colour and creativity with multi-disciplinary make-up queen holly silius

Holly Silius' creativity has taken on a multitude of personalities - from her make-up work (she was behind the well painted face of Kreayshawn for The Pick Me Up Issue), to H&H Nails, her nail jewellery brand that have adorned the talons of Beyonce, M...

by Bojana Kozarevic
25 November 2014, 5:05pm

You are a multi-disciplinary beauty artist, how did you first get into it?
It was the advice of a friend in the industry to call myself a 'multi-disciplinary artist' as she said I do so many things with beauty that I can't be narrowed down to one category , so i took that on and it's helping me carry on what I love doing, creating art within beauty on a broader scale. I got into it first whilst studying Art a-level and I started to cast parts of my body and make things out of latex, I then studied Art Foundation and then went onto London College of Fashion and studied a degree in Special Effects Makeup & Wigs. I worked in the theatres and the Royal Opera House for years doing period wigs and makeup, as well as starting out assisting makeup artists in fashion.

What are your main inspirations?

It goes from working in a drag club culture and dancing at 18, making costumes with the drag artists to travelling to South America and taking part in Ayahuasca Ceremonies which really opens your mind-experiencing psychedelics

Artists such as Leigh Bowery, Yves Klein, Topolino, Grace Jones, Divine, Angelica Houston, John Waters, Frank Auerbach and Tamara de Lempicka have all had long standing influences on me over the years.

What medium do you love to work with most?

I love metal, super polished rose gold. I have just been choosing diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies for my next collection of H&H Nails. We are experimenting with black diamond dust also which I'm totally excited about.

What are the most important things to remember about hair and make-up?
The most important things about hair and makeup is on a personal level, it has to go with how you feel and what you already have beauty wise, If you have amazing brown curly hair go with it and embrace it, don't flatten it and bleach it, but if you want to be a chameleon and alter your look then be individual don't look at the same old churned out icons, be your own, not what a 'tat mag' tells you to!

How did you end up getting into making false eyelashes?
Ha, I was going to a birthday 'eye-lash party' in Dalston, my friends like fancy dress A LOT and I just had to make something individual so that's how it started, and then I made some the following week for Jaime Winstone for a music video and then the same week I made some for the rapper Kreayshawn for the cover of i-D.

How did you get into nails?
I got into nails as a photographer kept asking me to do the whole works, like full on glamorous makeup, big Hollywood hair and crazy nails, and I kept saying 'I don't do nails' but she gave me no choice ha! Then myself and my business partner for H&H finally sat down after months of emails overseas and we came up with our concept. It's pretty surreal that Madonna and Beyonce want to wear our creations, makes me feel like we are doing something right and innovative!

What is your favourite look that you've ever created?
My 'Eyelash Face' video I did with director Zaiba Jabbar for Italian Vogue. It was also an honour that the first collection of my H&H Nails were used for the Thierry Mugler autumn/winter 13 collection in Paris. I had stuck scottish thistles, rose thorns and italian vines onto nails, got them electroformed in copper and plated in gold and silver, we then made moulds of these and made all the pieces in solid form. They got painted white to go with the collection by the talented team of nail technicians.

Who is the most beautiful person in the world?
Maybe the child of Penelope Cruz, David Bowie, a snow leopard and Nefertiti all mixed up in a test tube.

What is it about London that inspires you?
London, the vast array of cultures, exhibitions, being able to go to amazing gigs but then also being able to go on a horse ride, swim on a rooftop and being in a 24/7 city of insomnia and entertainment.

And finally, what is beauty?
Beauty is in imperfection… I love asymmetry, scars, faces that tell stories, grandeur and reverence.


Text Bojana Kozarevic
Photography George Harvey
The Pick Me Up Issue, No. 314, Pre-Fall 2011

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