The Council of the Clueless:MakeUp Artists Do Not Create Your MakeUp Line

Monday, 26 July 2010

Let us get this first bullshit straight- make up artists do not create your make up line.
They are great for telling you which shade goes with your skin tone, make you over from flat to fab, give you the real spill on your celebrities (Catherine Deneuve is a regular at orgy clubs and JLo is an über-materialistic biatch who cannot sit still while her fake lashes are being attached), great confidantes (if you do not mind having it shared with all his facebook friends) - BUT- creating make up is not in their skill set - which is my politically correct way of saying that this is something they do not know sh*t about.
But we pay them very good money to make you believe they do.  And why?

First, because they are the people you know, relate to  and idolize.  
Who wouldn't want to use a makeup line by someone who touches the face of the fabulous Demi Moore or Beyoncé or Scarlett Johanssen  (btw- D&G people- great job on the Johanssen shoot!  Haven't tried the products though.)
Second, so you do not get to know or wonder of people like me.  
I am the evil one who discontinues your favorite lipstick and who says that  a model is too fat or too old and gives orders to photoshop them to death.  (FYI- 24  is like 200 years old in model years not unless you are Kate Moss who will probably survive the holocaust together with the cockroaches.)
 I, of course am not the sole to blame.

I report twice a week to an all-male Council - 

You have there the CEO who was trained in law and business and I have always suspected that he fought the Afghanistan war.  If his life were to be made into a movie, I would definitely cast Van Diesel.  
I think he plays golf with the competitor's CEO because he calls me after every golf game to say something in the line of "Our evil competitor just launched minerals, I want you to launch a better one fast".  (Of course he rejected my proposal to launch minerals a year ago- but that is just me bitching). To the right of the CEO sits his mini-me.  They went to kindergarten together.  CEO doesn't make a decision without asking what his mini-me thinks first.

Also in the Council is the Commercial EO (a pervert who throws me the most stupid comments like- "my wife who never wears make up finds it odd that your mascara cap has a gap from the case").   I would cast Borat to play him if Borat would be willing to shave his moustache.
There are also minor EOs in the Council- the one common thing about the members of the council is they do not know sh*t about make-up.    Which is why I am required to panel test all concepts and products I have so they can have an opinion.  I lovingly call them the Council of the Clueless.
To do my job, I have an army working with me.
On the product side -
I have the formulation manager and her labrats and regulation specialists, packaging engineers and their labelling sidekicks , purchasing manager & her minions,  project managers, planners.  I deal with 3rd party trendcasters, packaging designers.

On the image side -
I have the creative manager, art directors, PR manager, research manager.  And they take care of hiring 3rd party models, photographers, make up artists, hairdressers, stylists.
And as well, I also deal with my research manager, research agencies, advertising companies who deal with production companies.
But the most important people I work with are the product managers.  
They are overworked, underpaid, overzealous creatures.  Because they don't have a life- they have the delusion that the products they create are their babies.  That is why I call them the baby-mamas.  The way to identify a baby-mama is to find  someone with different shades eyeshadow, different colors of nailpolish at each finger and  287 lipstick smudges on both her arms.

My work normally starts with  the Council of the Clueless telling me -

"Rowena, you sold only 3 gajillion million jillion  euros this quarter.  I want you to increase that by 300% and present us a plan how to do so by tomorrow.   And, btw, decrease the size of your line by 33% (read: discontinue some products) because we need more space in the stockroom for mini-me's new private jet."    
Of course I exaggerate, but you do get the idea.

I would now look at my sales figures, see which product is delivering how much sales from which part of the world.  Then see external figures- competition, new products and other figures that will be boring to you at this point in time (my way of saying, heck, i am big deal!) .

Then I would tell the baby-mamas,  ok- we will cut down the lipstick line from 48 to 24 so anything not selling more than 48 trillion pieces have to go (that will include your signature plum shade, dear anonymous one).

Also, present me your spring concept with 3 lip products, 2 eye products, 1 mascara and 1 multi face product.  Your budget for each product is 7% of your selling price (this figure is true! haha! suckers!) and this has to generate 4 trillion million euro sales.

And the product baby-mamas then go to work ...