Karl Lagerfeld is one of her biggest fans, she's created the make-up looks for everyone from Lanvin to Yves Saint Laurent and the likes of Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier and Peter Lindbergh claw to work with her. Yet Ellis Faas hasn't lost perspective: "There's nothing magical about make-up," she tells us. "It's a tool and it's supposed to be fun, but you're not going to change your life."
It's a surprising statement from someone who launched her own make-up line in 2009, but then, Faas is full of surprises. She doesn't believe in trends or rules, and her extraordinary campaign images stop people in their tracks. If make-up is just a tool, it's one Faas wields exceptionally well (with a little help from, shall we say, less conventional methods... but more on that below).
One of the best-selling products in her range is the richly pigmented Hot Lips, so who better to drill for the best way to get a bold lip right? Here are Faas' five steps to a perfect, plumped up pout.
1. Don't throw out your old toothbrush.
"Massage your lips with a toothbrush - it's not meant so much to take the dry skin off, it's meant to get the blood flowing. The more blood, the more luscious your lips look," Faas says.
2. Make out more!
Yes, really. "The way to keep your lips in good condition is to keep the blood flowing. So kissing is a good one. Lots of kissing! It really plumps them up." They don't call it a just-bitten look for nothing.
3. Calm down with the lip balm.
"Don't use lip balm all the time, you have to be careful," Faas instructs. "You can get addicted and they dry your lips out even more." Try to steer clear of products containing petrolatum.
4. Put down the lip liner.
"I like the effect of a lip that's not too defined. I want it to be soft, not mask-like and hard. In my work, yes, but in real life, I think the softer edges, the more attractive."
5. Experiment with coverage (particularly if you're colour-shy).
"Lip products can look very pigmented, but they're very versatile. You have to play around with the coverage," Faas says. "I use my 202 colour, which looks quite full on [in the tube], but when you use it as a stain, you see it's very wearable." Dab on with your fingers rather than applying the product straight to your lips to give you more control over the level of coverage.