January 26th 2015
Behind The Brand: Daniel Sandler
February 11th 2015
Legendary (yet low key) makeup artist Daniel Sandler not only knows great makeup, but creates it himself...
With the tagline ‘Be Your Most Beautiful’, Daniel Sandler’s Professional Finish makeup range has won favour across the board for its innovative textures, original concepts and staying power. Whether on shoots or on the street, Daniel’s makeup often outlasts other brands and somehow looks polished and expertly applied even if it’s been smooshed on in two minutes as you shove down breakfast. His products are informed by his artistry expertise, not to mention his league of fans and celebrity clients. Business is booming; here’s Mr Sandler’s success story...
You’ve been a successful international makeup artist for over 25 years; when did the idea for a makeup range of your own come about?
My philosophy is simple; I set out to create the Daniel Sandler Makeup range to make a woman look and feel like the best version of herself with a product that delivered professional results. I discovered through experience what works and what doesn’t. As a makeup artist, working backstage and on location at prestigious photo and video shoots, I was always under pressure to apply makeup quickly and to ensure that it lasted, sometimes in very hot and humid conditions. Often I'd have to mix my own formulations because I couldn't find makeup that was durable and long-lasting enough, and that could be applied easily and quickly. My light-bulb moment came when I realised that in essence a woman faces exactly the same challenges. A woman wants to apply her makeup quickly, achieve great results and have it last throughout the day and night, whatever the time or occasion and wherever the place. My products are unique because they’re created by a professional MUA who knows exactly what works on a woman’s face, and with over 25 years in the industry, I instinctively know a good formula from a bad one.
What was your first priority when setting up the business?
Intellectual property: to protect my name and all of my ideas.
Do you have a business mentor; did someone inspire you in the early days? How did you combine your work with becoming an entrepreneur?
My father was a famous hairdresser in the 60s and 70s and I knew I wanted to do something creative like him but not hairdressing, and when I was 18 years old I watched a makeup artist work on a shoot and realised that was the route I wanted to take. I went on to to complete my training in makeup at the London College of Fashion and afterwards I began working quite quickly and the rest, as they say, is history. For me, working as a jobbing makeup artist and being able to see what is missing from my kit has helped me to evolve my colour cosmetics range organically.
When did you know that your brand had ‘made it’?
One of the pinnacles of my career was being recognised at the prestigious Cosmopolitan Beauty Awards, in the Best Blusher and Best Brushes categories. Also, my products are regularly featured by top beauty editors and beauty bloggers, as well as being loved by some of the world’s renowned makeup artists including Lisa Eldridge, Mary Greenwell and Pixiwoo, which never fails to excite me.
Do you get involved with product development in the lab? How about making tools and brushes?
Our product portfolio is based on my personal vision, so I am extremely hands on and work collaboratively with our labs. I travel the world to ensure that we only work with the crème de la crème of suppliers and of course would never launch a new product unless it is 110% perfect.
Your Watercolour Blush has reached cult status- why do you think that this product in particular has been so popular?
It really doesn’t get much better than my Watercolour Blush becoming cult! It is also a huge honour to be largely regarded by the media as the ‘patron saint of blusher’. My Watercolour range is a completely unique offering, which I created while working on music videos; I had to mix 2 or 3 products to get the blusher to stay put under spot-lights and hot conditions. From that point, I just knew that I had to create a single product that would work perfectly. I’m all about long-wear products and I guess the secret to my Watercolour’s success is that not only does it meet consumer demand for stay-all-day product but that it also makes a girl look effortlessly healthy and glowing.
Your range covers almost every makeup need- how have you grown it and where do your ideas come from? Is social media useful?
Drawing from experience, I have been able to create unique, innovative and cutting-edge formulations that are quick and easy to apply, super wearable and extremely durable, so that you can look your most beautiful in a matter of minutes, achieving professional quality results. Social media helps me to stay connected to the consumer and thus helps to keep my brand relevant. They speak and I listen.
Mary Quant sent you your first box of colours- how has makeup and technology come on since you first started working as a makeup artist? What are you excited about for the future of both products and your brand?
Formulas aren't so basic anymore. Scientific developments with ingredients deliver new finishes that are easier to blend, lightweight, last longer on skin and can have skincare benefits too.
Your quite an insider expert- you seem to keep a fairly low profile and let you brand do the talking. Would you say that this is the case? Has this always been your outlook?
You’re right. I do like my products to do all the talking. I've never been the person who likes to shout about myself but I do love meeting women and introducing them to my range. I also love it when women stop me in the street and tell me they use my Watercolours or lipsticks, etc etc. And what truly thrills me is when makeup artists tell me they love my products; getting professional recognition is also very important to me. I follow my instincts when it comes to shouting about my brand, I never like to be pushy because there is a fine line, and that could run the risk of sounding quite desperate.
You also work with a host of charities- how do you pay if forward?
I like to help charities because it’s my way of helping to rid the world of cancer. I am not a doctor so I cannot find a cure to make someone better but what I can do is help to bring some vital funds that support the great work that charities do, which in turn support what the doctors are doing.
What would be a brief ‘day in the life’ of Daniel Sandler?
Every day is different but I generally get up around 7.30, check emails and social media and give Alfie, our dog, his breakfast. Some days I might have business meetings or have a shoot to get to or I might be at home shooting a makeup application video. My day is never 9-5 , some days I'll be doing makeup for a celebrity or private client either very early in the morning or late in the evening for a red carpet event or party. And then there's generally some kind of industry events to go to, like a launch for a new beauty product or awards ceremony. I also try to workout at The Peak gym at least 3 times per week.
What makes you happiest?
A hot bath, a bottle of great champagne or a cuddle from my dog. I love having a lie in at the weekend with my partner Simon, after a good night sleep. Sunshine! Being with good friends and family, and finally, I’m happy when a face cream or anti-wrinkle serum actually does make a difference.
Daniel’s concealer brush is one our the products that we’ve chosen for our Get The Gloss Beauty Insider's Kit created for Latest in Beauty - click here to get your beauty box worth £116 for just £19.95 and let us know what you think on social with #GTGBeautyInsidersKit
Instagram images: @thedanielsandler
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