Stories
Great Chemistry (3) December 19, 2013

The final session of a 3-part interview with MAKE UP FOR EVER Head of R&D and ultra-hip chemist Richard Girousse finds us digging ever deeper into what goes on behind the scenes. If chemistry had been this captivating in school, a lot of us might have chosen different career paths.

It’s like cooking. You mix ingredients, changing things here and there, to invent a new recipe. It is chemistry, of course, but highly creative.

Great Chemistry (3)

December 19, 2013

The final session of a 3-part interview with MAKE UP FOR EVER Head of R&D and ultra-hip chemist Richard Girousse finds us digging ever deeper into what goes on behind the scenes. If chemistry had been this captivating in school, a lot of us might have chosen different career paths.

It’s like cooking. You mix ingredients, changing things here and there, to invent a new recipe. It is chemistry, of course, but highly creative.

You work hand-in-hand with MAKE UP FOR EVER Founder Dany Sanz. How do you keep up with her legendary capacity to create?

When Dany has an idea for a new product, she wants to explore all the ins and outs of every possible formulation, to break through any technical barriers. She doesn’t want to compromise, of course – she wants the best products! – but there are laws of chemistry to consider. It is my job, in essence, to break those laws so that we can break new ground with our products. It can get tense!

What’s the best part of your job?

Being in the lab with the R&D team manipulating and mixing all the ingredients on our way to making new products, new formulations. It’s like cooking. You mix ingredients, changing things here and there, to invent a new recipe. It is chemistry, of course, but highly creative.

Least favorite part?

When you’ve spent several months, sometimes years, to develop a new product, you feel like you’ve finally got it right, and you learn that the regulations have just been changed and you aren’t allowed to release it anymore. You have to rework it yet again – but it was perfect. Frustrating does not begin to describe it.  

Tell me about a recent project you particularly enjoyed.

Pro Finish foundation. It was highly technical and totally revolutionary. In the past, we  had wet and dry foundations and other formulas, but we weren’t entirely happy with them. So we studied all of the formula’s ingredients one by one, step by step, in order to develop Pro Finish. It was a huge challenge - what we wanted to achieve didn’t exist anywhere. And the end result is groundbreaking. It is the first project for which we had to have a patent. As a chemist, it was highly satisfying as we had spent such a long time on research, formulation and testing. As a team, it felt good to have not only a fantastic product at the end, but one that required a patent.

Last question – do you cook?  And are you capable of following a recipe?

Yes, I cook. But no, very often I have to change something in the recipe, to tweak it and experiment! If have other ingredients in the kitchen or the garden, why not add something and see if it makes it better?!