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It's not expensive to look good
Publication Date : 14-02-2013
A new Malaysian brand stresses on affordable beauty
It's not every day that one gets to meet distinguished fashion illustrators. The dexterous strokes of illustrators are irresistible and everyone wants a piece of their artwork, from magazine editors to fashion houses.
David Dawnton, Tanya Ling and Sabine Pieper are a few of the illustrators that have made a name for themselves. Joining the ranks of these A-list sketch masters is Kerrie Hess, who has lent her strokes to Kate Spade, Collette Dinnigan, Neiman Marcus, Net-A-Porter.com, Chanel, L’Avion, Vogue and Tatler.
Hess is also the author of "Shoestring Chic: 101 Ways To Live The Fashionably Luxe Life For Less", which dispenses advice on how to look fabulous without burning a hole in your wallet.
The book is packed with her signature illustrations of gorgeous women with perfect silhouettes that are at best uber-feminine and mesmeric. The underlining factor in her works is its simplicity and creativity, executed with clean lines and a pop of colour.
“When I started working on the book, I wanted it to be a simple style guide with pretty illustrations, but the economic climate changed the direction of the book. You don’t need money to buy you style, you need sensibility,” she said.
The book extends tips beyond the realm of fashion and beauty, and includes ways one can discover luxury in different ways, be it at boutiques, at home or while travelling.
The Australian-born, France-based illustrator was in Kuala Lumpur recently to grace the launch of Covo which she had collaborated with.
The brand was conceptualised by Malaysian Julie Wong, who is on a mission to spread the word that you don’t necessarily need to splurge, but that you can buy affordable, quality products which delivers great results.
Hess herself is very simple in her appearance but has a certain je ne sais quoi that is very charming. She is the spitting image of her illustration. “I prefer simple and classic fashion style, and my staples are jeans and blazers as well as the LBD. I accessorise my look with printed scarves and statement shoes,” she said.
When it comes to make-up, Hess keeps it minimal while letting only one of her features stand out at a time. “If I decide to have a bright lipstick on, I’ll keep the rest of the make-up simple and if I want the eyes to be bolder, then the rest of it has to be slightly muted,” she shared.
Covo is a democratic way to look at beauty, its appeal extends across the board and it doesn’t discriminate.
“I love the idea of owning luxury for less and similarly, when I come across designers who do fusion, it excites me,” she stated.
Hess has certainly come a long way since starting out as a graphic designer in London after finishing her studies in Australia. “I was a graphic designer at The Independent when I started dabbling in illustration. Originally, my artworks were created using pen or markers with Photoshop. It’s less computerised now. I usually use pen and watercolour.
“I never thought I’d be working with the world’s greatest brands. I’m lucky that way,” said the lithe, sensible fashionista who lives in Paris with her husband and son.
Covo, Wong’s brainchild, made its debut into the Malaysian market last November.
The mother-of-two had a strong desire to help women highlight their best features and be confident in the way they look. Having been in the industry for 13 years, Wong decided to start her own cosmetics line.
Underlined by a Luxe for Less philosophy, she believes going frugal when it comes to fashion and beauty is the way to go.
“I wanted to communicate these messages across effectively and in style. I came across Kerrie Hess’s works during my research and was blown away by her beautiful illustration. We connected right away,” enthused Wong.
“The beautiful packaging Hess designed for Covo complements the products perfectly,” gushed Wong.
“Covo ticks all the boxes of a luxury product. We offer a total prestige shopping experience by providing luxurious quality, packaging and service, within a reasonable price bracket of 29 ringgit to 95 ringgit (US$9.4 to $30.7 ringgit). My products are safe, doesn’t contain paraben and animal ingredients.”
Covo nail polishes are formulated without harmful ingredients the likes of formaldehyde and toluene.
“They are safe for pregnant women and children, and their performance is noteworthy. You will find that it’s heavily pigmented, highly glossy and long-lasting.”
The loose powder and blush comes in a no-waste grinder which allows you to control the amount of loose powder needed for setting your make-up. Each Covo lipstick is fitted with a pop-up mirror while the lip gloss has a mirror on the tube. The pencil eyeliner comes with a sharpener cap so that you can have a sharper lead any time.
Covo’s Multiplying Mascara offers a revolutionary formula that performs and protects the lashes at the same time. The Mineralised Bio-Strengthening Complex of six potent naturally derived active ingredients, is touted to make your lashes appear longer without damaging them.
“Our signature products are the HD Picturesque range comprising a Primer, Liquid Foundation and Loose Powder with SPF 10, which has the ability to give you a flawless look in a jiffy. They are carefully made using the best ingredients and are lightweight,” explained Wong.