Kristjana Williams Gives Us Butterflies. Literally.

by Sophie | 1 Comment

Good things come in pairs: milk + cookies, Lucy + Ethel, Puma + [Rihanna] Fenty. And, now, we’d like to introduce you to the newest breathtaking collaboration: Kristjana Williams + Julep Beauty for our Holiday 2016 collection, which – lucky you! – launched in retail stores and online last week.

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Image courtesy of Kristjana Williams.

Born in Iceland – and now based in the UK, working full time as an artist and mother of two – Kristjana studied illustration and graphic design at Central St. Martins and began creating fine art pieces as well as prints and furniture. Due to the depth and detail of her work, she is most known for her large-scale formats and three-dimensional pieces, textiles, murals, and grand retail windows which depict fairytale scenes for grown-ups.

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Murals and wallpaper. Images courtesy of Kristjana Williams.

She has an air of cool collectivity about her and an intimate connection to nature, so wonderfully translated in the intricacy of her artwork. Her client list is glamorous, including Christian Louboutin, and she was commissioned by the Olympic Games committee to showcase her artwork for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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Rio Olympics 2016. Images courtesy of Kristjana Williams.

Additionally, her work can be found in The Shard – the tallest building in Europe, “a vertical city” – in both the lobby and as a four-piece light-up installation on the 32nd floor. Having been a creative consultant for the Connaught Hotel in London, she also showcases her work throughout their space; the Trinity, a world-renowned restaurant in London, displays three-dimensional pieces of Kristjana’s inspired by the ingredients used in its dishes. Her client list goes on to include our very own Jane Park, Julep CEO and founder, who hosts a Kristjana Williams piece in her home.

For our Holiday Collection, Kristjana downsized her typically large-scale format to create sophisticated vignettes, telling stories of an animal-inhabited, holly-adorned winter wonderland. Inspired by her upbringing, she says her artwork for the collection was about “re-creating the beauty of nature in Iceland, and the symmetry in all things living,” including the magnificent Northern Lights and awesome natural attractions which draw visitors around the world (including some of us here at Julep HQ!).

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From the creative concept to the line work and vibrant color, our Holiday Collection makes Kristjana’s magical mind tangible. While conceptualizing, butterflies reminded her of lips – especially the sweetness and airiness of a kiss – and therefore “dominate the pattern for the lip collection.” She adds, “the whimsical, flirtatious nature of the creature seemed perfect for this idea of creating beautiful lips in bold colors and textures.” Her addition of branches and ribbons further winterize the set.


The vivid hues of the polishes inspired the creation of woodland animals. “Based on the color palettes of the nail polish sets, I wanted to make the designs very playful and evoke a winter wonderland,” Williams says. “To me, that includes not only polar bears, but also foxes, reindeer, owls, and other woodland creatures.”


Birds mades her think of wings and feathery flight. “The concept of birds taking flight invoked the idea of eyes,” she says. “Birds, butterflies – they all have that very natural, graceful shape.”


It would be an understatement to say we were excited about collaborating with Kristjana to create the breathtaking collection that is Holiday Takes Flight. From our first conversation, it was obvious that a partnership with Kristjana was going to be a beautiful one. Not only is she kind and humble – which made our job far too easy – but the packaging is more wonderful than we could have imagined: mythical and mysterious, thoughtful and elegant. If we haven’t convinced you yet, take a look for yourself. A picture is worth a thousand words after all, especially if Kristjana’s artistry is involved.

Our Holiday Takes Flight collection can be found on and at select Ulta beauty stores across the US. Thanks to Kristjana, we’ll be daydreaming of a winter fantasyland all the way through January…and beyond.