Kat Von D on the UK launch of her makeup line, tattoos & important beauty lessons…
Rebecca Fearn sat down with tattooing legend Kat Von D to discuss the long-awaited UK launch of her makeup line, Kat Von D Beauty…
Congratulations on bringing the line to the UK – what do you think are the absolute must-have products in your range?
That’s so impossible to answer! I use everything I have ever created. But I do love red lipstick so I would say- depending on what formulas people like – the everlasting lipstick range. The reds in there are some of my favourites.
And then as far as eyeliner goes, the tattoo liner is so amazing and precise. Even if sometimes I feel like drawing in my eyebrows I can use this. I think those two are my absolute go-to favourites.
What is it about the UK that made you want to sell your range here?
I wanted to bring the range to the UK since I first launched but unfortunately you guys don’t have Sephora here. It took us so long to really find the right partner but now we’re with Debenhams it’s been so exciting because I feel like I have definitely found my match for the UK so now we can launch here.
What are your desert island beauty hero products?
A red lipstick and an eyeliner!
Are there any important beauty lessons you have learnt on the way?
It’s always interesting when you find out how something is made. When I was tattooing in the first tattoo shop I worked in when I was 15 years old I was told I had to make a tattoo machine. The idea of machinery really turned me off but I sat through really boring videos and a lot of trial and error and I made a crappy machine. But it wasn’t about making the machine, it was about understanding how it works so when I was using my tattoo machine I could listen to it and see if it ran a certain way.
So the lesson works the same way now. So when I first launched my fragrance I sat with the nose who wrote down the notes and taught me how to actually smell perfume and since then I have never smelt perfume the same! Even with lipstick and eyeliner and formulations – understanding how the different components distribute the pigment will play in big part in what I am making. So I think learning about how something is made shows you how you can use your tools.
What makes your makeup line stand out from others?
There’s definitely this unapologetic approach to colours and shades but I don’t think that’s what makes it that unique. I think what it is is my DNA within all aspects of it. You see tons of licensing deals with people who just stick their name on something and then collect the cheque. But for me it is super important to be a part of it and when I first designed the studded kiss component which is the studs I just drew that out on a piece of paper and through hard carved moulds and things we finally came to the final version. I remember holding it in my hand and thinking there was a certain familiarity a certain sense of, you know, Kat Von D beauty is blowing up but it’s still something that goes down to grass roots of a do-it yourself approach. I think that really resonates with people. When people hold the product they see the artwork and it’s very personal. That’s what makes it stand out the most.
If you could only have one beauty look for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A cat eye and a red lip for sure!
How do you get ideas for your line and where do you pull inspiration from?
Ideas are something I really don’t have a shortage of so it’s easy to constantly create stuff. If my team let me I would release a lot more in the time that we do spend. I’m inspired by everything! From elements of nature to past experiences in love like in heartbreak. It’s everything from my art background to my Latin heritage – all these things play important roles in inspiring me. We throw trend predictions out the window – I don’t even care what’s going on in the real world!
You obviously flew a long way to get to London from LA – what are your best in-flight beauty tips? What is your regime?
Hydrating! Just drink so much water. I have known from my years flying that if I don’t drink water I just get super dry skin. I take my makeup off for the flight usually and wash my face – doesn’t everyone?
We’re big fans of tattoos at GLAMOUR – do you have any advice for those wanted to get inked but not sure of where to start?
The best advice I could give anybody thinking about getting a tattoo – especially for a first timer – is really make an effort to research your artist. With the success of talent shows and everything, there are so many tattooers out there. There are a lot of really great people and there are a lot of hacks so I think just because someone has a tattoo shop, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good. So the beauty of the internet now is that everyone has online portfolios to check out. Don’t be afraid to travel too, I have travelled across the ocean to be tattooed before and saved my money for it and waited patiently on a very long waiting list. I just think at the end of the day if you’re going to wear something forever it’s not like a purse that will go out in a season. You really want to make sure you find the right person. And not just someone that is a great tattooer but someone that gets you and understands you.
What’s your favourite tattoo?
My Dad on my arm – I love my Dad so much, he’s my best friend. So this is his graduation photo – when I got it, he wasn’t necessarily a fan of tattoos but this one above all won his heart over! Even on trips like this when I don’t get to see him, it’s nice to take your Dad with you wherever you go.