This month’s Independent Spotlight is with none other than the creators of the unique cosmetic company, Fyrinnae. These fantastic men create some very amazing vegan products.
How long have you loved makeup?
Being a very visual person, styles of clothing, hair, and general appearance always interested me, but attention to detail would draw my focus. I began to view makeup as the art form that it is, and though the
New Romantic and punk styles were fading in the mid-80s, they left a lasting impression. Costume makeup was the very beginning, as most young boys couldn’t quite get away with fuchsia lips and mascara.
What led you to create your own brand?
To make a long and somewhat boring story short, friends of mine that were in local bands could not get their over-the-top makeup to stay well though the shows, especially summer events. Having dabbled in loose pigment paint media before as a non-makeup artist, I knew there were cosmetic versions. It was nothing serious at first, and once I had acquired some supplies, was able to produce decent black powder makeup that was usable as a shadow, liner, and lipcolor if desired. Magical! Ok, so it was straight black oxide with
modified cornstarch and talc blended in. However, it did work well, staying on under hot lights and through sweat better than a lot of makeup. So I kept playing with the raw materials when time allowed, learning a lot
through trial and error from then on. All of this was put away not too long after so I could focus on my real life, having of course no idea at the time how important makeup would become to me.
Quite a few years ago, when I met the man who is now my partner, he knew nothing of all this, though I was aware of his interest in makeup, since he was a freelance artist at the time. Little did I know that he would have rather played with cosmetic chemicals in a lab. It all worked out well.
People have asked if I plan to brand Fyrinnae out in the future or how far we’d like to expand it. Once I did get a very handsome genuine offer to buy all recipes to the products and rights to the names, but I’m just not comfortable turning years of hard work and creativity into a larger company’s instant cash-flow. They’d change everything, mass-produce, and the name and products our clientelle have relied on would dissapear. To be perfectly honest, I enjoy this, and I like the company to stay right where it’s at. Slow growth is fine, but the larger you get, the less attention to detail each product or line gets. Owning a small labor-intensive business is very hard work and it takes every hour of the day, but to me it’s worth it.
I just never saw a reason to add animal-based products to cosmetics or skincare. I know plenty of great products contain silk, pearl, beeswax and so forth, but at the same time, it can be difficult to find a wide array of vegan products without paying a small fortune. Sometimes it stings a little to see a great vibrant pink raw colorant, knowing it is carmine based.
About how many hours a day do you work? How many days a week?
Both my partner and I work at least twelve hours each day of the week, often sixteen to eighteen. When he posts that he was up until 3am and will be back at work at 7am, he’s not joking. In the years that I’ve been doing this, there has never been a day completely “off”. Even if it’s just answering email and working in the office.
What is your favorite product to create?
My favorite would be the Arcane Magic eye shadows. The richness and depth of the shimmer makes it almost a fun process. Creating any shade for the first time is almost always enjoyable, either figuring out the right
balance of colorants, or just staring at it. Though of course subsequent batches lose a little of the “omg-shiny!” appeal. The Lustres are often nice to mix because of course the mica and other shimmers gleam differently in a liquid than in dry form.
What is your least favorite product to create?
Face products like bronzer and powders. They aren’t difficult, justboring. The necessary, non-fun part of a makeup routine. My partner wouldsay his is the Pixie Epoxy. It takes several hours to make each time because of the exact order some ingredients have to be mixed with each other, then allowed to sit, then blended, and again, etc.
(The Pixie Epoxy is a Holy Grail product for me!)
What are your favorite colors?
In general, just black, followed by earthtones like forest green and cocoa. As far as our own shades, Dragonskin, Immortality, and Dark Fantasy are among my all-time favorites.
What is your favorite lip color?
Depending on the skintone of the wearer, nude, slightly glossy. Leaning peach on fair skin, or a little ruddy or beige on deeper skintones.
Do you have a signature look?
It seems to be a simple combination of dark cotton shirts, jeans, black boots, and far more sparkle-dust than most men should be covered in.
Do you have a signature scent?
Cedar essential oil or the occasional woodsmoke fragrance. Nothing of the commercial variety.
Where do you look for inspiration when you’re in the mood to create something new?
Anywhere the mood strikes me. Sometimes the colors just ‘happen’ as you go along toying with blends, and it looks right. One thing I’m known to focus on is car paint. Lowriders specifically: those guys will have a car or truck done in the most brilliant lime green or candy apple metalflake. Auto paint can come in more finishes and effects than cosmetics of course, but a lot can be closely matched. But really, anything can be an inspiration to an artist. A song, the scenery on a movie, animals. The latter was partial inspiration for shades in our Endangered collection. Some like Javan Rhino don’t match the animal at all, but Polar Bears do turn a pale golden-beige in the summer, Orangutans are a ruddy orange, and of course Meerkats are sparkly gold and purple.
Can you tell us about any upcoming collections?
In early to mid-February, we’re releasing several new Arcane eye shadow shades that don’t quite fit with the others. A few “glow” on application, just by light-reflection. One of my employees and I applied a modification method to dry ingredients that we had been previously using for isododecane and borosilicate mixtures. Some mica-based colorants didn’t work at all with this, but the larger particle sizes performed well, and we worked out somewhat of a rainbow of gleaming hues. There was probably a much easier way of doing it, but I had never gotten certain colorants to reflect off each other like this in a variety of shades before.
(I cannot WAIT to see these!)
What colors are in your home?
Strangely, a lot of browns, black dark red, green, and animal prints. I’ve never really cared that much about home decor, so it’s pretty basic. Pale walls, boring carpet with Chinese accents all over.
What colors are in your workspace?
Is stainless steel a color?
What do you do to relax?
Sleeping when possible. A good day is one that includes over four hours of sleep. Second to that, reading when I have the time.
What are your favorite books or authors to read?
The authors are quite a few, but most of the time I prefer science fiction and some fantasy.
Thank you guys!