RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Cheryl J. De Presibiteres, owner of Fixx Cosmetics, applies lip gloss to Philana Bouvier as co-owner Renee Oliveira observes.
A new cosmetics line was tested by real women in real-world situations
IF FIXX cosmetics provide just the right fix for whatever it is that bothers you about your face, that's because the creators have already been through the wringer of real-world rigors, from days at the office to all-nighters at drag clubs.
There was no tidy little focus group for Rick and Renee Oliveira and their partner, Cheryl De Presbiteres. No sitting in a comfortable air-conditioned room playing with makeup, examining the results a mere two hours later and calling it a day.
Testing for the Fixx crew involved two years of distributing sample products to clientele, ages 16 to 70-plus, of the Oliveiras' Sanctuary Salon on Kapahulu Avenue, and paying attention to their verdicts.
"Our clients are brutally honest," Renee Oliveira said. "There were so many times when they said, 'I don't like this. You have to go back to the drawing board.' And we did."
With clients that range from fresh-faced teens to drag queens, there was also no such thing as a happy medium.
The most important element of the line is foundation.
"For most people, coverage is a big issue but individual preferences range from those who just want a thin veil over their skin to those who want ... spackle," Oliveira said.
To make both happy, the makeup artists came up with a foundation that can go on wet or dry for light to maximum coverage.
"Having a diverse clientele really worked out for us," Oliveira said.
FIXX COSMETICS will be featured during the third S.I.N. event, Wednesday at Pipeline Cafe. During the event, women can bring a head shot and sign up to be the face of Fixx. The winner of the model search will be determined in January.
Hootchies need not apply. Renee, daughter of performer Dick Jensen, grew up with an appreciation for the sophisticated, classic beauty and glamour of old Hollywood, thanks to her set visits to Universal Studios, where her uncle Jerry O'Dell was head makeup artist.
"I like a classic, natural beauty, just a regular healthy girl, not an oh-my-god overly outrageous girl," Oliveira said. "She has to be intelligent so she can talk about and represent the line."
FIXX evolved from the idea of a makeup line that offered up everything a makeup artist could want in a kit.
"After years of doing makeup, we'd find one thing we liked from this line, and one from that line, but we never found one line where we liked everything," said Oliveira, who now works with six manufacturers to create products to their specifications.
"It's hard to deal with so many companies, but the results are worth it. Our shadows are double-pigmented so you get what you see. They go on really creamy with really rich colors.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
The FIXX line includes foundation, mineral eyeshadow, lipsticks. Oliveira and I-Line, an exclusive liquid formula that transforms any eyeshadow into a smooth, waterproof gel-style eyeliner.
"We care about quality, how long it wears. Some of our clients are go-go dancers at clubs, so we want to see that it's sweat-proof, that it's not running at the end of the night."
Prices are reasonable, running $19 for foundation, $18 for mineral eye shadow and $14 for lipsticks. Oliveira is particularly enthusiastic about Fixx's I-Line ($10), an exclusive liquid formula that transforms any eye shadow into a smooth, waterproof gel-style eyeliner.
Although the company was offered a spot in a large department store, the partners declined in favor of continuing to show the line at the salon and private parties in which they get to connect with their customers and provide lessons in using their products.
"We're doing it the old-school way, very Avon-y. We want to have the personal touch," Oliveira said. "Mostly, we're having a good time and we hope other people will have fun with the line because makeup should be fun. I think people are trying to be light because the world situation today is already so heavy."
De Presbiteres said they've also learned that some of their best clients are 60 and older. "You know how 30 is the new 20 and 40 is the new 30 -- 60 is the new 12! They just want to play.
"When they walk out of here with their face done, their hair done, they feel like a million bucks. That's our satisfaction. That's what we get out of this business."
THIRD S.I.N. PARTY
With Fixx Cosmetics model search, Sanctuary Salon hair show, MisFortune fashion show, massages, pupus, go-go dancers:
When: 6 p.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday
Place: Pipeline Cafe
Sanctuary Salon and Fixx Cosmetics is at 415 Kapahulu Ave., Suite 1. Call 732-7535. For information on the Fixx model search, call Bouvier Productions modeling coordinator Nicole Henry at 780-3699.