Kat Von D on tattoos: 'You should have the freedom of covering them'
US celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D defends product for concealing tattoos
US celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D burst into the mainstream as the star of reality TV shows such as LA Ink and Miami Ink and became one of the rare women in the industry to be cast into the spotlight.
And now, the 34-year-old is dominating the world of cosmetics.
Von D, whose real name is Katherine von Drachenberg, was in town yesterday to promote her eponymous beauty brand, Kat Von D Beauty, at Sephora Singapore stores.
In 2008, when Sephora approached her about creating a make-up line, her goal was to come up with four perfect shades of red lipstick.
But she has since spawned an entire range of products, from foundation and eyeliner to eyeshadow. Von D even draws all the artwork for the packaging herself.
The Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lolita was Sephora's best-selling lipstick last year.
And Kat Von D Beauty is currently the No. 1 brand in Sephora here, Malaysia and Thailand, after launching earlier this month.
But one product that caused a bit of a stir among tattoo fiends when it was first released in 2009 was the Lock-It Concealer, which boasted enough coverage to cover tattoos.
In an interview with The New Paper, Von D said: "I think the No. 1 request from people when they go into Sephora is how to cover up a tattoo for a wedding.
"So I figured it would be a great idea to create a product (that could do it).
"If it can cover tattoos, imagine how good it would work for dark circles under your eyes."
She added: "(But) I received a lot of backlash... because people were saying, 'Well, you have tattoos, why would you want to cover them?'
"But it wasn't about telling people what they should look like. It was more of saying that if you have the freedom of having tattoos, you should have the freedom of covering them when you feel like it."
Von D covered her entire body with the concealer for a promotional shoot when the product was released.
"It was five hours of hell," she said.
For the newly minted beauty guru, her passion for cosmetics is not directly linked to beautifying oneself.
During our interview, Von D sported one eyelid with blue eyeshadow while the other was in light pink.
She said she started wearing make-up when she was 13, with music as an influence.
"Many girls start using it to look like the conventional idea of what beauty is, whereas for me, I wore black eyeliner because I felt that way. It is emotionally driven," said Von D, whose go-to look is the cat eye.
She also dismissed rumours that she does not go out in public without make-up, adding: "I don't know where that came from because if anything, that is the complete opposite of the message I want to put out there.
"My favourite look personally is when I don't have any make-up on.
"I love wearing make-up, but I also love not wearing it. I am happy with myself either way.
"I think it is important for people to be secure with themselves and how they look. I think you should wear make-up only if you want to.
"I do because I find joy in it, I think it is fun to be able to play around with make-up and not take it so seriously."
She joked: "I'll probably wear make-up till I die. I'll be that crazy old lady with red lipstick on in my grave."