Ivy Redefining Industry and Educational Makeup Standards

News, 03 October 2018

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Michael Ivy, AFDA Port Elizabeth Campus Dean and AFDA alumnus, and founder of the Ivy makeup brand, is excited to announce the launch of a new range of eyeshadow that is expected to hit the market in February of 2019. The Ivy eyeshadow, foundation, and concealer ranges promise to optimise, standardise, and diversify makeup for industry and tutorial use.

Having worked as an academic and lecturer in the Costume, Makeup, and Styling (or CMS) discipline across various AFDA campuses in South Africa, Michael Ivy has managed to pinpoint several gaps in industry standard makeup practice, particularly regarding generic products and their practical short fallings.

In terms of optimisation, the Ivy brand has succeeded in creating a product that costs less, goes further, and reduces waste. Ivy set out to create a product that not only maintains high quality industry makeup standards, but improves upon those standards by optimising products for the unique conditions of the film and television industries.

It costs less: The product has been developed primarily for the purpose of teaching makeup artistry for the film and television industries. Ivy has ensured that his products are of the highest quality, able to withstand industry stresses, yet remain significantly more cost-effective than generic brands. As a result, these high quality products become highly accessible to teachers and learners alike.

It goes further: Ivy has undoubtedly changed the game in terms of versatility. One gleaming example thereof is the incorporation of strong educational elements into the marketing of product ranges. Being that the brand has been designed primarily for educational purposes, Ivy transcends mere application value, acting as a teaching tool as well. For example, the new eyeshadow range will come in the form of era pallets. Essentially, each colour pallet will thematise an era in history and the unique aesthetics associated therewith, giving students the tools and the knowledge to create looks that are authentic to era aesthetics. The packagings of these pallets have been designed by Jolandie Kriel (AFDA PE Producing Lecturer), who has researched and co-opted visual arts trends of those eras, giving each pallet a uniquely educational packaging.

Practically speaking, these products certainly do go further in that they broadcast higher levels of pigmentation than most generic brands, creating a culture of product conservation and allowing for more dramatic applications while reducing waste. Another game changing element of the new eyeshadow range is the ability of some colours to change colour according to how much pressure is adhered during the application process. What this means for artists and models is the colour equivalent of ‘one size fits all’. This is to say, different skin tones could utilize the same colour product and still achieve desired results, without having to purchase blindly more products than necessary in uncertain anticipation of the diversity of model skin tones. 

 This feature of the eyeshadow range is but one of the features of Ivy that allows the standardisation of makeup products for teaching purposes. For an institution like AFDA, which teaches the CMS discipline across four campuses nationwide, it is essential to keep learning material consistent across the board. However, due to the nature of the required discipline materials as being dependent on a variety of factors, including the skin types and tones of models, this becomes problematised. Ivy has combated this issue with its colour-changing eyeshadow range, as well as by creating foundation and concealer ranges that cover an unprecedented variety of skin tones, negating the need to mix and match generic products which poses the risk of waste and excessive spending.

That being said, the variety of skin tones accommodated in the concealer and foundation ranges reaches further than practicality. One of the core philosophies behind the brand is that of embodied diversity and empowered diversity. Ivy recalls an incident with one of his students that resonates with him to this day. The unnamed student was moved to tears when, for the first time in her life, she discovered a makeup product that matched her skin tone. The fact that truly moved her, however, was that this product was called “Awe”. This brings us to another core philosophy behind the Ivy brand, something that Michael Ivy continually endorses in a personal capacity, which is positive psychology. The Ivy foundation range boasts product names that inspire positive emotions; Awe, Beauty, etc. Whereas the concealer range focuses more on the lighthearted and quirky aura of the brand in general, donning names that infer mystery and intrigue; Bamboozle, Befuddle and, Ivy’s personal favourite, Discombobulate. All of these philosophies contribute in some practical way to the overall quality of the brand and its bona fide approach to the industrial and educational markets. The very heart of Ivy’s brand philosophy, however, can be summed up in two simple words; “Magic Within”. With these words, Michael Ivy hopes to bring across the message that “makeup is there to enhance beauty, not create it.”

Ivy makeup is produced locally, under the Siggis Company. Products are handmade and make use of all natural ingredients. No animal testing is conducted and all packaging is made from recycled materials, minimizing environmental impact. At the moment, Ivy is sold privately but will be made available to the public on demand. In the meantime, consumers can look forward to the brand’s next upcoming ventures in makeup products for film and television, special effects makeup (blood, silicone, etc.), as well as makeup cleaning products.



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AFDA is registered as the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is a private higher education institution which offers higher certificate and degree programmes. It is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as a private higher education institution under the the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012. Our programmes are accredited and we participate productively in the ongoing reaccreditation and quality assurance processes of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to ensure the quality of our programmes.
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