Behind Kiss & Makeup: An Interview With Heather Huntingford

As you may remember from yesterday's post, I recently checked out Kiss & Makeup in the Park Royal Village. This unique concept boutique devoted to "apothecary and apparel" is the brainchild of Heather Huntingford. Heather was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions via email.

Solo Lisa: How long has Kiss & Makeup been around?
Heather: We are just about to celebrate our 5th birthday. Five years, it's crazy. I cannot believe how quickly this has gone by.

Solo Lisa: What prompted you to open the store, and what inspired the "apothecary and apparel" concept?
Heather: Lifestyle. I personal suffer from severely sensitive skin and was always limited in the products that I could use and that were found at drug and department stores. I was always searching for lines that I could use and felt I could not be the only one. Furthermore, makeup is supposed to be fun and the environment should reflect that. Your typical department store just didn't cut it for me. So I created a store with amazing staff, highly edited and specific products, and a super atmosphere and vibe.

The transition into apparel was completely natural. We have always styled accessories, jewelry , bags, etc. on top of skin care and makeup. If I think about my personal favorite stores, they are all independent concept lifestyle stores and were a bit of an inspiration.

Solo Lisa: Kiss & Makeup has some skincare and beauty lines that aren't found anywhere else. How do you go about researching what you'll carry in-store and deciding which products to stock?
Heather: Each line is here for a purpose. The have a specific niche. Perhaps they're strong in creating the perfect complexion like Becca, or they have an amazing array of colours like Vincent Longo. We also carry Cargo because we love supporting our fellow Canadians who are so ingenious with the products they create.

As for research, I read copious magazines, spend much time on blogs, read reviews, and of course sample products myself. I get to shop for a living--it's quite fun. Once I find a line that I am interested in, then the interview process between both companies begins to make sure we are a good retail partnership. I spend most of my time looking for niche, unique, small brands that are conscientious, use the best ingredients they can and of course have fabulous packing.

Solo Lisa: What are your daily skincare and beauty must-haves?
Heather: Oh, this could get quite long...

If I am running out of the house, without a doubt, moisturizing sunscreen everyday (Coola, organic, cucumber and yummy); Sue Devitt Prime Target Intensive Eye Treatment ($40) to brighten, cool, reduce puffiness, tighten--really, it's magic in a tube for your under eye; Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal ($51), it's the best pick-me-up for the skin ( anti-hangover in a bottle, ha). Mascara of course: I use Jan Marini Lash Performance Mascara ($80)--it has a peptide in it and has really helped with the growth of the length of my lashes. Finally, finish off with gloss: Lipfusion Xl ($54) has collegen in it, which plumps and fills in the lips without any of the burn.

This sounds like a lot, but honestly, it's a 5 minute routine.

Solo Lisa: Summer presents its own set of skincare and beauty challenges: sun damage, sweaty skin, melting makeup. What are your top tips and picks for staying fabulous in hot weather?
Heather: First off, a hat! It's really the best way to keep your face out of the sun and Eugenia Kim's fedoras are so super stylish. The girls laugh at me as I probably now have a different one for each day of the week. We already covered sunscreen, but wear your makeup according to the weather. It's the hottest it's ever been in Vancouver, so don't try for a matte look, go for glow, enhance the shine, and use water-resistant makeup.

Hands down top sellers right now...

Becca Beach Tint, water resistant colour on your cheeks and lips ($30); Geisha ink liquid liner, the best liquid liner every and so easy to use ($30); Kiss Me mascara, smudge proof, rub proof, cry proof ($30); Cargo big bronze, you glow girl! ($32).

Solo Lisa: Kiss & Makeup is a beauty product lover's dream, but the collection of clothing and accessories it carries is very selective and carefully curated. How do you go about choosing which lines and items to carry in-store?
Heather: It's about what inspires me. I spend so much time looking at trends, shopping, and researching that I usually have a pretty specific idea of what I want. I try to make sure that each buying trip/tradeshow is in a different location, so over the course of the year I could do one in London and LA, the next year New York and LA. Each city is so unique and it's great to see the vibe and way clothing and trends are worn.

Solo Lisa: Looking ahead, what's next for you personally and professionally?
Heather: More stores, that's the plan. One thing at a time; right now because this store has opened, my main focus will be back on our online store. I don't want the rest of Canada to miss out on our amazing store.

This post is also on Stylefinds.


  1. Loved the interview and your feature on the store in your last post. I think it's a great idea for smaller boutiques to have a concept/lifestyle theme. It just seems most stores have the same brands and products these days. I love the more personal touch of this and that jewelry box in your last post had me drooling. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. This gives me hope! From the interview it sounds like she sells what she likes, and what is good quality, not just what is trendy.

  3. I love that they have focused on super sensitive skin!

  4. Thanks for the interview - oh wow the owner has sensitive skin too? then she MUST only buy the best products. so excited. must go. and yes geisha ink is the best!

  5. Great interview--I love the names they come up with for the products. It makes me want to run out and buy them right away!! Thanks for sharing, darling :-)

  6. what a great interview....I totally would love to go there!

  7. Great interview! I have to check out the store.

  8. Great interview! I love how she said that each item has a purpose! I want to go Lisa :)


  9. Great interview, Lisa! I'll have to check this out for sure.

    xo t

  10. great interview. I want to get the beautiful make up you got :)

  11. Her skincare routine makes me feel like I really need to get my act together!

  12. What an awesome interview, Lisa! Your posts always make me wish you guys weren't on the other side of the continent!
    Your make-over looks gorgeous below!

  13. This was a great feature; I do love the interview!

    La C.

  14. Great interview FFB! What a fun job she has.


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