Of all the makeup-artist Instagram accounts we stalk (and believe us, there are a LOT), L.A.-based Robin Black is hands down our favorite. Her Beauty Is Boring account — and its corresponding website — started as a fun side project for Black, whose clients include Lucy Hale and Olivia Wilde. But Black turned her passion project into a full-fledged internet sensation.
"[After shooting with me] models would ask me to do 'fun' makeup on them — I'd create something with their input," she explains. Black, who is also an accomplished photographer, would take Polaroids of the looks and post them to her small blog. Word got around, and as she worked with more models, the demand for that signature Robin Black creativity increased.
Now, Beauty Is Boring has 89,000 followers on Instagram and has landed on multiple "best makeup artists to follow on Instagram" lists. Which is why it's no surprise Black, along with her business partner and newly installed CEO Melissa Barrett, is building out the BIB brand with a new website, tutorials, and — wait for it — a subscription-box type service and her own product line. Are we the only ones breathing super fast in anticipation?
Let's start with the website. It's been overhauled with a sleek design and brand-new components. There's The Face, an archive of makeup looks and the products used to create them, accompanied by hand-illustrated face charts from the site's resident illustrator, Regina Yazdi. The site also features easy-to-follow tutorials, divided into separate sections so you can focus in on the info you want; and 27-second vignettes that combine Black's makeup mastery with playful videos inspired by silent films. Black also has plans to collaborate with artists and stylists she admires to explore new beauty ideas.
Black and Barrett introduced us to the product portion of the relaunch during an exclusive on-set interview. The two told us that both concepts are still in the development phase, so there's no exact date for a rollout. The curated box, says Barrett, will be about exclusivity, partnering with brands that Black is a fan of and uses every day, providing products (full-sized, not samples, both women stressed) that are a form of accessible luxury.
"We're not targeting millennials," says Black, explaining that they will be focusing on "grown women," particularly the busy, on-the-go kind with an "if it's not fitting in my bag, it's not coming with me" beauty philosophy. "It will be focused on what do you need to get out the door, along with an instructional component," she adds.
As for her own products — which are even further down the line than the box concept — Black says her focus is on a concise line that is portable, with products that can be applied quickly and without tools and are skin-care oriented.
"I don't love the idea [of makeup] as a way to fix flaws," notes Black. "I think of makeup as an accessory — like buying a great purse. It's about transformation, not fixing." Can you see why we love her so much?
If you're not familiar with Beauty Is Boring (or you haven't seen its new look), you're in luck — Black shared some of her new work along with the charts, stories, and products behind every one. And as an extra treat, check out one of those cool 27-second videos, below. Let's just say we can really relate to model Breanna and her love of pastries.
Photographed by Robin Black; makeup by Robin Black; modeled by Allie Lewis.
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Photographed by Robin Black; makeup by Robin Black; modeled by Adrianne Ho.