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Isamaya Ffrench is the capital’s coolest make-up artist, having painted the faces of Rihanna, Rosalia, Travis Scott and Cher. If you don’t know the name, you’ll definitely recognise her work – think Burberry’s whimsical fairycore elf ears, and Rihanna’s hyper-on-trend, razor thin brows on the cover of British Vogue.
With side hustles including being Byredo’s global beauty director and co-creating cosmetic lines for Tom Ford and YSL, there’s literally no one better suited to launching a cult beauty brand.
Out this month, the 32-year-old’s debut brand, ISAMAYA will include five products: an Industrial 14-pan Eyeshadow Palette, Rubberlash Latex Lift Mascara, Liplacq Maximising Lip Serum, Browlacq Brow Laminator, and a Skinlacq Triple Hyaluronic Glow Serum,
“There are people out there who don’t just want ‘glamorous and pretty’, but something more edgy and exciting,” she explained of the brand’s identity to Vogue. “I want my brand to talk to those people. Something honest and uninhibited—that’s how I see it.”
We’d strongly recommend marking the end of June in your diary because all of the products are limited edition, and once they’re gone – they’re gone. And if the below is anything to go by, you definitely won’t want to miss out.
1. It’s the first beauty line that will act like a fashion brand
Having worked in fashion for multiple years, the creative director couldn’t make sense of having a beauty line that will forever stay on shelves. Rather than launch with a permanent range of products, ISAMAYA will be made up of limited edition collections, each centring around a different concept and visual aesthetic.
“I decided I wanted to take the fashion model and do four or five collections a year and have limited editions. It’s better for the environment like that and keeps it feeling collectible. It allows me to just have so much fun with my make-up development and creativity,” she explains in an interview with Harpar’s Bazaar.
2. BDSM culture heavily influenced the first collection
While brands such as Nars and Charlotte Tilbury have flirted with the notion of sex, engaging with the darker underbelly of modern culture is something that beauty has typically shied away from in comparison to the fashion industry. "We see this in fashion all the time; references of BDSM culture – leather and latex, but you never see that in beauty, and so for me that was super inspiring,” she told Vogue. “As a concept, it’s all about self-possession, empowerment and domination, and it just felt like all of the right sentiments for my first collection.”
Titled “Industrial”, the theme was announced with a gritty, latex- heavy campaign shot by Steven Klein.
3. The packaging doubles up as all sorts of cool stuff
Reusability is at the core of Ffrench’s line. The lids of the two serums and mascara are pierced with metal rings that can be repurposed as chrome earrings, while the next collection will have palettes that turn into jewellery boxes. For those enthralled by these fun accessories, they will also be available to purchase outside the makeup line – alongside limited edition t-shirts and jewelrey.
4. ISAMAYA uses top-notch ingredients and innovative technology
Having been in the game for over a decade, Ffrench knows all the tips and tricks (and then some) of the trade. Accordingly, her debut brand is teeming with must-have beauty ingredients and clever technology.
Expect to find a plumping lip veil, which is infused with ginger root and caffeine to improve microcirculation, a brow lacquer which doubles as a styling and brow lamination product, and a mascara with mesh fibre technology that Ffrench explains "works a bit like elastic to pull them back so you have amazing, curly, deep black lashes".
5. Everybody’s invited to join the movement
The line is a genderless approach to beauty that aims to “further stretch the limitations,” while creating an inclusive and creatively free environment for everyone to join. Everything was designed with all genders in mind, with Ffrench telling Vogue that the mulberry gloss (which clouds the lips in shape-enhancing shadows) particularly “looks great on guys and girls”.