Hello everyone! Welcome to the Adonis Arcana Blog. We figured we would kick this off by giving you all an interview with Felix, our Brand Founder. As a professional makeup artist and instructor, his vision is what has driven Adonis Arcana to what it is today. His passion and drive are clear and broad, so we have chosen a few key questions that will let you get to know him and his vision. Anyway, without any further ado, read on!
Who are you? What is your story?
Felix: Its long and complicated, but let’s start with: I was born in Mexico in the mid 80’s, graduated high school there and moved to Boston when I was 18. Working as a photographer with my partner led me to makeup, and that in turn formally introduced skin care to my world. Spending years as a makeup artist, I saw passion in learning everything there was to learn about brands, techniques, and products; but also, in teaching and sharing these techniques with others.
What is your definition of masculinity?
F: Before anything, I see masculinity as a compliment to femininity, never its opposite, and never in a binary. I see healthy masculinity in traits like the urge to protect that which we hold dear - a confident approach to life, taking responsibility for yourself and doing everything possible to achieve your goals. These are qualities anyone can have, regardless of gender. Really, everyone has these traits within them. Masculinity doesn't belittle or negate the feminine, but compliments and supports it. This is the side of masculinity that I wish to show people. A direct opposite to the aggressive and overpowering aspect that we all think about in modern times.
What was your first exposure to makeup and skincare?
F: All of my early makeup memories come from my mom. The one that my siblings and I share are our weekly visits from “Petra.” On Wednesdays, my mom would disappear into the bathroom and come out wearing her clay mask. You know! The deep pore cleansing super drying tight clay masks… She would look at us (literally) stone faced and pretend to be our evil babysitter “Petra.” Seriously though, if Petra wanted us to sit down, we sat down. No question! Since then, every Wednesday is clay mask Wednesday for me!
What has your experience been with men and makeup?
F: It’s actually an interesting story! As a makeup artist at a popular place downtown, I would meet thousands of people a week. At first, I noticed the random guy would drop by to get a hickey covered up, and a bit more frequently to buy some skincare. Slowly but surely though, more and more men started coming in looking for the more “hardcore” makeup items, like foundations and contour palettes.
With the rise of YouTube and Instagram, more and more interest built up with guys. The brave few that came in sought me out to learn from me. Some inspired by a men’s makeup tutorial, some because they got their makeup done for a photoshoot. Either way, they started seeing what they could look like with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Skin care and makeup are a powerful tool that when used right, reshapes the way you feel in very positive ways. Guys are seeing that now.
Do you have a moment that stood out to you as a defining moment in your career?
F: It was early on. I had just started exploring makeup and skincare when one morning… I woke up with a cold. Nothing severe, but enough to make me want to stay in bed and call out of work. But I got myself out of bed, washed my face and did my thing in the mirror. By the time I was done, it was like I wasn’t feeling sick at all! Just seeing my face looking alive and healthy was enough to power me through. It was better than Tylenol! That was it for me.
What defines your personal look?
F: My personal look is polished. Not too over-done. Clean breathing skin, with sharp beard and brows. I love freckles on other people, but don’t like them on myself, so I conceal those. (I know, I know…) Bronzer for the summer, contour for the winter.
When going out or going the extra mile I will enhance the eyes with some liner for a subtle lash enhancement, and maybe a gleam or two to bring attention to the eyes, but otherwise I try to keep it simple. I’ll save the foundations for photos almost exclusively.
You did mean my makeup look, right?
After all of this, what made you decide to start Adonis Arcana, a makeup and skincare brand dedicated to men?
F: Most would consider makeup to be a woman’s thing. But to me that just sounds antiquated. It's like saying “only women cook” or “raising the kids is the mother’s job.” It just doesn’t make sense.
Seriously thinking through it and exploring what options guys are exposed to, I saw that the application techniques and language we use for cosmetics are specifically for female faces (or to make masculine faces look female). The artistry we see is exciting, impressive and incredibly innovative, but doesn't speak to masculine presenting individuals. There I found the opportunity to show another side of the story: a more achievable and approachable side to makeup that could “Flip it upside down.”
When did you come up with the idea for the brand?
F: I knew this would happen from my first day selling makeup and skincare. I still have the notebook to prove it! Of course, the idea has been refined over the years. With experience and research, I was able to finesse the concept, ingredients, and steps to what was working out in the real world, and to what customers were asking for. There are still many more products to be launched but having started with our basic 3 was the perfect way to get the ball rolling.
More products are in the works already? Any sneak previews you can share?
F: Without giving too much away, we are currently working on a pencil that will truly change the game, and an essential body product that I honestly cannot believe hasn’t been done yet. Of course, there is also a surprise innovation that will fit perfectly in everyone’s arsenal. It’s a very exciting time for us!
Are there any last thoughts you would like to share for the end of this interview?
F: Yes. That is simply one: Cosmetics are tools. Either working visually or topically on the skin. They have no way to read your genetic code. An eyebrow pencil and a face cream have no way of reading your chromosomes or genetic material. While we present our brand to be masculine and present it towards men, it truly can be used by every person: regardless of Age, Race or Assigned Gender at Birth. Using our products is a personal choice that our clients make for themselves. Not to hide or conform, but rather to stand out and be empowered. That is where the true power is, and that is what fuels us as a brand.
That is it for the now! We hope that you enjoyed the interview with our brand founder, and got to know a bit more about not just our brand, but also our origin and vision. Stay tuned on this blog, as we will also be interviewing our models. We are excited to share with you the many layers that make up our family here at Adonis Arcana!