Gill Meets

Gill Meets Colette Haydon

colette working with lixir

What is your background?

I am a doctor in dermo-pharmacy.  I am passionate about the skin and formulating skincare. Over 20 years ago I set up a laboratory in London called Elixir de Beaute.  Together with my team, I formulated hundreds of products for many of the most coveted beauty brands.  I am pretty sure there is at least one in your bathroom.  I stand proud behind them all.

You have created products for brands such as HealGel, Jo Malone, Aromatherapy Associates and REN to name just a few; what has driven you to create your own brand?

Lixir is driven by my skincare and laboratory experience.  My skin beliefs have evolved with time; they are deep, disruptive and controversial.  Above all I want to improve your skin, not wrack your brain. I dedicated my work to the understanding of skin. Read More…

Gill Meets Wayne Goss

wayne goss

What is your background?

I grew up in Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset. I studied exercise and nutrition at university, but after finishing my degree I was so sick of talking about food and movement that I made the decision not to pursue this as a career. At that time I was unsure what I really wanted to do so I took a job working for an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA). I stayed for eight years and then I moved to the BBC where I worked across music and makeup. During this time I was on a mission to learn makeup skills and essentially I was self-taught. I endeavoured to work with as many people as I could, but the BBC taught me that media makeup was not for me. I think there is a huge misconception that you suddenly just start working as a makeup artist, but with bills to pay, I still needed to work.

What or who inspired you to become a makeup artist?

Acne. I started to breakout on my cheeks really badly when I was 20. It was an awful time and tremendously stressful, my skin was bright red and around 80% of my cheeks were covered in blemishes. They were the form of blemishes that didn’t come to a head so I became obsessed with finding a ‘cure’ and/or covering up the breakouts. I wanted my skin to look good and that was the trigger for becoming interested in makeup. I learnt most of my techniques from Kevyn Aucoin’s makeup books together with a really old book by Way Bandy. I still have that book and it is still as amazing as the first time I read it. Per se, I wasn’t taught by a makeup artist, but YouTube was a great source of inspiration.

You are a YouTube phenomenon; what was the subject of your first ever video?

The very first video I filmed was on contouring, which really wasn’t mainstream eight years ago. Instagram had yet to be founded and I noticed that YouTube had many talented people talking about makeup, but nobody was really showing ‘how to’ apply makeup or explaining in full detail how to achieve a certain look. I made the decision that I wanted to do that, to explain something and then break it down in manageable chunks so that people could achieve a specific look for themselves. In a way it is of course educational, but it was a very slow process in the beginning. I started with a few followers and the truth is that the growth was so slow, I didn’t really envisage or even dream about the following I have now.

People always ask me ‘how do you get followers’ and I always respond in the same way – one at a time. There is no short-cut. No quick fix.

To date, which video has received the biggest response?

Probably the Kim Kardashian concealer video and the Kim Kardashian contouring video. When they were released the response was huge and to this day they continue to do extraordinarily well.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far?

Honestly – money. In the beginning I had no money whatsoever, so I bought things from stores that were selling out-of-date makeup at knockdown prices. I would buy anything I could afford or could get my hands on. I really wanted to go to makeup school, but I truly couldn’t afford it. It took about five years to save up enough money to finally attend. I honestly thought I needed ‘training’ in order to progress, but actually I was mistaken. By the time I attended the course I had been self-taught for nearly nine years, so upon reflection it wasn’t the best money spent. My current view is that I think going to a makeup school is a great place to learn techniques, but it is not a pre-requisite.

If you could choose one make-up product and one skincare product that has changed your life, what would these be and why?

Makeup: Blusher. It is just so pretty and it instantly makes your skin look beautiful.

Skin: Sunscreen. As somebody who has had several moles removed, I would always say protect your skin.

How do you see makeup evolving over the next five years?

I think makeup will continue to evolve with more extreme makeup looks, heavy foundation and heavy filters on social media channels. I don’t see that going away – ever. What I would like to see is more honesty in what is really possible with makeup and makeup effects.

As a makeup artist, what are your three essential products?

Foundation. Blusher. Powder. Simple, but I’m a simple boy!

You are an avid reader; which three books have made the biggest impact on you and why?

Flowers In The Attic: Honestly this book really moved me. It was the saddest, but most beautiful read and it still lingers to this day.

Dirty Weekend: It was mainly the title that got me, but how wrong I was. Again, it is beautifully written, funny, engaging and enraging at the same time. I think we all have a little ‘Bella’ in us.

Stop The Insanity: This is the first book I read on nutrition and at the time I fell in love with it. While I don’t necessarily believe the information now, it was funny, entertaining and motivational. It was written by a single mother who literally worked out how to find out how much fat was in the foods we were eating and how we were being lied to.

What makes you happy?

Honestly, I’m still not sure. I am still looking; I am still searching, but music is soothing. I love music. My favourite type of music is the slow atmospheric stuff and my three favourite artists are:

Lana Del Rey: There is something about her sound that really appeals to me together with the darkness of the lyrics.

Sarah McLachlan: Her voice is just perfection.

Heather Nova: Again, the voice of an angel with deep reflective lyrics.

Gill meets Prudvi Kaka

Gill Meets Prudvi Kaka NIOD-group-625x416-0

What is your background?

I came from beautiful India to beautiful Canada with an educational background in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. I started off my career in Canada back in 2013 with a dream to become a pharmacist initially, but fortunately landed in beauty. My initial beauty formulation experience started at another cosmeceutical lab briefly and this led to DECIEM. Read More…

Gill meets Mattius Hulting


What is your background?

I founded Ramblin’ Brands in 2011 together with my friend and former colleague Peder Wikström, with whom I had worked at Procter & Gamble. We had both spent most of our career working with beauty brands like Sassoon, Wella and SK-II.

Over the years, our careers had taken us to Asia. I spent many years working in Japan while Peder was in Shanghai working for a Swedish cosmetics company. The idea to set up our own company came from late night conversations when visiting each other. We have both always had a passion for innovation, but it was when the idea for Smile Makers came about that we decided to finally do something. Read More…

Gill meets Brandon Truaxe – Again!


With four products now launched, CAIS, MMHC, Photography Fluid and Lip Bio-Lip Concentrate, the NIOD journey enters its second phase. We have three new products launching this month, so let’s start with Hydration Vaccine (HV). Please explain the product, what it does and when we should be using it?

Water is like oxygen; very little desire for it exists until it’s absent and then it becomes the only priority in mind. I am very much against most products that mention the word “hydration” for the very reason that they suggest to “hydrate” the skin, which generally means increase the water content within skin cells. First, most hydrating products are mainly using oils to provide this “hydration” so I am not sure where water comes into play. Second, the water content of topical products usually evaporates on the surface – otherwise we would just hydrate our skin by sitting in the bathtub. Third, because the skin repels water (and actually attracts oils, counter intuitively) the skin will likely repel anything that claims to deliver skin hydration (meaning water) topically. And fourth, because the part of the skin that matters most is made up of live cells that generally are very happily filled with a lot of water and do not need “hydration”. These reasons are why DECIEM brands do not offer typical moisturizing products. Read More…

Gill meets Brandon Truaxe


DECIEM is an umbrella of beauty brands, including Fountain, Hand Chemistry, HIF (Hair is Fabric) and NIOD (Non-Invasive Options In Dermal Science). What was the inspiration behind DECIEM?

When we started, our hands were tied because I had exited Indeed Labs with a non-competition agreement preventing me to do anything in the area of facial anti-ageing, which was all I had done most of my life, what I knew well and what is by far the most interesting part of this industry. I had to decide what to do. In between airports, rivers, mountains and crowded cities, the advice everyone gave we was the same: you can’t do ten things at once. And so I formed DECIEM (from the latin word for ten in a row, “decima”) to do exactly that. It’s the wrong thing to do. But it definitely was right for us. By being involved in so many categories, our brands can afford to have a dedicated lab, design team, factory and a dedicated everything really, and we keep our team very excited all the time. In reality, by doing more brands, we are doing more for each brand. Read More…