In the beauty world, it can feel like a new celebrity makeup brand is launched every single day. So when something special comes along to disrupt the entire community landscape, we're here for it. London-based makeup artist and drag illusionist Alexis Stone has just announced the first product of his own breakout brand, SENSORIUM, that goes beyond anything we've ever seen.
It's no surprise that Stone would develop products transcending traditional beauty brand rollouts. In the past few years, his content has evolved beyond creating celebrity illusion makeup looks by transforming into a platform that comments on social validation, modern beauty standards, sexual consent and more. Last year, he even created a CGI animation, named EssentialXO, that serves as a reflection of society's obsession with influencers and pop culture.
Stone describes SENSORIUM Beauty as "a beauty brand that enables you to achieve your own idea of beauty — not to conform, but to transform." The first product launch is SENSORIUM's Brow Engineer Collection, which serves as a multi-purpose high pigment paint that can "lighten, enhance or remove" your brows (say goodbye to the days of glue and powder for all my drag girlies). Priced at $16.95 for each individual Brow Engineer (or $39.95 for the collection), it also serves as a lid primer, crease cutter and brow carver.
PAPER caught up with Alexis Stone to talk about SENSORIUM Beauty and the first product launch, available today online.
How did SENSORIUM come to life?
Throughout the 10 years of using, testing and experimenting with makeup, I noticed there were fundamental elements and products missing within the makeup industry that I needed to achieve my own idea of beauty. I believe I have challenged current beauty standards as of the last few years with my own aesthetics and works, so creating an encompassing platform and brand enables me to continue to do what not only I do best, but also provide these key perfected products to other artists to further their visions. I simply want to create tools that enable others to express themselves. Sensorium: the parts of the brain or mind concerned with the reception and interpretation of the sensory stimuli — broadly, the entire sensory apparatus.
The Brow Engineer is such a multi-purpose product. What are all the ways we can use it?
For years we have seen brow-focused products, from pomades, pencils, staines, fibers, but nothing on the market that transforms the brow by lightening when it comes to cosmetic makeup. Not only does the brow engineer come in three lightening shades — platinum, bleached and ash — designed to mimic the effect of "bleached brows," but the multi-purpose formula allows artists to use as they wish. From lightening the brow hairs, carving the brow, cutting the crease to concealing this setting smudge proof, highly pigmented paint allows artists to temporarily change their appearance in what is perceived to be the structure of the face.
What was the process of creating the formula for Brow Engineer?
I knew going into formulation what I was looking for. This being said, it is still an incredibly lengthy process. Making sure I created a formula that was not only pigmented enough to cover the darkest, thickest brows like mine, but to also give the finest of hairs a realistic bleached brow effect was tricky — but achieved within 12 months. Making sure the product set enabling wearers to feel secure was also a key goal. Any MUA will tell you about having to use concealer, foundations, face paints to try and bleach a brow on a stubborn model who refuses to bleach them with hair products, so that is exactly what this product solves and more.
"I have lived my own personal life to this ethos: one life, as many faces as possible."
"Transform, don't conform" is SENSORIUM's motto. What does that mean to you?
For years, I have lived my own personal life to this ethos: one life, as many faces as possible. For those who are uninspired by current beauty standards, for those who have felt that they have been conforming and want to rebel.
You kicked off a PR list search on your Instagram to find up-and-coming creatives. Why do you think it's important to leverage rising talent rather than use existing beauty stars to help promote your brand?
It's important for me to support up-and-coming talent because I remember not so long ago being where many feel they are at. Knowing there are people who support what I do is heartwarming — those who get excited by what I do and what's next to come. The easiest decision is to help them as they have helped me.
What other products will we be seeing in 2021?
2021 has scheduled product releases throughout — products that have been signed off, products that are still being perfected. As anyone in the makeup industry will tell you, nothing ever goes according to plan, but what I can only hope for is by the end of 2021 you'll be able to achieve a full face using SENSORIUM products.
For more information, visit sensoriumbeauty.com.
Photos courtesy of SENSORIUM Beauty
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