Last year by popular demand we ran a mystery package promotion with a difference. However, rather than us selecting products for the mystery package we asked our Instagram artists to make a full face using our cosmetics and put them into a mystery box to be sent out at random.
This year we have teamed up with The Albert Kennedy Trust to help raise awareness. Last week we released a special glitter mix which is available now in our store and donations from profits will be donated to the amazing charity.
For the mystery package 2018 we have combined the two, artists are joining in to support the AKT campaign and have selected one of their recent favourite looks for us to create a package to inspire customers to try out new looks again. Customers will not know what is in their package or who's face inspired it until they open their delivery! We hope this will raise awareness about the charity with artists who participate in creating and artists who purchase a mystery package featuring The Albert Kennedy Trust current campaign in their posts about their mystery package #noroomforhate.
The packages are not about profit and we have packed with them at least double value of the package price with good old customer favourites and some of our new products across various package options, one of which includes everything right down to lashes. We have even put together a special brush bundle featuring our professional artist choice brushes at an amazing price.
Visit our listing below to find out more about the packages, but most importantly go visit www.akt.org.uk/noroomforhate to learn about the #noroomforhate
We hope our customers have as much fun as last year with the mystery packages and we hope to keep diversifying the packages throughout the summer adding more professional artists' faces.
We have made changes to our website product listings to make identifying eco/bio and poly glitter easier if customers have a preference. We haven’t found any specific and detailed research to show or prove glitter causes environmental damage. You will notice most magazine articles and anti-glitter campaigners base their view on micro bead research despite it being a different structure and content, usually recommending brands who abruptly became “bio” and some even pressure big events to police customers to the biodegrable market. Other researchers suggest that traditional glitter is too insignificant to even have an impact.
So the debate goes on, we cannot find proven facts for either side, but there is a heavy mainstream spin which will always sway public opinion. However, we absolutely agree that any substitute which is COMPLETELY biodegradable and eco friendly can only be better and we will completely favour those good quality alternatives as they become available.
Last year we worked with our manufacturers and tested a new development – eco glitter. Eco glitter is economically friendly because it contains no plastic whatsoever and is made purely from mineral. Eco glitter is simply returned back to the environment it came from without the need to break down, so no harm or risk at all. When we tested it we were over the moon, super sparkly (even better than traditional) and when applied onto a crème base or directly onto the skin it created beautiful sparkle, we couldn’t resist and it’s now a customer favourite. The particles are super fine and metallic which make it even more diverse to create metal leaf effects with water based products and liquid metal with oil based products.
This year the same manufacturer returned to us with an amazing development, an iridescent eco glitter! Again it is all mineral based, so it will return to the environment with no issues. We are the first to have this incredibly beautiful alternative and it’s been an instant success since we launched it just last week. We are confident other manufacturers will now begin developing more versions. This is the first time iridescent eco glitter has been achieved and we hope the technique can help manufacturers diversify the eco range further.
Now let’s talk about the biodegrable, this glitter is different to eco glitter as it needs to break down before it can disperse into the environment. We have been in touch with the brand Bio-Glitter for a few years, they are the brand who took seven years to develop a plant based biodegrable glitter, long before other manufacturers even considered it. The first phase of bio-glitter which is readily available now in a small range of shades and plenty of different flake sizes. It comes quite close to looking like a traditional glitter but is less sparkly and metallic. They have created a great product which most glitter brands have embraced and invested in. The only reason we didn’t instantly follow suit is because the full colour range hadn’t been manufactured at the time of approaching them.
Bio-glitter is 92% plastic free, however later in 2018 Bio-glitter release its next generation of glitter… Bio-glitter Pure! The pure version will have no plastic content at all being 100% biodegradable. We are excited to see the range for its sparkle properties and colour range to decide if we convert our metallic range. We are even told that there may be ways for the next generation film to be developed further to create iridescent and holographic finishes so we can adopt those in the future. We cannot wait!
As many customers will appreciate, we have approached being environmentally friendly differently. We feel it would be irresponsible to instantly encourage mass disposal of glitter, surely that exercise would cause environmental issues?
We have reduced the amount of traditional glitter we order and stock, ready to gradually and responsibly replace as alternatives are developed. We can educate ourselves on how to use glitter more responsibly too until fully biodegrable and eco glitters can replace it. We will continue to promote responsible disposal to reduce the amount of glitter which makes its way into our water systems. We recommend removing glitter carefully with sticky tape, placing the folded tape into waste disposal. Then remove excess carefully with a cotton pad and oil or moisturiser so the remaining glitter stays on the cotton pad for disposal.
We are delighted to announce that we are partnering with The Albert Kennedy Trust, an amazing LGBTQ+ charity that dedicates itself to preventing homelessness with support available London, Newcastle, Manchester and online digital services. We were touched by how the team focuses on prevention and early action to provide safe homes, mentoring, training, advocacy and support to young people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or live in a hostile environment.
We ourselves understand and can relate to the worry of coming out in fear of rejection and it’s not just us. We take time to get to know our customers and learn about their stories and when we discovered The Albert Kennedy Trust, we felt strongly in supporting them in raising awareness and giving our customers an opportunity to donate. We know many of our customers have their own experiences accepting who they are and taking the steps to share with people close to them.
We often receive special requests asking us to arrange delivery for specific days when no one else is home for a period of time or delivering to a safe place. We have even spoken to customers who tell us that they dispose of products shortly after purchasing as they fear people close to them would ask questions about them buying cosmetics, revealing secrets about their work, sexual orientation or gender. Even though many of us at Give Face Cosmetics have had similar worries and fears as we grew up, it’s easy to forget they existed and younger people are facing the same problems right now.
We hope our customers and visitors will see what The Albert Kennedy Trust do and join us in supporting and raising awareness so the charity can reach more people who need help to live their life.
As part of raising awareness, we have some fabulous plans to not only raise awareness but also give customers a chance to donate with the purchase of exclusive releases. The first of which is a special glitter release which is available right now! Give Face Cosmetics will be donating £1 for every pot sold.
We are excited to release more projects to raise awareness. Learn more about this fantastic charity at www.akt.org.uk
The great news is, we are absolutely working with DragWorld, and we feel blessed and lucky that they reached out to us recently to discuss our attendance. So hold back on those rotten tomatoes!
If you’ve followed our journey you will have noticed our stiletto on the gas pedal and speeding into 2018. Initially only looking at adding a few products and gently sashaying through the year, we were bombarded with manufacturer contacts in January asking if we would like to work with them. These manufacturers weren’t just anyone… they are huge in the cosmetics industry and we simply had to snatch their hands to secure some fabulous products for our customers.
In the first part of this year we added a gorgeous collection of pencils which shockingly sold out within their first weekend! We then worked with the industries finest cosmetic brush manufacturer, creating an entire 30 piece collection which received huge thumbs up from artists! The brush manufacturer kindly elbowed us to the front of the queue with the biggest beauty blender production company too. Finally we were absolutely shook to find the manufacturer of the ‘drag essential’ 301 lash where they granted us permission to add her and her sisters to our brand and when they invited us to create some new designs - you know we couldn’t resist!
Just as we started to gently cruise through the remainder of this year… our customers swerved us into the parked project - Wigs! We called our friends at Josephs Hair Team, well known in the Midlands for their hair styling, colouring and wig customization. Before we knew it, we were back in the design studio collaborating with Josephs Hair Team and a new manufacturer for a solid two months of researching and creating!
So… back to the question. We know exhibiting at DragWorld would be a fantastic opportunity to meet you, show our full range and give you a chance to grope the brand. But as we explained to the DragWorld team, when we do something, we do it to the very best of our ability, standing by our mission of celebrating exceptional and ethical artistry. We always aim to give our customers value, enjoyment and love. If we did accept DragWorlds invite to exhibit in 2018 we would be dropped into panic to re-stock and scurry around to produce a display which would probably be as fancy as a fold out wallpaper pasting table.
We think our customers and DragWorld visitors deserve better! We will try our best to attend this year as visitors to check out the event (it’s also a great opportunity for us to drink and party with you all). Then we can make a clear decision whether to add DragWorld 2019 to our ‘to do’ list. This will give us more time to plan, create and give you an experience rather than just being present to grab coins. So unfortunately Give Face Cosmetics will not be exhibiting (professionally) at DragWorld this year. We hope we have clarified why you won’t find us in a corner selling from the boot of our car. However, if we do grab a day to get over and you spot us, give us a shout and let’s Kiki!
Don’t forget to follow DragWorld on social media for gag worthy announcements, including a special online discount code from yours truly. Be sure to visit their website too where you can secure tickets for this spectacular event. www.dragworld.co.uk
Melancholy is known for doing outside the box makeup looks, personally I spotted Melancholy’s talents when she began working on series of looks on instagram. I always find it so fascinating when artists dedicate their time to creating daily looks which are so unique and different. Firstly because I just wouldn’t have the motivation to create a look a day, but also because I am simply not talented enough! So when an artist dedicates their time to their art and challenge themselves, I find it fascinating. The series which has me hooked on Melancholy was her phobia series. I have a lot of phobias and when I saw how they were interpreted on her instagram wall they made me feel uncomfortable but at the same time intrigued as to what made her think about it and how she cleverly took the concept and created a visual for the viewer to feel the discomfort.
Melancholy explains “I actually got the inspiration for my phobias series after seeing the storyline on American Horror Story Cult and I wanted to explore the phobias of the main character! I researched lots of phobias and was shocked at how diverse and unusual some phobias are. This really got me into the series because it would be really challenging to create looks to embrace each phobia.” Reflecting on the series Melancholy continues “I definitely think my phobia series was the most successful! They made people feel uncomfortable even if they didn’t actually have the phobia! One of my favourite looks from the series was “trypophobia” where I created an optical illusion on my face to look like there were lots of holes in my skin!”
So what’s next for Melancholy? “For my next series, I plan on recreating some of my looks from when I first started doing makeup! There were a lot of cool looks that I tried but I feel at the time I didn’t know enough about makeup to execute them properly. So I’m looking forward to recreating vision I originally had!”
So go give her a follow @melancholymoons on Instagram to see more work (featuring our lashes of course - ha) and see what else this incredible artist has planned!
Today Fran is in high demand for custom orders but still maintains a beautiful online store which has fabulous ready to go necklaces.
When we spoke to Fran, we couldn’t resist asking about ordering our own custom pieces! She explained the most popular request is stage names for queens and they range from around £30 for a basic design and increase with complexity, but prices are discussed when ordering. When you order a custom piece it is helpful to give as much detail as possible - colours, materials (i.e glitter, acrylic finish), the amount of layers, font style and if there are any other graphic elements. Fran sometimes gets sketches if customers know exactly what they want or she is happy to design for them based on what they provide to inspire her. Turnaround time very much depends on the work load but on average you are looking at around 3 weeks from the design approval to shipping.
Lefran Creative has an impressive customer base, designing recognisable jewellery for Alyssa Edwards, Katya, Muthatucka, Crystal Lubrikunt and Charity Kase. Fran also gets requests for phrases and swear words - the Give Face girls were immediately shouting out profanity they wanted to wear – so I put this to Fran. Fran explained she doesn’t mind swear words at all, but she wouldn’t produce something which is intended to cause targeted hurt to a specific person or group of people. We also admired that Fran took an ethical approach not to sell duplicate or queen's branding with things similar to their merch, catchphrases or likeness, with the exception of gifting them herself to the queen the design relates to.
It is clear that Fran loves creating jewellery, she explained how her video game job doesn’t always give her the same type of creative freedom, however creating the jewellery give her an opportunity to flex her design muscles and create something special. “I love to make people happy, turning something they imagine into reality. It’s an amazing feeling when you see someone wearing your piece out or when I get tagged in a photograph where an item is being worn.” She continues “Creating the jewellery is the perfect way for me to be a part of the drag community which I love so much. Working with performers has given me a connection to a lot of wonderful people, some of which are now good friends!”
Just like us, Fran understands how much hard work has to go into making a business a success, last year she set herself a personal goal to exhibit at Dragworld 2018 and she is doing just that! So we look forward to speaking with her after to see if she thinks that should be on our objectives for next year. For the future Fran hopes to be commissioned by queens to create more custom pieces and even look at producing official merch for artists. In the longer term hopes to fulfil the dream of having a beautiful little boutique shop and exhibiting at international events such as Dragcon LA so she can meet more customers face to face.
When we discussed "the perfect wig" we agreed firstly we like wigs with a lace which we can cut the root to reduce (if not eliminate) gluing and concealing excess lace with makeup. I know I would have to keep checking all night if it was still in place and concealed. I also don't think I would have time to clean the lace every time and there would likely be a build up of glue and/ or makeup. Having had both synthetic and human hair, we also agree synthetic wigs are just easier to maintain overall and they hold their style. Even though they don't last as long and they don't look as realistic, balancing the pros and cons, we both would choose synthetic. There are so many different types of synthetic fibers and some of our better grade synthetic wigs are five years old and still wearable with a little maintenance.
We have already found a great manufacturer who understands our needs and we are delighted with the quick progress we have made to source a structured lace and different hair fibers. Andi has worked on creating us our first set of styles to start the range, which will be ready to wear or can be cut into shorter styles with a little experience. We have also submitted a range of colours, again perfected by Andi, individually blended with a selection of fibre qualities and tones to give durability and multidimensional rich colouring. Separated into three cohesive collections, we have an "amplified" naturals range, a "contemporary muted" range which elevates the usual pastel and finally we tackled the "loud, proud and bold" colours which demand attention. All the collections benefit from complimentary and contrast blending of multiple tones and have a varying brown or black short root to move forward from the traditional one tone which can make some wigs look cheap.
We hope to release our wig range in the Summer 2018.
So we are really happy that the first two reviews have been amazing! When we set out on a new project we always aim to deliver the absolute best quality at incredible value and our brush range has been challenging to perfect but seeing these reviews and receiving so many positive messages back from customers who have invested in them is incredibly rewarding. So rewarding in fact that we will most certainly be keeping our eye out for more brush designs to keep the collection growing and already we are planning to add more in the Summer and we may even look at creating a few special release packages towards the end of the year for gifting!
Thank you again Ellis and Jo for taking the time out to include them in your work and thanks to all of you who dropped us messages to let us know how you are loving your new brushes! Keep watching this space for more reviews coming soon from other artists who are testing them out.
2018 sees the return of "Face Race", a competition ran by the team behind Twitter account @alldragupdates with sponsorship from Give Face Cosmetics and Drag Queen Merch. Last year was a huge success with hundreds of fresh faces submitting fabulous drag looks to enter the weekly themes.
This year is even bigger with amazing guest judges Shangela and Phi Phi O'Hara from Rupauls Drag Race, James Majesty from Dragula, Bible Girl the owner of Drag Queen Merch, 365 days of drag Charity Kase and last years overall winner Freya Grace. The judges have been allocated a week each to view all of the looks and select their theme winner! Winners will be rewarded with a £25 Give Face voucher for each win and on the final week the vote will be handed to you to choose which artist should be spoiled with an extra £50 Give Face shopping spree and prize package from Drag Queen Merch.
As everyone knows we love to support art and anyone participating in the competition is welcome to shop like a pro and replenish their kits throughout the competition with a 30% discount across our own brand products with the special code ADUFACERACE. Please do not worry about rules or your experience - it's all about development, fun and being supportive of everyone's art wherever they may be in their personal journey - there are strictly no critiques or eliminations! We were amazed by how many friendships the face race created last year - so get involved, share the love and most importantly... enjoy it!
The competition begins on 20th March 2018 and to enter you need to create a look featuring our cosmetics for the weekly theme - how you choose to interpret the theme is entirely down to your creativeness. Anyone can enter at any point and you are not committing to compete in every theme/ week, so if you just have a burning desire for just one or two themes - that's absolutely fine, create your look to submit on the week your preferred theme/s fall.
Week, theme and judge allocation:
Week one - Neon Realness - James Majesty
Week two - Flower Power - Shangela
Week three - Glam & Gore - Charity Kase
Week four - Worldwide Drag - Bible Girl
Week five - Your Best Drag - Phi Phi O Hara & Freya Grace
Theme submissions should be submitted from each Tuesday but before the Sunday of the theme week (as judging will take place each Sunday to close the week). The winner announcements will take place on the next day (the Monday), then the new week begins again on the Tuesday! Don't panic.... @alldragupdates will publish updates as we go along so make sure you follow them and keep checking in for your updates.
To submit a qualifying entry, upload a clear, well lit photograph onto your Twitter or Instagram account and make sure you tag the photo physically and also tag in your comments @alldragupdates AND @givefacecos along with #TheFaceRace2. Be sure to include the theme title and list the Give Face products used (even if added as an additional comment) - these should be clear to see in the image and the hero of the look to be accepted - if you choose to create a full length look, include an extra face shot for us to check you out! We will also select some our favourite looks to share as part of normal social media sharing and has no connection to the final judging.
Keep an eye on @alldragupdates for submissions, announcements on the start and end date of each week and to find out if you are a winner! If you win, we will contact you once the entire competition has concluded with your voucher for you to shop!
Give Face in the All Drag Updates Face Race!
I first met Ellis in Liverpool; I was stopped in my tracks by her huge hair with matching outfit and the most detailed, beautifully blended colourful makeup. I was delighted when she broke the ice outside and we exchanged social media contacts to have more in-depth chats about our mutual love of makeup. We began working together shortly after and Ellis surprised me with how she interpreted our products, effortlessly transforming into different styles and creating really unique effects with our cosmetics.
Since then I have religiously followed Ellis’s instagram, noting how she carefully presents her profile of eye candy. Each look unique, but cohesive to document progression and creativity. This artist is completely in control, taking time to learn the logistics of social media platforms, a finger on the pulse of latest trends while experimenting to introduce entire new concepts, often dropping us a message to share new ways of using our products which she has discovered!
What I really love about Ellis is the way she is so open. I admire artists who take time to inspire, push and help others on their journeys. Ellis explains how drag was an experiment (like so many of us do) to see how it felt wearing makeup. Makeup, especially years ago was a very woman only industry and social views of anyone other than woman wearing makeup were often that it was a deep desire to be a woman. I feel sometimes that anyone who experiments with makeup or drag is often questioned about being confused about their gender. When I chatted with Ellis we found common ground that before experimenting with makeup we were so deeply conditioned by this, we had already started to face personal gender confusion. However like myself, Ellis discovered the drag community which embraced the art of makeup and we found our home where we could slip in and out of drag without questions that in reality never applied.
Ellis has actively tried to make drag normal, attending events, walking down the road and hopping onto public transport in drag. Like Ellis explained to us, we are all just normal people with a fascination of makeup, we simply just love being able to step in and out of a character without the complex dissection or justification. Typically when people think of a drag queen, they usually expect a comedian, dancer, singer or mime artist who wears makeup in a pub or club. But the art of drag has evolved where it is becoming house-hold, we are seeing a rise of drag social media and YouTube stars, drag queens are becoming business owners and at the click of a few buttons you can quickly develop the art. Drag is becoming accessible; it’s no longer a secret art which is only passed on through generations where mothers’ heels are followed onto the stage. The new generation of drag have more opportunities; we can earn a respectable wage through making videos, becoming a makeup company’s representative and we can build a good career as “a brand”.
Ellis has had fantastic opportunities working in top brand makeup stores, who years ago probably would have never considered a male assistant. Consumer acceptance has changed too, many ladies are borrowing drag skills such as contouring, highlighting and baking, some of which have been claimed by celebrities as a new concept and makeup companies are producing products similar to those drag essentials which we have used for years and years. But the drag roots are surfacing, they are being credited and drag artists like Ellis are being sent fabulous goodies from makeup brands to work with and we are reclaiming our art. This is where Ellis wants to continue heading to help makeup brands embrace artists and help makeup become genderless for future generations.
When we asked Ellis for her top tip - “!@?* anyone who is negative and trust your own initiative!” Not in the sense of becoming rude or egotistical, but have faith and trust in yourself, allow your brain and imagination to guide you to where you should and want to be. She explained often we listen too much to what we should or shouldn’t do, we allow people to drain us and stop us doing what we want. But in the world of makeup and drag, if you are smart and you focus on what you want to achieve, you can do a lot more than you could ever have imagined. I think Ellis has certainly lived by that, applying for jobs which stereotypically would not have been labelled as male roles and she has made a choice to live her drag career through the internet rather than the stage.
As my own path is so similar to Ellis’ I agree with her sentiment, consider what is right for you, you can choose to lead a career in drag. I personally know myself that I don’t have the skills or persona to captivate an audience on a stage, I feel that is a special quality only certain people possess and I am fairly confident that isn’t in me. However that doesn’t kill my drag existence, I have photographic and theatrical makeup experience and that gives me an understanding of how to formulate special effect products. I have years of professional negotiation skills from the insurance industry which helps to get a foot in the door of the world’s best manufacturers and agree very best prices for the finest ingredients available. I understand the struggle of budgeting a drag career through my drag experience as a DJ and event organiser. Like Ellis I am trying to make a difference for our community, making fantastic makeup accessible and not just accepting that big brands can take what they want from our purses, we can access it at better prices! If we continue to diversify in different careers, we all benefit as a community, so go for what you want and respect others drag career choices.
We have been over the moon to see Ellis has recently turned out incredible looks featuring our new range of theatrical and star glitters. We asked Ellis which one of our products she loves the most and as you probably guessed looking at her instagram, she chose our glitter! “The size and colour range Give Face Cosmetics hold makes it difficult for any other brands to compete, there are so many different effects, reflects and finishes which are so unique, there’s just so many I haven’t seen before!” And with that.. we can breathe a sigh of relief as she has been sent and seen A LOT of glitter! Ha.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Ellis for featuring so many of our products in her fabulous looks and sharing tricks (like adding oil to the bio glitters to make liquid metal – WOW)! I love the Atlantis stamp of approval and her expertise in social media has been a huge help to us to get better (especially Instagram – arrrggghhh!)
Check out more of Ellis’ work (Instagram @ellis_atlantis) but most importantly, join her on her internet journey and show her love!
Director: Johnny (aka drag queen Dirti Denise)
"I founded Give Face Cosmetics in 2016 working in my editorial photography business Outside the Box Photography, I researched and sourced incredible ingredients to create an amazing range of vegan and cruelty free products designed especially for artists who need amazing pigmentation and effects with no additives to reduce allergic reactions and irritation. I want to bring artists affordable, amazing quality."