Byredo's Lucia Pica has perfected the power pout

You’ll know Byredo for its scents, but now generation-defining make-up artist Lucia Pica has created equally emotive lipsticks for the brand, says Amy Francombe
Shot by Irina Shestakova for ES magazine
ES Magazine and Irina Shestakova
Amy Francombe21 February 2024

In a world of Facetune beauty and algorithmic sameness, world-famous MUA Lucia Pica offers a wholly different perspective. ‘I’m really instinctive,’ says Byredo’s new creative image and make-up partner. ‘I don’t do trends, I respond to my internal world and to my emotions.’

It’s fitting, then, that the Italian-born creative has partnered with Byredo and its founder, Ben Gorham. Renowned for his ability to translate memories and emotions into unique, hard-to-pin-down yet utterly familiar smells, he quickly found common ground with Pica. 

‘I read that he said something about perfume being the invisible medium to the emotional world,’ she says of their partnership. ‘I was like, “Okay, well, make-up can be a visible medium that we can use to express that,”’ she continues.

For her latest Liquid Lipstick Matte line, Pica imbued her essence into 10 products, ranging from vivid reds to muted nudes. With an ultra-precise applicator that perfectly outlines the lips, just one stroke turns your mouth into a central component of any outfit. ‘It becomes part of you. I don’t like it to be too detectable,’ Pica continues on the ultra-light yet hyper-pigmented texture.

Shot by Irina Shestakova for ES magazine
Shot by Irina Shestakova for ES magazine

‘I’m looking at the lips the way I look at a fragrance. So there’s a top note and then a base note,’ she says of the new line, adding: ‘There’s this idea of classicism with a twist.’ For example, her favourite shade, Calmer, is a light, Nineties brown with a nude base. While Red Coma is a lesson in the ultimate red power pout. They offer the wearer an opportunity to express their inner life through these vivid, carefully curated colours. 

‘Growing up my mum used lipstick all the time, so I guess that’s where I get this love for lips,’ she continues. ‘She used to put it on and then dab a little bit on the cheeks. That’s all she did, and she looked really beautiful and sophisticated just by doing that. That’s where I understood the power of colour.’ Pica also notes the versatility of the liquid lip mattes.

You dab a little bit on and then you use a fluffy brush that would normally be for blending the eye to blend it on your lips, and it feels diffused like a stain. Or you can put a little bit of balm underneath so the colour is not as strong.’After all, this customisable element is part of the Byredo way. ‘Byredo is not about dictating the way you should be doing things. It’s offering a product that can participate in your interpretation of yourself, to your own creativity, to the way you see yourself each and every day.