how to do your make-up according to art school students
Meet the students matching their eye shadows with their final projects.
The year is 2018: the world is spending hours to achieve a no-make-up-make-up look, researching the best acid that will guarantee glowing skin, and loading the latest Vogue video of a supermodel doing her make-up in front of a hotel mirror.
The people on planet art school, however, are dancing to the beat of a different drum: the one of Halloween face paint and cheap lip gloss.
We asked 13 art and fashion students about their beauty rituals, tips and influences. We discovered that sometimes you can hand in your make-up selfies as part of your uni project, and we noticed a refreshing absence of any reference to a “dewy” skin.
Katya Zelentsova, Fashion Student
Describe your make-up style in three words? Full beat (in a) steam room. When did you first start experimenting with make-up? I remember the first time I put lipstick on, I was four at kindergarten. Then when I was seven or eight, I tried to replicate Liv Tyler's looks from the first Lord of the Rings movie. Moving to London allowed me to experiment much more, because no one here really cares what you do with yourself. No babushkas on the benches ready to tear down your new look. Is the way you look connected to your work? I match my make-up to the colour scheme of my current project. I guess whatever movies inspire my work usually inspire my make-up looks too -- Parajanov, Almodovar, Greenaway and Ken Russell are my go-tos for both. Outside of the creative industries, most people think of make-up as a tool for coverage, rather than self-expression. What is your position on this? I love how powerful it can be. I choose my make-up the same way I'd choose a pair of shoes or a bag. I definitely don't use it to hide anything -- I also don't really use make-up to make myself look pretty.
Lauryn Brown, musician and model
What makes you decide how you will do your make-up for the day? I tend do my make-up quite impulsively unless I have a particular outfit, hairstyle or 'look' in my head that I have pre-planned, as I am a huge fan or colour blocking and colour matching. If my hair is a certain colour I will either match my eyebrows, eyeshadow or lip colour to it. Do you match your make-up to your clothes or vice versa? I have a habit of matching my make-up to my clothes, which I can imagine some people may believe would be stressful. Sometimes I create contrast between an outfit and my make-up, but I'm pretty much a chameleon. Do you feel more like yourself with make-up or without? What do you prefer? I like myself both with and without make-up. I used to wear make-up to college and work every single day, just to enhance my features. However, I realised I should let my skin breathe sometimes and be kind to it so I stopped wearing make-up.
Paolina Russo, Fashion Graduate
Could you describe your make-up style in three words? Easy, colourful, messy.
What is your morning routine? The only constant thing I do is lipstick. I always wear lipstick! I feel very naked if I don't. When did you first start experimenting with make-up? When I was in high school. I think I was more adventurous and crazy with my make-up looks, because I didn’t know what I was doing. I would do my make-up in the car on the way to school, in a tiny mirror. My dad would get so mad because I would be spilling eyeshadow and lipgloss all over the carseats. Did your personal experimentations with make-up influence the beauty looks for your final collection? A lot of the make-up looks were based on my daily make-up looks, just more extreme. I worked with Mona Leanne on the make-up for my collection. She just really got it! She brought in a lot of ideas and products, which elevated the look further than I could have imagined. Do you have any particular influences, like artists or icons, that affect the colours and styles you use when doing your make-up? Pat McGrath is the queen! She has done it all, yet she always finds a way to do something which is new and innovative. I have always looked up to her work, she is a true master.
Li Ming Hui, Graphic Design student
What does make-up mean to you? To me, make-up is art. I love that I can use my face as a canvas to create artistic looks. It's also very therapeutic for me. When I'm feeling stressed or sad, I do my make-up and it calms me down. Did your studies and the art-school environment affect your beauty look and the way you style yourself? I don't think people in Malaysia are as open-minded as people in the west. They are quite judgmental when they see people who look 'different'. I truly hope the new generation of Malaysians won’t be afraid to express themselves through fashion or make-up when they are in public.
Slid Needham, Fashion Student
What is your signature make-up look? Cute but spooky. Do you ever tone your make-up and beauty look down? For example, when you go back home and meet your high-school friends, or when you have to take new ID pictures? Absolutely not. When do you feel most like yourself -- wearing make-up or taking it off before going to sleep? Definitely wearing make-up! If all humans could only wear one make-up product, which one should it be? EYELINER.
Sydney Pimbley, Fashion Student
Do you have a specific morning beauty routine? I remove any leftover mascara from under my eyes and the residue oil from the night before. I just wash my face with water in the shower and after this I use a cleanser. Then I moisturise with a basic product and start applying my make-up. What makes you decide how you will do your make-up for the day? Some days it depends on what I’m wearing; others I can’t decide what to wear, so I start with my make-up first and then that can influence my clothing choices. What is your signature make-up look, if you have one? I think my signature look is what my mum calls “Frosty the Snowman”. I use white mascara on the bottom and top lashes. I finish off the look with four dots placed at each corner of the eye. Do you have any particular “beauty hacks”? Any unorthodox products that work for you? I mix Bio Oil in with my moisturiser and apply that before going to bed. I have a scar under my lip and I have found that using a small amount everyday really helps the healing process.
Wendy Asumadu, Fine Art Graduate and make-up artist
What is your signature make-up look, if you have one? Colour has to be on my face, whether it’s a blue brow or a yellow winged liner. When did you decide to pursue make-up as a career? Only a few months ago. People would reach out to me as they wanted to photograph me wearing my make-up and as time went by, they would ask me to do make-up for shoots and campaigns. Do you think art school gave you the skills to be able to do make-up professionally? For sure! I was encouraged to always keep experimenting and use different mediums as there is no wrong way to create art. Do you use make-up only as self expression or also as “coverage”? At one point in my life, I did use make-up as coverage. I was teased and called name’s for being dark skin when I was younger. When I started secondary school, I vividly remember taking my mum’s foundation and applying it all over my face. It’s crazy but I felt like it made me lighter and I would feel more beautiful as well as accepted by everyone. As I’ve grown up, I absolutely love my skin and rarely use foundation. I wear make-up to show more of myself, as an art to express my mood and personality. Use make-up how you like to, but do it for no one but yourself.
Miku Zhang, Fine Art Student
What is the most important part of your make-up? Definitely the eyebrows. I am really obsessed with natural looking eyebrows. I hardly shave them, and I only shape them with eyebrow powder and gel. Did your style change when you started studying in London? I used to be really into cute and colourful make-up before, but now I focus on contouring under my eyelids and basic make-up. Are there any ‘weird’ products or practices that work for you? I turn my eyelash curler upside down to curl my lower lashes. If you can make sure that you won’t hurt yourself, I really recommend it! Do you feel more like yourself with make-up or without? What do you prefer? I feel more like myself with make-up on, I love what I can create on my body. Make-up to me is not just putting cosmetics on my face, it is part of my personality.
Ayesha Tan Jones, Fine Art graduate, musician
What is your signature make-up look, if you have one? Silver panda eyes. Blue throat chakra. Warpaint ready for the world. Asymmetrical symmetry lines. Do you think your style is connected to your creative practices? Yes, I tend to dress apocalypse-ready. All the characters in my work exist in an optimistically dystopian world; they are mystics with pockets full of rare earth minerals and broken spells, potions for patriarchal destruction, and balms for healing. I aspire to be more like them every day. Did you ever feel that getting into an art school meant you have to experiment with your make-up or style? I believe that as you dedicate your life to your art practice, you inevitably and naturally mould and mutate your style as a synergy to your work. Do you have any particular influences, like artists or icons? The ancestors.
Iuliia Gulina, Fashion Graduate
How would you describe your look and aesthetic? My style changed a lot, every day I feel different. One day I want to be dark, on another, more girly. I was into pink and kittens last summer, now I added some gothic elements. When did you first start experimenting with make-up? When I was doing my MA, my best friend started to do make-up on me, and I just fell in love with this world. I felt very confident when wearing red lips and blue eye shadows -- which is a typical Russian make-up style. When do you feel most like yourself -- without or with make-up on? I live in harmony with my face and body and I feel comfortable without any make-up.
Christie Lau, Fashion Print Student
What is your signature look? Mostly just eye make-up, but you’ll often find me with various dollar store stickers and sequins stuck on my face too. Going back, what do you think defined the aesthetics of your look? Probably when I started experimenting with craft stickers on my face. I guess the temporary tattoos that I do now kinda stem from that as well, in that they both have this childish appeal, which is what I’m after. What is your signature make-up look, if you have one? I usually go for a winged liner with some rainbow star sequins scattered across my face. Do you match your make-up to your clothes or vice versa? Yeah! I like to colour match the stickers or sequins to the colours of my clothes. Do you ever use any unorthodox beauty products? Oh yeah definitely, I use craft glitter for highlight. Miraculously, I haven’t got any of it in the eyes.
Freyja Newsome, Fashion Student
How would you describe you look? I’ve just been through the wilderness and picked up bits and bobs and put them into my hair. Do you feel free to experiment with your looks as you wish? Are there any places or situations that you feel like you have to "tone down" your look? If I’m at home (as in: home with parents), I’ll ask my dad to give me a lift to the station rather than walk, because I don’t think it would go down very well, and I would just feel really intimidated. On my walk to college before I started university, my boyfriend and I had to walk down an alley that passes a school, and walk through a massive group of teenagers. Teenagers scare the living shit out of me, and it was literally horrible, so I would try and avoid that as much as I could by finding other ways to walk.
Helena Yi, Fashion Design Student
What is your signature make-up look? Instead of looks, they are more like characters. I love to experience new combinations and techniques. The Red Devil, though, is definitely one of my favourite characters. It is a little cliche, but I love red. I wish my skin was red. Are your beauty looks linked to your work? For my make-up, I often get inspired by my university projects. I also dress like the muses/characters in my sketchbooks. It helps me develop the project further and visualise my design ideas. What do you usually use for your make-up? I love face paints, as they are highly pigmented, handy and easy to remove. Since they’re designed for kids, they are also safe to use around eyes and lips. Are there certain environments in which you feel more comfortable doing your usual make-up looks than others? I am used to judgemental stares. I feel grateful and more open when I’m in CSM though, where people appreciate and compliment my looks.
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