Lisa Eldridge on Inspirations, Balancing Life & 1920’s Beauty History

Come along on our debut interview docuseries ‘Tells All’ featuring beauty artist super star Lisa Eldridge as we dive into topics including all aspects of her business of beauty empire.

Lisa truly is one of the most inspiring and influential beauty artists in the world! Her career encompasses titles including celebrity makeup artist, cosmetic line founder, author and host of a tv series.

She has a beauty enthusiast following with over 2 million YouTube channel subscribers who tune into her content regularly to hear her dreamy British accent cover topics from skincare rituals to makeup application advice.

Exclusive Interview Series | Part 1

We take it a step further as we deep dive into her earliest influences, her career advice for beauty artists, and become inspired by every aspect of her career.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa for over 3 hours, though I feel like we could have talked for 3 days. I am thrilled to share her profound insights and celebrate her iconic career!

Listen to the Interview
VIDEO: Listen to Lisa Eldridge Tells All – Part 1 Exclusive Interview with Host Beauty Expert Kayla MiChele

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Beauty Artist Conversation

Documentary Beauty asked our top beauty artist peers to join in on the conversation, here’s what they wanted to ask Lisa Eldridge.

Sarah Tanno is a world renowned makeup artist celebrated for her work with Lady Gaga. She is the Global Artistry director of Haus Labs cosmetics.

Sarah Tanno

 “My question for Lisa is… You are an incredible make up artist, product developer, brand founder, and force in the beauty industry.

How do you do it all and balance time for yourself?

I simply can never figure it out”

Lisa Eldridge

That is a good question. I feel throughout my entire career that I kind of accept that I can’t do everything all at the same time. So something’s always got to give, although it might not seem like that on the surface, or for people looking in, but I’ll spend time spinning one plate and maybe the other plates kind of almost about to fall off before I spin it again.

Lisa Eldridge

So I feel like if I do something really well, like if I’ve spent time on shoots, and at the end of the week, I don’t have a YouTube video that I was really planning to do, I didn’t get around to it. I just say to myself, but you had some great shoots, and you can do the the other video next week or the week after. And it’s not the end of the world. And I think I just talked to myself like that all the time I have done throughout my entire career.

I think I’ve said in interviews before that my philosophy is you can have everything you want in life, just not all at the same time. So I’m a big believer in this, you know, this sentence with “having it all”… I don’t think you can have it all at the same time. And I think if you feel like you have to do that, the only person that suffers is yourself.

So I have a chat with myself and say I know you wanted to shoot this social media or you want to do that. But this has come in and you really want to do this. So give this your best shot and give that like 1,000%. And the other thing, it’ll be fine.

And even long term, when I had my son, I gave up editorial, which was something that I was at the peak and top of my game at the time and really kind of working my way up. You know I got to the point where I was shooting VOGUE covers and doing so well. And I remember thinking well, okay, no, I like to do things properly. And I want to do this properly now and I’ll get back into that later.

And I just say to myself and think, you know, if you want to do things well you have to do one thing at a time or focus on something and put other things to one side. So I don’t believe you can do everything really well, all at the same time. If you’ve got lots of passions as I have. Does that make sense? I feel like it’s just a case of, you’ve got to kind of have a chat with yourself and say… that’s fine, this is really good what I’m doing now. And I’ll do that another time.

Kayla MiChele

That’s beautifully said, I feel like you’re really just expressing to just be present to what the priority is of the moment and it almost feels like forgiving yourself for not doing 10 tasks all at once and really just being grateful for the best opportunity that’s in front of your eyes and taking it one step at a time.

Lisa Eldridge

Oh, exactly. I feel like sometimes if I’m conflicted, I ask myself this question. This always works. Two years from now, will you be more annoyed that you didn’t do that or that? And then it comes really clear. I’m like, no, it will be more annoying if I didn’t give that the focus and the time it needs. And the other thing can wait, and then I’m done and then I’ve talked myself into it.

Beauty Artist Conversation

Documentary Beauty asked our top beauty artist peers to join in on the conversation, here’s what they wanted to ask Lisa Eldridge.

Emma Osborne is a London based celebrity makeup artist. Her clients include Rita Ora and Nicole Scherzinger.

Emma Osborne

I really loved your book face paint! Your knowledge and thirst for the history of make up has really inspired so many artists.

If you could live in any era which would it be and why? 

Lisa Eldridge

I think I would probably choose to live in the post world war 1 era for makeup, because it is the big sea change. Having said that, I think the last 10 years has now surpassed that which I never thought I would say.

Lisa Eldridge

10 years ago, I used to say, this is a big sea change now, you know, with YouTube, but it doesn’t compare to the sea change in cosmetics industry, post World War One. So I’m living through this time now. So that’s great. So I will go back to that post World War One time when you really have the birth of the makeup industry coming on the back of early Hollywood, silent movies, the entrepreneurs that are starting to really come through with makeup.

It’s such an exciting time when for such a long time, especially in the Western world, there had not been any appetite for makeup or if there was it was very covert, it was hidden. And for the first time you have this sense that not only is it democratized in terms of anyone can buy it because it’s cheap, but also this sense of women deciding for the first time that they see the movies, and they’re like, I want to be that character. I want to express this. You know, I don’t want to be like my mother and my grandmother.

It’s was really bucking society, it’s just such a massive change in our industry. It’s the biggest ever really, I’ll say I’ll compare it to now. But I think that must have been so exciting to really be there at the birth of Hollywood, to see magazines coming through, to see all of those first interesting brands coming through, those first founders, the way they spoke about makeup. And just the excitement of being able to go into Woolworths and for a dime, buying a red lipstick, which was shocking.

Often when I’m walking around London, I always think about this article, which was in the Sunday Times in the 1920s. And it was kind of a headline thing saying these flappers are going to bring down society, you know, there’s a great big piece about how with their red slash mouths and their bobbed hair, you know, they are a shocking disgrace, and they’re going to bring down democracy, they’re going to bring down values, they’re going to be bringing down the country.

And I sometimes think when I walk through Regent’s Park you can imagine what that must have looked like, there isn’t probably an equivalent now because we’re used to seeing people head to toe tattoos, people with like anything now.

If you can imagine going from that late Victorian era, to seeing a girl walk down the street with a hair cut off in a bob and red lipstick. It must have been so out there. And I just think it must have been so fascinating to live in that time and to see that. Plus, I love all the products from that time as well. So yeah, I’m going to live then!

VIDEO: Best and Worst Makeup Moments in History – Face Paint Book

Create Lisa Eldridge’s 1920’s Flapper and Vamps Makeup Look – Beauty Product Breakdown

Eyes Mac Paint Pot – Blackground with Makeup Forever Aqua Cream in Anthracite

Eyes and Brows Rimmel – Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Black 

Eyes Rimmel – Magnif’Eyes A-List

Mascara Too Faced – Better Than Sex Mascara

Blush Urban Decay – Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush – Quiver

Lips Charlotte Tilbury – Lip Cheat – Bad Romance

Lips Rimmel – Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Liner – Black Tulip

Emma Osborne

How do you stay so passionate and driven when you have such a busy schedule?

Lisa Eldridge

I think you do need time to think and whatever that is like if things just get really overwhelming for me and I feel like I’m running out of ideas, because when you’re too busy, you don’t get ideas. I really believe in that. I think if you’re going from one job to the next you won’t have any fresh inspiration. So that could be anything. It could literally be go to a gallery.

I’m just talking actually to my assistant before this about a big editorial I’ve got coming up in a few weeks. And I’m like, I really need to think I want to get all my old makeup bits out, some colors and stuff I haven’t looked at for a while. And I said, I think I might go shopping as well. I mean to a haberdashery shop or, you know I mean?

I feel like unless I can step back and go and have a little dream, I’m not going to be able to bring anything fresh! We’ve been so busy with other things that you just can’t really bring new ideas and new ideas need to come from inside yourself, not necessarily from looking at other makeup shoots.

I just don’t believe I can get inspiration from that. I can get inspiration… like I’m sitting in the back of my office now, I’ve just looked at a cardboard box. And I just literally thought well, there is this cardboard box and I’m like cardboard? Cardboard? Is there’s something in cardboard. You know what I mean? You’ve got to go out of that zone to actually get fresh inspiration.

I would just say take a day off. Take time off, go on a trip, go to a gallery, do something different, meet a friend, do something random as hell, go to a car museum. Go to something, just nothing to do with anything to do with makeup. And honestly, you’ll find you’ll get ideas.

Emma Osborne

Your makeup collection is fabulous, pigments to die for and textures which work for both professional and commercial clients.

What is the inspiration for your next make up collection?

Lisa Eldridge

I have quite a few different products launching. So across different spheres, I’ve got something which is inspired by my vintage collection, I’ve got something really kind of modern, where it’s my own formula. So it’s cosmetic science, it’s very futuristic. It’s something that I worked on for years really looking at raw ingredients and more science side of it.

So I can really get inspired by the history. But I can get really inspired by the science, like whenever I go to those trade shows. I haven’t been for quite a few years, but back in the day, when I used to go to all the Cosmoprofs and all those trade shows.

I always used to go to the machinery and the raw ingredients bit that no one goes to, I mean apart from manufacturers, because honestly you can go around looking at all the products that they’re looking to white label, and you can tweak it, and then you can launch it yourself. But I’m like hmmm, go to the raw ingredients and you’ll just get interesting stories that can inspire you.

That’s how I got actually one of the ingredients for my foundation, which was something called film excel. And I’d actually seen it in Cosmoprof in Hong Kong in 2016. And I was like, this is such an interesting ingredient, it was biopolymer. I love the sustainability story. I love the fact that it was a polymer, but it wasn’t microplastic. I loved everything about it and that got me inspired to kind of create a product.

So I do like to look forwards and backwards. I like to look back a bit and way back and forwards a bit and way forward. So I’m a bit kind of all over the place when it comes to inspiration.

Launching a beauty product line

Kayla MiChele

Wow, so, so lovely. It’s so fun talking to you because you know we have a lot in common as beauty artists. I have small kids and it’s the same story of like taking priorities over with the children. And you know, it’s so fun talking to you. Now also, I am in the middle of researching ingredients to launch a product line for myself, like a beautiful hair and skincare line. So it’s so fascinating to pick your brain and just see someone that’s so accomplished and a woman that’s made it happen.

Lisa Eldridge

Well thank you. That’s exciting about your products. That’s another baby you’re giving birth, you’re pregnant again, basically. 

Kayla MiChele

Exactly! Yeah. I mean, and as you may have experienced and we’ll get into this a little bit more later, but I personally, with the product line, it’s been years in the making of just figuring it all out and you know understanding how it works and how to do it smart and you know, it’s quite the process and it’s really fun you know.

Lisa Eldridge

There’s so much to it. I mean people who think it’s easy and then you’re like.. ah… it’s really not. 

Kayla MiChele

No it’s not at all. 

Lisa Eldridge

Everything that could go wrong does go wrong that’s usually my advice. If anyone says, well can you tell us about starting a makeup brand.. I’m like everything that could go wrong will go wrong and then some other things that you haven’t thought of that’s basically it.

I know you are excited to hear Part 2 of this exclusive interview series! Stay tuned as we discuss with Lisa Eldridge topics including career advice for beauty artists, how to start a beauty product line with no investors, working as a beauty artist in the iconic fashion decade of the 90’s, Lisa Eldridge’s YouTube journey, and so much more! Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when it drops!

love note

Have you ever created a flapper inspired makeup and hair look? I think you’ll LOVE it! What a great excuse to throw a 1920’s themed party!

Lisa Eldridge’s answer of the 1920’s to the question of, (if you could live in any era which would it be?), reminded me of when I was transformed into a flapper because the experience was quite profound to wear that style of hair and makeup.

I always think that if I was to pick a decade that I would have LOVED to live in it would have to be the 1970’s but the 1920’s as a flapper is a close tie. The flapper vibes with the rebellious attitude would have been quite fascinating to have experienced.

Needless to say… the graphic bob hair looks, the defined dreamy makeup and the plunging deep v necklines with dazzling sparkly dresses were absolutely breathtaking.

I have worn many hair and makeup looks for themed parties and halloween costumes that expressed many of the decades and I must say that I felt the most beautiful and photogenic when I attended a fashion stylists’ 1920’s themed birthday party!

My long time friend, top makeup artist Erin Parsons, painted my face perfectly for the flapper theme which felt like it only took 5 minutes. She had applied my makeup many times over the years, including on my wedding day, but this time the energy felt different to be on the receiving end.

There was this magical artistry moment where I felt I was the canvas of an abstract painting with very painterly brush stokes splashed around the eyes and lips. I completed the look by throwing on a little finger wave wig from my editorial wig kit and viola.

I truly felt like a beautiful silent film movie star. At the party I was unrecognizable, which I LOVED. It’s fabulous how hair and makeup can evoke an effect of an alter ego.

stay inspired!
Kayla MiChele

Have you ever created a 1920’s inspired beauty look? What decade would you have loved to live in? What are you excited to learn more about from Lisa Eldridge in this exclusive interview series? Leave a comment below!

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Kayla MiChele
Kayla MiChele

Kayla MiChele is a celebrity and fashion beauty artist who is interviewed in the pages of Vogue Italia featuring her as top talent in the world. Her work is in prestigious editorials from Harper’s Bazaar to W to Vogue with clients for fashion brands ranging from Tom Ford to Chanel. Kayla's beauty expert collaborations include indie clean beauty brands to leading cosmetic brands Estée Lauder to L'Oréal. She began her career assisting hair stylist Guido Palau backstage at fashion shows from Louis Vuitton to Marc Jacobs. Since then, she has worked with top models and iconic artists including Vanessa Hudgens, A$AP Rocky, Jared Leto, Joan Smalls, Hailey Bieber, and Gigi Hadid.

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