Exclusive: Jason Wu Talks Makeup, Muses, And His New Lancôme Collab
We might be biased, but Jason Wu’s latest makeup collection with Lancôme might just be his best collab yet. “It’s such a nice way to interpret [my ready-to-wear] line, to put my stamp on beauty,” he says. “I’ve always been super vocal and enthusiastic about beauty, and it’s something I’ve worked into my runway shows in a very specific way—it’s been a very fun collaboration.” We sat down with the designer and Lancôme collaborator, and asked him about the inspiration for the line, his ultimate muse, his own grooming routine, and more.
Flip through the slideshow to read all about his new Lancôme collection and shop the products!
Jason Wu Pre-Fall '14/Style.com
Can you tell us a little about the inspiration for this collection?
Wu: This is my second collection for Lancôme. Obviously, being a ready-to-wear designer, a natural place to start was to be inspired by my ready-to-wear [collection]. It felt like the perfect place to start because there were so many colors and patterns, like this beautiful midnight floral print, which is on all the packaging. We were sort of into this romantic palette. I used it as a starting point for this collection in so many different ways.
What was it like working with such a large cosmetics line like Lancôme?
Wu: One thing with Lancôme is that it comes with the quality and the prestige and the beautiful DNA of what they’re known for. So, you can feel super assured that you’re going to turn out some of the most beautiful makeup products possible because of their ability to manufacture, develop, research, anything you want, really. It’s kind of an open canvas. So that was what naturally excited me about Lancôme. I’ve been working with them for my shows for many, many years. It just felt like the right next step to bring our collaboration to the next level.
Was there anything you learned from your first collaboration with them that you took and put into this one?
Wu: Well, I think I looked at ready-to-wear collections. Each collection has its central theme. The first one was really about these bright pops of color, like blues and pinks. It was really quite bold. In this collection, I wanted to do a different take, something a little more subtle, something a little more romantic, something that’s utterly feminine. So I think the two collections complement each other quite nicely because they kind of suit two different moods.
Pictured: Jason Wu for Lancôme Vernis in Love ($15) in Fuschia Veneer
Do you ever picture what a woman would be wearing if she was wearing one of your makeup palettes?
Wu: Look two in the Pre-Fall collection is this chiffon dress that really kind of started it all. I feel like [the Disco Eye Shadow Palette] is the perfect palette for it. Just when you wink, you can see a little [pop of green]. It’s bold and subtle at the same time. And that’s the power of beauty—even when you’re wearing all black, you can add a pop of color to your makeup, and that gives you that little bit of excitement any day. It’s fun and that’s what makeup is about—having fun and embracing beauty.
Pictured: Jason Wu for Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge ($30) in Hibiscus Pink
Did you have a particular type of woman in mind when you were designing the line? Any muses?
Wu: I always go back to Diane Kruger because she’s a really dear friend of mine. Funny enough, she went out and bought the blush already. I was like, “I’ll send it to you!” She said, “Oh no, I already bought it.” And the other natural muse would be Daria Werbowy, who is the face of the campaign, shot by Mert and Marcus. I think the wink [in the campaign] kind of says it all—powerful, playful, and sexy.
And if you had to describe this line in one word…?
Is there a standout product that you feel particularly strongly about?
Wu: The Disco palette. I love that.
Was it the first one that you designed?
I kind of did all three next to each other. Even though you can pick one, somebody may just buy one, or all three—my hope is all three. If you do just pick one, I feel like that one is the quintessential “Jason Wu” palette. It’s got the color, it’s got the contrast, and the glamour—it’s so glamorous.
Pictured: Jason Wu for Lancôme Color Design 5 Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($50) in Disco
In terms of your own grooming regimen, do you have a favorite tip or trick?
I’m rather simple. Always maintain good skin. And exfoliate. That’s it.
Do you have a favorite skin product?
Kiehl’s is the best!
Pictured: Kiehl’s Men’s Oil Eliminator Shine Control Spray ($20)