It is quite known that Anne Curtis is a huge beauty junkie, with “way too many lipsticks than I could ever use,” she says with a laugh.
So having her own makeup line is a logical move. She knows exactly how she wants it, and is giving her heart and soul into the making of blk Cosmetics.
“I really, really wanted to do makeup,” she tells Lifestyle. “Coming into the project I knew what shades I wanted, what things I wanted included in the line. It was just a matter of sourcing. That’s when [business partners] Jacqe (Yuengtian Gutierrez), Steph (Abellada) and Roxanne (Farillas) came in. I don’t have time to travel, to go to suppliers, and they did it for me. We’d meet in the house, do the swatching together, make sure the pigmentation was perfect.”
The 32-year-old multimedia sweetheart is extra bubbly this Wednesday night as she faces beauty editors and bloggers to launch the brand she has been working on for months. She has wanted to create a makeup line for a long time now, even way before reality TV star Kylie Jenner launched her own.
When Curtis puts her stamp on a product she created, you’d think it would carry her name. It’s a name, after all, that “turns everything she touches into gold,” as one of her business partners says.
“I don’t know,” the actress-TV host and now creative director and cofounder of blk Cosmetics, tells Lifestyle with a giggle. “I just find it… It’s not my thing.”
Why not blk Cosmetics by Anne Curtis, a la Kylie Jenner?
“I find it… cringey!” she continues, still laughing. “I respect Kylie. It works for her, obviously… Well, Rihanna has Fenty Beauty. They know it’s by Rihanna [without her name on the label]. They know that blk is by me, but it doesn’t need my name on it.” (Pop superstar Rihanna’s last name is Fenty.)
blk is a contraction of black, which stands for timeless, elegant and uncomplicated, says the actress.
It was Farillas, owner of Plains & Prints, of which Curtis is a brand ambassador, who introduced the actress to Gutierrez, cofounder and CEO of the popular homegrown makeup brand Happy Skin.
“I thought I’d have to do all the work,” Gutierrez, blk Cosmetics CEO, says, “but she turned out to be very hands-on, even with her insanely busy schedule… She’s super ‘OC.’ She tried and road-tested everything. May comment sya sa lahat.”
“It wouldn’t be as stressful if I didn’t have another job,” says the actress. “I text Jacqe at 2 a.m. Sometimes I can’t reply, so at 5 a.m. she’ll get all my replies. The only struggle for me is time.”
Her full involvement was, however, non-negotiable. “I wanted something that, if I say it’s my line, it’s really my line. This is what I use, I know the pigmentation, it’s something I wear.”
Adds Gutierrez, “This is all about Anne’s beauty philosophy: Beauty made simple. She brought in so much to the table. She wanted something like, in ‘Showtime,’ she has only 3-5 minutes to do her makeup so kailangan mabilis.”
“That’s the beauty of blk,” adds Curtis. “What we prepared are the basic necessities that you need to get by for an everyday look. If you check out our website (www.blkcosmetics.com.ph), you’ll see that we’ve swatched on every skin tone (yellow, pink, morena) so you can see how all the shades look on every skin. These are universal and basic colors, nothing too wild.”
blk Cosmetics’ first collection is quite streamlined, with two shades of matte powder foundation, two palettes of contour, blush and highlighter, two shades each of liquid eyeliners and brow pencils, and three finishes of lip colors: matte (five shades), liquid matte (five shades), and velvet (four shades).
No product is priced over P499. blk is available at select Watsons shops, Zalora and the blk website.
“A lot of brands in the price segment of blk either have good packaging or are a good product,” Gutierrez notes. “There’s no brand that combines good quality product in good packaging. You’ve seen the products—how pigmented they are, how heavy the containers are… It really offers the best of the best at a price that won’t make you break the bank. Anne’s fans and followers will be so happy. In social media, feedback [before the launch] was, sana affordable. Anne made it that way. The goal is to share her love of makeup.”
Curtis also proudly adds that blk is Peta-certified cruelty-free, or not tested on animals. The makeup is made in Taiwan.
Asked if she has tested her makeup look for her upcoming wedding to fiancé Erwan Heussaff, her reply is a resounding yes. “Something special is coming from blk for that. Surprise!”
Unlike some celebrity-fronted projects, Curtis’ hand in blk feels authentic, says Gutierrez. “When you use blk products, you know na blood, sweat and tears ni Anne ’yun.”
“I think it comes with maturity, this idea of starting a business,” says Curtis. “When I look at everything, it was all worth it. I’m so happy and genuinely excited!”