Big ideas, real fashion

 In Blog


The seed for Face Lace started back in the 80’s when I worked on a series of 12 Zodiac makeup designs, one to be launched every month, for UK-based Miners Cosmetics. Using Panstick (thick waxy creams in a big bullet shape), Kryolan Aquacolours and raw pigments, the makeups took me 3-4 hours to complete. This was in 1984, the same year MAC cosmetics was born. The two Franks were only just cooking up formulations in their kitchen.

After the first few Zodiac beauty shoots were published, letters poured in about the makeups I created.  I don’t remember the positive ones, but was affected by the few who complained they would never be able to recreate the makeups I had designed.

Fast forward 25 years to my reliance on a machine used in the vinyl sign industry to create stencils for elaborate body painting jobs. I had a light bulb moment when I thought if I can make a hypoallergenic substitute for the vinyl used by sign makers, I could use this to make skin-safe designs.

After the long road of trialling different materials to make my skin-safe vinyl it was time to create the designs. Nothing looked especially beautiful until I began applying shapes around the eyes.  I had worked on an (unpublished) editorial project the year before, where I made tattoos and wire designs based on 17th Century calligraphic flourishes and went back to those references for my first design. After about four weeks of experimentation I created my first Face Lace design: Swirlyqueue.

Face Lace is perhaps 30 years too late for those who complained in the 80s but I hope I have given more people the opportunity to wear elaborate makeup designs when they don’t have the time or tools to do so themselves. Of course, it is a huge thrill for me to see other makeup artists, like Marco Antonio, take my original Swirlyqueue design to the next level and create such amazing looks for the editorial in How to Spend It magazine.

By Phyllis Cohen

Recommended Posts
Showing 2 comments
  • Wilma

    That’s what I call the true face art!

  • Eden

    Hi I love your brand, it’s not yet the time for costumes in Israel (where i’m from) but I would love to see a thread on how ro sytyle a costume with face lace! Cheers!

Leave a Comment