Smashbox x FLARE + Donald Robertson Be Legendary Lipstick in Canadian FLARE, $23, available now at !
Whether he’s sketching a couture-clad Anna Dello Russo doing yoga or a long-legged chicken called Karlie Kluck, Donald Robertson is satirizing the sartorial set—and they’re laughing with him. When he recently drew Carine Roitfeld alongside E.T. (“She’s the first person to tell you she looks like him!” he explains) and posted it on Instagram (), the Parisian editrix regrammed it right away. But before his work went viral, the Toronto-born artist was illustrating runway looks for FLARE in the ’80s. Now we’ve teamed up again to craft a limited-edition red lipstick with Smashbox, in time for Canada Day.
Outside Robertson’s nine-to-five as creative director for Estée Lauder (which owns Smashbox), the California-based father of five gets up at 4 a.m. to start the first of the nine cartoons he usually draws per day. This morning, we’ve met up at Smashbox Studios in L.A. (the beauty brand also runs an Annie Leibovitz–approved space for photo shoots) to form our Canuck collabo, for which Smashbox will mix the shade and Robertson will illustrate the packaging. We plan to match our lippie to the exact Pantone colour of the Canadian flag, but Smashbox’s makeup developer, Lori Taylor, knows better. “The original hue contains more orange, which can be hard to wear,” says the global pro lead artist. “We’ll add a bit more blue for a true primary red that will suit all.”
Next, Robertson decorates the lipstick box with gaffer tape (traditionally used by film crews) and marker—his go-to tools since childhood. “My father wouldn’t buy me art supplies,” Robertson says, “but he had a Grand & Toy card I could use to get legal paper, pens and Sharpies.” With a few strokes our Canadian flag–wearing character is born—but with one major upgrade: the foliage is replaced with Robertson’s signature lip motif (which he also painted on a Cadillac for Smashbox; see left). “The maple leaf in the middle—it’s a little craft fair–y,” he jokes. Forget “O Canada.” How about “Haute Canada”?
Meet Donald and find out how he got his start at FLARE: