One of my favorite recent makeup discoveries has been an incredible L.A. based brand called Rituel De Fille. They make makeup that's 99% natural, but in truly super-natural colors. I love their no-holds-barred approach to color, and their serious can-do attitude. Rituel De Fille is comprised of three sisters, Michelle, Caroline and Katherine, who make and create all of the products and design the packaging themselves. They are truly impressive women who are carving their own path in the world of beauty. If you haven't heard of their brand, then be prepared to fall in love. If you're already a fan, then I'm sure you'll be happy to learn more!
Ladies, what was your inspiration for starting the line?
The three of us were all fascinated by natural ingredients. We were inspired by the strength of color and simplicity of composition in historical cosmetics—such as Cleopatra's signature red lipstick, which she made from just beeswax, carmine and crushed ants—while wanting to maintain high standards of modern color performance. Looking out into the market, we didn't see any naturals lines approaching formulation with the kind of bold minimalism we wanted to achieve.
You've managed to created such breathtaking colors. Was that an especially difficult challenge considering the line is 99% natural?
Formulating our original colors took several years of research and experimentation before we launched, and at points we weren't even sure it would be possible. Honestly, there's a reason our approach to formulation isn't common—it's much more difficult than any of us expected. Natural pigments each have their own unique characteristics and challenges, and achieving dense natural pigmentation without the help of synthetics requires a level of precision far beyond what we'd anticipated. A few drops of oil can mean the difference between perfection and ruin for a batch.
Your family story is so awesome. Can you talk about the different roles that you all have in the creation and birth and day to day operations of Rituel De Fille?
It's a very collaborative process. All three of us work together to develop creative concepts, work through color palettes, and develop higher-level strategies. We do all have our own specialties though. With her years of work on major sets, Michelle provides invaluable product insight and offers an expert point of view on our palette. From her incredible product experience, Caroline is an extraordinary formulator and ensures that our colors offer long, comfortable wear. With her background as an editor and fine artist, Katherine crafts our design and storytelling while offering a different perspective on ingredients.
Was there ever a time when you hesitated about the line? Or were you sure that the audience was there?
We always had faith that we were bringing something unique to the world, and that we would find someone interested in what we were creating—but before going to market as an independent line, it was impossible to know exactly what that audience would look like or what kind of response we would receive. We have all been thrilled to see so much love from our amazing customers and retailers.
I love that you guys don't back down from color, that you really take risks and chances with the color selections. That green lipstick that you did is so stunning. It's not something I use on the lips though, I use it on the eyes and it's just gorgeous and the texture looks great as an eye product. Is the multi-use aspect in the front of your mind when you are working on new products?
It's a major part of our process! We love experimenting with color, and want to offer that freedom to everyone using our products. First and foremost, we ensure that our products are safe to use anywhere that we show them applied, and currently all of our products are safe to use anywhere on the face. We've also seen massive interest from customers in finding different uses for our colors—particularly lipsticks on the eyes and cream blush on the lips—and we want to encourage that sort of play.
Your Eye Soots are such a unique texture and are what initially made me fall head over heels in love with Rituel De Fille. Was that a happy accident in the lab or something that Caroline and you dreamed up and worked towards?
Ash and Ember Eye Soots started with the concept of drawing inspiration from the texture and composition of traditional kohl, made with just lampblack and oil, but it took months of experimentation to land on a texture that felt exactly right. Like all of our colors, each separate shade has a completely unique formula—but the eye soots are particularly delicate and complex in how they are created, so it took a lot of intention to reach the end result.
The names of your colors are as unique, mysterious and intriguing as your brand. Can you talk a little bit about the naming process?
We generally start with a impressionistic concept, a moment that we want to evoke, and then draw together visuals in a mood board. From there, the three of us go to our own sources of inspiration—art, literature, science, history and magic—to compile ideas, and then through collaboration and discussion, arrive at names that feels right for the color and concept. It's usually a rather long process, but something we all feel is extremely important in conveying the stories we want to tell with our colors.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me ladies! I love the line and I love that you're changing the landscape of what "natural" makeup looks like!
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