What Makeup Legend Laura Geller Learned About Beauty (Plus Deets on Her 20th Anniv Collection)

BY Dermstore Editors · June 12, 2017

Laura Geller 20th Anniversary Collection 2

Not a lot of makeup artists with a successful line of makeup products can say that they’ve been in the business for 20 years. Laura Geller is one of the few. From working with the biggest names in Broadway and Hollywood to pioneering the concept of using a primer and contouring (makeup techniques that are still very much in use today), Laura has indeed achieved “legend” status. Still, even with two decades of amazing career, we see no signs of Laura or her brand slowing down. Proof? Laura’s Diamond Dust Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator – Diamond Dust from the brand’s 20th Anniversary Collection sold out just hours after it was launched! (Luckily, it’s now back in stock and available on Dermstore.)

Just what does it take for a beauty brand to stay alive—and, might we say, remain successful—for this long? How has the world of beauty evolved over the last 20 years?  Here to answer our burning beauty questions—and share some history lessons along the way—is the makeup legend herself, Laura Geller!

Take us back 20 years ago when you first started the Laura Geller line, what was the situation back then? Why did you decide to start your own makeup line?

I worked my way up doing makeup for Broadway and film. I was doing a lot of the newer shows, and a producer discovered me. He wanted me to be the makeup artist for all of his projects, and because of that I had enough clientele to open my own store. I opened a boutique on the Upper East Side in 1993. I was selling my own product and doing makeup for all occasions.

I wanted to create makeup that could work for everyone, which is why I started my own beauty brand. I created products that translate professional application techniques into easy-to-follow tips and tricks. When I’m working with my product development team, I always think about ease of use and multitasking.

How were women using makeup back then—and how was that different from how we’re doing it now?

When it comes to makeup techniques, old is new again! I was one of the first to introduce primer and contouring into the industry over 20 years ago. And now, both of these are staples in women’s makeup routines.

Makeup has simply evolved from where it started. Highlighter now comes in a variety of colors, and shade extensions are introducing iridescent shine. Contouring is now worn more subtle and is referred to as “strobing.” So much has changed and continues to every day!

You’ve seen beauty and makeup trends come and go over the last 20 years, which trend had the most staying power and why do you think so?

Whether you want to call it highlighting, strobing or contouring, the art of light and dark placement is at the root of my brand. It’s a trend that has evolved over the years but is here to stay!

Which of your products had the most success over the last 20 years?

We’re a leader in “baked” beauty products. I launched a baked bronzer 20 years ago and now our portfolio has grown to all face categories, from foundations to blushes to eyeshadows. Made by artisans, they start as a cream that is baked for 24 hours on a terracotta tile and then hand-finished in Italy—resulting in a smooth, long-wearing formula. One of the baked products we’re most known for until today is our Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey. Everyone can’t get enough of that gilded glow!

Laura Geller Baked Powder

The beauty industry has always been competitive. How did you manage to stay in the industry for this long? What’s your “secret sauce”?

I understand what real women want in their beauty routine and know how to educate them. I’ve been able to break it down in a way that women can easily understand. For me, makeup must always be truly fun and uncomplicated!

What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned about women and/or beauty over the last 20 years? And how does that translate to your current collection?

The beauty industry is constantly evolving and changing and women are always on the lookout for the next hot beauty item. They’ll always have their go-to staples but now more than ever innovation is everywhere.

My product development team and I are always looking into new trends and innovations that are truly on the cusp and different than anything else out there. In our new 20th Anniversary collection we took our cult classic Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator and made this holographic on-trend shade called Diamond Dust. It’s been all the rage since it launched!

What products are you most excited about in your anniversary celebration collection?

We brought some of our cult classics back from the vault for this 20th Anniversary Collection including our Color Luster Lip Gloss in City Lights. I’m also super excited about our new Baked Gelato Illuminator in Diamond Dust. All of the packaging is art-deco inspired and it looks amazing!

Laura Geller 20th Anniversary Collection

How do you envision makeup 10 or 20 years from now? What trends are you seeing?

With the explosion of social media, beauty is changing and evolving at a rapid rate. Products are launched on social media and brands are looking to social for consumer feedback to use in their product development process. You see this more and more every day and it’s very exciting! Beauty influencers are visualizing the trends to the masses even ahead of its time and breaking down tips and tricks. It’s truly remarkable and I can’t wait to see where beauty goes from here.

READERS—Are you a fan of Laura Geller’s makeup line? Which of her products is your favorite? Share it with us in the comment section below.

Dermstore Editors

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