August 9th, 2018
Recently signed Global Makeup Artist and Creative Director for Max Factor, Wendy Rowe’s career has gone from strength to strength. She’s worked with everyone from Vogue to Jimmy Choo, and found the time to write a book – Eat Beautiful – and we want to know her secrets, so we caught up with her to chat.
WP: What’s your earliest makeup memory?
WR: I never really got into makeup until I was a teenager, but i really wanted to be a punk. By the time i got into it, I was a bit late for the movement, so i just used to do it on myself at home and wear it in my bedroom – I think that’s probably my earliest memory with makeup.
WP: What’s your background, and where did you train?
WR: I originally started out as a Graphic Designer, but I decided I wanted to do makeup instead and so I went and trained in makeup ar Complexions Makeup School in London. Soon after my training, I moved to Paris and I worked assisting established makeup artists which was a big part of my training process in the early days of my career.
WP: You’ve worked extensively across editorial and advertising – who have been your makeup influences over the years?
WR: I’ve been influenced by a lot of people over the years – some people from music like Prince, David Bowie, and Madonna; I get inspiration from films – old and new; and also from people I see in the streets. I’m lucky that I get to work with some of my modern day beauty icons, and one of my biggest influences is Sienna Miller; she loves makeup and will let me do lots of different, creative ideas – she’s always up for trying things, and she suits lots of different looks.
WP: What’s your favourite era or subculture?
WR: I love the 70s era – everything about the 70s is inspiring to me: the looks were so wearable and translate well across the decades for today too.
WP: The Max Factor brand is the oldest name in the business – how will you blend heritage and innovation?
WR: Obviously Max Factor was one of the first Hollywood makeup artists himself, so the brand is steeped in history and connection with makeup artistry dating back to the times of Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. Today, the formulas and innovations available for makeup have moved on so much, and also the way that women want to look has changed over the years, so I plan to combine my artistry skills to stay true to the heritage of the brand, but re-invent it for the modern woman of today, with formulas that are newer and better, and tips to help women easily achieve the looks they want for the new era.
WP: Education for makeup artists and consumers alike is key to engagement with a brand – what are you most looking forward to in your new role?
WR: I’m most excited to develop amazing, affordable makeup for the everyday woman – that’s really exciting for me as a makeup artist, but also as someone who wears makeup ad is short on time. I think the key is in the formulas, so I hope to make things that just work and are really easy for everyone to use and get right, regardless of their skill level or the way they want to look.
WP: What’s the one product you couldn’t live without – and the one you’d love to develop?
WR: The Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara is great a it is, and one I love already in the range; it has really stood the test of time. I am working to develop new innovations as we speak, but they take time to formulate and get right, so stay tuned because there will be some new, exciting launches ahead that I am working to develop. In particular, I have just started working on an amazing new foundation formula which I’m testing and perfecting, and so far, I’m super happy with it – but it’ll be a while until that launches, it’s still in the early stages.