Ok, Sculpt & Soften is here, and it’s beautiful – but where did it come from? What’s it about? How does it take its tea in the morning? Jessica, founder of the Jecca Blac, sits down with a cuppa to chat about all things S&S. So sit back, relax, and make a new friend for your makeup kit.
Is this one of the products you saw when you first envisioned Jecca Blac?
J: Yes! I created the palette because clients would request facial feminising and it was top of the agenda when we were creating a makeup line. Joseph and I felt that contouring had been done for so many years and the first wave had come and gone, but people are still requesting it from makeup artists. It’s because they usually can’t do it themselves. So we decided to bring it back to basics, teach them how to do it yourself and understand what needs to be done with your own features. It’s a vague technique.
How did you decide on the palette shades?
J: We’re launching with three shades because most skin colours can adapt to one of the three, and contouring and highlighting shades don’t need to be a perfect match. And then in terms of releasing each palette with two shades, we didn’t want to confuse which shades would suit you. I’ve got some palettes where I’ve only used one shade out of six. So we’ve kept it simple in a mini palette! It took a lot of time to test and sample, but we worked on it closely with L’Oreal (L’Oreal are supporting Jecca Blac as part of their Open Innovation program). They understand the most popular shades and demands for an initial launch.
Why did you create the how-to guide?
J: There are three main pillars to our brand, one of which is educating the customer. So creating the guide was our way of educating and providing a quality product. The how-to guide hasn’t been done before so it’s something different to offer, and then by educating people we’re supporting the customer. It didn’t make sense to supply the product without people feeling like they can utilise the full potential, it just wouldn’t stay relevant. We want to drip that contouring buzzword back to basics.
Why do you think inclusive beauty products are necessary?
J: The products come from what our focus groups demand of us. They’re a diverse group that was formed from my clients, which was important because we know you can’t overlook a certain group. We come from a background of having had transgender clients and knowing they felt left out in the beauty industry, so it was up to us to do the opposite and be inclusive. The manual talks about facial feminisation, which isn’t relevant to everyone but is something our customers really need.
What does the Sculpt & Soften palette mean to you?
J: It’s one of the most exciting launched this year because we’re collaborating with Joseph. And now I’m giving another solution to my client’s problems. But most of all, to me it’s a revolution for the contouring world – we’re teaching people in a different manner to what’s been done before.
What is your favourite thing about the palette?
J: It’s difficult to say! I’ll go with the texture and formulation. It’s created like skin because Joseph has a background in formulating products and understands it. There’s a trend at the minute of using full coverage concealers to contour which is fine, but you need to be very talented to properly work with that formula. You have to blend. The best contour is the contour you can’t see, that’s contour done properly. You’re creating an illusion of shadow and highlight.
What do you enjoy the most in creating the palette?
J: I enjoyed taking it from concept to launch, but that whole process is really long. It took a year. Finding vegan ingredients isn’t easy… it takes a year but I enjoy every stage. The launch is most important and exciting, getting to see what everyone thinks about the product. And because we’re small we can really listen! We can adapt to customer feedback and meet their demands. My other favourite part would be working on the formulations with someone like Joseph, and having a soundboard with someone who has a stake in the product.
What do you want people to know about using the palette?
J: I want people to know the purpose – educating, bringing it back to basics, and not being afraid to experiment with it. That’s something that the manual goes into, sculpting techniques and experimenting with them. And then everyday technique too. For people to understand that less is more.
What is working with Joseph like?
J: Working with Joseph is exciting because he understands the industry. He knows great marketing materials, tones, formula, but he’s also amazing at makeup and isn’t scared of experimenting. We were very open to colours and experimented a lot before the Sculpt & Soften final version.
How was it to see the finished palette for the first time?
J: It’s weird, you work on it for so long… you’re exhausted by the end. Seeing Joseph see it for the first time was nice, and it’s great to see it in real life. But the whole process takes so long that the final product, you know it so well, you’ve envisioned it for so long. It’s lovely, but you already know it.