It’s impossible not to be a Gwen Stefani fanatic. Just a few minutes into the Zoom phone call, the singer came in from the opposite side of a square black with her checkerboard nails long with double peace signs framed by their sharp, winged lines. It was like talking to an old acquaintance. We’d never met before, but her warmth was radiating across the screen, regardless of the time difference.
Prior to our meeting I scoured the internet for an red lip to commemorate the occasion, but was unsuccessful. But it was fine as we were there to speak about her iconic makeup style the iconic red lip with panache for an elegant cat-eye. In the years since Stefani’s debut on the scene, she’s kept quiet about the specific shade of red she’s used. However, now she not only is she making the announcement and giving the opportunity to purchase the shade. “Original Formula” is the name Stefani is calling the “hero” shade of her brand newly launched GXVE (pronounced GIVE) makeup collection. “People asked me me for 35 years, what shade of lip color do you wear What color lip are you wearing?’ therefore, it was the perfect starting point,” Stefani tells ELLE.com exclusively.
It’s not to be ignored that we’re in the middle of a beauty brand with a celebrity boom however, Stefani isn’t a newcomer. She was actually in front of the “celebprenuer” trend when she introduced her clothing line L.A.M.B. in 2003. And unlike the other celebrities who have stumbled into the world of makeup and skincare by enlisting the assistance of top makeup artists giving them the tips, Stefani was seemingly born with her beauty origins. “Music was a surprise, but I’ve always been doing from the time I was a young girl. I’m not sure what the reason. I’m not sure how but it just grew in me. I’ve always been a fan,” she adds. With the 90s-era fashion and beauty revival we’re seeing, Stefani’s and GXVE are welcome additions to the top-of-the-line product lineup.
My real Stefani celebrity status was called in question after I learned that she was makeup artists in the Anaheim, California mall makeup counter prior to her time singing. When she left Dairy Queen and as a lifeguard, she was able to work at an department shop where she styled customers, all the while imagining a place behind the counter with the people she called “perfect artworks” (aka makeup artist). After taking her picture and requesting a spot in front of the counters, she was able to secure one. Stefani took the opportunity to offer customers free makeup as “an incredible present” and that’s the exact kind of innovative guidance she hopes to provide through GXVE.
“I don’t have to do this. I don’t have for work. However, with the abundance of blessings surrounding me, I’m here to giving back,” she adds. “This will be my opportunity to create an impact and fulfill my passion. I’m sure that makeup can give me a feeling , and it’s the reason I’m doing this as I’m trying to spread it with others.”
The performer has been doing her own makeup throughout her career. It’s a ritual before performing. Her essentials for a kit are available to purchase through GXVE. “My designs were always influenced by the old Hollywood such as the red lips as well as the matte powder and cat-eyes, as well as a sharp brows” she says. Naturally, the line includes these essentials, plus more. It’s also great that the brow, lip and eyeshadows can be refilled.