Dustin Lujan: “Lipstick Always Fits”

Katya Bychkova and Dustin Lujan - for Victor De Souza Beauty

Today is the official launch day for the Victor dE Souza Beauty campaign I modeled for—and I couldn’t be more excited!!!! It’s been a blast to work with a company of talented people and be one of the first to test the lipstick before it’s available for sale (it’s as smooth as butter and durable as a “Sharpie”). I’m even more thrilled to chat today with the creator who stands behind the line. Please welcome Dustin Lujan, the celebrity makeup artist who developed the recipe for VdES lip products. Feel free to read my interview with Victor dE Souza, a fashion designer who invented the package of these gorgeous lipsticks. Finally, make sure to check out a website of this wonderful team of fashion and beauty creators:

Dustin, congrats on the new beauty line! Please tell us what brought you to creating beauty products for the Victor dE Souza brand.

Basically, I’ve been working on developing cosmetic lines for years and years. At some point, we started discussing with Victor that a beauty line could be an important addition to his line as it allows people who admire the brand but can’t afford it to own a little piece of Victor dE Souza creativity and vision.

While working on the VdES Beauty line, we wanted to combine the best beauty formulas with his ideas of cool packaging. Over the years of my career, I developed a few makeup formulations that I loved using as a makeup artist. However, these were not applicable for mass-market-oriented brands because of their price point. Luckily, now I have the opportunity to finally present those formulas to the public by launching the Victor dE Souza beauty line.

For me, this collaboration is a natural progression of my career and I’m very excited about it!

Blogger Katya Bychkova and Makeup Artist Dustin Lujan

What is your background in beauty products development?

As you already know, I worked for several prestigious luxury beauty houses where I also had the opportunity to launch new products. But what many people might not know is that I also created beauty lines for Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta’s collection for the Fashion Night’s Out, even Tom Ford–I helped them develop some of their beauty products. The hard thing about these is that the beauty industry is really owned by three big companies: Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, and LVMH. It often happens that these companies simply recycle formulas instead of creating new ones. With the Victor dE Souza beauty line, the idea was to develop new recipes.

Why did you decide to start with a line of lipsticks?

For me, it was a very special product to develop, because it’s one of the most important accessories in every woman’s wardrobe. It was also important for me to develop a product that feels comfortable to wear all day long. For this new product, I developed a new formula called hyla-bubble. Basically, it works in a way that when you press lips together, it releases hyaluronic acid into your skin. In other words, even though the lipstick is matte, your lips still stay hydrated.

Victor de Souza Lipstick Collection

What are some of your recommendations for how to pick a perfect lip color?

I’m glad you brought up this question, because I believe many women take their lipstick too seriously. I think that lip color is an accessory just like your handbag or your shoes. Of course, you’re allowed to have your favorite shade, but it’s rather a wardrobe item, so I don’t think you have to wear the same color every day or stick to one color till the end of your life. Lipstick is something you change based on your day.

What’s the next product you’re planning to launch?

It would be mascara. It is another very important product that can use a new innovative formula. You might not be aware of this, but all mascaras have charcoal, tar, and mercury in their ingredient list. For the last six years, I’ve been privately working on a mascara formula that doesn’t contain those ingredients.

Where do you produce VdES products?

All the products we’re working on are made in America and we follow all the local laws. For me, it’s very important to be on top of the manufacturing process so I can control the quality and aesthetics of the product.

Katya Bychkova for Victor dE Souza Beauty

What’s the price point for lipsticks by Victor dE Souza?

The lipsticks go for $68. Again, it’s not your typical price range, but that’s how much lipstick should cost if you’re purchasing a high-quality, innovative product produced in the U.S. The products from the new beauty line will be available online at, and at the New York-based luxury perfumery Osswald. The store’s owner, Tanya Dreiding Wallace, is our dear friend. She was one of the first people to know about our new line and support it. Tanya wanted to have this line in her store even when it was just an idea.

There are also a few other stores here in New York that will be carrying the line during the first round. After that, we’ll be working on having the line in many other luxury stores.

Tell me a bit about inspirations for this lipstick collection.

It might sound a bit nerdy, but the design of this lipstick line was inspired by…chess! Those little pieces on top of the lipstick tubes are actually pawns. When the collection evolves, it will turn into a full chessboard. That would be a set that people could buy all at one time.

This particular first set of lipsticks comes in a chrome color. We wanted this first set to be collectible.

Behind the Scenes - Victor de Souza Beauty

How many colors are in the collection and why did you pick each of those colors for the launch?

There are seven colors because seven is Victor’s lucky number. The names of these colors are inspired by cult films: Doom Generation, The Hunger, Female Trouble, Mysterious Skin, Stage Fright, Raspberry Reich, and Liquid Sky. I picked colors based on information I accumulated over years of working in the beauty industry: What I’ve seen in the marketplace, which colors are missing in the beauty stores… Victor had a vision for two colors in the collection (Doom Generation and The Hunger) so we worked on perfecting our visions together.

Who is your ideal customer? In other words, who is a Victor dE Souza Beauty girl?

It actually could be any girl. One of the reasons we came out with this line is to make Victor’s couture collection available for every girl. He has a lot of fans and people want a piece of what he’s doing. However, not every person can afford a 10k gown by Victor dE Souza. We wanted to create something that is tangible, but still provides the same quality as couture pieces by VdES.

Katya Bychkova - Victor dE Souza Beauty Campaign

What are some tips you could provide my readers with on how to apply lipstick?

Talking about this particular formula of Victor dE Souza lipstick, it goes on very easily. In fact, this formula is so advanced that all you have to do is to apply lipstick from a tube and just blot your lips a little bit. This trick will provide you with a natural shape of what the lipstick should actually look like. Your lipstick shouldn’t look too perfect, so if you just do that, you’ll look fabulous and, at the same time, not overdone.

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