With a cult following already established in Canada, Gee Beauty recently opened its U.S. flagship in the posh Bal Harbour Shops in Miami. Mecca for all things luxury beauty, the boutique stocks some of the most sought after niche brands including Tata Harper, This Works, Rodial, and Rodin Olio Lusso, along with more widely known brands like Dermalogica and Bliss Skincare and their own namesake "Gee" line of makeup and brushes. Co-founder Natalie Gee took some time out of her jet-set schedule to chat with us about the products she can't live without, tricks for applying clump-free mascara, the brushes every woman should own, and more…
The Fashion Spot: You have an amazing skincare product selection. Can you tell us about how you go about selecting the products? What are some of your favorites?
Natalie Gee: Thank you! From the beginning, we always set out to offer clients the very best in effective skincare from around the world. We’re all about creating healthy, efficient beauty regimes that a) suit each client’s uniqueness, and b) incorporate products that actually work – giving each client the result she or he is looking for.
We have an edited selection – every product line in the studio has been road-tested by the Gee partners – it has to be something we believe in and use ourselves. We are constantly researching new skincare lines from around the world through travel, reading, and exploring.
We really love all of the products we carry – whether it’s a full-range of skincare like SkinCeuticals or Tata Harper, or a specialty line like St. Tropez Tan or Glamglow Mud mask – there is something for everyone. I’d have to say the products I can’t live without are: SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF, Dr. Sebagh’s Serum Repair, Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence, and our Gee Beauty Cosmetics Liquid-To-Powder flawless foundation.
tFS: Are there any brands or ingredients you avoid?
NG: I'd say we generally steer away from skincare products that aren’t backed up with effective results, and anything too gimmicky, or anything that is too stripping and harsh on the skin. We want results, but we have to take care and nurture our skin so it’s good to us in return.
tFS: With so many makeup lines out there, what made you branch out with your own?
NG: From the inception of Gee Beauty, this was one facet of the business that was really important to us. Miriam Gee had a strong vision for color, for texture, for how a woman should look and what cosmetics can help her feel confident, strong, and sensual. We really focus on uniqueness – highlighting each client’s individual beauty and emphasizing her God-given attributes. Our makeup really reflects this in our color range, in our coverage – whether you’re more of a low-maintenance girl or go for full-on glamour, we can design a palette to keep you feeling gorgeous all day and night.
tFS: Can you tell us about your brushes? What makes them unique?
NG: Brushes are everything! A beautiful application needs brushes – your fingers simply cannot get a flawless finish without them. We use a combination of natural and synthetic hair, and have designed them to contour the face beautifully and softly, while allowing for proper precision and blending.
tFS: What brushes should every woman have in her arsenal?
NG: A foundation brush – even if it’s used for your tinted moisturizer – it will actually allow you to use less product because it’s applied more evenly. We also love our blending shadow brush, our angled liner brush, our crease brush, and – last but certainly not least – our fan brush, it’s the must-have essential for gorgeous blush and bronzer. We call them our concealed weapons.
tFS: What's the deal with tinted foundation versus concealer? When should we use what and do you have application tips?
NG: It really depends on how much coverage you want. A lot of clients in Florida will opt for a tinted moisturizer – ours are amazing – they provide just the right amount of coverage while still allowing your skin to breathe and look totally natural. They finish with a gorgeous glow. If you have a little bit of redness or want to cover up any blemishes, a concealer can be used on top to spot-up any area. Again, a foundation brush or concealer brush (with a smaller brush head) will do the trick.
For more even coverage all over, a good foundation is what you’re looking for. It will even-out the skin tone while still providing the look of luminous skin. Again, if you want to spot-treat any area, concealer with a brush will blend beautifully on top. Asking a professional to help you match your color is always the best option.
tFS: Any tips for clump-free mascara?
NG: A fine mascara wand and brush! Everyone likes a different look when it comes to mascara – from thick and luscious to more defined and long. A good tip is to wipe off any excess mascara with a tissue, and brush through the lashes from base to tip once, and then comb through with a clean mascara wand (you can buy these at the drugstore). For every coat of mascara, brush through with the clean wand to pick up any clumps.
tFS: There are so many mascara wands out there now — vibrating, spheres, cone-shaped! — what's the best one or is it more about the formula?
NG: It’s actually a combination of both. And again, it depends what the look is you’re going for. Generally we steer away from anything too gimmicky – we believe in using natural products to get gorgeous-looking lashes. Test out a few formulations – make sure they aren’t too drying on the lashes – often waterproof formulas can be drying. When it comes to the brushes and wands, the thinner, more defined brushes will give you long and clean lashes, whereas the thicker brushes will provide a more lush, dense look. For the real makeup junkies, a combination of two mascaras often does the trick!
tFS: Any tricks for covering up brown spots/blemishes?
NG: Making sure the skin is properly hydrated will help ensure a smooth, even application. We always say that you need to treat the canvas to ensure a beautiful work of art! A concealer brush will help transfer the right amount of makeup without adding any oils from your fingers. Lightly apply concealer and fan out the product on the skin around the blemish. The key to any makeup application is blend, blend, blend!
tFS: Tips for the most natural blush application?
NG: The whole idea of blush is to give a touch of color to the skin and mimic the look of a healthy glow. Staying true to your skin-type will also help achieve a natural look. For more oily skin, a matte blush is ideal to absorb shine as well as not provide any excess. For drier skin, cream blush is a great alterative – when applied correctly (blended well) it can look fresh and natural, giving skin a hydrated, glowing look. For paler skin, a shimmering shade will give a little more dimension.
A fan brush is the best tool for application. Again, blending with blush is the key – its got to look natural and flawless. The right application will give the look of youthful, vibrant skin. Nothing is worse that harsh, obviously blush. It can be aging and unnatural.