Cited as one of the most influential makeup artists of her time, Faas worked with the world’s most pre-eminent designers, photographers and stylists before creating her own brand in 2009. The Ellis Faas makeup collection is based on the colours that exist in the human body, thus complementing all skin tones and is made from the highest quality ingredients. Volt Café finds out what inspires Faas.

Volt Café: How did you get started as a makeup artist?
Ellis Faas: First I wanted to be a photographer, but doing a photography course, more and more I became fascinated with the instant way that makeup could change someone’s face. I studied makeup in Paris, and started working immediately after that. I got my big break in fashion after Mario Testino chose me to work with him. That opened a lot of doors for me.

VC: What made you create your own line of products and how do you think your products and brand differs from other beauty brands in the current market?
EF: The starting point was that I wanted to create something compact, something that was ideal for women on the move – whether they are traveling, going to the office or otherwise moving about. Makeup bags traditionally are one big mess in which you can never find what you need, so I created something that organises it but still gives the 100% flexibility of which products someone wants to carry at a specific moment, and which products are left at home. Practically all the products come in similarly shaped pens that can be fitted into a holder that has room for a total of 8 products (including foundation and powder). For smaller trips, such as a visit to a restaurant or discotheque, we now also have clips with which you can connect as few or as many products as you like.

VC: What is the concept behind your brand and the colour range?
EF: The shades in my brand are inspired by the colours that are already present in the human body (which is why I call them Human Colours), and therefore you will never look ridiculous because the safest colour choice is one that doesn’t clash with your face like for instance a colour that is too primary or too cold can do. Of course a fuchsia is difficult to find in the human body, but then it’s a warm, non-synthetic fuchsia.

VC: What inspires your creativity as a makeup artist?
EF: In general, nothing. In particular, nature, art, movies, people.

VC: Which other makeup artists’ work do you admire and why?
EF: When I grew up, Serge Lutens was a big hero: the way he did makeup was much more meticulous than my style, but I loved his photos and also the fact that within a split second you could always tell it was his work.

VC: What do you think is missing from the beauty industry that can be frustrating?
EF: Passion and individuality. I think a lot has to do with the way that brands and press are always giving ‘tips and tricks’ – as if there is only one way of doing makeup. They create a mystery that isn’t there, and because of that mystery, people get afraid and don’t dare to follow their own taste and sense of style.

VC: Which product out of your collection is your favourite and why?
EF: Of course I love all my products! But there are several ‘heroes’: something I can’t live without is foundation and concealer – and I created them in pairs, so we have as many shades concealer as we have foundation, so they work together extremely well; then our mascara is fabulous – no bullshit story, simply great from subtle lashes to big fat lashes; I am really proud of our Creamy Eyes texture which is so wonderful – people just have to get over the fear of using liquid eyeshadow; and the Lips are very suitable of course as something to start discovering the line with.

VC: What is next for Ellis Faas and her brand?
EF: I will continue presenting new textures, new shades and solutions to making it easy to carry them around. I still have ideas for many years to come!

Ellis Faas

Words by Maria Asadi


Ellis Faas, Maria Asadi, Mario Testino, Serge Lutens,