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Three makeup artists who push the boundaries where they find intrepid inspiration

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Yes, we read the comments section online. And yes, we know we shouldn’t. But there are often a lot of comments or questions about how the makeup industry is simply taking advantage of people’s insecurities.

We have started Beauty benders not to persuade everyone that they need to put on makeup, but to show the creative potential he has – a potential that exists outside of binaries of the genre.

It’s a philosophy shared by some of our favorite and most intrepid makeup artists around the world.

We asked three creatives, based in London, New York and Paris, what they think about the creative power and fun of makeup, and how they use it to say a little more about themselves.

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Grant Karpin, New York

Make-up artist, creative director, fashion designer

What’s the first makeup product you remember buying or wearing?

The first item I bought was a MAC eyeshadow in a bright blue shade, Electric Eel. I have always been drawn to bold, shameless colors, and I think this still translates into the work I create today.

When did you seriously start doing makeup?

When I was about 12 years old. I remember feeling so empowered by the transformative effects of makeup from then on. I started off slowly, wearing eye shadow to the supermarket, until I finally felt secure enough in my armor.

How would you describe your relationship with makeup now?

It makes me feel bulletproof. As soon as I put the last pieces of my face together, I really feel unstoppable. My posture changes, my eyes sharpen and all my insecurities are masked. It is a deeply meditative practice. Almost from another world.

What are your beauty references? Describe your “look”?

My typical look is a combination of a few styles and references. I have always been heavily inspired by haute couture editorial broadcasts: facial bands, glittering eyes, raw glamor, and bizarre textures. Glam rock also plays a major role.

Plus, flowing icons like David Bowie and Grace Jones always inspire. I also tend to draw a lot of my inspiration from bugs and vibrant flowers for unexpected color combinations that stand out on camera.

Do you wear makeup every day? What does it look like to you?

I don’t wear makeup every day, but when I do, I feel like less is more. The less I use concealer and foundation, the better. I want to remind the world that the skin is the skin, the pores are the pores. I like to cover up and correct where needed and keep it simple with a bushy, puffy browband and a touch of iridescence on the eyes. Then I finish with a quick coat of mascara.

Describe one of your wackiest looks …

It is a recent one. I blocked my eyebrows and painted my skin to look like a cracked Hellenistic statue. I added gold leaf to the cracks to symbolize sacredness under the marble “skin”. The look took about four and a half hours, with the final hairstyle in powder and the contacts in white mesh.

Do you have any tips for people to break free with makeup?

Give up all expectation of perfection! In fact, embrace the chaos. Find the beauty in decay and challenge yourself to get dirty. Some of the most spectacular makeup looks can come from a lack of control.

What products could you not do without?

Danessa Myricks Colorfix 24-Hour Cream took over my pro kit and my personal collection. This full coverage liquid pigment does it all. Eye shadow, blush, lipstick, brow tint and more. It is also fully waterproof.

Vision Cream Cover by Danessa Myricks is my favorite foundation for all occasions. The formula is able to go from full coverage to transparency, depending on application and mixology only. It has a beautiful range of shades with a velvety satin finish that mimics our natural skin texture.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Moisturizer is the best makeup preparation I have found. Hyaluronic acid is combined with nutrient-dense watermelon extract to give the skin a new wave of hydration.

Thomas Rafferty Chanse Farries, London

Freelance photographer, videographer and creative director

What’s the first makeup product you remember buying?

I remember the first time I wanted to express this weird and lost little girl / boy in my head when I was 13 or 14, after seeing the movie Lolita. I really connected with her character after going through my own identity crisis. I remember looking at this girl with ribbons in her hair and seeing her sweet, devilish naivety.

I wanted to feel ‘in this scene’, so I used an old kid’s face paint kit and brushes from a watercolor kit, and started painting over all the ‘attributes’ feminine ”that I could.

I had this horrible winged liner, which was probably done with black watercolor, and painted over big red lips and a little mole. I played pathetic music to go along with the vibes, and let myself be this little boy / girl that I felt so close to when everything and everyone felt so far away at that time.

The first product I remember buying was probably Rimmel London liquid foundation in ivory color. The rest just fell into place after that, realizing that I could paint over whoever I wanted.

How would you describe your relationship with her now?

Make-up is a tool to continue this narration. Whether it’s something I’m going through or just wanting a release, he’s there as a friend in the closet when times are down.

It’s also something that allows me to put on a mask and have a giggle, without consequence. That’s what I feel anyway. When I’m outside, it makes me feel like I’m anonymous, strangely. It brings out a calm that nothing else does. It’s not just a mask, but a way to tap into who I want to be that day.

What are your beauty references? If you had to describe your “look”?

Grace Kelly, Barbra Streisand, Marilyn Monroe and, of course, Audrey Hepburn, all inspired me when I started out.

But then that tormented side of me made things more raw and less polished. Growing up with a real Jewish mother character also helped. She was a gay boy’s dream. Hair still scraped in that perfect neat bun, sunglasses, scarves, fur – the bundle.

She made me like that. I would sit in her closet, watching her get ready in front of that ridiculous huge mirror, and wrap myself in her furs and jewelry, just to be like her.

Do you have any tips for people to break free with makeup?

Honestly, there is no rule book. I still have no idea what I’m doing; it’s different every time I put on makeup.

The only thing I would say is it is the most amazing feeling to sit in front of a mirror and get down to business. You can play the person you want to be; you become who you really are; and you can be as free as you want. It is your gift to yourself.

What products could you not do without?

Definitely MAC Lipglass. A Fenty Red Liquid Lip, which is the most gorgeous and perfect red in cool tones to make your teeth look extra white.

Also, the Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book Volume II palette. And Fenty Liquid Foundation and MAC Studio Fix Powder are must-haves.

Mantis, Paris

Makeup student

What’s the first makeup product you remember buying or wearing?

The first product I remember wearing was a YSL lip gloss when I was 14. It was my mother’s.

When did you seriously start doing makeup?

April 2018. I started as a drag queen, but became more interested in fashion makeup and realized that drag was not for me.

How would you describe your relationship with makeup now?

It’s like therapy. When I’m sad, I take my brushes and start putting on makeup, and instantly forget everything.

Do you wear makeup every day? What does it look like to you?

Yes. I brush my eyebrows with pomade to make my discolored eyebrows fuller, I cover all the pimples I have with a Bobbi Brown cream concealer, then I usually put in a bit of blush and liquid wick, if I have any. desire.

Describe one of your wackiest looks …

I feel like it’s the one with all the green rhinestones in the shape of a praying mantis, in honor of my name.

Do you have any tips for people to break free with makeup?

I’m not good at giving advice, but trust yourself and what you like, experiment, work and it will all come together.

What products could you not do without?

Play Essential High Coverage Liquid Concealer, Nars Bronzer in Laguna, MAC Lip Liner in Whirl. And, of course, rhinestones.



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