Women Who Disrupt
Vampyre Cosmetics: The Power to Be Your True Self
Rachel Clinesmith, the CEO and Founder of Vampyre Cosmetics and Editor in Chief of Vampyre Magazine, remembers the first time she tried to buy black lipstick for a Halloween costume when she was sixteen. “I couldn’t find it anywhere,” she says. “I went from store to store, searching, and finally my friends and I had to get creative and use black eyeliner instead. That taught me a lot about how far the cosmetics industry had to go in order to help the Goth community with their beauty needs.”
Cosmetics is a booming industry around the world, but Rachel states that the mainstream companies have yet to develop high-quality makeup products for the growing number of people who are passionate about vampires and all things punk. Rachel and her business partner Karen Holton are meeting that need with Vampyre Cosmetics.
“We all know that in October, it becomes a lot easier to find dramatic makeup,” she says. “The problem, however, has always been its poor quality. That’s one of the biggest reasons I founded Vampyre Cosmetics: I wanted to give individuals high-quality products that will allow them to channel their inner vampire any day of the year.”
Rachel was also determined that Vampyre Cosmetics would be vegan and cruelty-free. She wanted her company to be a leader in an industry that has often been slow to commit to making products that do no harm to animals.
“Finally, I envisioned having more than a cosmetics company – Vampyre Cosmetics would be a complete Goth experience,” Rachel reveals. “We wouldn’t only offer dark makeup; instead, we would incorporate punk and vampire themes into our cosmetics tools so that the person’s transformation from ‘regular life’ to mystery would be even more enjoyable.”
From black lipsticks to red eyeshadows, Vampyre Cosmetics offers the Goth lover all of the cosmetics they need to express who they really are. While the products receive excellent reviews, it is the brand’s commitment to details that is capturing the loyalty of consumers.
“We do love to surprise our customers,” Rachel says. “One of the best days at Vampyre Cosmetics was when we released our tentacle-shaped brushes. They are ergonomically designed, synthetic brushes that allow you to apply your vampire makeup with real flair. It’s the little touches like this that makes my work at Vampyre Cosmetics so much fun.”
Vampyre Cosmetics also turned to classic literature to inspire customers as they apply their Goth eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush. Novels including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights have long been popular, and Vampyre Cosmetics has incorporated them into their product line.
“We have book-shaped Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights palettes that open like real books to reveal three pages of thirty unique and highly pigmented shades,” says Rachel. “Doesn’t that set a great mood? As you choose your eyeshadows, you can reflect on Heathcliff and Catherine or on Jane and her trevails. Our palettes appeal to those who find their inspiration in the dark novels from the 1800s.”
For those who are more into movies than books, Vampyre Cosmetics has a special offering: a Vincent Price-themed palette. With Price’s near legendary contributions to the horror genre, Rachel says he just had to be included in the product line.
Since its inception, Vampyre Cosmetics has quickly found an enthusiastic customer base that spans the United States and beyond. “We are a much larger community of Goth-lovers than you might think,” Rachel states. “Whenever we present at conventions or other venues, we often hear from people how happy they are to have found a reliable source of exceptional punk makeup. I understand how they feel – after all, who wants to use eyeliner to color their lips black?”
As it has grown, Vampyre Cosmetics has been featured in Italian Vogue, LA Weekly, and Gothic Beauty Magazine. Its line of Goth makeup is now in over eighty independent stores around the globe, and the company has secured deals with major IP including Emily the Strange, and Vincent Price. Vampyre Cosmetic products can be found on major retail sites like hottopic.com and dollskill.com.
“The world of punk, vampires, and Goth is becoming more prominent as more and more people feel comfortable expressing themselves,” Rachel thinks. “It is a magical place, one that emboldens the person to experience a different way to live and think. I am very happy that through Vampyre Cosmetics, I can give more individuals a way to experience that freedom.”
Vampyre Cosmetics was founded by CEO Rachel Clinesmith, who is also a New Orleans native and the Editor in Chief of Vampyre Magazine. Rachel created Vampyre Cosmetics to provide underrepresented audiences with rich, vibrant colors in makeup. The company has worked closely with the music industry as well as the pinup, burlesque, and horror communities to develop and improve their products.
Vampyre Cosmetics can be seen at Monsterpalooza, Sinister Creature Con, San Diego Comic Con, Midsummer Scream, GenCon, DragonCon, Endless Night, New Orleans, and Los Angeles Comic Con.