Starting out as a fashion illustrator and quickly becoming the go-to for creative makeup artistry, Phyllis Cohen launched Face Lace in 2012 to bring a whole new dimension to the beauty of makeup.
With intricate designs that can be applied in seconds, it’s no wonder the products are loved by some of the world’s most flamboyant stars including Paloma Faith and Lady Gaga; meanwhile, Phyllis herself has been the industry’s go-to as a fashion makeup artist, working with the likes of Kylie Minogue and finding fans in everyone from the late David Bowie to Annie Lennox and Janet Jackson. As a busy mum, makeup maestro and company founder, Phyllis has her work cut out for her - we took five to chat about how she stays organised and how she looks after her team and herself…
Hit the snooze button or up-and-at-em?
The snooze button, several times! I love working late at night, I always have, but when kids come along, late night working when everyone is asleep really comes into its own. I always feel like I can carry on forever at 1:30am, but then I pay for it the next morning.
What does your company do in under ten words?
Wearable makeup art, transforming the everyday to extraordinary in minutes.
Best piece of work advice you ever had?
If you need help, someone out there will help you, with advice, actions, or expertise; just ask and appreciate the time they give you. I always try to be as gracious as possible with everyone’s time, and promote this to my team as well.
Name three things in your working week you love doing?
I love my team of women and we have a great time chatting and choosing playlists - everything from Fellini soundtracks to 90's grunge. I LOVE designing and doing research, but it is always a bit daunting. To get to the final product is so much work, but I'm getting better at it.
What are the 3 things you do every day before breakfast?
Terribly unglamorous, but the reality of a working mum - I clean the kitchen and do household chores while the tea is brewing.
What do you love about your job?
For Makeup work I fall in love with every face, really, and it's an honour to paint each one. I always find some beauty in a face. I also love working in a team, especially if I have the pleasure of working with friends.
What’s cooking for work lunch?
I make lunch for my Face Lace team every day, so we rotate from homemade soups, salads, omelettes, stir fries; I make fresh hummous every week, everyone’s fave!
How do you stay organised?
Oh dear, this is a difficult subject! I think I'm a nightmare to work with, I have an attention deficit brain, I can be involved in doing one thing and completely switch track in a split second. This is great for creativity but terrible for everything else - luckily I have people around me with patience and good organisational skills!
Describe your working style in 3 words?
Chaotic, creative, meticulous
Typical work attire?
My wardrobe looks like a black and white movie - I love wearing black or black and white, with a few colour accents. I have a crazy amount of black and white shoes!
Heels or flats, and why?
Flats, the days of standing around in heels are long gone.
Worst job you ever had?
I did makeup at an expensive salon, where the woman who hired me hated every tiny thing I did, saying that her beautician in Eastern Europe could do it so much better; then it dawned on me that she had a complex of needing to belittle everyone around her. I realised that she was basically paying me not to make her look beautiful, but to inflate her ego by criticising everything, I couldn't wait for that job to finish!
Notepad or iNotes?
Both - I need everything going to help me get organised!
Yoga, Pilates or HIIT and why?
I've been a yoga bunny for 7 years, it keeps me sane and flexible, and mysteriously I can get myself up at 7am every Saturday and Sunday morning to get to an 8am class!