May’s Independent Spotlight is with Chantal, Deb and Phil of Geek Chic Cosmetics. This interview is different than any I’ve done before, since I interviewed all three of the geniuses behind GCC!
How long have you loved makeup?
Chantal: Gosh, ever since I was little. I remember being about 5 or six and finding this majestic tube of red lipstick that belonged to my mom. She tried to hide it a million different places and I would always find it and put it all over my face. One day she managed to find a hiding place that I couldn’t find so I started using oil pastel’s from my sister’s art kit as makeup and it was all over. My mom broke down and bought me a “Tinkerbell” brand compact and lipstick so I would stop getting into other people’s things. It’s been a love affair ever since.
Deb: I’ve always been fascinated by makeup, but never really started getting into wearing much till around the time we started Geek Chic. I’ve been plagued by skin problems since I was 12, so I’ve always stayed away from makeup to not worsen things. However, I’ve learned so much in the past year that I’ve started branching out and experimenting more. Plus, switching to mineral makeup from drugstore foundation has helped a lot since I have very sensitive skin.
How many hours a day do you work? Days a week? How do you balance work and your family life?
Chantal: It really depends on how many orders we have outstanding. Usually an hour or two a day answering emails Mon-Wed, Thu-Fri I spend 3-6 hours printing and prepping, Sat, Deb and Phil are avail so we spend around 10 hours on Saturday filling, sealing, mixing, and packing. We Ship Mondays so we have it down to a science now. For me, it’s a little less than Deb these days because I am still recovering from my back surgery. Truth be told the answer would be different from each person involved.
Deb: Well, there really isn’t a day I’m NOT working. I’m always responding to/resolving customer emails, thinking up new projects to work on, launching new sets/colors, working on advertising, and generally expanding our business. I spend my weekends putting together orders. I also go to school full-time. It’s pretty much gotten to the point where I don’t have near enough time to spend with the people I want to spend it with. I look forward to the day that we sell enough to where we can hire an employee, haha!
Phil: 40 hours a week at my non-GCC job and probably an additional 15 hours at GCC per week on helping fill orders and tweak the website.
Can you tell me about the rest of your staff?
Chantal: Deborah Margarella is my partner in crime. We are co-owners of GCC. She has been with me since we opened up shop and is my right hand woman.
Phil Grier is my partner in life. When he’s not working his 9-5 and being the world’s most kick ass fiancée he is our PR guy, Web guy, Lippie guy (Phil does all the lippies cause he’s better at it than me or deb XD) and Shipping guy. He wears many fine hats.
Deb: Well, there’s me, Chantel, and her boyfriend Phil. Phil doesn’t get as much recognition as he should, but he does a lot of the work! He does all the work for the website, helps make product, and has even created a couple colors. He usually takes care of physically shipping the product as well.
What are your favorite colors to wear?
Chantal: Pinks, but I find myself in blues in purples a lot. Just not on purpose.
Deb: I looove wearing green and purple, personally.
What are your favorite lip colors?
Chantal: I’ve cut back on how much I wear lipstick and gloss because Phil won’t kiss me with stuff on my lips. Thank god I found lipstain. *HUGS lipstain* I love it so much. I like bright pinks and reds because it compliments my very pale skin. I’ve always dreamed of achieving that amazing red glitter lip look from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Deb: Red! And various shades of.
Do you have a favorite beauty trend?
Chantal: I think those Japanese nails are uber cute, however unpractical. I also love that pastels are in vogue right now. I love LOVE pastels!
Do you have a trademark look or trademark colors?
Chantal: My trademark is being known for having the brightest eye makeup. When I worked a 9-5 people would stop me in the office to see what I had done that day. It made me feel popular LOL. My trademark color is hot pink.
Deb: I wear a headband pretty much everyday… I also love skirts.
Do you have a favorite seasonal trend?
Chantal: CORAL! All the pretty CORALS! And all the new colored mascaras.
Where do you look for inspiration when you’re in the mood to create something new?
Chantal: Well it depends. Sometimes I decide I want to make a color, then I go, “What does this remind me of?”. And sometimes it’s, “Hey I like ‘x’, I’mma make that color!” and sometimes it’s because fans request things like, Make a WoW set! So then we do.
Deb: Basically, the things we obsess over become our sets. For example, I’m a huge fan of Bioware games, so making the Mass Effect set was extremely fun for me. BSG is my favorite Sci-fi show of all time, thus came ‘So Say We All’. Different shows and games have fairly unique color themes that are fun to re-create.
Why did you decide to start making eye shadows? Why the geek theme?
Chantal: I had discovered etsy and that people MAKE makeup about 2 years before we started GCC. I was fascinated by the idea did heaps of research and one day, I was like, I have no job, I can’t find a job, WHY CAN’T THIS BE MY JOB? So I asked Deb and ran it by Phil and made it MY JOB. The geek theme just came to us organically, we both loved makeup and we both loved all things geeky and it seemed like the perfect idea.
Deb: Chantel brought the idea up to me and I loved it. She’s been wanting to create her own makeup company for awhile, and I loved the idea of combining geek themes with makeup to make makeup more accessible to the average nerdy girl who normally wouldn’t wear much. It’s a huge generalization, but this is more often the case than not. I’m a prime example!
Phil: I think it was a lot of “going with what you know”. I didn’t know a thing about cosmetics before getting involved with Deb and Chantel, but I knew that they were everywhere and generally cookie cutter and boring, stamped with numbers bigger than their names. What wrong with something having a funny name or a graphic?
How did you come up with your lipsticks?
Chantal: A couple months of banging our heads against the wall trying to get it right. We started with a premixed base that had everything we wanted in it an then we added things we wanted to enrich it. It took days of tweaking and then test, tweaking some more, then testing it again, and finally we got what we wanted. And Phil has never been more grateful to not have to wear lipstick again.
What are your top 5 favorite colors you’ve created?
Chantal: Oh easy: Solid Snake, Stay Indoors, Vector, Where are the cheese puffs?, and Mana Potion.
Deb: THAT’S HARD. But in no particular order, my favorite GC colors are: Solid Snake, Viking King, What’s Under the Helmet, Twilight Princess, and Very Fine Hat
Can you tell us about any new collections you’re planning?
Chantal: I’ll give you 2 hints.
#1: The collection name is “Go Boldly”
#2: This isn’t Azeroth.
Deb: Chantel is working on a Star Trek collection. I know I want to do some more Bioware single player colors, or perhaps a Dragon Age set. We’ve had requests for Final Fantasy colors. I’ve also been seriously toying with the idea of doing a set for Rift. Also, Game of Thrones is a new obsession of mine, I would love to do a color for that. But seriously, there’s so many ideas rolling around, it’s tough to settle down and pick one! Someday we might finally do lip balms…
Have you ever dyed your hair crazy colors?
Chantal: It’s neon pink right now
Deb: Eek! My natural color is dark brown with some red highlight, but one day I randomly decided to go purple. Long story short, it turned out awful (some sort of milky blue ), so I decided to go fire engine red (Little Mermaid!). It looked awesome! For about two days. It washed out pretty fast, so I just redyed it brown. 😛 I’m letting my natural color grow out at the moment.
Phil: My HS grad picture… when I was in SoCal. So blonde. So terrible.
What’s your skincare routine?
Chantal: Morning: Yes to Cucumber wipe, then Trader Joes Tea Tree toning pads, then Na-PCA spray.
Night: Yes to Blueberries wipe, then organic witch hazel, then Na-PCA spray
Deb: I use the ‘Yes to Cucumber’ facial wipes, followed by the Desert Essence Tea Tree pads to get any remaining makeup (plus it feels awesome), then I moisturize with Na-PCA. I can’t really use any lotions with oil in them, it makes my skin freak out.
What are your favorite authors or books to read?
Chantal: My all time favorite author is Roger Zalazny, but I also enjoy George RR Martin and Charlaine Harris.
Deb: I love the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, but I think those are the only books I’m currently reading right now. I plan on reading ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ at some point, plus ‘The Sword of Truth’ series by Terry Goodkind.
Do you have any favorite tv shows?
Chantal: Many. True Blood, Game of Thrones, WWE (shut up), DWTS, Dinner/Restaurant Impossible, Good Eats, and House Hunters (International too) just to name a few!
Deb: Oh dear. I watch way too much TV. Some of my favorites: BSG, GLEE!, Trueblood, Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy, Archer, Dexter, Californication, and Cougar Town (PENNNY CAAN!).
Phil: NCIS, Firefly, Babylon 5, Star Trek: TNG, Game of Thrones, True Blood
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Trek, theres no discussion needed for me.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Chantal: STAR TREK. period.
Deb: Oh god. Uhm. Original Star Wars movies were great, prequels sucked. I loved Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, but didn’t care for Voyager beyond Seven of Nine, and didn’t like a lot of the movies.
What’s on your iPod or Pandora station?
Chantal: Right now it’s Pendulum’s new album Immersion and Linkin Park’s A Thousand Suns.
Deb: I listen to a wide variety of music, but the most common thing you’ll probably find is a whole lot of Glee. Hi, my name is Deb and I’m addicted to Glee. I also am a huge fan of the Foo Fighters, Pendulum, and Ratatat.
Phil: Mog is my service of choice, and its pretty eclectic: Sigur Ros, Sublime, Little People, Pendulum, Shpongle, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Bassnectar
Do you have any piercings or tattoos?
Chantal: I have both. 3 piercings in each ear and a large Zombie Hello Kitty calf-piece.
Deb: Nope, not besides the one hole in my ear. Soon though, I’m going to get a bass clef on my right ring finger. Kinda symbolizes my marriage to music! I want to get a Triforce somewhere at some point as well.
Phil: I’m not into body modification at all, all I have to think about is how it will look in 20 years.
What’s your favorite way to accessorize?
Chantal: Sometimes I’ll wear cute earrings to match my outfit, but not very often.
Phil: I generally like to put on pants. Well, I don’t LIKE to put on pants but I usually don’t go out without them.
Do you have any pets?
Chantal: With a $400 pet deposit, no.
Deb: Yes! I have four cats: Zelda, Bluey, Abby, and Panya. They are my babies. I’m very much a cat person. Perhaps… crazy cat lady?
What colors do you like to decorate with?
Chantal: Our living room is black and white, and our bedroom is black and purple! I like to do black and another color for decoration.
What color is your bedroom?
Chantal: Black and Purple!
What color is your office?
Chantal: White, we haven’t gotten as far as decorating the office yet.
Phil: I don’t really look away from my computer monitor while I’m in there, and at the moment I’m not entirely sure.
What do you do to relax?
Chantal: Watch TV, play on my Wii, or write articles for the blog I am building.
Deb: I like to sing, plus I like to play video games. It’s a good way to unwind. But the best way to relax for me is just listen to music and drift off.
Phil: Play Rift or whatever my current obsession is, make music.
How do you pamper yourself?
Chantal: Bubble baths, painting my toes, and eating cupcakes or froyo.
Deb: Huh… I dunno. I guess I don’t really do it often. I like to bake a lot, so I guess I like to bake myself a cake or something sweet.
Do you have a favorite chocolate?
Chantal: Lindt dark chocolate truffles or their stracciatella truffles. Also chocolate covered gummy bears. Or See’s scotchmallows. I’ll stop now XD
Deb: I love white chocolate. I also have an addiction to hot chocolate, and white hot chocolate is awesome.
Can you tell me something about yourself that would surprise your fans?
Chantal: I can sing and I love all things gummy.
Deb: Uhm… I’m studying to become an EMT!
Phil: I exist! Hmm, not really. I’m so “behind the scenes” that no one really has any preconceptions about what I do.
Thanks so much for letting me interview the three of you!