Chat us through the process of how you created your piece:
I wanted to create something that was not only beautiful and showcased makeup as a medium, but that that touched on something deeper than just cosmetics. Quite clearly, I was drawn to the quote ‘beauty is yours to define’ and began to unpack what that meant to me. Being a Graphic Designer as well as a Makeup Artist, I wanted my work to be a blend of the two by marrying in elements from both fields. To push the boundaries of society’s idea of ‘beauty’, I incorporated typography and graphics with cosmetics to create a look that was unconventional but beautiful. Bec (my model) has gorgeous facial features from her dark brown eyes to her freckles so I was cautious to not cover them up or distract from her natural beauty.
In terms of the makeup process, I spent some time really working skincare into the face, ensuring that her complexion was refreshed, hydrated and nourished. Brows were combed, lashes lightly coated with mascara and eyes primed with gold reflective cream-shadow. For a pop of pink, I used a neon eyeliner over the crease line and to marry in with the tones in the rose. The letters that spelled out the quote ‘beauty is yours to define’ were transferred onto the skin one-by-one as temporary tattoos (love a 90’s throwback), with each letter being cut out and placed in position. The rose is significant because no matter how it grows, the colour, shape or form—each captures beauty in its own unique way.
How did the manifesto influence your ideas for the piece?
It unlocked ideas and new thoughts about the perception, definition and ideals of beauty. I was interested in understanding the standards of beauty depicted by social media and dominant global retailers. I wanted my work to avoid this idea of ‘cookie cutter’ beauty, ‘Instagram glam’ – that we as girls/women should fit into this perfect beauty mould with full-coverage makeup, un-marked skin, cat-eyes and a perfectly sculpted nose.
I was inspired to make women find beauty in who they are and not what they want to be. I asked Bec what made her feel beautiful and comfortable in her own skin; “a natural finish foundation, some bronzer to warm up my skin tone and some mascara, I like to keep it pretty simple”. What I loved about this is that it was an insight into Bec’s interpretation of beauty, for another person it may have been wearing a lipstick, or a winged liner, maybe even groomed brows.
Embracing your own beauty and appreciating the little things that make you feel even more special is something only you can to define. This inspired me to create something that empowered Bec’s idea of beauty whilst having an unconventional twist that stopped to make you think about your own definition of beauty, and challenge what society deems as beautiful. Beauty takes form in our lives in so many ways, it’s constantly evolving as we grow and it’s this journey of finding beauty that really inspired me. The rose was a symbol of this in a way as it forms from a petite bud, into blooming petals, then wilting stems—a perfect depiction of the evolution of beauty.
Embracing your own beauty and appreciating the little things that make you feel even more special is something only you can to define.
How did you find the confidence to express yourself through your art?
Makeup is something I practiced at home quietly by myself (like so many others do), it’s a time to be with yourself, explore your beauty and express how you’re feeling. When I was feeling empowered, confident I would rock a bold lip, maybe even a winged liner. When I was relaxed and feeling lazy on holidays, I would prefer to go without makeup and embrace my natural features. When I realized that makeup had the power to influence the way I and others feel, I started using it as a medium to express myself. It was a channel to create and express my feelings daily. Knowing that I could start afresh and create something new based on momentary emotions gave me confidence to grow and view makeup artistry in a new light. I began to confidently utilize the art as a voice to express who I am and how I’m feeling.
Why do you think it is important to share and express yourself through your art?
Everyone has their own channel for expressing themselves, it’s a means to communicate their lives, personality, emotions, and stories. I think it’s an important way for all of us to be able to grow, share and connect.
What does empowerment mean to you?
To be confident in yourself, to create, to influence, to support, to be in control, to own it.
Who inspires you?
I find that I draw inspiration from endless sources, every day brings something different. I can be inspired by those who surround me, by people I connect with through reading, through social media, nature, culture, travelling. I don’t have a go-to source for inspiration, I find it comes to me organically sometimes when I don’t even expect it.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Everything happens for a reason! It truly does, your path will get you where it needs to be no matter what road it takes. Every experience, failure, success, relationship, decision helps you grow and get closer to where you need to be—even if it doesn’t feel like it!
What is the best piece of advice you can offer to other women?
To be wholeheartedly you. To accept yourself, know your worth and just go for it.