Alright, alright... that might be a bit of a lie. What she wants is for you to wear her signature Ellis Red lipstick, which is the colour of (you guessed it) blood. Her reasoning is that everyone bleeds and everyone's blood looks the same so it must be a universally flattering colour. The verdict? She's bang on. And her anatomical understanding of the human body (and the colours that lie therein) has prompted the eponymous collection of Human Colours for the Dutch makeup artist. How has it taken so long for someone to realize that within each of us already exists a full-spectrum, flattering colour palette?
The succinct collection of lipstick, blush, eyeshadow, liner, mascara, foundation and concealer (from lightest light to darkest dark) is inspired by us, and because of that, the colours seem to be capable of simply melting into the complexion. By this I mean, the makeup never looks like it's wearing you. You're the master of your look with Ellis Faas. For example, you can do a subtle smoky eye with the taupe E105 in the morning and wear it all day without looking like a dirty stop-out. In fact, you look downright sophisticated. People will wonder what you've done... why you look so good. Right after work, you can swipe on the Ellis Red (not too blue, not too orange) and head to the pub without looking like a painted lady. The colours in the collection simply enhance you, sometimes a touch theatrically but never garishly.
Lipsticks and eyeshadows come in several textures (creamy, milky and glazed lips, creamy and milky eyes). The creamy eyeshadow doesn't budge or crease all day. The creamy lipstick leaves a nice colour stain even after the texture has worn off. A dot of blush on the apples of your cheeks gives you a very subtle blush and the concealers do an amazing job of covering with minimal product use (both under eye circles and blemishes).
The innovative products come encased in equally creative packaging -- silver bullets, of sorts. Only the powder comes in a compact (still silver, of course). The rest come packaged in wands with tapered caps. The applicator varies between sponge tip and brush (the mascara, of course, has a wand). Other than the foundation, each is as thick as a sharpie pen (the slim ones). Let them roam free in your handbag or load the holder (like the barrel of a gun. Think of it as your (cosmetic) ammo), with slots for 7 wands, the compact snapping neatly on top. It might seem a bit bulky (like those old tubes used at drive-thru banks in the States), but if you seriously consider all the miscellaneous makeup bits floating around your bag, it ends up seeming positively space saving.
Now to play devil's advocate... The brand launched at Bergdorf Goodman mid-January and I can see the fact that the products are loaded vertically into opaque wands might be a problem for Americans who need to feel like they're getting a load of product (quite a bit of packaging in beauty is an optical illusion to make you feel like you're getting more of a product than you are). To give you an idea of how much you get: YSL Touche Brilliance is .08oz, Ellis Faas lipsticks are .09oz and blushes are .08oz (not all that much different from other high end brands). Nars cream eyeshadow duos are .12oz and Ellis Faas is .08oz. I do wonder how or if the wands can be refilled as well, because it would be wonderful to keep the same wands.
Also, be sure to wash the brushes and sponges regularly. You might own plenty of other things like YSL Touch Eclat and you don't wash those. Start. Now. When I washed my blush sponge, the blush did unfortunately start coming out of it all wonky after, so perhaps be gentle with the washing process.
However, it's hard to play devil's advocate, because I find the brand so refreshing. The colours are beautiful, the packaging is award worthy and I admire Ellis's brand of kick-ass cool (if you meet her, you'll understand). In a smock and leather belt of pockets that wouldn't be out of place on Poncho Villa, she's real. She's your new secret weapon.
Ellis Faas is available:
- Online at ellisfaas.com
- At Mecca Cosmetica in Australia
- At Bergdorf Goodman in New York
- At Liberty in London