Monday, October 3, 2011

Interview with Hi-Fi Cosmetics

 Hi-Fi Cosmetics is the Indie brand under the spotlight this time! I have a personal love for this brand, so I have to admit that I'm a bit partial.
 The products are absolutely beautiful, and you all know how I feel about bright eyeshadows... Here are a few of my absolute favorites from Hi-Fi:

On with the interview!
Sarah: Hi there! Introduce yourself and your lovely brand. :)
Veronica: My name is Veronica, and I am the owner of Hi-Fi Cosmetics.  I've been hand-crafting beautiful, unique pigments since 2009.  I'm a certified makeup artist, military wife, and mom, and I LOVE what I do!  I blend everything myself and I stand firmly against repackaging!! I currently have over 300 items in my shop, and I release new items regularly.
Sarah: So what's the story on "Hi-Fi Cosmetics"?
Veronica: I absolutely love music.  I love everything about it...listening to it, composing it, playing it, singing it.  I'm a "band geek" (LOL)...a classical clarinetist and oboist, and I'm an award-winning vocalist.  Both of my parents are amazing singers, and of my three brothers, one owns a DJ and karaoke business, one is an AMAZING Elvis impersonator in Memphis, and the other is a song writer/musician (and veterinarian...odd combo, I know...LOL).  My grandmother is an AWESOME blues musician (this can also be said about all her brothers and sisters), all my cousins either sing or play and instrument, I guess music just runs in my blood.  I wanted to build my brand around this love of mine.  It needed to be unique and something that truly represented who I am and what I love.  In the brainstorming stages, my husband Aron and I were mulling over the name, and then his eyes landed on our antique record player sitting in the dining room.  That day, Hi-Fi Cosmetics was born.  
Sarah: Where do you get inspiration for your products?
Veronica: I regularly peruse my local Sephora, Ulta, and Walmart to see what's new, and I keep a close eye on seasonal runway trends.  I pour my all of my heart and as much creativity as I can muster into each individual shade I create.  All the names are derived from something music-related...a band name, a string of lyrics that spoke to me, a compositional/classical music term, etc.  You will not find a single item in my shop that's name didn't come from SOME SORT of musical reference.  I try to keep new things coming, and I don't like to discontinue things...which is why my line is so vast.
Sarah: Question of the day... matte or shimmer?
Veronica: I prefer matte/cream lipsticks to shimmery ones...basically because I wear so much shimmer on my eyes!  I'm pretty much obsessed with shimmery and glittery eyeshadows (if you couldn't tell by the fact that 90% of my product line has some sort of sparkly goodness added to it).  :)  I don't like too much shimmer anywhere else, though.  I'll wear a slightly shimmery blush on occasion, but most of the time, I keep the rest of my face muted down.  (However, I LOVE sparkly lip gloss and will load it on regardless of what else I have going on my face...LOL!) 
Sarah: So what type of music moves you?
Veronica: Most of my product names are derived from lyrics.  My biggest influences in my product names are probably Otep (my all-time favorite band) and Marilyn Manson.  I find their lyrics deep and meaningful...regardless of the social stigma that's generally applied to these so-called "shock rock" and controversial musicians.  Their words move me and make me think, and I have an enormous appreciation and respect for true ARTISTS that give me a unique perspective on the world and make me search my own soul.  When I am inspired and "feel" it, I just keep going back.
In general, I mostly listen to Otep, Arch Enemy, Deftones, etc.  I'm VERY intrigued in Akira Yamaoka's creepy Silent Hill scores as well.  Lately, I've found myself regaining my love for club/dance music.  I'm probably getting too old to be seen in the club (LOL!), so I just jam out in my lab when no one's looking.  Hahahaha!
Sarah: Trust me, I know all about getting down when no one is looking! Afrojack's remixes are killer, and I have been really loving them lately. But I know that running a business isn't all fun sometimes... Have there been any setbacks that your company has overcome?
Veronica: I have had SO many setbacks.  My company opened in Spring 2009, after I was laid off from my fancy (and well paying) corporate job with a huge big box retailer.  Obviously, this reduction to a single and at the time, meager, income put a lot of financial restraints on my start up.
     Once Hi-Fi got on its feet, BOOMED.  My company was processing more orders after one year than a lot of businesses process after 2 or 3 years.  Of course, it sounds awesome, but as a one-woman-show, it was a huge setback.  My company outgrew my ability to manage it by myself...but after business expenses, I wasn't making enough profit to hire anyone to help.  So, stressed out and working 14+ hours per day (EVERY DAY) on very little sleep, I suffered in silence.  After an EPIC fail with Heartsy this summer, I came SO close to just throwing in the towel and giving up on my dream...but I crunched some numbers, slightly raised my prices, and hired help a couple weeks ago...and things seem to be looking SO much better.
     It doesn't sound THAT bad...but when you factor in the fact that we've moved 4 times since April 2009 (remember, my husband is military), a plethora of health problems (including two absolutely devastating back-to-back miscarriages), back-to-back deaths among friends/family, and most recently, my husband losing his active duty military position...  Let's just say I've had MORE than my fair share of personal crises.  Toss in my officer position in the Family Readiness Group for my husband's unit, active membership in the PTO at my daughter's school, being a stay-at-home mom to a toddler, makeup appointments for photo shoots/fashion shows/bridal, and the wine society (and it's monthly socials) that I run for our region, well... I'm a busy woman.  Sometimes I am amazed that I even remember to breathe.
     Regardless of my setbacks though, Hi-Fi Cosmetics has been a wonderful, successful experience, and I can't wait to see what the future holds!!
Sarah: That is remarkable! On to some fun questions... What are your favorite ways to use  pigments?
Veronica: I probably wear them on my eyes more than anything.  As eyeshadow, eyeliner, etc.  I do occasionally mix them into lip gloss as well.  
Sarah: What are your favorite beauty products?
Veronica: I know it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn here, but honestly, Hi-Fi Cosmetics are my holy grail eyeshadows.  I have a MASSIVE collection of other brands as well, and if I had to pick one that wasn't my own, I'd probably go with Aromaleigh.  ("Dark Matter" is an EPIC eyeshadow.)  Sadly, she's not open anymore.  *sob*  As for eyeliner, I am religiously devoted to Blinc liquid eyeliner.  I have traction alopecia along my lashlines (resulting from an anxiety disorder as a child), so my lashes are short, sparse, and practically I wear mascara very rarely.  Falsies are my friend! My favorite lip products are the Kissaholic lip glosses from The Booty Parlor.  My favorite is "Shiver".
     I rarely wear foundation during warmer months, but I wear moisturizer and powder (or mineral foundation) in the fall and winter.  My holy grail powder is DiorSkin Forever Compact.  I'm a minimalist when it comes to face products.  I have good skin, so why try to fix what isn't broken, right?  My favorite blush is actually a yet-to-be-released Hi-Fi Cosmetics blush called "Daylight Robbery".  (Coming soon!) Also, I'm a nail polish junkie!!!  My most favorite one ever is Zoya Professional Lacquer in "Charla". 
(UPDATE: After this interview was conducted, Aromaleigh announced that she would be opening back up!) 
Sarah: Do you prefer indie or commerical makeup?
Veronica: It depends on what product I'm looking for.  When it comes to eyeshadows, DEFINITELY indie.  As for lip colors, I'm about 50/50 on that one.  For foundation...I'm going to go with commercial makeup.  I just haven't found an indie company that makes a foundation that matches and/or doesn't make my face itch like crazy.  And when it comes to eyeliner...definitely commercial.  I think a lot of liquid and cream liners just require a process that isn't easily achievable for us indies.
Sarah: Do you play it safe with makeup, or use intense looks?
Veronica: Definitely colorful and dramatic!!!! 
Sarah: What's your all-time favorite product by Hi-Fi?
Hands down... Hi Fi Shadow in "Curtains Wide Open".  It's neutral, but still smoky and dramatic...and super sparkly and glam!  Very versatile.
Sarah: Where did the inspiration for that color come from?
Veronica: It's actually from the Speak for Yourself Collection (based on songs from one of Imogen Heap's albums).  The name actually comes from the Imogen Heap song "Goodnight and Go".  I got it from the second verse... 
"Follow you home, you've got your headphones on and you're dancing.  Got lucky, beautiful shot - you taking everything off... Watch, the curtains wide open .  Then you fall in the same routine, flicking through the TV...relaxed and reclining.  And you think you're alone..."
Sarah: Imogen Heap is one of my favorites! But moving on... :) Do you have any industry experience?
Veronica: Yes!  :)  I'm a former model (and I still do some every now and then), and I have been a certified makeup artist since 2005.  I've done makeup and modeling for all kinds of photo shoots, runway shows, bridal shows, etc. 
Sarah: Tell us a fun fact we may not know about you!
Veronica: Although I have Hispanic/Native American ethnicity and was born in Texas, I spent most of my childhood in southern Alabama, raised by my non-Spanish speaking side of the family.  Before I moved to Arkansas, I had the thickest, southern belle accent ever!!!  People would see me, expecting to hear an exotic Spanish accent, and then "Heeeyyy, y'all!" would come out.  It was rare that no one went wide-eyed or giggled.  I actually got picked on so much when I first moved here that I made the conscious decision to change my accent.  Now everyone says I sound like a sophisticate from "the city".  Haha!  I do speak some Spanish (probably a lot more than I give myself credit for), and since we have such a large Hispanic population here, I do find my long-lost Spanish accent (mixed with Spanglish) coming out fairly often.
Sarah: Do you have any new collections or sets coming soon?
Veronica: I actually just released the Pure Energy Collection last month, and I have a Halloween collection I plan on releasing this week.  It's coming out later than I wanted, but I was closed for a while, so I'm having to play catch-up now.  I don't usually release collections that close together.
I also have several core eyeshadows and blushes coming out soon.
Sarah: What do you consider as your "personal style"?
Veronica: My personal style is very...unique.  It's somewhere between glam rock, goth, and biker chic...and somewhat high maintenance at the same time.  I have layered, black hair with fire engine red streaks right now.  I have lots of piercings and some visible tattoos.  I'm a sucker for big, flashy jewelry and what I refer to as "rock star hair".  I have my "dark days", where I wear lots of black with chains and/or spikes everywhere.  LOL.  And then I have my "diva days", when I dress more glam.  I am rarely understated, and I pretty much always show up to events over-dressed.  Regardless of my "theme" that day, I am almost always wearing stilettos (I have over 100 pairs) and sparkly eye makeup.  I have a strict "no t-shirt" rule that I live by.  (T-shirts are for the gym and lounging around the house...NEVER for going out.)  And I never leave the house without my face on!
Sarah: I think we may be style soul mates. Let's go shopping together sometime? haha! Thank you so much for talking with me! I wish you the best of luck with your quickly-growing company. 

Okay beauties! You can shop at the Hi-Fi Cosmetics website, or check them out on Facebook and Twitter. And, because I love you all so much, here is the Imogen Heap song referred to in the interview, "Goodnight and Go".

(All pictures, brands, and information was obtained and used with full permission. Post and intellectual property are owned by me.)


  1. This is so cool to hear about how someone starts a business! I just checked out her makeup collection, and I can't wait to spend my next paycheck there! I definitely wanna buy the High Impact Shadow Fix and her Zodiac Collection SAMPLE Set is just the thing for me so I can try it out . I never tried any indie makeup before. So hopefully this will impress me! Also I want to buy because my brother's in the Navy and I just want to help those who help us.

  2. She's super sweet! I actually just placed an order too. I couldn't resist haha. :]