Community Spotlight: OPERA Lipstick and Design with Solana

Posted on March 24 2021

It’s been a bit since our last Community Spotlight, so let’s shine the light on the one behind a ton of our email and banner designs: Solana! 

Our designer, Deguchi! Hey Solana, how were finals? I remember you mentioning them a couple weeks back. 

So I didn’t have any exams, but I had full-on papers. I had quite a few 10-pages papers I had to do, but I got them out of the way! Now I’m on a break for two months. 

Nice! Wait, months?

Two months! Yeah, Japan has a long spring break and a shorter summer break. It’s because in Japan, the new year starts in April. We basically get a two month break before our new year.

Huh, you learn something new every day. So today, I’ll be shining the community spotlight onto you! So you’re one of Cosme Hunt’s designers. What was it that sparked your interest in design? 

My family has been very into design since I was young. I’ve been brought around the world and going to museums. My mom was an art major, so that was probably part of it. People ask me why I like design, but I can’t say why! I just really enjoy it, I can’t say why. I just love it and it makes me really happy! 

It’s just what you know!

Yeah, and doing problem solving through design is something I just really like doing.

Can you walk me through your design process? Do you have a little ritual that you do to get your creative juices flowing?

I usually do the email designs for Cosme Hunt. So for those, I usually start off with the theme of the email. From there, I’ll think of a couple words that are associated with it, and I’ll bring in images from there. I’ll start putting those together and incorporating them into the email. After that, I have to figure out the easiest way for the viewer to move down the email without an overwhelming amount of information. 

The way you describe it, it feels like you break down every single section in your brain.

Yeah! It makes it a lot easier for me to process too. I also want to make sure that the experience reading the email is as smooth as possible. We don’t want people to scramble around or be bombarded by blocks of text. 

Blocks of text are pretty intimidating, that’s why Twitter was made (laughs). So if you ever get stuck trying to create something, how do you get over the block?

I usually go to different websites for inspiration. The main two I go to are Pinterest and Dribble, that’s where I gather my inspiration and see if I can learn anything new to apply to future emails. 

So you draw inspiration from a couple of go-to places! I want to get to know a bit of your tastes; has there been a product design that was so innovative or just so up your alley that it shook you? It doesn’t have to be makeup.

For me, my style is very clean and modern. That’s a design I really like. Nicely spaced typography with thin line weights and in caps is like my favorite thing! (laughs) That, right there, is my aesthetic. Personally, I don’t have a favorite designer. It’s more of things I like from different designers that I bring together. I pretty much gather what I like from different people. 

Is the common thread that typeface, then? 

Yeah, I really like spacious typeface. It’s just my favorite thing (laughs). 

Is there psychology behind art? 

I don’t think they use that terminology. But I know there are specific art rules that you can apply to designs. For example for emails: placing things in a zig zag form to make it easier for people to slowly go down the email. I don’t know if you noticed in the MASAMI email, but it’s set up that way. It’s laid out in that specific way so it’s easier for people to read the entire email. It’s more so design principles that you can use for placement, but I’m not too sure what the terminology is.

Are there any makeup products that have your favored typeface? Any products with that “Solana” aesthetic?

The OPERA logo! (laughs). I love OPERA lipsticks, and the logo is thin, lightweight, caps, and spaced out nicely. I like the simplicity. I also like the material it’s made out of; it’s not the cheap plastic and it feels expensive. The way the lipsticks are simple, clean, and elegant, I really love it. 

What are your thoughts on Canmake? I know their whole shtick is being cutesy, but what are your thoughts on it? 

I think it’s a great way to market their products. Personally, I really like the cutesy, girly design. Canmake is very popular with young girls and girls on a budget. It’s cute, girly, and affordable, and I think it’s a really good combination for that specific audience. It wouldn’t match if the product was packaged extremely fancy and elegant when the price point is low, so I think it’s a perfect balance of cutesy, beautiful, and affordable. 

Sorry to be circling back, but you mentioned your mom was an art major. Was your dad an art major as well?

My dad actually studied economics. I study economics too right now. But he’s always been into interior design with my mom. Our house is very modern and we carry a lot of designer stuff. My family just really likes design, and I’ve been surrounded by it since I was young (laughs).

I’m glad you actually like it, though! I feel like it’s common for parents to push their careers onto their kids, like a cookie cutter. But I’m glad you enjoy design too.

Yeah, I love it! Something I really like about my family is that they’re really musically talented. My mom can play piano really well, my dad loves to play guitar, my sister can also play guitar and sing. I don’t have any of that music talent, but I really enjoy that artistic side (laughs). I guess we’re all in the arts, I’m just the lone one that didn’t pick up music, I picked up art!

I envy that you grew up surrounded by such an artsy atmosphere!

There’s a lot of freedom around what I want to do. My dad is always telling me to do what I love, and I can do art instead of economics if I wanted to switch. He also said I could go to design school after college if I wanted to. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to reach out and do things I like to do. I’m most likely going to do design stuff after college. 

How much longer do you have?

I have about a year and a half left before I graduate. Wow, that’s so soon!

So we’ve pretty much touched on everything I wanted to ask you and then some, is there anything you’d like to share with the readers? What are you currently into?

You can give a shoutout to OPERA for me, I love OPERA.

Are you wearing it right now?

Yes I am (laughs).

I knew it! Your lips are glossy so I was like, “she’s probably wearing OPERA.”

I love OPERA. I have so many of their lipsticks, if y’all are interested. 

(to Opera) Sponsor her!

Send me lipstick! (laughs)

That’s a wrap on Solana! She’s always creating elegant yet fun designs for our emails and our site, so sign up for our email newsletter if you haven’t already to get a heads up on sales, new products, and Solana’s beautiful designs! 

To find out more, visit our website!


 Leila Nevalasca

Leila is a self-proclaimed "child of the internet" as she has been a netizen since MySpace and Neopets days. The website that fascinated her most was YouTube, which eventually led her to graduate from San Francisco State's Broadcasting and Electronic Communications program. When she's not going down internet rabbit holes, she experimenting in the kitchen or doing weird voice impressions.

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