On Set with Photographer Ellen von Unwerth

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This is a photo from a memorable and iconic shoot with famed German photographer Ellen Von Unwerth. A former fashion model, Ellen was best known for her photos of female models, actresses and musicians. She also was behind the iconic Guess ad featuring Claudia Schiffer in 1989.

This shoot was the result of a new makeup launch called Color Options. The concept came to be after being frustrated with how blah the makeup counters looked in department stores at the time. Everything was taupe, beige and brown — colors that work effortlessly on the eyes, but are not that exciting in the sea of the bold colors offered by the other brands. Then we landed on a fun idea — Color Options was meant to be akin to the accessories you add to the little black dress. Think sparkly earrings, a bright scarf, cool shoes, etc.

Our inspiration came from the art store. We scoured the lab and came up with pure pigments of color, intensely matte powders and glitter. We even created uber-matte lipsticks in black metal cases with round bullets (very vintage feeling) and color creams in paint tubes.

The shoot was produced by Ellen’s team, she booked the models, stylist and hair. It was pretty effortless. She is a pro and knew exactly how to capture the light and grab the most beautiful shot of the girls and the angle that showed off the makeup best.

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