Before he'd become a go-to dresser of Hollywood stars and champion of body diversity on the runway, Christian Siriano started out as a makeup artist. He freelanced for Stila Cosmetics at Bloomingdale's in New York while trying to secure design jobs. After being cast - and winning - a little old show called Project Runway in 2008, his rapid ascent in fashion began. But he never let go of his love for beauty. As such, it's only fitting that his next venture is his very own makeup collection with drugstore favorite E.L.F.
"Everyone loves makeup. Everyone, no matter what age or size, loves to play with makeup, and transform themselves," he tells ELLE.com.
Affordability has always been a priority to Siriano. That's evident in the brands he's previously chosen to collaborate with, like Payless for shoes and bags, Lane Bryant for a full plus-size clothing range, and imPRESS for press-on nails.
"Not everybody can spend $60 on a lipstick. And that was the most important thing for me," he said. Siriano's E.L.F. collection includes four pieces: a fuschia liquid matte lipstick, pink tinted lip oil, a seven-shade eyeshadow palette with hues like teal and spring green, and a cosmetics bag. Prices range from $6 to $12.
Inspiration for the products and the playful floral printed packaging - a departure from E.L.F.'s usual minimalist black and white - came directly from the designer's "psychedelic greenhouse"-inspired spring 2018 collection.
"I'm a huge celebrator of color. I love the idea of vibrancy. I just had 30 fabrics on the table and I was like, 'Here's what I want it to be.' I was pulling pigments from fabrics, saying, 'I'd really love the packaging to feel like this floral organza,'" Siriano said.
Aside from affordability, Siriano also applauds E.L.F. for sharing his vision of inclusivity. "I wanted to partner with a company that was celebrating beauty and all different types of culture and people around the world. That was really important," he said. "When we were first designing the collection we did a couple of shoots at the beginning. [E.L.F.] asked what kind of girls I wanted to see. I want girls like Precious Lee - I wanted to see everyone and they didn't even bat an eye. That was awesome because that doesn't always happen."
E.L.F. Cosmetics x Christian Siriano debuts on elfcosmetics.com on February 10, at target.com on February 25, and in Target stores on March 11. ELLE.com has an exclusive look at all the goods, ahead.