Beauty Guru & Yves Saint Laurent:
Two Industry Giants Unite
By Alexander Patino
Yves Saint Laurent is looking to switch gears with the launch of the fashion house’s
radiant, carnal and powerful Rouge Pur Couture line that debuted this past June
(2010). And, the appointment of Lloyd Simmonds, the brand’s new International
Makeup Artist, it’s clear that YSL is taking steps to stay on the forefront of beauty.
A native of British Columbia, Simmonds was the creative mind behind the makeup for
the Benetton group’s international campaigns for both fashion and beauty products for
over 13 years. After his great Italian strides, Simmonds moved to Paris where he
turned out over 70 covers for French Elle and other international editions of the
With his artistic origins deeply rooted in the theater, Simmonds’ work has always been
notably dramatic – hyperbolic in its deployment of glamour. It’s no wonder that Yves
Saint Laurent, one of the fashion world’s leading voices, came around and asked him
to lead the way to what beauty will mean tomorrow. Fashion Q&A met up with the top
makeup expert at YSL’s New York offices and got the scoop on how the experience has
been so far, his favorite fall look and what he plans to bring to a house of beauty that
seems to have everything covered.
FASHION Q&A: You were just appointed Yves Saint Laurent’s International Makeup Artist this past June. How has the experience been these past
LLOYD SIMMONDS: You know it’s been a humbling experience. It’s something I’ve always dreamt about, but I didn’t realize that there were so many
people behind this brand. It’s an important brand to an entire nation – to France! It’s definitely a lot of responsibility resting on my shoulders, but I couldn’
t be happier about that. Luckily for me everything that YSL stands for is what I’ve always loved about style – an exaggerated elegance.
FQA: Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga once said that each of his collections carries a horror movie leitmotif. Would you say that there is an
element that has always been present in your work in these past 20 years as a makeup artist?
SIMMONDS: There is. As much as possible, I do like to have an exaggerated glamour. It’s not necessarily dark, but it’s definitely exaggerated. I like to be
theatrical. If I’m working on any given magazine that theatricality can be interpreted any number of ways. Here at Yves Saint Laurent I’ll be working with
the label’s inherently extreme luxury and its extreme Parisian eroticism. I’m keeping that – there’s no way around the tenets of the line. Yves Saint
Laurent has a mystical heritage and I’m looking forward to using that as a jumping off point.
FQA: Prior to your exciting appointment at YSL you were styling Benetton’s ads for over thirteen years. In other words, you’ve taken a complete
polar opposite turn and you definitely seem better suited at the French fashion house. Did you feel a certain kind of restraint during your tenure at
Benetton? Do you see this as a freeing opportunity?
SIMMONDS: What I learned at Benetton was the multiplicity of both women and men. It was a huge spectrum, which I think is also very Yves Saint
Laurent. He was the first to use colored girls on the runway – and that was way, way back. And that’s what I think I can bring to YSL, the fact that I love a
multicolored world. I like a world that is not just one thing.
FQA: We’re well into our autumn season now. What would you say are the major beauty
trends that women should keep a close eye on?
SIMMONDS: I do love a strong lip. We do have our new Rouge Pur Couture that falls right into
that. A dark, rich lip for fall, I’ve always liked that. But I don’t think there should be any dictates. I
think all women should be free to follow their muse. The wilder, the crazier, the better.
FQA: Yves Saint Laurent had a double debut this year. Your appointment to the brand as
International Makeup Artist coincided with the launch of YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture lipstick
line. But word is that you will be spearheading your own cosmetics designs, including nail
polishes for the brand, which are supposed to be debuting in Fall 2011. Can you give us a hint
about what’s in store?
SIMMONDS: I’ve already worked on six different shades lipsticks that will be my Spring/Summer
versions of this season’s Rouge Pur Couture. But my first real collection that I’ve had 100%
input on will be available in stores in August and the ads for that should be out around the same
time – around July or August. You’ll see that when it debuts later next year, it will be an ultimate,
super statement about the richness of the Yves Saint Laurent universe.
THE BUZZ ON BEAUTY
With the holiday season approaching you may be thinking of updating your look. And, Yves Saint
Laurent has all the bases covered to help you turn heads with a new line of limited edition products
that puts to rest the age of nudes and gives release to a blast of light and color. Start prepping that
beauty artillery bag with the lipstick of heroines, Rouge Pur Couture and take a look at what the
ultraglam French house has in store this November in the metallic beauty of Holiday Look 2010.
Palette Metallic Colorama is a face highlighter with a pearly finish that comes helps to blend away
any of your complexion’s imperfections with a pink champagne shimmer. Inspired by YSL’s limited
edition Metallic Colorama collection of accessories, this dazzling finishing powder comes in a chic
golden leatherette case. ($65)
A virtual magic wand in a pen, the Touche D’Or dusts the complexion with an illuminating powder.
Helping to accentuate the face’s contours and brighten the cheekbones, this incandescent sheen
adds a fantastic glow to the eyes and the lips when mixed with another fun color. Make sure to dab
the arches of the eyebrows and the corners of the eyes with your Touche D’Or brush to give you face
an elegant brightness. ($40)
Achieve the ultimate vintage look with La Laque, a trilogy of gold shades in Yves Saint Laurent’s
metallic spin on the holiday season. Another metallic colorama gem, these haute nail polishes come
in three new amazing tones: No. 139 – Aged Gold, No. 140 – Rosy Copper and No. 141 – Brilliant
Silver. Apply to the very tips of the fingernail to add a little playfulness to your holiday party look. ($20)