film. We also felt we needed a line of cosmetics that look natural but that can give you that onstage Diva look as well; being safe for all skin types is the only way to go for us, so that's why we kept it a non-talc, mineral base and paraben free cosmetics line. That's so important to us. Also, as a male model I didn't like to look like I had a lot of makeup on my face and body but I wanted to look great. When designing Blue Michael Cosmetics we first focused on how would it look on men and how natural it would look. When we saw how it looked and that it look freakin' awesome, we knew we had something that women and men would love. So that's how Blue Michael Cosmetics was born....Yayyyyyyyy!
For those curious and in NYC, Blue Michael Cosmetics will be at the July 25th World Premiere of the 72 Hour Shootout, with product demos, tips, tricks, and to answer questions (more info here). And, NO, I didn't get paid to write this blog post. I didn't even get any free products. I have to buy them just like everyone else. But, you know what? I love them so much, that's ok with me.