With her new Byredo holiday collection, ‘Self Illusion’, Lucia Pica continues to do what she does best: create off-kilter make-up that suits modern beauty. As a make-up artist and creative director at Byredo Beauty (where she won a Wallpaper* Design Award 2023), and Chanel Beauty before it, Pica has endorsed the idea that the most captivating faces are made through subtle eccentricities.
Make-up, as Pica tells me over Zoom from her Paris apartment, ‘should always be asking a question’ by having some element that is slightly off in a barely perceptible way. It has to do something on your face that moves you,’ she says. ‘And that moves the person you’re meeting.’
Byredo holiday collection by Lucia Pica
A prime example of this is her popularisation of red eye make-up, which transforms a traditional marker of illness or sadness into a dramatic way to brighten your eye colour and complexion. The same is true of the clear lip gloss she created for Byredo last year, which can be placed over eyeliner to make you look on the verge of tears.
‘Self Illusion’ continues this approach with four holiday-themed products. The brand’s signature oyster-shaped eyeshadow palette eschews the gold, silver and black found in most holiday collections for gunmetal grey, washed denim blue, pearlescent silver, deep mustard and chestnut brown. The pigments are, as with all Byredo shadows, so intense that a single brush of the finger provides high-impact colour, while the creamy texture makes blending the shades easy.
The colours are complemented by the collection’s Kajal eye pencil in a shimmery brown, and mascara in a peculiar, but subtle, blue-grey that, as Pica puts it, ‘is going to add some character but in a very sophisticated and very elevated way’.
The collection is rounded out by a matte terracotta red lipstick that ‘is not necessarily a full-on red but still gives you that festive feel’. For colour inspiration, Pica was looking at Georgia O’Keefe’s landscape paintings where ‘warm colours were mixed with cool colours’, as well as Wim Wenders’ desert polaroids, which have an otherworldly bluish tint to them. While desert landscapes might not be obvious choices for a holiday collection, they felt right to Pica ‘because it is about being transported into a different state which can be unreal, which can be dreamy, but at the same time makes you expand’.
Dreams are the touchpoint of this collection, underscored by campaign images that depict models in abstract spaces with their faces slightly out of focus or reflected in mirrors and pools of lapis water. This is holiday make-up for people who want to leave people guessing; and who want to cultivate an individual version of beauty that is immediate but also slightly confusing. As Pica herself puts it, ‘Byredo is a luxury brand but it also has a cool, modern side to it, a vibrating energy. So there has to be that something a little off or maybe a little unexpected, but at the same time there’s such a sophistication to the brand that that interesting aspect looks sophisticated and elevated.’
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Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.
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