Several years ago, one of my very first celebrity makeup artist interviews was with A.J. Crimson. Not too long after that interview, he launched the luxury cosmetics line Kissable Couture, along with his business partner Keisha Whitaker. Now, I pleased to have the opportunity to share my second exclusive interview A.J. and find out what celebrity projects he's been working on, some of his new favorite beauty products to use, and what the future holds for Kissable Couture!
A.J. Crimson, is a celebrity makeup Artist working with many lovely ladies in the music industry such as LeToya Luckett (1st picture, below), Amerie ( 2nd picture w/ A.J., below), Fergie, Estelle, Keisha Cole and more. He also co-founded the luxury cosmetics line, Kissable Couture. A.J. has built an established reputation for clean yet luxe makeup and skin techniques and known for his innovative and creative beauty solutions. A.J.'s work is regularly featured in fashion and lifestyle magazines worldwide such as Glamour, Ocean Drive, InStyle, Real Simple, Life & Style Weekly. He is currently the youngest founder and designer of a luxury cosmetics line under age 30! - RLB
RLB: Hi A.J.! A lot has happened since your initial Kissable Couture lip gloss collection a few years ago and our first interview! Tell us what new products you've introduced, and what your working on for this year.
A.J.: Wow! We have introduced 13 new shades since the original 7 in the First Kiss Collection. Our "Everything Love Inspires" Collection includes Bliss, Fantasies, and Dreams. Our "Bare Your Soul" Collection includes Exposed, Honesty, and Innocence. Our "Transitions" Collection includes Awakening, Solstice, and Horizon. Our "La Fleur" Collection includes Hyacinth, Peony, and Rose Gardenia.
We have also introduced special editions such as the ever popular SMOOCHES I and SMOOCHES II collections. They are minis that allow you to try all of our best sellers! We also have First Lady which we can't keep in stock! In the near future we will be adding Lipstick and Cheeks.
RLB: What inspires your product shades? Are there any colors that you've never used before that you're looking to delve into for 2010?
A.J.: I look to my surroundings or current events. It also depends on my personal mood. With color, we go with what feels right. When I worked on LeToya Luckett for her video "Regret", I decided to use Tyler over a cheapy lipstick to enhance it. It was me wanting to do something on her that I knew she would never do on her own! The response has been remarkable. LeToya really set a trend with that shade and it's one of our best sellers!
RLB: Could you shed some light on the actual product creation process for our readers - for example, what are the steps and the amount of time between an idea you may have for a new product/shade line and it actually hitting stores?
A.J.: Keisha and I normally discuss ideas, colors, and make adjustments. Then we think of when the right time would be to release the item with proper leads. The entire process from conception to stores could be about 6 months to a year.
RLB: During our last interview, you gave me a lot of the great products you used on Christina Milian, who you were working a lot with at the time. Now I see you've done work with Amerie on her latest Album. Tell me how you created her looks, and of course your favorite 5 products you like to use on her.
A.J.: This album for Amerie was a bit bohemian, very chic and edgy. That concept screams smokey, dark, and mysterious! I used Make Up For Ever. Waterproof Aqua Black, which is a cream I use for liner and all over the lid. Smolder pencil is my all time favorite for black liner. I also used Caudalie Beauty Elixer to prep her skin, Embrolisse moisturizer, and Kissable Couture in Dylan on her lips.
RLB: What are your latest beauty discoveries (skincare, cosmetics, etc.)?
A.J.: Natura Bisse - The Cure. I use it on my skin everyday! It's great for all skin types. I also use it on all of my clients, both male and female. They love it! It makes you look sooooo healthy!
RLB: I see you're also working with LeToya Luckett. Tell me about the looks you've created for her, and your 5 favorite products you like to use on her.
A.J.: LeToya's album cover is my most beautiful beauty shot to date. We just wanted a clean but striking visual. I used a great feather lash from Shu Uemura. In her video "Not Anymore" we created a shade called LadyLove by Kissable Couture. Letoya's skin is really great but I love to give it a polished look by using Bobbi Brown "Skin" foundation on her. It's very light with just the right amount of coverage. Letoya absolutely fell in love with the dual tone concealer pencil from Make Up For Ever. We use that in the rim of her eyes. Lastly, my favorite item for the body is Burt's Bees hand salve mixed with a bit of gold liquid highlighter from any brand. AMAZING Shine!!
RLB: How do you balance having a successful cosmetic brand and still being an busy makeup artist?
A.J.: It's very hard and takes A LOT of people! I could never do it all by myself! I'm very fortunate to have great team members who help me see my ideas through to reality.
RLB: How would you like to see the Kissable Couture brand expand, and what future projects are on the horizon?
A.J.:10 years from now, I would love to see Kissable Couture free standing boutiques in New York, LA, and sold in thousands of cities around the world! Carrying a full range of products to enjoy. I want our customers to continue to be excited every time they get their little black box.
I would like to invite everyone out to Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, February 20th for the launch of my installation called [Beauty Statements] by A.J. crimson. The address is 921 Fulton Street within the Cure Beauty Bar. You can find really great brands like my friend Dickey's line HAIR RULES, Ted Gibson's products for all the Gibson girls, and Pangea Organics which is a fav of mine. And of course you can get the complete Kissable Couture range and SO much more!
I'm also working on my first book! This is quite exciting and time consuming! If you're following me on twitter and/or facebook then you know about my daily lifestyle blog at AJCRIMSON.COM.
Lastly, as if there isn't enough on my plate, look out for my directorial debut with LeToya Luckett's new music video "Good To Me." My plate is very full! I want to thank everyone that sends me messages on twitter and facebook or says hello when they see me out. It's a great feeling to know so many support and believe in you!