Whilst Birmingham sweltered in the unseasonable heat last week, I was coolly ensconced in the beautiful personal shopping suite at Harvey Nichols where I had the pleasure of interviewing Sue Devitt. The Australian beauty guru has just introduced her wonder skincare and cosmetics exclusively to Harvey Nichols, Birmingham, and I had a chance to get the lowdown on the woman behind the brand, and her inspirational travels that have helped her develop her brand.
Fashion-Mommy: Tell me a little bit about Sue Devitt.
Sue: I’ve created a treatment based, colour brand. I worked for 8 years as an US based freelance make-up artist where I made up some of the world’s most beautiful women and did the make-up for fashion week shows. I was poached by Japanese research and development brand Kose, where I was able to work closely in the laboratories and through this I realised that there was no reason you couldn’t layer colour into skincare.
FM: You travelled the world as a make-up artist – how has that influenced your range?
SD: I learnt a lot about the different problems facing skin hydration. In Australia, skin ages quicker due to the hot dry climates, but even in countries like England that have lots of rain, there are additional factors that dry out the skin, like central heating and air conditioning. On the show circuits I was faced with some of the world’s most beautiful women whose skin had been aggravated by wearing heavy make-up all day long. So I looked at creating products like my Triple C-Weed foundation. This is spongy and hydrating, and is packed full of vitamins and minerals. I feel fluid products are so much more effective than powders, giving skin that much-needed hydration.
FM: Tell my about Microquatic skincare.
SD: These products use the revitalising properties of the sea to create anti-aging skincare. I was interested that sometimes when we looked at make-overs in store, we weren’t noticing the same results as we did on shoots, part of the problem was protecting the foundation. One of the products created as a result of this was the microquatic luminous finishing mist. This gives the same dewy freshness that is achieved when make-up artists spray models with Evian on shoots, but this spray transforms any foundation into an anti-aging product. I firmly believe that if you get the skin right, everything else will come from that.
FM: I love the names of your inspired colour stories – do you have a favourite – mine is Moonlight on Kilimanjaro?
SD: Good question. I love Sunset on Serengeti. This was an amazing trip and deeply close to my heart. The women in the small villages I visited travel many kilometres each day to collect water, often carrying the heavy containers on their backs. 25% of the proceeds of Sunset on the Serengeti goes to provide water rollers for these villages, something that is very simple, but improves the lives of the women in villages in Namibia and Kenya.
FM: What was your favourite trip?
SD: The Golden Triangle was amazing, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand – so very beautiful.
FM: Growing up, who were your beauty icons?
SD: People like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, who were just so individual. I have pictures of these women in my New York apartment. Later I loved Princess Diana. And, of course, there were the girls, Christy Turlington, Kristen McMenemy they exude sheer glamour. Today I admire Kate Winslet and Carla Bruni.
FM: What do you think are the key colour trends for the new season.
SD: The colours in my Nordic trek collection are perfect for the new season. Inspired by Iceland, they combine some darker colours for the smokey eyes look, as well as the ice blue shade. This palette gives women options!
FM: Can you give Fashion-Mommy readers a beauty tip?
SD: Use an eyeliner pencil. It is so much easier to apply than a liquid liner. Liquid liner dries so quickly that it leaves no room for mistakes. Pencil liner can be blended and corrected because it dries just that little bit slower.
FM: In terms of your world travels – where to next?
SD: I have two trips in mind. I would love to travel the Trans-Siberian railway from Kobi to Sweden. And I would also love to visit Machu Picchu in Peru, the land of the Incas!
FM: Finally, why Harvey Nichols?
SD: I think Harvey Nichols is the most glamorous store in the world! I’ve had lots of support over the years so I am very lucky and happy to be here!
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