Chatting All Things Smashbox Cosmetics With Will Malherbe

By now you should know about the Los Angeles cosmetics brand, Smashbox who are renowned for their photo-studio-makeup-for-the-everyday-lady makeup. Smashbox Cosmetics puts the behind-the-scenes know how of camera ready beauty into the hands of consumers worldwide.

I sat down with Will Malherbe, Smashbox Director of International Education, Artistry & Communications where we spoke about all things Smashbox, how to pull off the liquid metal lip trend, beauty in the digital age and the must-have Smashbox products every girl should have.

Describe Smashbox in three words.

What would be your favorite trend or look at the moment, and how would we achieve it with Smashbox?

This season we are seeing a strong trend on bold, matte playful lips with a more radiant skin to contrast the textures.

The Smashbox Always On liquid lipsticks is an easy way to create bold statement lips. The grey color called Chill Zone is by far the favorite color to create a statement lip. The biggest trend for eyes is a soft, diffused look sintered by terra-cotta, burnt amber, cranberry tones. Think 70’s hippy meets modern day Coachella festival chic. The best palette to use for this look is the Cover Shots Eye Palette in Ablaze.

Even the regular girl now is in HD. She snaps her own selfies, films her own Vlogs; she is ultimately in front of the lens even more so in this day and age. Can you say that Smashbox envisioned this all the way back in the 1990s or “saw into the future” in this sense?

How did we know that selfies were gonna be so popular? We just wanted to break that boundary between people thinking that there is a certain type of makeup that you wear for a photoshoot and when you finish your photoshoot, you have to wipe it off because, you’re back in real life. We really wanted to make the two become one.

We were one of the first brands to launch foundation for HD because when cameras changed to high definition, there are a lot of foundations that just don’t look good. Nowadays. when you’re taking selfies and vlogs as you mentioned, you’re taking the photo or video from arms length. And because the camera has come much closer, the makeup has to meet those needs and so, the texture of your skin has to be invisible. You want texture and pigment on your lips so the eyes are going to pop but you want the texture of your skin to be more natural.

Selfie-ready thanks to the master!

Can you describe an iconic Smashbox “look”, if any? Or how would you envision the regular girl wearing Smashbox?

So being a brand that’s from Los Angeles, there’s a few different aspects that make LA so… LA.

From the frame of reference of your celebrity royalty, the people that we aspire to be; actors, actresses, celebrities, the Red Carpet, La La Land VS the yoga, the green juices, the body mind and soul connection. At the end of the day, no matter which direction you’re going into, it’s about people wanting to look and feel their best without looking like they put too much effort into it.

I would say the typical Smashbox look is in line with where we see the trend going at the moment. It’s all about a good lip and good eyebrows. So the make up looks effortless but the eyebrows are giving references of that Cara Delevingne – it’s a textured eyebrow. The hairs are a bit more natural, more wispy, you see texture in the brows and the lips are SO playful.

Bold, matte lip colours ranging from grey, purple, red, orange, browns to keep it playful because those days of adhering to beauty rules regarding what lipstick colour to wear is out the window. Now, lips are fun and playful.

You feel like wearing a blue lipstick today? Go for blue lipstick. If you feel like matching your handbag to your lip colour – have fun with that. The lips have definitely become more playful and for me that’s a sign of strong, independent femininity.

Beauty tips for those who would wanna rock the liquid metal look?

With working a bold, metal, metallic lip – don’t shy away from it. Go big or go home. If you’re gonna go metallic lip, GO metallic lip.

Best way to get the lips to stand out even more is to get have something else metallic so your whole look is telling a story. Makeup wise – the rest of the makeup should take a step BACK.  The rest of the makeup has to be very natural, skin very soft and ethereal.

So more natural matte, a soft colourwash on the highlights of the cheekbones is great way to tie in the metallic finish. Your whole makeup should take a step back and it should be your lashes, eyebrows and your metallic lips that should be the key areas.

Will convinced me to try out the liquid metal look:


Down to basics – what would you say are the Smashbox products you’d say a girl would need as a starter kit?

The Smashbox products every girl should need is definitely a Smashbox primer. Get yourself the basics so a best suited face primer and a best suited primer for your eye area. You would know what you need so you would need what your challenges are sometimes for your skin. Get the primer that is gonna fix that problem for you.

I absolutely love the Studio Skin Foundation – it’s a 15 hour wear foundation. It’s colour consistent and it’s been tested in different lighting scenarios. It’s oil free, humidity resistance, sweat resistant – it’ll definitely give you amazing coverage and flawlessness the whole day!

For the lips, always own a liquid lipstick. Liquid lipstick stays on the whole day, you can create amazing lip shapes, you can cheat your lip shape, you can enhance your lip shape with a liquid lipstick. Our liquid lipsticks are very pigmented and we’ve included some of the primer oil in the formula of the lipsticks so it’s really moisturizing. Because we know there’s nothing worse than a liquid lipstick that dries out the lips and ours are super moisturizing!

Using eyeliner is the easiest way to change makeup from day to night so our Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner pencil is just everything, all in one. Soft and smudgy and if you smudge it, it sets after a couple of seconds. It’s also perfectly safe to use on the water line of the eye and the pigment is really strong.

Can you hint at what is in the pipeline for Smashbox in the next 6 months? Any big news or key launches we should look out for?

We’ll be seeing even more primers that you’ve never seen before. We constantly listen to the needs of our customers and also the needs of makeup pros that work on set in order to bring you more cutting edge technology to help your makeup look better for longer…
Lips are still a strong focus, so watch this space for more statement lips in matte textures and also some high shine metallic finishes.

Thanks Will!

Luckily for us, Smashbox Cosmetics have now exclusively partnered up with Sephora Malaysia nationwide and will re-launch in Sephora Malaysia stores nationwide in April 2017 and will also be available at