Get nostalgic with Ana Takahashi's 90s-inspired beauty looks
Discover the London-based makeup artist's irreverent approach to character creation -- glitter tattoos, skinny brows and all.
Photography Josh Wilks
This story originally appeared on i-D Japan.
Ana Takahashi doesn’t hold back. Currently attracting a whole lot of attention in the fashion world, recent additions to the London makeup artist’s impressive CV include painting faces and hockey masks for Chopova Lowena; giving Björk's actor daughter Isadora an all-natural look for Miu Miu; leaning into bold matte lips at Marc Jacobs and serving up Vulcan brows for Byredo. “Makeup gives you the power to transform into something or someone else,” she says of her craft’s appeal. At just 25, Ana takes this creative potential to another level with her freewheeling imagination.
Born to Japanese and Spanish parents who emigrated from Brazil to the UK together, Ana has long appreciated the mix of cultures she was raised surrounded by. After studying a makeup course centred on film and theatre at university in London, she dropped out in her second year and began collaborating with CSM students on their presentations and projects. It was just three years ago that she formally started her career as a makeup artist.
But there’s about a decade-worth of effort hidden in her work. Endless hours spent scrolling through Tumblr and consuming archive films and TV have unearthed the inspiration used to create Ana's theatrical world on set. “I do research and discuss things with friends on a daily basis in order to keep my creativity going,” she says. “Good ideas come to me about three or four times a month. But I'd rather work less and do it well than do hundreds of unimportant shoots that are quickly forgotten."
Finding it sterile to create images that simply present fashion in a traditional sense, Ana instead incorporates emotions into her looks, creating characters to wear them. It’s what gives her work its authenticity. “It was never my goal to work as a makeup artist in the fashion industry, so I try to do as many personal projects as I can,” she explains. “Recently, I've been collaborating a lot with photographer Josh Wilkes. I don't know where this job will take me, but for now, I want to focus on characters and ideas that interest me and create cool images."
Though she’s always searching for meaning in her work, Ana is also of the firm belief that it’s not the best idea to take things too seriously – a fact that explains her love for makeup that expresses humour and playfulness above all else. And when she’s not busy crafting characters? Ana can usually be found taking long walks through the city, at the pub with her friends, or playing with her cat Nico.
Photography Josh Wilks
Make-up Ana Takahashi
Hair Ryo Narushima
Styling Elle Fell
Photography Assistance Simon Wellington
Make-up Assistance Maryam Sofia
Hair Assistance Shihori Ito
Styling Assistance Eliza Goldsmith. Michael Guez. Alice Sanders.
Models: Alyson Dubey at STORM. Drew Gregory at MODELS1.