Vogue: I read you love collecting vintage makeup! Are there any particular upgrades you’ve noticed when it comes to brushes?
Lisa Eldridge: I’ve been collecting vintage makeup for 30 years (my collection goes back over 1000 years) and one thing I can say for sure is that makeup brushes have improved beyond belief… particularly over the past 30 years. Not only are most of today’s brushes cruelty-free, the science, technology, and high-quality designs are what make the professional makeup application we all expect today, so easy to achieve. The global rise of Japanese brands like Shu Uemura in the early ’90s with their handcrafted, calligraphy-grade professional brushes, certainly lead the way.
What’s your most treasured piece of vintage makeup?
Over the years, I have collected thousands and thousands of pieces, so that’s a very difficult question. Each has a story to tell and I treasure every single piece—from tatty and clearly well-worn faux lashes from the 1930s to Audrey Hepburn’s very own monogrammed and bejeweled lipstick holder.
Having launched your own brand back in 2018, what is important for you personally when creating your own Lisa Eldridge brushes?
My tenure as a creative director at Shiseido and all the time I spent in Japan had a very big impact on me. I was determined to work with the very best brush artisans to craft the highest quality brushes possible—it was a labor of love! I also wanted them to be vegan but to behave like animal hair so finding the right blend of materials was key. I was very fussy about their production… for example, to preserve their softness the hairs are never cut, instead, they are carefully positioned using a patented process that places the hairs in a ‘mold’ to sculpt the perfect makeup tool. I wanted to include beautiful details too, the handle is made from responsibly sourced Japanese cherry blossom wood harvested in Kumano, the historical production center of calligraphy brushes.
Which brushes of yours would you recommend for a beginner to start with?
My No.7 Seamless Blend Brush would be a great place for a beginner to start as it has so many uses… I call it my multi-functioning little powerhouse. It’s ideal for applying foundation and highlighter to targeted areas of the face. It’s the perfect brush to use with my signature patchwork skin technique, but can also be used for concealing around the eyes, applying eye primer, and laying down a base layer of color across the lids.