At one point on my quick trip to Southern California this week, I must have taken my eyes off the sidewalk in front of me for a moment (oops!), because before I knew it, I’d fallen into a rabbit hole…
And this wasn’t just any rabbit hole. Nope, it was a magic one that transported me to Newport Beach and the offices of the largest independently owned color cosmetics company in the United States.
Disguised as an unassuming gray building…
Despite appearances, this quiet, unassuming gray building nestled on a side street in Newport Beach isn’t an accountant’s office or a place that makes frames. It’s actually the offices of Urban Decay.
Inside, it’s purple, purple, everywhere!
Sweet carnival of chroma, batgirl! The outside belies the pageantry of purple taking place inside these walls. The interior is a cornucopia of color (I never would have guessed it from the building’s facade).
One of the office staff taking a quick break…
The staff includes 62 bipedal employees assisted by a number of their four-legged friends. Pet assistants are encouraged by the cruelty-free line (NOTE TO TABS: Canines were definitely in the house; I didn’t see any cats).
From left to right: Executive Creative Director Wende Zomnir and moi (NOTE: Wende is hella tall! I’m standing on my tippy toes in this pic, and she’s crouching down, LOL!)
Avid surfer and Executive Creative Director Wende (pronounced Wendy) Zomnir, one of the founders of the company, hails from the great state o’ Texas, where she grew up working the beauty pageant circuit and modeling back, as she puts it, before there were makeup artists backstage. Girls had to do their own makeup, and some of them got quite good at it after a while. Wende not only did her own makeup, but that of many of the other gals as well.
These days, when she isn’t busy cultivating the crazy UD colors we all know and love, she tends to her hubby and sons, catches waves on her surfboard, and knits (she actually pulled her knitting needles from her purse to show me her current project, a pair of cute wrist warmers).
A few of Wende’s faves…
She’s particularly fond of Urban Decay Flash Eyeshadow, Zero 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil and Sparkling Lickable Powder in Honey Dust.
Pocket Rocket Lipgloss in Doug
Another one of Wende’s UD faves is named after her hubby, Doug, making the name of that Pocket Rocket pretty easy for her to remember (insert collective “AWWWW!”).
Quite possibly the coolest conference room, evah!
Quick! Let’s call a meeting about…anything, so we can all hang out in here. Wende designed everything in the conference room — right down to the table with multi-colored legs.
The ladies loo/restroom looks like something straight out of Alice in Wonderland, complete with teacup light fixtures and faux grass tiled floors. Yeah, if you need me, I’ll be “in my office,” aka the stall on the right.
Stop — collaborate and listen
Urban Decay released the new Urban Bride set to coincide with the release this weekend of Bridesmaids, a new comedy starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph (remember her from SNL?) and Rose Byrne.
(SIDE NOTE: Thought the movie was hilarious! Seriously, it’s a chick flick even dudes would like. It has a couple of raunchy moments, but for a movie associated with Judd Apatow, it’s relatively tame.)
In other news, remember last year’s Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows? Yup, artwork from that launch decorates the office.
The company has been doing film collaborations like these for years, going back to The Big Lebowski in 1998 (remember the toe with the green nail polish? Yup, that’s UD), Scream in 1996 and The Wedding Singer in 1998. Drew Barrymore, as a matter of fact, worked closely with Urban Decay to create The Wedding Singer lipstick.
Ah, The Wedding Singer… I love that movie.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. I’m back home again. What did I miss?