'I'm Andrea Maack [@andreamaack] and I live in Reykjavík, Iceland. I guess that first and foremost, I'm a visual artist, but I also have my own fragrance brand. I got into mixing fragrances through my art exhibitions, and that kind of took off and morphed into it's own thing. Because of how I am, everything I do in my daily life counts as beauty inspiration. I'm constantly working on something new and thinking about how that translates into a fragrance. I prefer being outside in the moment, visiting different places in nature. My team and I go on a lot of amazing journeys for work and fun, everything from visiting an 8,000-year-old water cave to transforming an abandoned fish factory to an art studio. I have no boundaries and don't really go on vacations. I just love what I do, so I feel like I relax while working and vise versa.
I think it's good to know what is happening and changing in the world of beauty today, but at the same time, I like isolating myself and not be too influenced by the industry. Growing up in Iceland in the '80s wasn't the most cosmopolitan place to be. I honestly don’t think I used anything on my face until maybe 16 or 17. I went through the whole '90s thing at its prime, which I still quite like—powdered lips and brown eyeshadows—but I guess my fondest memory was traveling with my grandmother around the country when I was a child. Really, the whole family would travel together, but she always requested that I sit behind her so I could comb her hair and help her with her Nivea Creme. It felt special, like I was her chosen beauty assistant. I miss the old Nivea Creme—they were super thick and came in brass jars, which were actually so stylish to me.
I like to try a lot of products because there are so many new amazing beauty brands popping up all the time. I also try to find new things locally that I can't get anywhere else—this goes both for Iceland and when I'm traveling. Starting with skincare, for Icelandic local stuff, my favorite product is Penzim Gel. It's a completely natural serum-like gel made out of enzymes taken from Icelandic cod. Here, you can get it for very cheap at pharmacies. A lot of my international friends have gotten addicted to this stuff, so I'm constantly sending them bottles. I also like the EGF Serum from BioEffect. It's a similar consistency to the Penzim Gel, and it's perfect under makeup. As far as cleansing goes—which I'm a bit of a drill sergeant about—my old faithful is the Eve Lom Cleansing Balm. I've tried quite a few cleansers, but this one is the best—I really like the balm consistency. In the mornings, though, my favorite cleanser to use is Sunday Riley's Ceramic Slip. It really does feel like you washed your face outside in a clear lake—plus, anything with clay in it has me won over, like Diptyque's Multi-Use Exfoliating Clay—so amazing! My latest skincare obsession is in exfoliating toners. The way my skin feels after using them is the best, especially when I'm on a trip. I take them with me. The ones I'm using right now are Skyn Iceland's Nordic Skin Peel and Pixi's Glow Tonic.
I have experimented a lot with makeup, and I pretty much know now what suits me best at this point. I either go very pared-down or all-out. My day look is very simple—good skin using Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and powders. I just think the way makeup companies reinvented powder is genius. I use the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light as a highlighter and in Dim Light to contour. For sculpted brows, I use Anastasia Beverly Hills' Brow Powder Duo in Taupe. I have quite hooded eyes, so just a little bit of black pencil in the waterline is all I need. I really like things that claim 'the blackest black' in terms of mascara and eye liner, so I use this By Terry Crayon Kohl in Black Print and Hourglass' Film Noir Mascara in Onyx with a natural lip. I always carry with me Pixie Tinted Brilliance Balm in nearly naked becase it really does help with dry lips in cold climates, but the color is that '90s vibe I like so much, and it's great for daytime. For a bolder nude lip, I use Charlotte Tibury's K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Nude Kate with her Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude to perfect the shape of my lips for an evening look. If I'm going out, I really love to take my time and go a little crazy. I spend time mixing colors and perfecting that smoky, vampy look. My favorite eyeshadows to work with are from Nars. I like their matte eyeshadows, and my favorite combination right now is mixing the shades Kamchatka, Thunderball, and Namibia. I mix them on my hand and just play around a lot. I never go for the color that's in the pan. Mix your own! Put a little indigo with the grey and add some black, kind of like an artist mixing oil colors. It's also a great way to create custom colors and a signature look. Good brushes are a must, and I get mine from an old French brush maker that makes artists brushes called Raphaël Kolinsky—you can find them at art supply stores.
A beauty secret I feel everyone should know that's pretty simple is just to stand on your hands—you can support yourself with something—for 30 seconds a day to get the blood flowing to your face. I call it my personal fountain of youth.”
—as told to ITG
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