You are a product pioneer and a self-confessed lab-obsessed devotee. Tell us about the process of developing your youth-empowering brand?
Having spent my entire career working with women and addressing their most pressing beauty needs on film sets, red carpets and in retail beauty stores all around the world I’ve been able to edit the overwhelming amount of “noise” that exists. I was able todiscard the short-lived trends and narrow down the essential, critical high performing, highly beneficial age-defying ingredient winners that actually change the cellular structure of our skin and keep us looking young and healthy. It’s been an amazing journey of female comradery and empowerment and provides me with an endless and profound sense of gratitude to all of the women that I have helped and have helped me over the years. I am so happy to share this with them.
Artisan L’uxe marries high-performance age-defying ingredients with an organic experience. Can you tell us how you came up with this concept?
I am a huge believer in a total customer experience. In my thirty years of industry knowledge, I believe that most women, whether they admit it publicly or not, want results from their skin care. That’s what they pay for. That’s what they expect. That’s what they deserve. Having said that, safe synthetic ingredients provide a much greater result than anything natural. That’s just a scientific fact. Natural is wonderful and I absolutely incorporate these elements into all of my formulas so rounding out each one with a lovely, sensorial, healing 100% organic infusion is a must. These are the ones I am using and focused on at the moment - 100% organic argan oil, organic rose flower water, barbary figue, and honeysuckle flower extract.
What is your proprietary delivery system?
Our proprietary hydro-mineral suspension delivery system quickly achieves rapid, long lasting results. When used twice daily, you begin to see dramatic results that last and offer additional benefits with continued use. Our rich, silky formulas set themselves apart from moisturizers that sit on the skin’s surface by being lightweight and fast absorbing. Whether you have extremely dry skin or are past your prime collagen-producing years, our bio-active collagen peptide and synergistic hydro-mineral suspension technology combination, instantly heals the skin and improves skin quality even further over a period of two weeks.
How do you go about sourcing such pure botanicals from all around the world?
I literally have trekked through the Atlas Mountains with botanist guides in Morocco, the Outback of Australia, sent teams deep into the Amazon to source unique, skin healing ingredients from local farms and villages and travelled across the globe to environmentally protected, UNESCO world heritage sites to research with local tribes, the profound benefits of ancient healing remedies, relied on by indigenous cultures for thousands of years.
Can you explain what bio-beauty is?
Bio-Beauty unites science with organic super-ingredients to deliver outstanding results. Artisan L’uxe is a confluence of anti-aging science and sustainable, global organics. The Artisan L’uxe beauty and skincare line combines breakthrough anti-aging technology with globally sourced, organic ingredients to visibly revitalize and replenish skin on a cellular level. High potency formulas include active skin-replenishing agents like Matrixyl 3000, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides, which work below the skin’s surface to form new cellular pathways for maximum collagen and elastin production. These skin-transforming ingredients are blended with organic infusions like cold pressed argan oil, tropical moringa oil, jasmine and honeysuckle extract, and rose water to nourish and protect skin while retaining peak moisture. Artisan L’uxe blends modern anti-aging science with earth’s natural elixirs to deliver Bio-Beauty — beauty that simultaneously transforms and nurtures.
"It’s been an amazing journey of female comradery and empowerment and provides me with an endless and profound sense of gratitude to all of the women that I have helped and have helped me over the years."
Share with us those go-to essential key ingredients and what issues they tackle?
Bio active collagen peptides which stimulate the body’s own natural collagen metabolism, Matrixyl 3000 which is an anti-aging peptide that deeply penetrates below the skin’s surface to stimulate your cell’s natural collagen production, hyaluronic acid because the body's natural supply of hyaluronic acid begins to deplete due to sun exposure and other skin-damaging factors after the age of twenty, ceramides which boost hydration and lock in moisture helping prevent dryness and premature aging and, finally, citric acid and vitamin c complexes as they brighten and reverse visible signs of environmental damage.
You're known for your eye pencils they truly have a cult following. What's the key to creating an effortless smokey eye?
I think the reason this Velvet Eye Pencil is so popular is because it’s so incredibly durable. The formula is soft and sophisticated, and I built in silk powders and Nylon 12 to help it really glide over the eyelid seamlessly. There are so many ways to use this pencil to create a multitude of different looks, in five universally flattering shades that suit all women’s eye tones. A smokey eye doesn’t always mean dramatic eye makeup – you can also apply a light swipe of the pencil to your top and bottom lash lines, and blend outward using the smudge tip to simply intensify and accentuate your natural eye color. Or you can go full on red carpet by applying with a little more pressure and layering the one color or creating more dimension by using two shades – for example applying the golden bronze (Shameless) all over the lid and under lash area and then going in deeper with a darker tone like Seduction – our chocolate brown pencil. You would really build that up along the top and bottom lash line and then add a ton of mascara – that’s a very dramatic approach. It’s the same with the violet shade – Entice, apply in the same area as the bronze and then go in deeper with Tempt – the plum brown. Flip the pencil to blend with our smudge-tip applicator and continue to layer up to achieve a full-on smoldering, seductive, and rich smokey eye. Then get ready for your eyes to really pop! Once applied, the age-defying ingredients that I incorporated into the formula, ceramides and hyaluronic acid, regenerate and firm the skin. Then I sprinkled organic infusions of sunflower seed oil and chamomile extract to hydrate and nourish the delicate eye area.
Do you believe well applied makeup changes your mindset?
Absolutely, no question about it.
Do you see your brand expanding with different products?
Yes! I wanted to launch with the staples and then pulse out new items when I was satisfied with the formulation and could provide innovation and outstanding results. Thankfully, my business today is digital-first and you can go at your own pace. No need to fill a 6-foot-wide tester unit just because that is a retail store requirement. I prefer to edit carefully and be precise with what I am introducing to the market.
What's your morning ritual?
I start by splashing my face with very cold water, then I apply my Moisture Concentrate, this penetrates quite rapidly and ensures I fight off those annoying little fine lines and wrinkles. Then I go to my Dynamic Cell Recovery Serum which hydrates and primes my skin and gives me that beautiful glowing, glassy skin look. I take a little Eye Concentrate and apply it to my lids and around my undereye outward toward my temples – give that a moment to absorb and I put on the coffee. I love to go to my outdoor patio and meditate with my favorite Buddha that I brought back from Indonesia. It’s very peaceful in my garden and patio area and it really helps set me up for a peaceful entry into my workday, which is usually pretty hectic. In summer I love to go to the Hamptons farmer’s markets to pick up locally grown fruit, fresh produce, and yogurt.
"My career has been a whirlwind but a very exciting one."
What inspired your brand’s name Artisan L'uxe?
I wanted to offer a carefully edited collection of essential skin care and makeup with an artisan vision but with a luxury twist. Utilizing wildly sourced organics, powerful anti-aging ingredients and highly sensorial textures. We take a sustainable approach and support local farmers and communities that carefully hand-harvest key organic ingredients at their peak. I created Artisan L’uxe for women worldwide, all ethnicities, skin tones, types and ages.
What role does social media play in your brand?
It’s a digital business so social media plays a large roll. The influencers have been very supportive in such a short time and its fun watching these girls build their own little (and not so little) empires through this medium.
What has been your favorite part about building this business?
Growing international so quickly with amazing partners worldwide. In retail I got to about four hundred stores in five countries. Digitally I have been able to distribute to thirty countries within eighteen months. That’s been incredible. My products are suited to all women – we have a large following in the United States, UK and Germany. France and Italy, to my surprise are really catching on. The Middle East is a no brainer for the eye pencils and humid climactic conditions, as well as all of the skin brightening trends from Asia. Australia is coming along as well, we just launched there – it’s my homeland so of course we want to be widely distributed there as well. It’s been incredible. We are gearing up for Russia, Poland and the Netherlands – we just launched Singapore, Japan and China. It’s been a heck of a year despite the challenging circumstances. I feel very blessed.
What was your career journey before Artisan L'uxe?
Magazine covers and shoots featuring the world’s top supermodels, photographers and then on to Hollywood to image movie stars for film premieres and the red carpet, the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Cannes Film Festival. My eponymous line which I had for 10 years was Sue Devitt Beauty, distributed at Barneys, Sephora, Ulta, Macys, Bloomingdales, QVC, Harvey Nichols, Fenwicks, Myer Grace Bros, David Jones, Takashimaya, Seibu, Isetan Japan, Korea and Harvey Nichols Hong Kong. My career has been a whirlwind but a very exciting one.
What is in your beauté bag?
All of the Artisan L’uxe products, lots of lab samples of foundation, powder and concealer, Ouai organic shampoo and conditioner, jojoba hair oil to texturize, sometimes Bumble and bumble texture spray, Maybelline Million Lashes mascara and Frederic Fekkai Olive Oil Crème.
"I’d say I can take any man for a run and women love me because I make them look and feel beautiful. I love my female posse’ – the inspire me and bring me joy."
What are you most proud of about your brand?
The sublime quality and purity of the formulations, their outstanding results and speed to market in terms of innovation.
What have been key learning experiences being a D2C business?
Well, the upside is I have a direct connection with my customers old and new, I often talk to them directly. Sometimes I pick up the phone or they email me. From a business point of view, it’s been learning more about digital advertising and the speed to attain a global reach.
As a female founder have you faced distinct challenges or found support in the industry?
Good question, it has never crossed my mind. I’d say I can take any man for a run and women love me because I make them look and feel beautiful. I love my female posse’ – the inspire me and bring me joy.
Ok, aside from beauty, what are you passionate about?
Sports, I’m Australian after all, international travel, philanthropy, horses, tennis, cooking, entertaining, visits to the farmers market, the beach – Australia, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Hamptons. Sailing, boating, and anything relating to being on the water.
Giving back is key to your DNA, how does philanthropy weave into your life?
When you finally understand how much power and ability you have to help others, either on a global level with large acts of kindness and generosity or simply helping your neighbor unload groceries from their car in the rain, the give-back feeling is so immensely gratifying that there’s just no turning back. The more you give, the better you feel and hence the more you want to give, you end up receiving. Gratitude is the #1 thing that has helped me stay positive during this turbulent year. I am so grateful to my friends and my community, they stayed connected with me during lock down, they helped keep me sane and energized when the world seemed on some days like a really dismal place. I keep going back to gratitude – it’s is an instant mood booster, its free and can be accessed at any time – you just take a moment, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Exhale - and there you are.