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Makeup Artist Isamaya Ffrench Proves Blue Eyeshadow Is Spring’s Best New Trend

She also helped design the cult-favorite Tom Ford Extrême Collection.

isamaya ffrench

While there’s no shortage of beauty, hair, and skin-care inspiration on Instagram these days, there’s one makeup artist who has elevated it to a near artform—Isamaya Ffrench. In case you’re not familiar with the former beauty editor-slash-special effects guru, just open up the pages of your nearest Vogue Italia or Dazed magazine, and you’ll spot her vivid, otherworldly creations, or on some of fashion’s biggest names (think Rihanna, Bella Hadid, and Taylor Swift).

Now the 28-year-old Brit is lending her artful eye to Tom Ford Beauty as creative artist consultant, resulting in the new Tom Ford Extrême collection. With 20 shadow shades that quite literally span the rainbow, as well as a lash and brow tint, this release is not your typical neutral color palette. But Ffrench attests that anyone can rock a magenta or turquoise eye with just a little practice—in fact she whipped up her gorgeous makeup look for our shoot in about 15 minutes. “I think people are just experimenting with being individual,” she explains as we explore what other products she keeps in her kit (an industry-favorite Burton suitcase, FYI). “For the last ten years, there’s [been] such a huge commercialization of beauty, homogenizing a kind of face or aesthetic. I think this generation is now pushing back against that, to reclaim their individuality. Of course that goes in hand with [things] like sexuality and gender fluidity. It’s all one big picture, I think.”

Over the course of our afternoon, we learned a lot from Ffrench about why she considers new makeup technology “radical,” her go-to sources for beauty inspiration, and why she only follows one (!!) account on Instagram. Plus, we discovered how she designed and applied her electric blue eye look with only a handful of products. 

“We started working for Mr. Ford about a year and a half ago. He wanted to create a new line that was graphic and editorial and bold. Less about skin and beauty and more about extreme, editorial runway looks, so we can have fun with color. That was my introduction to the Extrême line—trying to find a new way of using color.”
Part of the series:

In The Kit

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