Barbara Alcazar and Christina Hiatt weave magic: the friends are talented stylists at Self Salon and run Alchemy Cosmetics, a luxe lipstick brand. North Brooklyn certainly has its share of stylish people and off beat boutiques for clothes and jewels. But, there’s something missing: makeup. Alchemy reflects a Brooklyn girl’s sensibilities: a little mysterious, a little decadence, and some grit.
The lipsticks are sassy and provocative — a perfect addition to any Greenpoint gal’s arsenal. The lipsticks are $18 and for less than twenty bucks, you can be a Chelsea girl or a dark vamp. Even sweeter, Barbara and Christina dish great tips below on haircuts, lip shades, and how to have fun in your own beauty ventures.
GP: What inspired you to start Alchemy Cosmetics? How does hairstyling influence your work?
Barbara & Christina: We noticed a lack of quality lipstick in Brooklyn and so we decided to make some. We wanted to have a variety of colors that wasn’t overwhelming.
Christina: As a hairdresser I am constantly looking at peoples faces, hair and style in the real world as well is photos: past and present. I make mental notes of the things I like and things I’d like to emulate in my work as well as my personal style. My work in hairdressing and as a makeup creator strongly reflect my personal style.
Barbara: I think hair and makeup go hand in hand — they compliment each other and you always have to come up with ways to not make it look boring. In my time as a hairdresser, I learned that face shapes and hair color determine what cut a person can wear. I have so many people come in and say they can’t have a bob because they have a round face. But if you know how to adjust the bob for that particular persons face shape, then there is a bob for everyone.
As for lipsticks… the bob I think would be a red… everyone can wear a red depending on the tone… and I believe our line has a red for every skin tone.
GP: What are some of the best things about creating lipstick? The drawbacks?
Christina: It’s really really fun. We picked all of our favorite colors and put them in a collection to share. It’s amazing to watch people react to what we created. I get excited every time someone discovers a new color they like. the only drawback, I think, as with any small business, is the financial risk. Barbara is good at reminding me not to worry about that part so much!
GP: What are some of your favorite products?
Christina: My go to colors are Maria Hernandez Red and J Train Journeys.
Barbara: My favorite colors are Knickerbocker Nightmare and a new color, 11221.
GP: Since you’re both in the beauty biz and hair stylists, do you think certain colors pair with specific cuts? Such as, a girl with a pixie cut would sport this shade…
Christina: Definitely not. I would say any cut can support any shade. Hair color on the other hand is another story. When your hair color changes, you have to take notice of the colors you are putting on your face. Especially as the seasons change from summer to fall to winter and our skin becomes paler and our hair darker. None of the shades look bad, but certain shades are enhances by certain hair colors.
Barbara: I think certain colors can bring out haircuts but I feel our line works and compliments every type of cut.
GP: What are your future visions for Alchemy?
Barbara & Christina: We are currently working on high intensity, long wear glosses that can be layered with our current line or worn on their own. They are different from traditional glosses because the products are more like a paint. They dry in about 60 seconds to reveal a lasting, opaque appearance.
GP: Describe your perfect day in Brooklyn.
Christina: It would definitely involve close friends and lots of eating. nothing beats good conversation over good food.
Barbara: I would have to agree with Christina — we both love discovering new delicious eats.
Alchemy Cosmetics are available at Self Salon and online.
Follow Alchemy Cosmetics on Instagram.