Makeup Review: Ellis Faas Human Colours

by PJ on Tuesday, May 11, 2010

in makeup,makeup - blusher,makeup - eyeshadow,makeup - lip color,makeup - mascara

Early last year, my friend Lynn (who reviewed items from Thierry Mugler) told me about Dutch makeup artist Ellis Faas, whom she read about on the February 2009 issue of W Magazine. (You can see the article here.)

Ellis Faas used to work on special effects as she recreated wounds and bruises for public service campaigns and music videos. Knowing that I loved purples, Lynn drew my attention to one of the things Faas said about purples:

During shoots, Faas, 46, noticed that the unsightly bumps and gashes she was trying to create were made up of hues that looked shockingly good against skin. “I started to use those colors in a beautifying way rather than a gory way,” she says. “Why not take the purple in a bruise and use it as an eye color? It’s a very natural thing to do.” (p. 74, W Magazine, February 2009)

I was fascinated by how Faas looked at colors. In the same article, she also mentioned pinks (from the palms of the hands) and browns (from pigmentations like freckles). Coincidentally, I mentioned in my report on makeup trends of spring 2009 that pinks, purples, and neutrals were the three main ways in which many beauty brands interpreted wearable colors. Faas’ philosophy on “human colours” provides her own perspective on why these colors are considered to be wearable and flattering and, on a more personal level, why I think pinks, purples, and neutrals look good on me.

Nearly all the items in Ellis Faas’ makeup line are in a fluid form and they are packaged in pen-shaped cases. Here are my thoughts on some of the items.

Creamy Eyes in E105 is a well-pigmented medium-to-dark brown. It has a mousse-cream consistency that feels light and fluffy. It spreads easily on the skin and has a velvety, suede-like, and semi-matte finish (with minimal shimmer). The staying power is very good.

It sets very quickly so blending has to be quick. I find that it is not very easy to fade the edges with fingers and that it works better in creating a dramatic block-color look (which you see in the link above). Personally I like it as an eyeliner. The brush makes it easy for the color to go on the lashlines smoothly and efficiently.

I tend to think I am far from the best person to review mascaras, because most mascaras don’t smudge or flake on me and they very rarely irritate my eyes. For me, Mascara in E401 Black is a standard mascara that performs relatively well. It lengthens and volumizes the lashes reasonably well, and the clumping is minimal.

Creamy Lips in L101 Ellis Red is a well-pigmented and intense red that is slightly on the cool side. (It seems cooler than how it looks on the official website.) It has a lightweight gel-like liquid-to-cream consistency that does not feel heavy on the lips. It imparts a creamy sheen on the lips, and, applied light-handedly, it creates a stained look. The color is rich and dramatic.

Blush in S302 is my favorite item of the four. Before I tried it on my skin, I thought it might be too peachy for me. But it turns out to be a sheer peach that looks very natural. It is easy to apply as it has a lightweight creamy consistency that doesn’t drag on the skin. It can be layered for slightly more intensity.

I personally like blushers that are on the sheer side so this item appeals to me. If you like pigmented blushers, then it might be too sheer for you.

When I first got to know about the line, it wasn’t available in the UK. It was great to know later on that the line was launched in Liberty in London in February. It is also available at

The French Vogue described Ellis Faas as “one of the most influential make-up artists of her time”. Her Human Colours makeup line carries a unique identity and is able to make a clear statement which reflects her views on beauty and colors. Whether you like your makeup to be natural or dramatic, you are likely to find items that work well for you.

(The items featured in this article are provided by Ellis Faas.)

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