Friday, 13 November 2009

A Smashbox Workout - makeover and Interview with Daniel Chavez, Director of International Artistry and Training

I had a bad end to a tough week at work so it was with great relief and release when I left work tonight as I had a makeover booked at the newly launched Smashbox counter at Debenhams in London's Oxford Street. There was no booking fee. I was tres excited because I am indeed a fan of the line, and have always wanted a makeover from a Smashbox professional, not least from one of their top artists and trainer of Smashbox artists worldwide.

It didn't go without hiccups as when I arrived Daniel had popped to the loo, though the other artists thought he had left for the day. Disappointed, and miffed because I had had a difficult end to my working day, I left feeling dissatisfied. But soon after (whilst browsing in House of Fraser next door), I received a call from the Smashbox counter saying they had got it wrong and apologised as Daniel was indeed in the building and had wanted to see me and could I come back. It didn't take much persuasion : D And it was worth going back. Daniel is lovely. Of course he and his team were there to promote Smashbox so no doubt there would be much extolling of the line. But, and maybe cos I was receptive to it, I liked that he was so full of energy, had genuine enthusiasm for the Smashbox line and was all ears, patiently answering questions of customers and shoppers. This picture says it all:

It was with some trepidation that I agreed to be his model for a demonstration (you know the kind where the MUA puts on a microphone set so that he can be heard above the shopping buzz?) but once I placed myself in those black director chairs with the Smashbox logo printed on it, I already felt special. Yes, I am taking this way serious ; D

Daniel demonstrated a black/grey smoky eye look on me using a few new products I haven't tried and some that I love. I've posted a pic with details of what was used at the bottom of this post.

Daniel was kind enough to answer my many questions (whilst he was making up another customer at the same time - I'm an avid supporter of multi-tasking!) - so here they are. Again, I only had a pad and paper so I have paraphrased it.

Smashbox has been a brand available internationally for some time, so what is the reason for its appearance in a London store now?
Daniel: Smashbox has been available at QVC UK for about 5 years now, and it was an exclusive contract held with QVC which has come to an end just this year. So we've only just now been able to open counters in the UK.

What would you say distinguishes Smashbox from other makeupartist lines?
Daniel: Smashbox is different in that it was created to be a problem solving and innovative line, both to deal with the hot lights and long working hours on professional TV, film and photography sets as well regarding itself as a fashion forward makeup line.

What's the difference between the Jet Set eyeliners and the Cream eyeliners?
Daniel: The one thing you notice about the Smashbox permanent line is that there are no eyeliner pencils - practically every other cosmetic makeup brand does have an eye pencil. But what happens to an eyeliner when it is near heat (ie hot weather/environment)? It melts. It's the same when you apply eye pencil to your waterline, the warmth from your eye makes it melt and wear off. That's why Smashbox created Jet Set as well the Cream eyeliners - to prevent this melting effect so that they stay on longer on your eyes. Both of these products are the same thing with the exception that Jet Set is made to set in c.15 seconds whereas the Cream eyeliner sets in 60 seconds so you have more playtime (ie. can smudge the eyeliner) before it sets.

Name one product that you would recommend as a must have to a newbie to Smashbox?
Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder

Name one product that you would recommend as a must have to an existing Smashbox fan?
Photo Finish Foundation Primer (which is, if you haven't heard of it by now their No 1 best selling product)

Who's your favourite celebrity to make up?
Well, I haven't been making up celebrities for a while now as I have been busy travelling for Smashbox, but the most recent celebrity job was backstage for the Ugly Betty cast for the SAG awards 2009. They were really fun - I did America Ferrera, Vanessa Williams and the best was making over Becki Newton. She was really lovely and friendly - beautiful.

Here are some pics I googled of Daniel's work at the SAG Awards 2009:

Becki Newton

America Ferrera

Vanessa Williams

And this is a cheeky question, but is Hank Hoffman married? (For those of you who aren't aware, Hank Hoffman is one of Smashbox's top MUAs and who features on alot of their YT vids and on the Smashbox website - having built up quite a fan base - go check him out!))
Daniel: (laughs) Ummm....not sure if I am allowed to say......

I'm asking a cheeky he attached?(snigger, snigger)
Daniel: Yes...let's say he is attached!

In the end, it was a really nice event and Daniel was so obliging - of which I appreciated. Cheers Daniel!

I didn't purchase anything (and there was no pressure to either), as I am waiting to check out the Holiday Eye Wish palette which comes out in Debenhams next week - it's a new lemming!

Here's a final pic of Daniel and I (under the obligatory Smashbox signage!)

I didn't have time to write the colours/shades of the products that were used on me but here's what was used:

Anti Shine
Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Camera Ready Full Coverage Foundation UVA/UVB SPF 15
High Definition Liquid Concealer
Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder
Brow tech
Photo Finish Lid primer
Cream e/l in Caviar (love this!)
Twilight e/s trio (shades of silver, black, frost white, and yes inspired by the book/
Layer Lash primer
Lash DNA mascara (love this too and I learned a good trick which I wll post soon!)
O Plump (didn't like the ginger/menthol feel to this)

There were also some tips from Daniel that I'll be posting about in the next few posts, cos this one has just gone on too long!

I hope you enjoyed it anyway, and I would check out the Smashbox counter if you are near a Debenhams that stocks it in the UK. Best to ring up. The line has some hits and misses - would you like me to post my experience of these and some of the things I loved - and not loved? Just let me know.

Thanks for bearing with the length of this - and for staying with it!


  1. Nice post, sounds like fun! He did a great job... can't wait for the tips! xx

  2. I knew Daniel back when he worked at the Smashbox counter in Nordstrom in the Silicon Valley, CA. He was so friendly, helpful, and very talented! He always made me feel special when I went to see him! I miss him!