The heroine of the March cover of L’Officiel-Ukraine singer Vera Brezhneva recently created her own brand of cosmetics VERABeauty. On the eve of the launch in Ukraine, she spoke about its development, as well as about motivation, her attitude to the environment and the image of the ideal girl.
Viscose Blouse, Woolen Skirt, Prada
Vera, your decision to create a cosmetic brand was a big surprise for many. Nevertheless, you have been preparing for its launch for 2 years. Tell us what prompted you to this idea?
The VERA brand is very young, on February 28 he was only 3 months old, but I'm glad that he already has many fans. I admit, I was often approached with proposals to create a perfume, a brand of clothes or to publish a book under my name, but I did not want to do something that did not cause me real interest. It so happened that a few years ago I had the opportunity to touch on the production of cosmetics. I collaborated with one beauty brand, and I was asked to create my own shade of shadows. Having started choosing textures, shades, I realized that I was interested and crazy in love with it. Yes, 2 years have passed from the moment the idea arose to its implementation – it’s very responsible, energy and financially expensive, but now I understand that this is my way and I want to follow it. I am now experiencing a special passion for my new brainchild – I myself did not expect that this occupation would take me so seriously.
Woolen jacket and pants, glasses made of metal and acetate, Moschino, viscose top, Brunello Сucinelli
I know that you take part in the development of products from and to. This is a completely new business for you, tell us how the process of creating cosmetics goes and how you studied this?
The whole process consisted of 2 main stages. The first is the idea and its implementation in the form of a visual series, the identification of the brand’s DNA. The second is the direct embodiment of all ideas, including production. And, of course, the presentation and start of sales, which simply exceeded all expectations. For a long time we were looking for contractors who produce products, packaging, it turned out that it was mostly Italians. I went to the factories, personally got acquainted with their managers, visited specialized exhibitions. Now this is my work, requiring a lot of time and effort, but the whole process gives me pleasure and the result is very pleasing!
I remember my first exhibition, it seemed endless: I enthusiastically examined all this wealth and then I could not sleep from impressions. Now I already understand what I need and what not, and concentrate on a clear task. A cool team of specialists works with me, including a make-up artist with many years of experience, everyone is responsible for their field, but I still delve into, participate in everything and make the final decision. For example, recently I was in a factory in Italy, where I created a new palette: when I was in the laboratory, textures were chosen and colors were mixed. I spent the whole day there until we achieved the desired result. It was a unique color birthday for VERA.
Silk blouse Brunello Сucinelli
And the design of cosmetics, and even the shades of lipsticks show that the entire brand is built on the style of minimalism.
It is, because it’s me, it’s a continuation of me. Initially, when I decided to create a beauty brand, I thought that I needed to call it some interesting word, so I asked my friends and the team what I associate with them. As a result, we got about 50 items, I chose 10, then I conducted a focus group, but it all came down to the word "Faith". And I (oddly enough) a shy person, it seemed awkward to call a brand by my name, and I resisted for a long time. But the time was right, we needed to think through the design, so at first I decided to just try and see how it would be visual, and when I saw the result, I realized that I like it. Now I can’t even imagine another name.
Top micro faille fabric, Valentino cotton pants, Bally
Now you have introduced the baseline, and how often will you create new collections?
We work according to the laws of the market. These will be the main seasonal collections, as well as limited and cruise ones. In the fall we plan to expand the lineup. Yes, at first we released the basic collection of cosmetics, but it is still based on trends. For example, we have a very fashionable brown tone of lipstick 16 My Energy in the style of the 90s – I admit, I did not bet on it, nevertheless it was among the best sellers. And the main one is my favorite nude in matte and classic lipstick, for which girls often thank me. And I get great pleasure from this, I remember how long and difficult it was to choose it from more than 50 shades of beige, as a result, choosing those 2 colors that fit Slavic skin, to my type. They turned out to be the most popular! Once, in search of the perfect beige shade, I jokingly dreamed of creating my perfect lipstick, so I created it, like an eyebrow pencil that I could not find in any brand. Now these are my 2 top products, they will definitely remain in the basic assortment.
Woolen jacket and pants, glasses made of metal and acetate, Moschino, viscose top, Brunello Сucinelli
I know that it was crucial for you that cosmetics should not be tested on animals. And in social networks, you are promoting a conscious approach to ecology and life in general.
For me, this issue has long been relevant. I am against cruelty and irresponsibility in any form. And my awareness is already a way of life. I work on my body in order to live a long beautiful life and move closer to 100 years old, independently, be healthy and flexible. However, thinking about myself, I think about the space in which I find myself – I do not want to live on scorched earth. It’s also important for me that children (not only mine) grow up with the right values - more than 11 million people read me on Instagram. By the way, they don’t react very actively to posts about awareness and ecology, as well as to charity, so I slowly give the necessary information. It is important for me what the planet will be, what the air we breathe will be. Of course, I do not go to extremes, but I do what I can. Since I have been given such a resource, I must use it.
Eco-leather skirt, Miu Miu, leather shoes, N ° 21
Many public people tend to create masks, behind which they hide from the public on the stage and in social networks. For you, singer Vera Brezhneva, the image of an ideal girl has entrenched, while you are quite an open person. How do you balance in order to remain yourself, but not to let negativity and hate into your life?
To come up with a mask and wear it takes a lot of strength and energy, and I'm such a lazy person! (Laughs.) I am a mundane person; my childhood landed me well and tempered. In addition, I have a large family, I have two children, the All-Ukrainian Charity Fund, work, a lot of worries, so there is no time for something fake, it is more interesting to be yourself. The creative profession gave me the opportunity to deliver messages through music that are important to me, and at the same time help people to pay attention to what is important to them. For 5 years now, I have been the UN Goodwill Ambassador for HIV / AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and I am in favor of using my popularity to implement cool ideas. Naturally, I come across both criticism and negative, but I have learned to relate to it calmly and adequately. For me, the most important thing is that I go my own way, honest with myself and know that I do a lot of good. Even when I founded the Ray of Faith foundation in 2006, someone said that all this was for PR. Hearing this is unpleasant, but for myself, I decided that if I help at least one person, I already live not in vain. Now the fund covers 19 regions of Ukraine, where in oncohematological departments of hospitals there is equipment that we bought and brought. I do not shout about it on every corner, I just take and do. If because of some comment or person I dropped my hands and did not use my resources, there would be no point in public life.
Silk Jacquard Blouse, Chloé, Cotton Pants, Plan C
It was a revelation for me when about a year ago you admitted that you worked with a psychologist for a while to accept yourself.
I sincerely believe that there are no ideal people. You always need to work on yourself. Not in order to get closer to the ideal, but in order to become better than yesterday or a month ago. In fact, I am an ordinary normal person, I had difficulties in my youth and adolescence, rejection of myself, my appearance, many girls face this. Already at the age of 20, realizing that I had a load of problems, complexes, insecurity, resentment, I realized that it was bothering me to live, and began to work on myself. Including a psychologist. It really paid off, including inner peace and self-confidence. In the process, some people from my life disappeared, new ones appeared – this is a natural way. Now I am comfortable with myself, I’m not bored, I’m happy, I look at myself in the mirror and love myself as I am at 38, and calmly respond to growing up. I learned to accept that there are no insoluble problems, the only question is your attitude to this problem and your readiness to solve it. There is no magic pill, unfortunately, this is a long way and work, so I simultaneously learned to enjoy the process. Yes, I admit that I’m imperfect, I have something to strive for – and this is wonderful. You can treat a person who is better than you, more successful, with envy, or you can make him your motivation – and this is also your choice. Our possibilities, especially for women, are endless. We are much stronger than we think.
Wool jacket, metal belt, Elsa Schiaparelli, cotton blouse, Michael Kors
But at the same time, the issue of replenishing reserves is very important, because in our active time the most difficult thing is to find energy.
I agree, but I would divide the answer into several parts. The first thing regarding physical energy, I understood a long time ago: the most important thing is to let yourself get enough sleep. The second is nutrition: how and what I eat directly leaves an imprint on how I feel. Therefore, my body, like a machine, accustomed to useful "fuel". The third is sports, massage and a properly balanced load. I have been doing Pilates for many years, and for the last six months I really like gravitational 3D gymnastics, as well as functional training and cardio loads. This makes the body flexible, flexible, as a result of which it becomes more resilient. Thanks to this, I can maintain a schedule that is not suitable for everyone.
What about internal energy?
You know, I used to think that the main source of energy is one of the people, then – that these are some special practices or something else. But it turned out that it was me. My main source is myself, and good physical form is his foundation. In this case, you are in the right energy balance and further from everything you do in everyday life, in the family, at work, you begin to have fun. Awareness of this came to me with age, with a long search for myself. I was sure that a happy woman can only be thanks to a man nearby, but now I understand: this man can be around when you are a happy woman. Everything around depends on the female energy, I – this is my universe, when it is in order, everything around is also in order. At one time, I listened to many lectures, went to trainings, and in the end I realized: all these are just tools, they can help you be better, but the basis is you and only you.
Worked on the shooting:
Photographer: Gosha Pavlenko
Stylist: Olga Yanul
Hairstyles: Yu Nagatomo
Makeup: Helena Komarova @Close Up Milano
Heroine: Vera Brezhneva
Producer: Diana Melnikova
Stylist Assistant: Vanessa Wolff
Interior Design: Spinzi Design Studio
Read also: Inside: Announcement of the March issue of L'Officiel with Vera Brezhneva on the cover