Welcome to the Offices of Urban Decay Cosmetics: Where Wonderland Meets Newport Beach

Published in: Makeup

Urban Decay Offices

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).

Surf’s up!


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.

Too cute!


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.

Trippy!

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,

Karen

P.S. I’m back home again. What did I miss?

94 Comments

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So far, 94 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Bell says:

    Wow I bet this was one of your coolest trips ever! I would go bananas in there, how did you control yourself? lol!
    xoxo

  2. Sarahc says:

    OK, I think I would saw off my arm to work there….

    My office doesn’t look like that.

  3. Andreita says:

    Whoa this is a very nice place : ) I didn’t expect any less from Urban Decay.

  4. Amber says:

    Did you happen to ask whether they need a materials engineer? I’m pretty sure they do. :)
    Amber recently posted … Calaveras

  5. Alyssa says:

    Oh wow, I would love to do my house up like that bathroom! The worst part is, my hubby would totally support it cause we both love everything fantasy like! People say we live our lives in a fantasy world and I tell em I dont care cause its better here lol!

  6. i would certainly love to work there! it definitely does not look boring :p.

    i love that chair in the entry way, it’s such an attention grabber!
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Sun Care With Neutrogena!

    • Karen says:

      I want that chair for my office. It would look cute next to a mirrored table. :)

      • Melissa says:

        The chair is outer limits cool!! I guess it would have been bad manners to be leaving the building carrying their chair out though huh? How fun is that place!!! So envious Karen :-)

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I want that tile floor!
    I love urban decay even more now!
    Elizabeth recently posted … My Essie Summer Picks

    • Karen says:

      Ha, I do too. I want it in my kitchen. :)

      • auroragyps says:

        I’d love those in my dark basement apt. Not enough good light to grow real plants, so having real looking fake grass under foot would be cool.

        Oh, & don’t forget UD had nail polish tie in with the movie A Life Less Ordinary called Hostage. I admit I had to look that up, because I always forget the title, so I only get partial UD geek credit. ;)

  8. Kelsey says:

    I LOVE the office!!! The outside is perfect. I would be disappointed if the inside didn’t look so… well, it’s indescribable. I hope I can go there one day.
    Kelsey recently posted … May Birchbox

  9. Paris B says:

    We just got Urban Decay in here! So its timely to read about your visit to the HQ. Sounds like it was a fab trip and perhaps I could take another look at UD now :)
    Paris B recently posted … A quick guide to shopping in Seoul- Korea

  10. Sherry says:

    I have got to know how you got the invite. Did you just email them or call them and say they’ll be featured on your blog? Did you already know someone there? Do tell!

  11. Jessica Leigh says:

    How amazing! I want to work there :)

  12. whoaa love that grass tile! On a sidenote, those shoes are sitting in my hallway right now xD The office looks like an amazing place to work, and thanks for taking us through a virtual tour!

  13. Jessi says:

    “…a place that makes frames”. Haha, that part made me laugh. Their office look amazing. It makes me love them as a company even more! It seems like you had a great time Karen. :)
    Jessi recently posted … This Syrup Goes On Your Mouth- Not Your Waffles- MAC Syrup Lipstick

  14. Jes H. says:

    Coolest place to work EVER!!

  15. Tiffany says:

    What an awesome office! Looks like you had a great trip :)

    • Karen says:

      It was cool — just way too fast. I hope to make it down to Huntington beach again so I can surf or just hang out, you know?

      How has your week been? Things ok with you?

      • Tiffany says:

        Yeah another trip would be fun! I loooved seeing all your pics on twitter! My last vacay was to San Diego last year and I would love to go back to socal one day!

        My week has been good! How are things out your way? Happy Friday! (it’s 2am here, lol)

  16. Jen says:

    The Big Lebowski is one of my favourite films! :D

    You get to see such cool places Karen! Thanks for sharing some photos. ^__^

  17. Jen says:

    Urban Decay is my favorite brand, EVAR! I would kill to work there! Looks like you had a great time!

    P.S. Your yellow shoes are too cute!
    Jen recently posted … Giant butt crack strawberry!

  18. kana says:

    How amazingly amazing looking, lol!! Aside from the awesome decor of the building I like that they are pet friendly, and the whole bring your pet to work thing is quite cool! Also, i kind of giggled at the “pocket rocket,” i actually have never seen those! Sounds like you had a great trip you had out here. :)

  19. Tracy says:

    That is one of the best offices ever! It looks like such a great place to work! Thanks for showing it to us!
    Tracy recently posted … Sephora by OPI Read My Palm

  20. Siena says:

    wow, this is amazing! And I can’t say I’m surprised that this is the office for Urban Decay. :D
    I love these posts, they’re so interesting. Keep ‘em coming!

  21. TJ says:

    WOW!!! If I worked there, I’d have even more urban decay than I have now, and that’s a lot. LOLOL

    • Karen says:

      Hey TJ,

      What are your Urban Decay staples? I can’t live if living is without my Bourbon — liner, that is. ;)

      • TJ says:

        I love Bourbon too, and deviant and honey and the perversion pencil I got with the 15 to celebrate the 15th anniversary. It seems like yesterday when I got my very first grindhouse… Good times… :)
        TJ recently posted … These are jellies

  22. Crystal says:

    That has got to be the best looking office ever. I love the creativity. What a fun place!

  23. Megan says:

    Wait–UD has full product displays all over the place? Are those for on-the-spot makeovers? Employee testing? How in the world did you resist playing with all those lovelies?!

  24. Gina says:

    This article was amazing! Thank you so much for posting about this :D I’m such a diehard UD fan, so I adore this.

  25. Erin says:

    Wow! UD HQ looks like heaven on earth! Thanks for the pics!
    Erin recently posted … Giveaway Reminder and Question!!!

  26. Phyrra says:

    Wow, I would love visiting there! How cool :) Also, it’s nice to see another workplace represented that allows pets :) Phaedra comes to work with me (and we occasionally have cats, chinchillas or reptiles) and it always makes my day brighter.
    Phyrra recently posted … Jaded Peacock

  27. Kristen says:

    Wow! I wish I worked there!

  28. Tammy says:

    UD knows how to do it right! I wouldn’t expect anything less but wow, I wouldn’t expect that! What an amazing office space! :) Glad you had a great time! Thanks for sharing your great pics!
    Tammy recently posted … Reminder- Apply Your Sun Protection!

  29. gio says:

    That’s the coolest office ever! I would love to work there! lol.
    gio recently posted … QOTW- Do you think lipliner is essential

  30. Stef Smith says:

    I worship at the alter of Urban Decay, I wanna live there!

  31. Madelynn says:

    Working for them is my dream job.

  32. nidhi says:

    looks like some one enjoyed a lot…nice office i like those bathrom tiles
    nidhi recently posted … Yellow everyday look from Zoeva 88 palette

  33. Gaelle says:

    You look gorgeous in that dress!

  34. Issa says:

    awwww, their office is soooo cool! i would like to work in that kind of office! the conference room, the restroom….aaaahhh, i’d go crazy just bi being there!!! :)

  35. Issa says:

    awwww, their office is soooo cool! i would like to work in that kind of office! the conference room, the restroom….aaaahhh, i’d go crazy just by being there!!! :)

  36. Nina says:

    their office is brilliant and jives so perfectly with their product. its fun, quirky and it tells me that they dont take themselves too seriously. i love that they welcome four legged children into their offices too.

    you look like you had a blast, yay! :)

  37. Beatrice says:

    I totally wanna work there oh my gosh >3<
    Beatrice recently posted … LA Splash Eyeshadow Sealer-Base Grips And Doesnt Let Go!

  38. Lindsay says:

    Ok I need a job there! Thanks for the tour Karen!
    Lindsay recently posted … MAC Flighty Collection- Summer 2011 Preliminary info &amp pics

  39. Karen B says:

    Looks amazing! Purple = awesome. It must’ve been great to get a tour.
    Karen B recently posted … Friday Favourite- Ginger Rogers

  40. Chris25 says:

    If I ever get the chance to visit that place, I would have to bring defibrillators with me, because I would just die! That place looks so cool! They would have to drag me out to get me to leave.

  41. ValbonaPro says:

    Oh my goodness! The place looks amazing! I can see now where their makeup inspiration comes from (or the other way around)! Simply Amazing! Thank you for sharing, Karen! We LOVE you and everything you do for us!

    -Valbona Pro.

  42. Christine says:

    OMG!! I would love to work there. Not only does the office look amazing, but they allow dogs inside. <3

  43. Wendy says:

    Nice nail polish girl!!! Weeerk it!
    Really interesting! I would never get bored there!
    Hugs Karen.

  44. Carrie says:

    Wow, the bathroom and the conference room are awesome! That puppy is so adorable! :)

  45. Cassi Teague says:

    Wow! What a dream workplace!!!!

  46. shiny says:

    Just a shout out for your dress, shoes and jewellery, Karen. Not that the makeup and hair weren’t fantastic as usual, but it’s great seeing all the ways you’re rockin’ the dress!

  47. Mylinda says:

    I don’t know why but what stood out for me in this post was that you were wearing the dress selected by the Nordstrom personal stylist. Am I right? :) It looks nice on you :)

  48. Alyssa says:

    I clicked on the link to try to get notified for the alice and wonderland book of shadows but the link doesnt take me to it :(

  49. Eva says:

    none of my workplaces ever looked that cool *____*

  50. Soo says:

    I really enjoy ‘behind the scenes’ posts like these. although they also make me a bit green.. O;)
    Soo recently posted … Shot of the Day

  51. Mandy says:

    When I saw the pictures, all I could think was, “I hope they play nothing but music by Prince.”

  52. Shauna says:

    WOW! That must have been the best experience. Kudos for being able to keep your composure!
    That has to be the coolest office to work in ever…ah. lol.
    Anyway, thanks for the pictures and taking us with you on your adventure! (so jealous)
    :D

  53. Grace says:

    I love your reference to Ice Ice Baby!

  54. })i({ Mariposa Maquillage says:

    OMG I would love to go here!! I wonder if they’ll ever bring back the Alice in Wonderland BOS!!!

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