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A 101 GUIDE TO ISAMAYA

Rina Teslica
Writer and expert22 days ago
View Rina Teslica's profile
isamaya ffrench wearing large sculptural earrings looking at the camera and placing her left hand below her chin. photo is a headshot in black and white

From starting her career painting children’s faces at parties to consulting and creating make up lines for Byredo, Tom Ford and Burberry, Isamaya Ffrench is the world renowned make up artist that puts avant in avant-garde. Offering innovative products that break beauty boundaries, ISAMAYA allows you to transform your face and bring otherworldly creations to life. 

To celebrate the brand’s launch here at Cult Beauty, we sat down with Isamaya herself to talk about everything from how the beauty landscape is changing and what inspired her to create her brand to her must-have products and more. Brushes, bullets and palettes at the ready... 

WHO IS ISAMAYA FFRENCH 

Famed for working on some of the world’s most famous faces – think: Bella Hadid, Rihanna, Kendal Jenner and Madonna, Isamaya French is a British MUA famed for her contemporary, boundary-breaking looks. Blending conceptual art, storytelling and sculptural techniques, she continuously challenges the beauty norms and celebrates imperfections, diversity and the conventional standards of attractiveness. This led her to grace the pages of fashion magazines from Vogue to Dazed and i-D – with one of her most famous front covers being Rihanna sporting skinny 90’s brows and luscious, glossy burgundy lips. 

WHAT INSPIRED ISAMAYA FFRENCH TO CREATE ISAMAYA  

A trailblazer in the beauty space for her unconventional approach to make up, Isamaya tells us why she finally decided to create her own collection. “I’ve worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade for some of the most unique, luxury brands and had such amazing opportunities to develop make up lines and do creative direction for them. When lockdown happened, I had all this time to think about what my own brand would look like…. Even though these partnerships were extremely formative, I wanted to create a line without the restrictions that come with established brands and really push the creative narrative, so founding my own brand became a non-negotiable” she says. Having worked on so many unique faces and using a range of brands, formulas and techniques Isamaya explains that “working with different products gave me a great understanding of what people expect from make up, how the market works and what makes a good product.” Et voila, ISAMAYA was born. 

Isamaya Beauty Idnsutrial collection featuring a rubberlash mascara, skinlacq circular bottle, a liplacq and a black make up bag shot against a grey background

WHAT MAKES ISAMAYA STAND OUT 

Describing her brand as “make up that allows you to become closer to who you are on the inside”, Isamaya wanted her brand to “reflect love for beautiful objects and images, which translate into luxury bespoke packaging that you want to keep” she recalls. "Presenting visions with very strong, elevated visuals that feel more like a story than an advert to sell mascara”, the founder explains how she is also “very hands on with product development spending several days every month in the lab to get everything right to create exciting, innovative, high-quality products.”  

 

But that's not all... Each ISAMAYA product fuses skin care technology with powerful colour payoff in detailed, sculptural packaging. Not only is each formula a dream to use, blend and buff, but it feels unique and special to hold. Always on the hunt to change the beauty narrative, Isamaya explained that “it’s not very difficult to do something that gets attention, because the beauty industry has been playing by the same rules for decades and there’s never been the same level of experimentation in beauty as there has been in the field of fashion. There are so many tools at your disposal in the cosmetics world now, and the combinations are endless as are images and inspiration online. If you care to experiment to find out what really works for you and feels like you, it can do anything.”  

three models one dark skinned, one olive and one fair. the olive skinned model is in the middle and is applying a rose shimmery lipstick while the fair skinned model applies red.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR ISAMAYA 

So, what more can we expect from ISAMAYA? “I have a core line coming out next year… it’s very exciting and new in terms of packaging, technology and formula…  but before that, lots of fun collabs with people I truly respect within the industry, which is very exciting...” Watch this space! 

Now that we’ve learnt the who, what and why about the brand, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. By that we mean getting up close and personal with some of ISAMAYA’S bestsellers.  

ISAMAYA BESTSELLERS 

Inspired by the grunge aesthetic, the Industrial Colour Pigments features a 14-pan palette from buttery mattes to shimmery gloss finishes. Allowing you to effortlessly mix and match ‘till your heart’s content, these shape shifting shades quickly take your make up artistry to bigger and bolder heights. 

Delivering a lit-from-within glow that’s universal whatever your skin tone, is SKINLACQ. Powered by three different weights of hyaluronic acid, this versatile serum like formula is the multi-talented hero ideal for creating the trending glass skin effect. Apply to the high points of the face or use all over under make up for mega watts of dew that's totally shimmer free. 

Lathering lips in a shimmery wet glaze, the iconic Liplacq 2.0 is supercharged by the brand’s proprietary Triple Moisture Restore Tech. Boasting a gloss-finish formula, it features hyaluronic acid microspheres to plump and hydrate your pout. Not only that, but thanks to its botanical blend of capsicum frutescens fruit extract, soyabean oil and ginger oil, it protects against environmental aggressors while layering the lips in a metallic finish — that doesn’t feel too thick or sticky. 

  

And there you have it, now you know everything about ISAMAYA, it’s time to bend some beauty norms of your own!

 

SHOP ALL ISAMAYA >>>  
Rina Teslica
Writer and expert
View Rina Teslica's profile
Rina is Cult Beauty’s Junior SEO Copywriter and has always had a passion for beauty and skin care (rich moisturisers are her obsession). What started as a love for The Body Shop and their famed Born Lippy lip balms (in ‘Watermelon’ of course!), she is now more interested in finding products with proven effectiveness instead of broken promises. A loud and proud VIEVE fan, Rina owns nearly every item of the range and recommends the brand to anyone who will listen... When she’s not intently reading ingredient lists, you can find her either immersed in multiple true crime podcasts or co-hosting her own parenting one, with an *extra* hot cappuccino in hand.
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