Vampyre Cosmetics, the luxury indie brand known for its vegan, cruelty-free, talc-free, highly pigmented colors and unique collectible packaging, is set to be the most requested palette on any makeup lover's list this holiday season. Vampyre Cosmetics' new partnerships with Hot Topic.com, Dollskill.com, and grant fans of the brand unprecedented access to the coveted palettes representing pop-culture icons like Emily the Strange, Vincent Price, the Winchester Mystery House, and more.
On November 18th, 2022, Vampyre Cosmetics had a marvelous makeup launch to celebrate the premiere of the Vincent Price eye shadow palette. The colors are intensely gorgeous that add iconic pops of color to your eye makeup. The Vampyre Cosmetics lines are capsule collections that harken back to storytelling through the ages. From Jane Eyre to Emily the Strange, these licensed collections evoke feelings of nostalgia for collectors across the world. The innovators of the 'Book Palette,' Vampyre Cosmetics, offers a library of titles from Jane Eyre to Dracula with color stories to match the titles in pages that read like the books they are modeled after.
Top makeup artists adore the products for their vast range of colors and efficacious results. The most sought-after pieces from the new collections include:
Emily the Strange - Cat head shaped palettes featuring the infamous felines of Emily's Bad Kitten Club: Sabbath Cat, Nee Chee Cat, Mystery Cat, and Miles Cat Vincent Price - Eye shadow palette featuring UV reactive pigments (makeup that literally glows under black light!)
About Vampyre Cosmetics - Vampire Cosmetics consist of two amazing women named Rachel Clinesmith and Karen Holton. Vampyre Cosmetics work hard to bring you cosmetics so uniquely packaged -- the packaging is iconic -- you will definitely not see anything like it. The team collaborates on every single graphic of their cosmetic packaging. Rachel and Karen are very creative and it shows in every detail. The duo feels that if you are using the same generic packaging 99.9% of cosmetics companies, you are not creating a relevant vibe or aesthetic. "It's not enough for us to sell you high quality & highly-pigmented vegan, cruelty, and talc free products." "We are driven to create an exciting environment for them to live in as well," said Rachel Clinesmith.
About Rachel Clinesmith New Orleans Native Rachel Clinesmith, aka SWAMP WITCH @Swampophile on Social Media, is the Editor in Chief of Vampyre Magazine and Co-Owner & Founder of Vampyre Cosmetics LLC. Rachel is Autistic & ADHD; makeup has been a special interest since she was thirteen years old. Rachel has been designing custom cosmetics products for several other independent brands and celebrities since 2011. She created Vampyre Cosmetics LLC for the niches mainstream brands leave behind. Her experience working with the music, pinup, burlesque, and horror communities/industries has given her first-hand knowledge of the needs of these subcultures.
About Karen Holton Karen Holton is an artist, entrepreneur, and San Francisco Bay Area, native. In 2021 she left a rewarding yet creatively stifling fifteen-year healthcare career due to Lyme disease complications. Karen spent the next year educating herself and honing multiple creative skills at a maker space. She's built up her home 'mad scientist lab,' which now consists of a laser cutter, resin printer, vacuum chamber, and Nomad 3 desktop CNC router. In 2022 she partnered with Rachel and now focuses her expertise on consulting, creative collaboration, and innovative solutions in product design, marketing, and branding.
Vampyre Cosmetics was the brainchild of Rachel Clinesmith. Rachel started selling makeup for an mlm cosmetics brand in high school after her mother took her to a cosmetics counter and she became hooked on the medium as a tool for self expression. Makeup also became a special interest of hers and the more she learned about the science behind cosmetics formulation, the more she felt uncomfortable peddling products that might not have the safest ingredients. This combined with the community within the mlm not being accepting towards her gothic fashions, she vowed to start a makeup line when she was older. She began working with the burlesque and haunted house communities in her 20s as well as going on tour with bands and used this time to research and develop her first handmade products. Twelve years later, this is her second makeup company and it’s a culmination of all the experience she gathered until now.
Rachel and Karen met through common interests and a mutual friend multiple times over the past five years. Early in 2022, Karen volunteered to help with some graphics for Vampyre Magazine which is co-owned by Rachel and Sebastiaan - who is a good friend of Karen's. The two women started chatting regularly and what was an acquaintance turned into a friendship. Rachel had done an incredible job building Vampyre Cosmetics to a point where she had surpassed her mentors.
The brand was in over 80 stores worldwide and had built a reputation as having high-quality cosmetics in unique packaging. Rachel wanted to take it to the next level but did not have the resources to do it alone. Karen had spent the last year honing her skills as a maker after leaving a 15-year career in medicine due to chronic illness as a result of tick-borne infection. She knew she would need to work from home for the foreseeable future and was focused on developing creative skills to do so. She joined Maker Nexus, a vast Silicon Valley maker space, and after taking many classes put together her own “mad scientist lab” at home. Together Rachel & Karen are a powerhouse team of neurodivergence.
There is a lot of storytelling and nostalgia within the brand, which is fantastic. You draw inspiration from pop icons like Emily the Strange, Jane Eyre, Vincent Price, and Winchester Mystery House. Can you please expand on this?
Storytelling and Nostalgia are key components of our brand. From cover art to cosmetic color choices and packaging details. Every detail is painstakingly developed and implemented to take our customers on their own unique journey through the products. The names of each color are also specific to the individual pieces, intended to evoke whichever emotional response we are striving for.
Rachel has loved Emily The Strange since she discovered the brand at Hot Topic in High School. I live on what used to be part of the Winchester Mystery House property just blocks away from the house. Rachel grew up watching old Film Noire movies with her grandmother who moved from Kansas to Hollywood in the 1940’s to work as a model and Vincent Price is one of her favorites.
You and Karen both are Vincent Price fans! Tell me a bit about that.
Vincent Price was not only an amazing character actor, he also had amazing character as a person. He contributed a lot to The East Los Angeles community and donated works to EAST LA community college who named their art museum after him. He also frequently spoke out against racism and prejudice in a time when it could have significantly hurt his career to do so.
What is your overall vision for Vampyre?
We strive to be a “beauty disruptor”, renouncing social constructs of beauty and replacing them with individual ones.
Our “mini-manifesto” is found on the backs of all new palettes and boxes:
Makeup is Magickal.
Steeped in academia and dark lore, we create products for the people mainstream brands leave behind. We believe you should be able to express yourself as you wish.
Vampyre Cosmetics gives you the tools to define your aesthetic and begin your makeup adventure.
Why do we put this on our products?
We believe no one should have to choose between unique, inspired packaging and high quality, ethical cosmetics, so we committed to being all in one.
We believe vegan, cruelty and talc free should be the baseline for cosmetics, not something to brag about.
We believe gender is a construct and has no place in our business. We refuse to gender our products because they are for everyone.
We want to help those who use our products to feel empowered enough to show up in their skin however they wish.
Want to highlight natural features without being overdone? We got you!
Want to be completely extra? We STILL got you!
Want to look like a cat? We’ve got you!
Want to look like your favorite anime? We’ve got you!
Want to look like the undead? Heck yeah! Lets do this!
We believe beauty is in everyone. We simply provide tools as an option for the expression of it.
Are parts of the cosmetics company NOLA-inspired?
New Orleans holds a very special place in both our hearts. Rachel grew up there and Karen has visited every Halloween since 2009. The Fleur De Lis palette is an ode to NOLA as Rachel’s hometown of New Orleans. The colors are iconic to the region and their names are those of New Orleans streets.
We also created a King Cake Shaped makeup palette last year that sold out very quickly to various stores in and around New Orleans during Mardi Gras. We will be bringing back a 2.0 version of that palette next year.
What are your best sellers at the moment?
Our wine shaped lipsticks, book palettes (three “pages” of colors that look and feel like a real book!) and our Emily the Strange Cat Palettes.
What if you are a woman that sticks to neutral tones? What would be your advice in terms of adding a pop of color?
The first bit of advice would be don’t do it at all unless you feel comfortable experimenting outside your norm. If you are I’d suggest putting a small amount of color on the very inner eyelid and blending it out with your neutral tones. Sometimes less is more and a small bit in that area can really pop against a neutral background. If you are looking for a palette with a mixture of both neutrals and bolder colors, we would suggest our Jane Eyre Palette and Withering Heights. Jane Eyre has by far the most neutrals of anything we put out but Wuthering Heights has some neutrals but a lot of jewel tones and several highlighter shades.
Packaging also seems to be crucial. Do you both create the ideas and mood for each palette?
We do. A friend of our’s son asked Rachel if she has Synesthesia as she is autistic because of how she comes up with the color names and color stories for each palette. She pulls inspiration from everything but there’s definitely an emotional attachment and memories that come to mind with each one.
Any hints on upcoming palettes?
Our new King Cake Palette will be premiering early 2023 during Mardi Gras season, we hope to do a whole line of New Orleans inspired palettes at some point. Our Emily the Strange Guitar Palette is also coming out very soon. 2023 will also see the release of our officially licensed Winchester Mystery House collection later in the year.
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