Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet and interview Kat von D. For those who aren’t familiar with who she is, she had quickly made a big name for herself in Hollywood as the ”celebrity tattoo artist”. Starring in her own reality TV show L.A Ink in 2007, Kat has tattooed many A-list musicians such as; Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Mary J Blige and Eminem just to name a few. In 2008, Kat von D launched her first (cruelty-free) make-up collection at Sephora. The Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks have been extremely popular amongst many make-up artists and beauty bloggers all over the globe. The liquid lipstick is popular for it’s matte finish, long lasting and full coverage. It took a while for us to receive the collection in this region but it’s finally here!
It was such a pleasure meeting and interviewing Kat von D. I loved how honest and raw she was about certain things. Looking forward to seeing more beauty launches from her.
What inspired you to create the iconic full coverage lipsticks?
I think selfishly I wanted to create something that I could wear and it’s usually where the starting points begin. Things that inspire me, I wanna make in reality. For me, I loved the idea that you don’t have to touch up your lipstick and something that’s bold at the same time. There are a few long wear lipsticks out there that for whatever reason may not be that comfortable or not as attractive as I would want them to be. So I wanted to create the best long wear lipstick and I think we’ve done a really great job with the colour assortiment. I’m excited that for the launch we were able to launch the entire collection of lipstick for the Middle East. The Studded Kiss lipsticks will be available in 30 shades in this region.
The Studded Kiss Lipsticks are full coverage as well?
Yes, they’re full coverage and 10 hour wear. The finishing is a bit satin but more towards matte and it doesn’t dry out the lips.
As a passionate tattoo artist, why have you decided to launch products that covers up tattoo’s?
I think a lot of people thought it was funny that I created a concealer that would cover up a tattoo considering that I do tattoos. But for me I think it was important to give people the freedom to express themselves in which ever way they want, whether they want a tattoo or cover it up. And I think there’s nothing wrong with that, there are times for example on weddings where people like to cover something up just for the photo. I think you should be able to have that freedom to be able to do that.
Would you ever launch a skincare product?
I love the idea of doing that and I think I’m even more interested in infusing skincare elements or aspects of skincare into the complexion that we already have down the line. For me I’ve always felt that skincare really starts from the inside out. People ask me all the time how do you keep your skin so nice, I’m 33 years old and I have really good skin and I think a lot of that has to do with what I eat. Although a lot of people dot like to hear it, but what you put into your body really effects what comes out. I think dairy is one of the worst things you can consume and it really reflects in the skin and I think that’s the main reason why I never get zits. I have a pretty even complexion and there are a lot of scientific prove behind that so I always constantly urge people to be conscious of what they’re consuming and ho effects their appearance.
So are you vegan as well?
How long have you been vegan now?
I don’t know it’s been many years now. For a long time I avoided that label because vegans were so annoying to me. I’m sober too, I don’t drink or do drugs but I hate the word ”sober” too. Sometimes people think it’s associated to something and to me I just don’t like the labels. But I stopped eating meat many years ago and then I got super into it about 5 years ago where I started growing my own food and understanding more about food.
That’s so cool, I would love to try that but isn’t it very time consuming?
Not really, I think it’s more time consuming to deal with the effects of eating animal products. There’s a great book that my dermatologist and nutritionist has wrote called; Feed your face. It’s really amazing and I remember walking into her office and saying; I don’t know why I have zits on my chin! And she’s like; Oh you’re eating cereal. And I would ask how do you know? And she would explain that when you get zits on your chin it means that it comes from eating sugar and dairy. She could tell what you’ve been eating based on what you look like and I think that’s really exciting and interesting. Especially for us women since we’re so hormonal.
As a business woman, what were the biggest challenges you have faced through out your career?
It’s going to sound weird but I don’t see much challenges. Making my connecting flight was more challenging to me but that’s not much to complaint about. I don’t really know, I just tend to focus on my work a lot and some people may call it workaholism. To me I really like the idea of dedicating myself fully to something and I have no problem doing that. I don’t really have any challenges, my biggest challenge right now is how much I miss my cats but I know that I will be able to go home soon and be with them.
How many cats do you have?
I have two, what if I would have said 20 though…
I’m not judging…
You’ve tattooed the biggest celebs, have you’re own make-up line, you’ve launched a clothing line as well if I’m not mistaking?
I had a clothing line a while ago but I don’t have that any more. I wasn’t happy with the people that I had been working with at that time…
So, that was a challenge?
I don’t know if that was a challenge, I don’t really see that as a challenge so much… You know what, I know a good challenge. I think in any case whether it’s business or personal life, I think once you become successful in any amount of success, there’s a certain dynamic that happens and sometimes that can be challenging. Because people’s persepsion of you may change and for me I think surrounding myself with people that actually care about me or that aren’t that ”Yes-man”. I think that can be challenging sometimes in a world where it’s very superficial and people constantly want something from you. Sometimes that can be challenging but I’ve been lucky enough to have really solid friends and my dad and just surround myself around people who don’t care about all this shit and just love you for who you are.
Is there anything else you would like to achieve in your career?
Oh, there’s so much! I’ve already faced the reality that I won’t be able to do everything that I ever wanted to by the time I die – but I will die trying. There’s tons of thing that I want to do from architecture to furniture design to learning languages, I want to master different instruments.
Yeah because I know that you play piano right?
Yes, I’ve been playing classical music since I’ve been five or six. I love classical music but I love music in general. Being able to write more contemporary modern music to stuff like the grades.
If you weren’t a tattoo artist, what would you be? (make-up artist, full-time musician?)
I think I would be what I am now because I don’t really consider myself a tattoo artist just like I don’t consider myself a make-up artist, I just want to do everything. But I want to do everything well, there are people that take on a lot but don’t give it their all. The downside to that is you do scarifies certain qualities of life, I don’t have that much of a social life which is fine because I’m kind of anti-social anyway. But I think it makes it tough on relationships when you’re dedicating yourself to something, finding somebody that would compliment you in that sense. Personally I’m not good at that so I just tend not to do that. Everyday is exciting but I do recognise that we only have x amount of heartbeats in one life spend so it’s really important what you do with those hearbeats so I don’t wanna waste time.
Do you still tattoo?
A celebrity you’d like to tattoo and haven’t done before?
I don’t really care about celebrities… People’s perception of celebrities is kind of an illusion to begin with. I get more excited about content so if somebody wants to get like a rendition of Caravaggio I get really excited about versus who the person it’s on. I’ve been lucky enough to tattoo a lot of musicians and artists that I admire and that’s exciting that somebody would recognises you as somebody positive. But I don’t put too much importance into that because that stuff is fleeding anyways.
I agree… So what are the future plans for Kat Von D Beauty?
Oh my God there’s so much, we’re usually about a year ahead of time so right now we’re testing formulas for things that will launch in 2016. I’ve got an amazing collaboration with Kandee Johnson that is going to come out next year which I’m super excited about, I just think she’s so cool. This will be my first collaboration and you guys in the Middle East haven’t gotten the Metal Crush collection yet but that’s coming out very soon.
I’ve seen a lot of swatches already online and it looks so good.
Oh my God it’s so good! I can’t wait for you guys to receive it, the formula feels so great.
Any advice for up and coming entrepreneurs?
Uhmmn no I suck at advice…
Something that you’ve learned through out your career?
I guess, I could go back to what I’ve said earlier, surrounding yourself with good people. But at the end of the day I just think when it comes to make-up for example, like it’s just lipstick… I think it’s important to remember that, it’s easy to get stressed out about dead lines and things like that. But I’m just trying to do my best to create something that inspires people to create. I think that’s the most important part out of all of it… Besides selfishly making myself cool make-up products, LOL!
Kat von D beauty will be available starting this weekend across the Middle East, yayy!