When you just can’t commit, give faux a go.
Meet the bleached brow; a soft yet striking way of achieving a more dramatic everyday beauty look, and with Kat Von D Beauty, it’s never been so easy. Courtesy of the most colourful member of the Kat Von D Artistry Collective girl gang, Steffanie Strazzere, this bleached blonde brow is juxtaposed with a punky smokey eye (with some serious The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo vibes) but the Kat Von D way, of course. Part-fashion, part-punk and a whole lot of verve; it’s the coolest white out we’ve seen.
Head into the bleachers now.
brow talk with steffanie strazzere
Can you tell us about the brow look today…
We are going to be doing a faux bleached eyebrow and I’m going to be using our Bleached Super Brow, but first what I’m going to do is comb it into the brow. So I’ll actually encapsulate every individual hair and colour correct it so it actually looks like the hairs are bleached. Then I’m going to go in with a really tiny brush and add in a few false hairs. I’m going to use the Super Brow in Graphite as an eye shadow after and really smoke it out, then put gloss on it. When it dries to that 24-hour finish, it’s not going to move at all and we can put a gloss on it and it’ll go kind of grungy, but in a really beautiful editorial way that stays all day.
And can you do that on a dark brow too?
Absolutely, without any colour correcting.
What is your favourite brow look to do with these new products?
I love a green brow, but I don’t do it everyday. For me right now, I’ve been doing Brow Struck and Signature Brow together. I like the Brow Struck because it has that iridescence to it, but a lot of people also don’t know is that it has a primer built into it, so it actually adheres to your skin and it’s the only waterproof powder on the market. So I love that for filling in any holes in my brow, but then I love the Signature Brow because I love that spool on the end and it really combs up all the hairs, but I really love to be able to draw those really tiny, micro-blade-like extra hairs in with that tight little tip, it really allows you to get micro-needle-type faux hairs.
What is your approach to beauty and what has shaped this?
My approach to beauty depends on who and what look I’m trying to go for, because for a long time I worked in retail makeup – for a little over 12 years before this. I think that for that, you really need to be able to style stuff and be able to speak to all different types of clients. For me, when I do get to do my own kind of makeup, I like to do something hollow or haunting, and lots of gloss and texture play, but not everybody wants that.
What inspires you?
There are two main things that inspire me. One is just mother nature in general, but specifically insects and amphibians have been huge for me because I got really burnt out with the same beauty stuff on Instagram and to live up to those standards. Everyday is really tough and it can leave you just feeling burnt out. So I went back to basics, to things that people might think are boring or you don’t pay attention to because life is so busy. By looking at insects, their patterns, their textures, and even sometimes the ability of the colours totally blew my mind and inspire me quite a bit. Now when we travel for the International Makeup Expo, I actually do a whole class on nature-inspired texture hacks.
Also, Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, is actually one of my biggest idols and biggest inspirations because something that’s not really known about him is that when he would create a character he would think of a backstory before he even created the character. I think sometimes, particularly for events and stuff for Kat Von D Beauty, I put together an outfit as like, what cartoon character am I going to be today? And that allows me to step out of my own personal comfort zone and experience different things.
What does Kat Von D Beauty stand for to you?
For me, I think what Kat Von D Beauty stands for almost like a home because I’ve always kind of felt like an outsider, and I never felt like there was somewhere I could connect and be myself but also embrace the creativity and the love of makeup artistry. I though I had found that at other brands but found that they were so sales driven or they wanted you to look a specific way, and here Kat understands that Kat Von D is all about makeup artistry and really being yourself and expressing yourself. It feels like a really safe, comfortable space. For me, there is never a right or wrong look, there’s never something we think, no we shouldn’t be doing that. Every look can be embraced and I think it’s a really beautiful, safe space to be in.
Do you like the idea that there’s no rules?
For some people if you’re looking for a certain retail, beauty makeup, then there are certain rules that people like to follow. But when you get into makeup artistry and expressing yourself, if there’s something that makes you feel beautiful then I don’t think it matters what the hell people say as long as you feel comfortable and your happy, then who cares they don’t have to look at you.
The Kat Von D aesthetic is so artistic based, conceptual, a bit Avant Garde and dramatic, what do you see as the relationship between makeup and art?
For me, I had no makeup background when I started in makeup. I went to art school and I had no clue what I was going to do with my future and my parents were saying I need to get a job. I was actually doing watercolour portraits and I had all these faces painted. I walked into a retail store and saw face charts, and I was like oh my gosh, and that’s where it really connected for me that makeup was art, because these were like paintings with makeup on paper to show you what to do on your face. So I was like, I could do makeup. I can do it on myself but I never thought of being a makeup artist. I ended up applying to the store the next week and got hired immediately, and from there I just worked my way up.
How can an everyday woman incorporate a little bit of drama, texture or colour into their beauty routine?
To start, maybe pick one feature. For me specifically, I don’t always wear a ton of makeup, so I think that sometimes it’s easy to pick one particular feature and then really emphasising from there. So maybe start with an unusual coloured lip, or if you think you’ve mastered a bold lip, maybe take some lip-gloss and put it on your eyelids. Then from there, maybe try a funky coloured eyebrow or make your brow slightly fluffy. It’s almost like little, tiny steps to get you into a more comfortable space.
If I wasn’t working one day, I would do a really clean skin, not even wearing any foundation, maybe just a little bit of powder. Comb my brows, a little bit of mascara, and then I would pop on that green lip. Because it’s so bold, it doesn’t need a lot of other things going on to emphasis how beautiful it is. Sometimes people don’t even notice you’re wearing a green lip, they just see a beautifully done lip, and then your beautiful skin. There have been times I’m wearing a blue lip and people say, your skin looks amazing today. It allows everything else on your face to shine at the same time, instead of all these crazy features competing for the spotlight.
What are your tips to achieving glossy skin?
My favourite thing to do is do your foundation and everything how you normally would, then my secret key to success is the Kat Von D Beauty Hydrating Primer, and that’s all I use. I put a pump or two on the back of my hand after everything is done, and get a damp beauty blender and roll it in it, then wherever you want that dewiness, I do on top of my cheekbones, a little above my brow, the bridge of my nose, and maybe the tiniest bit on my cupids bow. Just stamp it and allow it to dry down for a second, but it leaves that almost sweaty sheen behind, so in all those specific places you’ll have that dewy look but you don’t have to chase it, you don’t have to touch it because it dries down and it stays that way all day. If you ever are wearing a shirt that shows your collarbones or wearing a skirt, I’ll even take it and put it on your shinbones and collarbones because it gives that dewiness without having to put on a highlighter and then you have glitter on everything.
Do you have a really interesting or unique beauty tip that you have developed?
I use the Kat Von D Beauty Hydrating Primer as my mixing medium. I will actually chop up an eye shadow and I’ll do one pump of primer and mix it together, and then I paint it onto my lips. So on my Instagram, there’s a lot of times where you see a matte lip and the lip has frost in the centre but it’s also really blended. It hydrates your lip and then once it evaporates, it leaves a super glossy, super metallic sheen that lasts all day. It’s such a game changer. If you like that glossiness then you can take a tiny bit with your finger and press it on to the centre of your eyes and it will stay dewy looking. I just love texture and I love skin to look like skin.
Do you ever get frustrated by any makeup myths or things about beauty that you want to debunk?
What frustrates me is when people are like the makeup police. I get a lot of comments saying I have overdrawn lips, and it’s like yeah they are. People take makeup so personally when it’s not on themselves and that’s just one thing. There are a lot of trolls.
Instagram has obviously been instrumental in your career and in beauty. Do you see a detrimental side to it and how do you deal with that?
When I first started and first became apart of the Kat Von D Artistry Collective there were a lot of people that came out of the woodwork and were a little bit negative. At first I took it very personally, it really weighed on me. But at the same time, I call them keyboard warriors, I just thought kill them with kindness because I’m really happy and lucky in this position, so I’ll go onto their profile and look at their photos and write a compliment back to them. Most of the time they end up deleting their comments. We have such supportive followers that sometimes they will go crazy on them.
PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHY: E. MICHAEL WOLF
TALENT: TATIANA ROSE
MAKEUP: TARA BUENROSTRO FOR KAT VON D BEAUTY
HAIR: PETER BECKETT
CONTENT DIRECTION: JUSTINE O’DONNELL