The Americana glitz and glamour of rodeos and cowboys have long captivated the common imagination. Kitschy and rhinestone-studded, at the same time the aesthetic carries a sense of danger and freedom, of making your own rules out in the wilderness.
It is this decadent world that Isamaya Ffrench looked to for inspiration for the second drop of her beauty brand, Isamaya Beauty. Glitzy and kitschy, with metallics, shimmer and pinks, purples and blues, the Wild Star collection is a complete departure from the BDSM-inspired Industrial range that launched the brand – but this was exactly the point.
“I wanted to make sure that every drop I do does feel very different,” Ffrench tells me over the phone from the back of a taxi on the way to the airport. She’s headed to Los Angeles, where she’ll be launching the collection with three days of pop-ups around the city. “After coming from a place of rubber and latex it felt obvious to do the other end of the spectrum and go full-on antique gold and rhinestones.”
The five-piece collection is made up of a rhinestone-studded eyeshadow palette, designed to give you the “prairie-glam” look; a metallic lipstick available in three shades; a highlighter; lip liners; and a thickening mascara for chunky dramatic lashes. In contrast to the dark and grungy shades of the Industrial collection, the colours here are much more playful, inspired by the world of cowboys and rodeos. From the burnt bronzes and oranges that evoke the vast and lonely landscape of the desert, to the vibrant pink of a rodeo bar neon sign.
“For me, it was the idea of this girl, she is the shining wild star when she walks into this dingy dive bar,” Ffrench says. “What does that look like? Well, you have the beer signs that are neon and lit up, so we have these bright acid pinks in there. You have the sweaty blue denim colours. So it’s all very referential.” The three lipsticks come in shades of brown and pink, with a golden shimmer to add a touch of glamour while still keeping with the tonal palette of the collection.
Arguably the star of the show is the golden packaging with the horse head motif – packaging that will look great on your counter, while not necessarily practical for your make-up bag. Describing it as “glitzy and glamorous”, Ffrench says the packaging took inspiration from antiques. But before you think she has gone a bit soft and feminine, she wants you to know the packaging is only half the story.
“When you watch the campaign video, Steven Klein shot it, the narrative is a little bit edgier, in the same way Industrial was,” she says. “Objectively it looks very different. But it still has that underlying narrative of self-empowerment – sounds cheesy, doesn’t it? – but she’s always going to be a strong character, that’s what I’m about.”
The presale is now live and the collection will officially launch December 2022/January 2023.