Bunny-friendly and beautiful to boot, Rockeresque
Beauty Company is the marriage of two great concepts: looking your best and
caring for critters many beauty companies use and abuse.
The company's founder, Issanna, took a bad-ass look
and gave it a good-girl kindness, producing rockstar makeup from vegan-only
products and committing never to test on animals—ever. Committing to
cruelty-free cosmetics is a simple way for Issanna to make a big difference,
and she's helping others do the same by opening a new beauty school where
makeup novices can learn the ins and outs of cruelty-free cosmetics.
In time for the opening of the beauty school in
September, Issanna agreed to chat with PETA about her growing company, what it
means to make a difference in the cosmetics world, and which looks are hot this
hear that you're upping the ante on your efforts to publicize cruelty-free
cosmetics, including creating a street team. Why are you doing this, and what
does it involve?
favorite Dr. Seuss book has always been The Lorax, which teaches readers how it takes just one person to
help make a serious change in the world. I personally care about cosmetics
being cruelty-free and vegan. It has bothered me how many cosmetic companies
test on animals or use animals and/or their byproducts for ingredients as well
as how few cosmetics consumers take the time to learn or understand how their
purchased items are made and what is in them. It's a
daily occurrence for someone to walk into a store or go onto a
website and buy something without much thought beyond the products packaging.
It is one of the most prominent reasons I started my own makeup line.
I saved every penny I had and learned how to formulate and produce cruelty-free
and vegan cosmetics on my own.
can't change what other companies do, I understand that being upset about what
they do will never change anything. I took the passion I had for this cause and
did something about it. By putting together a street team, I am able to educate
the members I have about cruelty-free and vegan products in hopes that they, in
turn, will develop a passion for this topic and educate others. I
also have a Cosmetics Corner section on my website which explains topics such
as nonvegan ingredient names and what legally should be on anycosmetics label.
If I can influence even one person to pause and read a cosmetics label and have
an inner monologue about what they are purchasing, then all the time
and effort I have made in putting the information out there is sincerely worth
Tell us about your
love my street team. Honestly, as a small business they help me get the word
out about my company, and I would be lost without them. I have a
background as an educator, and I find that this is my way of
still incorporating education into my everyday work life. I attempt
to do that in a creative and fun way by offering weekly challenges and contests
that the street team can participate in. The team mainly consists of high
school students who are hoping to attend makeup and/or cosmetology school
when they graduate, so I offer great incentives to them such
as online makeup classes and letters of recommendation.
what legally should be on a makeup label, what specific ingredients in makeup
do, and if a company says they test on animals, what
that really means—is something that was never offered to me at that
age, and I wish it had been. I always tell the girls (and boys) on the team
that every healthy makeup collection contains cosmetics from all different
companies. I want to equip them with the information needed to make a mature
decision about where to buy their makeup, no matter where they might decide to
do that. This program has grown from 10 to now 100 members, and in my opinion,
that is a wonderful amount of amazing individuals whom I have impacted
in understanding this topic.
got some new products in the rotation. What are some of your favorite additions?
personal favorite new loose eye shadow color is Wicked Witch. The new shadows
have been very popular, especially Rockette and Fear of Sleep. They
are all very playful and kawaii tones to add to your summer makeup bag.
of bags, we have a new cosmetics clutch. It's a faux-leather clutch with corset
lacing along the front, and the handle is silver brass knuckle skulls
with rhinestones. I take mine everywhere; I'm so addicted to it. They are
perfect as a summer bag since they are just the right size for carrying some
makeup, your ID, and money—and, of course, a cell phone.
also just launched the Unicorn Birthday Cake Kit on our website,
which has been greatly anticipated. It includes a vegan strawberry
cupcake–scented body splash, a Rockeresque unicorn sticker and necklace, and our exclusive Unicorn
Birthday Cake pink glitter loose eye shadow inside a box shaped like a
piece of pink cake. I have been planning this kit since I opened the company a
year ago, so I'm ecstatic it's out and so well received.
in swing. Which of your products do you recommend this season?
Creamsicle oranges, subtle purples, bright primary yellows, lime greens,
bright blues and baby browns are the big selling colors right now. Clients have
really been enjoying using a pop of color blended with more subdued tones. For
example, Canary Songbook looks amazing with Wicked Witch in the crease and
Icicle in the outer corners.
beautiful combination is Rockette with Fear of Sleep and Pudding Pop. Last
summer, makeup looks were mainly one bright, bold color contrasting with black
and bold-colored apparel. This summer, I see more complex blended looks
with outfits of the same color palette. Blue, purple, and pink eyebrows are as
normal as brown ones. Also, glitter is the fun extra kick to any makeup look.
The glitter application I have is very tasteful. Instead of just covering an
entire eyelid, I have seen it used as a lower eyeliner or just over eyebrows.
It gives a makeup look a little extra something without going
piece of advice do you have for people who are new to cruelty-free cosmetics?
more you know, the more you can do. It's one thing to love animals and not want
them harmed. It's another thing to actually research what is done to animals
and look at images and videos of them being tested on in a cosmetics lab. The
more educated you make yourself, the more active you will be in pursuing a
lifestyle using only cruelty-free cosmetics. You are also
better equipped to pass this information on to others. It's great to
let someone else know you care about an issue, but being able to explain to
them in detail why you care has a more lasting long-term effect.
a voice in numbers. In educating yourself and actually putting your foot down
and saying, "I will not buy makeup from a company who tests on
animals," you are making a world of difference. If the cosmetics companies
who support animal testing saw more consumers caring and speaking out
against the act of doing it, they would be quicker to stop. Bottom line,
these large companies are looking at their profit margins, and when consumers
speak up and stop buying, that is when they will begin to sincerely listen.
What do you
think the cosmetics industry still needs to do more of?
do have to say that it pains me when I see cosmetics companies who do not test
on animals but will not take that one step further to be vegan. I feel it is a
conflicting message to say you will not test on animals, but you will end
their life and put them inside your makeup. I don't think I will ever wrap my
head around the inconsistency of what [that practice] tells your
clients. I make everything by hand, and though I can say it is more
difficult to find vegan ingredients, it is not impossible.
hope that one day Rockeresque will have the funding to become a full line of
cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, hair, and skin-care products. Since that
is the long-term goal of my company, I have visited cosmetics labs to inquire about
the cost to have my products developed and manufactured there. Imagine my
surprise when I was told that if I wanted cruelty-free and vegan products that
contain no harmful fillers such as Talc, all I simply had to do was tell them!
I'm not embellishing even in the slightest; it is that easy to make a
product that won't hurt animals or yourself. The only difference is the price,
and that price difference is a matter of cents, not dollars.
A little bird told us that you're also
opening a beauty school. Can you tell us more about that?
Yes, I am very happy to share that we
are opening our first makeup school in downtown Los Angeles. Our classes will
be held at the beautiful Studio Servitu, which is roughly 3,700 square feet
with large windows overlooking the city. It is a very innovative and creative
space we know will inspire our students' work. Our classroom has a lot of
black, white, pink, and glitter; it is not your typical classroom as we don't
want to be like every other makeup school. I want Rockeresque Beauty School to
be a fun and unique experience for students.
will learn everything from basic beginner makeup concepts to advanced
application. A big part of the program is developing professional portfolios,
so I partnered with Dallas D-Stoke Photography, Joe Shoots Me, and Olivia Bush
to work closely with us on that aspect. Not only do we offer a full makeup
course, but we also offer workshops in specialty areas such as a
Runway Internship, Airbrush Makeup, Special FX, Hair for Photo
Shoots, and more! Additionally, we will do makeup parties and even book one-on-one
No matter which class a student takes, the only cosmetics products used will be
cruelty-free and vegan. I have a class lecture about what these terms mean
and why using these types of products is important, what happens in animal
testing, etc. It's essential to me to show future generations of makeup artists
why they should care about where their makeup comes from and how it is made.
The hope is they will educate those they apply makeup on and other makeup
artists about this important topic.
It's reassuring to see growing numbers of concerned humans who want to know
what they are eating, but not enough women take the time to read and understand
what a cosmetics label tells them. Makeup is absorbed into your skin, and
any lipsticks and lip glosses are actually ingested into your body,
so the ingredients really do matter. There is no reason to have makeup tested
on animals, and there is no reason to have crushed insects or animals inside
your makeup. In having this play a large part in our curriculum, I'm
hoping to be able to make a difference—even a small one—in the cosmetics
by Issanna? Dig her style? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section
below! And be sure to check out the Rockeresque Beauty School!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.