July 9th, 2019
Always at the forefront of the makeup industry, Kryolan is synonymous with stunning campaigns and trend imagery. Melting Glaze is 2019’s campaign and at its heart is Paul Merchant, Global Head of Makeup. We catch with him to chat trends, inspirations and what the future holds.
You’ve been producing trend imagery for Kryolan for more than 13 years now. What’s the biggest changes that you’ve seen over that time?
There have been so many changes especially over the last ten years. Social media has provided a tool that has made information about trends so much more accessible to the mass audience. I would say the biggest change is actually how aware consumers are. We’ve seen a huge rise in more experimental make-ups for the everyday consumer, products like glitters and metallics that used to be deemed as ‘pro only’ have become mainstream choices. The return of colour has also been refreshing to see. Bright, bold eyeshadows are now worn again as a daily choice reinventing the trends of the late ‘70s and ‘80s. The biggest craze, I would say, over the last ten years has been the most recent, which we’re beginning to see an end of now – the Kim K contour! Blusher is making a comeback.
How involved are you personally in the development of new products?
Product development at Kryolan is born through many different sources. Sometimes it maybe an idea from marketing, led by trends. Sometimes a request from a make-up artist searching for something that doesn’t yet exist, our directors will often ask for something new following information gathered from our partners or sometimes an idea of my own, either identifying something missing in our range, or an idea of improving on an existing product. Depending on what the project is will determine my level of involvement, that can range from working with our chemists to decide on specific ingredients or functions the product must provide, to selecting colour ranges, testing samples all the way through to discussing packaging and names. However, the whole process is always worked on as team involving many departments.
What feedback do you get from customers and how does this shape product decisions?
We are passionate about listening to the professional artists and reacting to their feedback. This information is gathered globally from our key account managers through to our MDs and CEO. Everyone is constantly sharing and discussing what they have learned through travels, their own experience or conversations with our international family or makeup artists directly. This information is fundamental when it comes to product development, if we don’t listen, we wouldn’t be able to provide the solutions, which is always one of our most important goals.
Tell us about the inspiration behind the new campaign imagery.
Melting Glaze is essentially about reconnection. In a world dominated by digital media, we are returning to the simplicities of nature and the earth, to find our inner peace and energy, this is both in fashion and lifestyle. Colours and textures play an essential role in expressing this through our Spring Summer campaign. Within the story you should experience a sense of natural calm and in contrast a dynamic energy as the story and looks progress.
Which shots are you most proud of?
The Trendlook campaigns are always a series, they all connect in some way so it’s difficult to select one. If you twist my arm, I would have to say, ‘Marine Glossiness’. This encompasses the essence of the trend for me. It’s powerful yet peaceful and calming.
Which gave you the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is always trying to convey the directed communications through the looks rather than the looks themselves. It’s a challenge to create something that not only connects and makes sense to the team and I, but a representation of the trends that translates effectively to our audience without completely isolating the consumers as well. This part can be challenging.
In which ways do you see the cosmetics industry changing over the next five years?
Earlier this year I attended the In-Cosmetics show in Paris, along with our Head Chemist and Head of Marketing. The show was incredibly interesting for us. Essentially, it’s a showcase of raw materials and active ingredients that are emerging. We’re all raising our own individual awareness of our environment, ethically sourced materials and sustainability. I think this will continue to develop and increase in importance to consumers moving forward. We will definitely see a rise in products that contain certain new forms of ingredients but we can’t give away all our secrets. Developments in technology also have so much more impact on our industry than it did 20 years ago, so it will be exciting to see where the next advances will take us.
Does eco packaging and recycling of product cartons feature in Kryolan’s plans?
Kryolan always strives to work in the most sustainable ways possible and will always continue to improve our efforts to ease the burden on the environment. Currently we have stopped cellophane wrapping for the HD and Private Care ranges. We implemented a wastewater treatment plant back in 1995 which has been expanded and modernised several times already, and this ensures our wastewater is stripped of oils and grease before it reaches sewage works. We installed a solar system at our production site of over 900 photo-voltaic modules, which currently covers 17% of our electrical power and our recent expansion of our production site is run entirely on LED lights which lowered the energy for lighting in the facility by 93%. We have also introduced battery-operated cars in Head Office to reduce emissions in our operations. With regards to packaging, we are looking into tubes made of recycled material as well as sugar cane which have a lower carbon footprint than normal plastic tubes. We will continue in our efforts to operate and produce products in the greenest way possible.
You travel a huge amount with your job. What are the five products that accompany you on every trip?
This is one of the most difficult questions for someone who is obsessed with products! I would have to say my Dermacolor Camouflage Creme Palette, I can do pretty much anything with that. Shimmering Event Foundation, again is a multi-functional product that I use in nearly every make-up. And, as you’re only giving me five, I have to carefully select my options! Make-up Blend is a dream invention! Glamour Glow Palette and one of the Variety Eye Shadow Palettes, depending on the brief would depend on my selection. That was tough, and I already want to change my mind! Ha!