Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

Inside My Makeup Bag: Isamaya Ffrench

Photo: Isamaya Ffrench
At a time when many of the most famous makeup artists and beauty influencers are preoccupied with the Kardashian kontouring effect, strobing and Instagram-approved notions of female prettiness, Isamaya Ffrench is a breath of fresh, rebel air in the industry. The extraordinarily talented makeup artist and illustrator whose clients include Ashley Williams; Hermes, Chanel, Selfridges, Vogue Italia and LOVE is revered for her subversion of beauty norms and exploration of unusual ideas such as Lego faces at Agi & Sam AW15 and her sellotaped lips at Junya Watanabe SS15.

Add to that the fact that Ffrench was appointed YSL Beauté's UK makeup ambassador at the tender age of 25 last year, and it's no wonder she's often cited as one of London's most promising young creatives. Following a course specialising in 3D design at Chelsea College of Arts, Ffrench then studied Product and Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins but her interest in makeup and its transformative qualities was in fact first explored during a teenage job painting children's faces at kids parties.

Last month Isamaya teamed up with East London hotspot Bistrotheque to create a menu of culinary cosmetics which were presented at a star-studded six-course meal. We caught up with the beauty polymath to delve into her makeup bag and find out her favourite products and secret tips.

If you had just five minutes to get ready, what would you do/use?
A hot flannel and a bar of soap.

Favourite foundation and why?
Chanel CC cream because it's really light and has an olive hue rather than orange.

What's your hair routine and favourite hair products?
I don't really have one anymore... I just chopped it all off and dyed it red after 25 years of it being so long I could almost sit on it.

What’s the one product you reach for to take you from day to night?
Colgate toothpaste.

What’s the one product you have re-purchased the most over the years?
I'm not really faithful to any brands apart from my MAC paint sticks!

Do you contour and if so what do you use?
Tom Ford.

Can you remember the first beauty product you bought in your teens?
Neon yellow and pink hair mascara from Miss Selfridge.

What’s the most expensive, luxury beauty product you own?
A psychotherapist, guaranteed to make you feel gorgeous inside and out.

What’s your most trusty highstreet makeup product?
Toothpaste again I suppose.

Can you remember your worst beauty faux pas?
Bleaching my eyebrows. My boyfriend at the time said I looked like I'd had radiation poisoning.

Favourite mascara and why?
YSL purple mascara, it makes grey eyes look blue and brown eyes look yellow, I love it!

Favourite lip product?

Who are your beauty icons?
Serge Lutens, Marc Ascoli and Jean Paul Goude.

What is the one, transformative beauty product that makes you feel your best?
Touche éclat.

What's your favourite beauty trend/look for SS16?
Coloured hair and funky earrings, but that's just because it's what I'm wearing now lol.

Follow Isamaya on Instagram @isamayaffrench