A Conversation with Artís Founder Matthew Waitesmith
June 15, 2016
Beauty trends have grown exponentially over the past few years. We are addicted to learning and experimenting with as many new tips and tricks as possible—and nailing them flawlessly. The Artís “circle” brush is one of the latest products on the market, revolutionizing the way we apply cosmetics. We sat down with founder Matthew Waitesmith to hear everything we need to know about this breakthrough in beauty.
Neiman Marcus: Is there any meaning behind the name Artís?
Matthew Waitesmith: Artís is the Latin word for “skill, method, technique, conduct, and character.” I think the key to creating great makeup looks today has more to do with how you apply products, rather than the product formulas themselves. I wanted the company name to reflect this.
NM: What led to the development of the unique shape and structure of the Artís brushes?
MW: Conventional makeup brushes are like watercolor brushes—the same kind you find in an art store—designed to be used with paint or watercolor mediums, unlike makeup, which consists mostly of powders and complicated hybrid formulas. Conventional makeup brushes are configured for one person to apply product to another surface or person. Trying to use that kind of brush for self-application is awkward and difficult for many people because it isn’t ergonomic. Makeup wearers need a tool that could easily fit in the hand and be used to effortlessly apply makeup products to their own faces. This required a rethinking of how the brush should be oriented and how it would function.
NM: How does the brush shape help with the application process?
MW: When you get your hair done, the stylist uses tools and products to help cut and style your hair. The scissors, shavers, and clippers they use to precisely cut the hair on the back of your head do not work the same if you are trying to do it yourself at home. In fact, most people wouldn’t dream of cutting their own hair at home, let alone on a daily basis. These tools are designed by hair stylists who want something configured to use on clients. Conventional makeup brushes are configured more for a makeup artist to use on a client, not for the client to use on themselves.
Artís brushes are designed to enable self-application and are inspired by the finger of the human hand. The configuration of the handle and fiber bundle enhances the user’s ability to control application while looking in a mirror. Your hand doesn’t get in the way of your view like it does with a conventional brush. Artís brushes include materials that aid in gripping and holding the handle better, and the handles are even weight-balanced. A good tool should make application easier, not harder.
NM: What are the benefits to the CosmeFibre® used in your products?
MW: There is a specific science to how the CosmeFibre performs in an Artís brush. Conventional makeup brushes use animal hair, which mostly scatters the particles across the skin like a little broom. The Artís brushes with CosmeFibre cause a different physical effect to happen on a microscopic level, which results in particle “distribution” rather than “scattering.” For example, the Oval 10 Brush has a fiber bundle made of CosmeFibre and has over 400,000 individual fibers, each ending in a soft tip that measures about 3 microns—smaller than you can see with the naked eye. The resulting distribution effect is significantly different than conventional makeup brushes.
NM: We know the larger brushes are great for applying foundation and contouring. What are some of the uses for the smaller brushes?
MW: All Artís brushes are multipurpose. We don’t believe in giving a specific usage designation to a brush. Any given Artís brush can apply all kinds of products. The brushes only differ in size and shape.
Some people may just want to apply a little foundation to an area of their face that doesn’t match the rest. In this case, all they have to do is pick the size brush that matches the area they want to apply and use it with the product. For that customer, applying foundation doesn’t mean using the largest brush at all.
The smaller size brushes are for applying product to the smaller areas of the face—perhaps a small application of concealer or foundation alongside the nose or under the eye. That same smaller brush can apply eye shadow to a portion of the eyelid, or under and along the lash line. Think of the shape and size of the area you want to “paint” and then pick a brush size and shape that matches. Don’t think of the brushes as a “foundation” brush, an “eye shadow” brush, or a “lip” brush—think like the artist you are, and make all your brushes do multiple things.
NM: Any application tips you can share with us?
“Hold the handle between your thumb and fingers.”
Each Artís brush has a non-slip pad that helps you hold the brush handle between your thumb and fingers for maximum control.
“A little goes a long way.”
Artís brushes are so efficient you don’t need to pick up as much product as you may be used to. Start with picking up just a little product on your Artís brush, and you’ll be surprised at how far it goes on the skin.
“Float, don’t grind. Glide, don’t bounce.”
Artís brushes are designed so well you only have to place the brush on the area you want to cover, then gently glide or float it back and forth until you get the coverage and blend you desire.
“Pick a size brush that generally matches the size of the area you want to cover.”
Each Artís brush is shaped to match certain shapes of the face structure. If you want to apply eye shadow to the entire lid area, pick a brush size that will apply product quickly and easily to that area.
“Place, pull glide, push glide, or shimmy. Move the fiber tips across the area with continuous strokes without picking up the brush from the skin.”
Unlike conventional brushes, you don’t have to keep placing the brush against the skin, then lifting up and then placing it again, and so on. Artís brushes just need to be placed and then moved around the area you want to cover in one continuous stroke, without the need to lift off the skin multiple times. This makes using the Artís brushes very efficient—every stroke applies and blends in one fluid movement.
NM: What lies ahead for the future of Artís products?
MW: When you use a tool every single day to create beauty, it becomes more than a tool—it becomes a part of your life. Artís allows not only wonderful application results, but makes the tool a thing of beauty. When you are holding that beautiful tool every day, it becomes a part of our personal aesthetic—something that inspires you because it looks beautiful and works beautifully. Artís will continue to evolve the makeup brush and infuse it with additional attributes to help it fulfill the promise of a beautiful and effective tool to use with makeup, cosmetics, and skincare.
Discover the latest in brushes and beauty. Shop the Artis Fluenta Set #onlyatNM.