Ten Tips on Turning Yourself Into a Masterpiece
What’s a great fashion show without a statement beauty look? It’s those added pops of nail colour, coifed locks and wild makeup creations that make for a true eleganza extravaganza. The arty-er the reference, the better. Last season’s knock out beauty ensembles at Manish Arora saw 3D sculptural face art akin to Indian shrines, with drag royalty Miss Fame and Virgin Xtravaganzah demonstrating the power of “giving good face.” Extreme beauty looks aren’t a novelty in fashion – Val Garland has been treating faces of catwalk models as artist’s canvases, having created some truly legendary looks for the likes of Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. Or take Pat McGrath and her elaborate constructions of global inspirations, most notably on show at John Galliano’s spectacles at Dior. The fashion industry would be incomplete without high-concept show manicures courtesy of Marian Newman who has become an icon in her own right. And of course, there’s Sam McKnight, seeing models’ own hair as a light suggestion as he crafts sculptural forms out of human (and some not so human) locks.
But as these living geniuses continue to lead their own field, a new generation of creatives are trying to find a path of their own to wild beauty expertise. A quick scroll through Instagram has us flique-ing our brows into the Nike swoosh; splashing glitter over our dark circles like the cast of Euphoria and running to the local Ryman for more heavy duty face-paint in our best attempt at the Bratz-doll makeup challenge. As the catwalk show of the millennial generation, social media serves as a platform for expressing creative interpretations of beauty. So, who are the next Val, Marian and Sam? Continue on reading as we pick our favourite extreme Insta-beauty legends.
Bea is the multi-disciplinary artist breaking the MUA mould with her intricate renditions of traditional paintings. But there’s more than meets the eye to these miniature artworks. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice something slightly at odds with the typical male-gaze of the originals. Depicting sensual same-sex scenes, Bea’s erotic work is out to bring the ancient lesbian art narrative to the beauty mainstream. Forget eyeshadow – she’s cutting the crease with kinky renditions of late 19th Century French erotica and blending with some rather cheeky nipple-pinching scenes. Looking beyond the Western norm, some of her greatest hits include Japanese ukiyo-e shunga depictions of sensual pleasures and titillating Tudal art from the Hindu temples of Kathmandu. Working with hand-painting, digital art and multiple collaborators, Bea is rejecting the stale, pale, male traditions of art and reasserting power with her face art.
Treating her face as a canvas, makeup artist Ana Takahashi truly paints for the gawds. Beating her mug with artworks too beautiful to simply remove with a face wipe, she poses for selfies with an air of elegance akin to the Francois Boucher’s Cherubs she often references. Other inspirations include the floral embroidery of Alexander McQueen’s gowns circa AW16 and graphic poster art from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. Her full facial trompe l’oeil may not be the easiest to replicate for any fellow novices out there, but it will surely make for an entertaining DIY activity come Sunday afternoon. If this is what an attack on the face from Ana looks like, we’re first in line.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But in the case of 21 year old optical-artist Honey, beauty is actually on the eye of the beholder. She takes the colours and textures of everyday nature and transforms them into her hand-painted fantasy scenes, re-imagining mixed media materials into the clouds, moss and semi-precious stones of her mind’s eye. As of now, we’ll be topping off every eye look with a string of glued-on pearls in true Honey style, for a little added opulence.
Considering a hair change for summer? Artist-turn-hair-stylist Janine Kerr will leave you with more than your usual fresh trim and blow. Delving into the depths of her memory, she paints in palettes informed by the art movements, pop culture, nature and even furniture of eras gone by. With almost military precision, she’ll bleach, shave, carve and paint your hair into any wild print and pattern in her calibre. The likes of Chris Brown and J Balvin have already taken a seat in her chair, and there’s a reason for it. Any artist that can have us genuinely considering a technicolour buzz-cut is surely set for stardom.
What’s your go-to manicure of choice? A classic French mani-pedi? An ombre maybe? How about an exact rendition of Botticelli’s late 15th century Birth of Venus? The latter may not be readily available at your local nail shop, but for nail artist Natasha Blake of Fuego Nails, it’s just one number of her lengthy repertoire. Referencing religious iconography, designer monograms and her favourite artists (think dreamy Georgia O’Keefe florals and surreal Dalì motifs), she’s bringing fine art to the mainstream with her meticulously hand-painted designs. Throw on a few crystals for good measure and we’re sold. With future plans for a recreation of Frida Kahlo’s Arbol de la Esperanza in the works, we’re positive Natasha will be nailing every look she puts her hand to.