November 8th, 2017
Poppy King is the undisputed Lipstick Queen – despite having never trained as a make-up artist. When we relaunched Warpaint four years ago we reached out to Poppy (you can read our original interview here), and since then we’ve seen Lipstick Queen play with colour in a way so many brands are afraid to. We wanted to check in and see what makes her queen of colours.
WP: You’ve done so much within a narrow range of products (mainly lipsticks) – where do you draw your inspiration and fresh ideas from when faced with the same starting point repeatedly?
PK: By being consistent! I always wear lipstick whether it is in or out of fashion and by showing such love and dedication to a product is a rare and precious thing that keeps me ahead of the game.
I created my first line of lipstick when I was 18 years old because I simply couldn’t find a lipstick I wanted to wear. It was the late ’80s and all the lipsticks I found seemed to have a slimy texture, whereas I wanted rich, matte pigments in strong colours, like the BIBA lipsticks my mother brought back from London in the ’70s.
WP: What has been your favourite product so far (if you have one/can pick)?
PK: Red Sinner – it’s my go to lipstick for whenever I feel I need to shore up my confidence or just feel fabulous!
WP: ‘Lip reading’ has something of a different meaning to you – can you elaborate? What has a lifetime of lipsticks taught you?
PK: It was quite recently when I discovered I had a skill in lip reading, in terms of how varying shapes of lips can indicate certain personality traits.
WP: What three products or brands are you loving at the moment?
PK: EVE LOM Eye Cream – I like how this feels nourishing without being heavy.
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara – I prefer non-waterproof and more natural-looking mascaras that elongate, separate and define the lashes without making them look too caked in product.
Kevyn Aucoin Precision Brow Pencil – I love how fine the pencil is on this.
WP: What advice do you have for aspiring artists or students?
PK: That success if about going the distance, it is not about any one event it is about how you deal with a series of events over a long period.
WP: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve observed in the beauty industry during your career – and what do you think will be the next big thing/challenge?
PK: The customer. I find the beauty customer to be a fascinating entity with so much more complexity and imagination than she is given credit for.
The biggest challenge is showing that all women can wear red lipstick, many are shy of it. It doesn’t have to be a bold red, it can be sheer but all women should own at least one red lipstick!