Recently, I was having a discussion that somehow came around to a very serious topic.
"How are shopping channels still a thing?" I said, sincerely baffled.
"I know, right? Hasn't Internet shopping rendered them all but useless?" my friend said in equally baffled agreement.
I can't speak for everyone, of course, and I would never root for innocent people to lose their jobs, but I didn't think I could ever be convinced that 24-hour shopping networks had a reason to exist.
Until I talked to Tyra Banks.
Last week, I had the epic pleasure of interviewing the legendary supermodel, TV host, and sassiest part of George Michael's "Too Funky" video, and somehow resisted making my first question "WANNA BE ON TOP?" The opportunity arose because tonight, at 10 p.m. (ET), Tyra is hosting a live, two-hour event on HSN in celebration of her new makeup line, the aptly named TYRA.
But this isn't just Tyra hanging out behind a counter and making smalltalk with callers, oh no no. This is a legit event -- so much so that Tyra has coined a term for it: BEAUTYTAINMENT. (Don't overthink it, OK?)
I asked Tyra what makes her makeup line and tonight's event so special, and this is what she told me...
I wanted to create the world's first ever cosmetics concert. So I flew to Tampa and I pitched to HSN. I was like, "I see a 'shiny floor show,' like American Idol -- very spectacular. I see LCD screens. I see interactive games. I see a runway. I see a DJ. I see a choir of singers that are helping me teach how to do makeup with fun songs." And they did not look at me like I was crazy.
She couldn't see it because we were talking over the phone, but my eyes lit up at the mention of a choir. She went on to explain to me that the choir would be "call and response."
I might be like, "Should I do a smoky eye?" And they'll be like, "Smoky eyyyyyyyyyye!"
Um, OMG, Tyra just sang to me on the phone, complete with a vocal run.
Convinced that her HSN special would be, in fact, special, I moved on to asking her about the products that really stood out to me as different from what's already on the market. First: Oops Liner & Corrector, which is a fine-tipped liquid-liner marker on one end and pointed makeup-remover pen on the other, because sometimes your hand just doesn't want to cooperate when it comes to getting your cat eye even. (Can I get a "Hallelujah," Tyra choir?)
I wanted to create products that are interesting, unique, different -- not for the sake of being different, but actually solving a problem. I really learned a lot from the top makeup artists in the world, but the one thing I was really intimidated by was liquid eyeliner. So when talking to my formula team and my chemists, I asked them, "Is there something we can do to fix this?" It made me think of when I was a little kid and erasable markers, and I was like, "Can't we do that for an eye?" So we developed Oops Liner.
I then asked her about her equally brilliant Sculpt In A Stick, which cuts down on contouring time and complicated-ness (not a word, but neither is beautytainment, and that's OK).
My mom taught me how to contour my cheeks, but I needed blush and a brush and a whole powder thing -- all this stuff. So I decided I wanted everything in a stick. It's super-blendable, it's not gonna drag on your face like some sticks do -- it's super-silky and super-smooth.
I can attest to the super-smoothness. Both Sculpt In A Stick and the Light In A Stick highlighter go on like a dream because of something called Ty-Glide Technology. (I really want Tyra to make up more words. She's awesome at it.) But, I wondered, will these face products work well on a wide range of complexions?
It was really important to me to have colors that work with a lot of different skin tones, so much so that I decided not to launch concealer and foundation yet because we're working on proprietary formulas that can complement a lot of different skin tones. I think makeup and the availability of different colors is truly connected to self-esteem, because you want to feel like you matter, you count; and by my brand having that, it's me saying, "I see your beauty."
The collection is rounded out with beautifully packaged, intelligently formulated lip, eye and cheek products that, along with tonight's HSN extravaganza, will only add to Tyra's legend -- one we will tell our children and children's children for generations to come.