Meet the Expert


Our Surratt expert shares her pearls of wisdom and best-kept brand secrets

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The place where the world's best skin, hair, makeup and perfume brands come alive, our Beauty Hall is filled with cult products and new discoveries. No one knows this more than the experts behind the brands, so, in this series, we ask them to reveal all on your best-loved products and future favourites, to make light work of shopping the greatest skin care online.

After a fast-moving five years on the beauty scene, Surratt has established itself as a makeup brand that celebrates colour, texture, culture and technology. Talking to the brand's Global Director of Artistry and Education, Cindy, we get the lowdown on sustainable beauty, ingenious packaging and the power of artistic pigments. She even reveals brand founder Troy Surratt's 'sneaks' for flawless, glowing skin…

Eastern Inspirations

Troy's fascination with Japanese beauty came after he and Kevyn Aucoin travelled to Japan while working on a colour line, Inui, for Shiseido. They both became obsessed with the innovative nature of Japanese culture and the inimitable quality of pigments, ingredients and products. Surratt Beauty is a celebration of this love - all of our products are made in Japan.

The new Lid Lacquer is inspired by Urushi - the age-old art of Japanese lacquerware; a unique, time-consuming process whereby homewares are coated using the sap from the Urushi tree to create an ultra-glossy finish. Shade names are Japanese in an homage to their inspiration - for example 'Satou Ume', a deep purple shade, takes its name from 'satou', meaning 'sugar' and 'ume', meaning 'plum'. The formula is unique and effortless to use - we call it 'sheerable', rather than buildable, because you can sheer the pigment down once it's been applied and still achieve a perfectly even finish. It's multi-use and, depending on the shade, can be used for eyes, cheeks, lips and contouring.

"When considering packaging, Troy wanted to minimise bulk and waste. He developed rechargeable products that are lightweight and a pleasure to handle."

Keeping Colour Green

At Surratt, it's all about unique formulas and a refined delivery system - pens and pencils for brows and eyes are rechargeable, with lightweight steel handles that last forever. They come with a cartridge, which can be bought separately and replaced each time it's finished. The Expressioniste Brow Pencil is a firm-hold powder compressed into pencil form. With a high-precision tip, it's inspired by the technique Audrey Hepburn and Joan Crawford used to sculpt their immaculate brows (back then, with a regular pencil!).

Our compacts are lightweight and fully customisable with Artistique Blush and Artistique Eye Shadow. The large one is modelled on an iPhone 4, so it feels natural and comfortable to hold in your hand, with a specially-designed fastening that won't chip your manicure.

Express Effects

Throughout the years, people have never stopped asking for a quick and simple smoky eye. Our Smokey Eye Baton is highly pigmented and so easy to apply - it almost blends itself, and it's modelled on a cocktail cigarette (in-keeping with the theme). This liner, like all of our products, is designed for the woman on-the-go - there's a retractable creamy liner on one end and a smudger on the other, with a coordinating eye shadow shade spring-loaded in the cap - which is where the magic happens. Finish your look at this stage, or build with additional eye shadows for a more dramatic effect.

I can't live without our Brow Pomade. It's inspired by a Japanese moustache wax that Troy once tried in his brows, after deciding that gel was too firm and shiny. He lightened the formula to a water-soluble wax from which the water evaporates after it's been applied, so it's still mouldable after drying - as opposed to the crisp, crunchiness of a gel. A unique one-sided brush creates a thick, fluffy brow.

"I always tell my clients that if they can write their name in Auto-Graphique Liner, they can master the perfect flick, too."

Bright Advice

It's only makeup - it's not that serious! It's always better to have tried something and discovered you didn't like it, than wished you could have pulled something off after being too afraid to experiment - that's what makeup remover is for! The prospect of applying liquid eye liner can be daunting - but remember that you don't have to commit to the line straight away. If you're concerned about precision, try a softer look by applying eye shadow first so it's easy to clean up any mistakes. Once you've got your shape laid down and both eyes are symmetrical, apply the liner on top, starting with a guideline and filling in from there. Artistique Eye Shadows are specially formulated to prime skin for liquid liner - if you draw a line on top, it'll appear darker and more pigmented, and it's guaranteed to stay on without fading, cracking or flaking. A single Autographique Liner cartridge lasts six months to a year, or sometimes even longer. The brush won't fray at all, and after time it'll mould to the shape of your eye for easier application.

Surratt products are playful, but safe at the same time - for example, Artistique Eye Shadow in Serin is highly pigmented but the texture is ultra-smooth, so I can achieve just a wash of colour if that's what I want. I'll sometimes use this shade to incorporate a highlight or pop of colour into a smoky eye, blending just a touch onto the centre of the eyelid for a less serious look.

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