Ladies, I had the honor and pleasure to talk with AJ Crimson, celebrity makeup artist extraordinaire, who hails from Detroit, MI. He has worked on the beautiful faces of ladies such as Christina Milian, Missy Elliot, Mya and Keisha Cole, Fergie, the set of 8 Mile and most recently co founder of a luxury lip gloss line that you all may know, Kissable Cotoure! Read our chat about Kissable Couture, being a makeup artist and more!
Yummy411: How did you connect with Keisha Whitaker for Kissable Couture?
AJ: Keisha is my muse. I would mix and come up with concoctions of my own. It's the perfect marriage between fashion and beauty.
Yummy411: What's the story behind the names of the collections Everything Love Inspires and Bare Your Soul?
AJ: Valentine's Day was coming up and ideas were going around of love and romance to be engulfed in passion; I wanted everything love inspires. That was the perfect name for the collection- Everything Love Inspires. Bare Your Soul is Summer nudes! Keisha wanted to take a spiritual perspective. This was all about getting back to who you are.
Yummy411: As creative director of Kissable Couture, do you see the line expanding into a full makeup line?
AJ: Yes! So much to be done, but lip gloss is first. It's an indulgence, but not as expensive as your Balenciaga bag.
Yummy411: What advice would you give to budding makeup artists?
AJ: I once heard a quote that I'll always remember, "Nothing is new, only what's forgotten." Be the best you. Go on instinct and ask a lot of questions. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. my experience on the 8 Mile was all about the learning and not necessarily about pay. Build connections and guard those. It's better than any check.
Yummy411: What do you wish you knew then that you know now about the beauty industry or makeup?
AJ: Things happen for a reason, take it as it comes, and be a step ahead of yourself.
Yummy411: Is the beauty business all that you dreamed of?
AJ: My life is everything that I dreamed of! I knew that whatever I did I would be successful. I'm right where I need to be at this time. I'm hanging out with celebrities who are my good friends, attending parties and functions, networking. Sometimes, I have to take a step back, look at my life and I'm like "wow!"
Yummy411: What are some essentials in your makeup bag?
AJ: Kissable Couture gloss in Honesty. The perfect nude for everyone! Christian Dior DiorShow mascara, Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes and Fresh Sugar lip balm as a primer.
Yummy411: Your signature style has been described as creating luxe skin and clean looks. How do you achieve that?
AJ: Using a good moisturizer to prep the skin. Knowing a product, don't be afraid to experiment. I may use five different foundations at one time. For dry skin, you have to use an emollient foundation; for oily skin, an oil free foundation. I'm a big fan of liquids and creams and contouring with them, not powder.
Yummy411: What's your favorite era or period in makeup?
AJ: I don't really have one, but if I had to pick one, it would be 60's and 70's. Those times were bright and fun; one of the most memorable.
Yummy411: What's one of your favorite makeup tricks?
AJ: You can use a latex sponge and put it behind your lashes to guard your lids from mascara.
Yummy411: Is airbrush makeup the new science behind beautiful makeup application or just another trend?
AJ: Airbrush has been around for a long time. You can achieve flawless and seamless makeup. I've found that what you can achieve with airbrush can be done by hand, the blending and color gradation. Airbrush makeup is something that's here to stay, especially for things like stencil work.
Yummy411: What's the difference between celebrity makeup and the average woman's glamour? How do we achieve the celebrity glamour?
AJ: The time put into doing it! The average woman may spend 10 minutes on their makeup and I'll have a client in my chair for 30 minutes. Go with your best feature, knowing your assets. If it's cheeks, lips, eyes.. build it! If you want your skin to glow, use bronzer. To contour your face, use shades 1-2 deeper than your own. Use a highlight on your nose, inner corners to give that sparkle.
Yummy411: What's your favorite makeup brush?
AJ: The #219 pencil brush from MAC, the Nars kabuki brush. As far as hair type, I like squirrel brushes.
Yummy411: What's in heavy rotation on your Ipod?
AJ: A little of everything. Neyo's Closer, The Pussy Cat Dolls' When I Grow Up and Michelle Williams.
Please check out Kissable Couture for more information and ordering info.
For more info on AJ Crimson, check out his site.
Add AJ as your friend on Myspace.
Want more? Check out this palacinka interview with AJ! He gives up a lot of goods in this one!
It was such a pleasure to speak with AJ on his life, experiences in the makeup industry and just to hear from him, a successful makeup artist! Kudos to AJ and Keisha on Kissable Couture!!
I was able to try out the first Kissable Couture line, First Kiss and I must say I like! I've been bred as a MAC baby, using ultra thick gloss full of pigment, but checking these out, I can appreciate a lighter gloss. Light to medium pigment, elegant and chic packaging, this gloss is couture. Light enough on its own to be an everyday gloss for the lips or glam up some lipstick at night. Have you seen the video at the Kissable Couture site? Yes, I can feel like Keisha Whitaker with my own KC gloss! Chris and David are my favorite kisses ;) I'm definitely looking forward to trying out Honesty... could it be my perfect nude?
*I'll try to update with swatches when I get another digi cam =(