TORONTO – Canadian makeup artist and prosthetic designer Donald Mowat says he didn’t let previous film and TV adaptions of “Dune” impact his style choices in the latest version of the sci-fi epic, instead opting to make the characters his own.
The highly anticipated adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel from Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve had a world exclusive IMAX screening at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
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The sprawling interstellar story of warring families stars Timothee Chalamet as the protagonist antihero. Oscar Isaac plays his father, who oversees a dangerous desert planet called Arrakis, which contains the most valuable resource in the universe, a drug nicknamed “spice” that gives its users heightened powers and allows navigators to guide spaceships through the universe. This makes Arrakis the target of violent battles and political treachery.
Mowat, who is known for his work on “8 Mile,” “Skyfall,” “Blade Runner 2049” and “First Man,” told CTVNews.ca that he’s only worked on films that were either based on a true story, book or play, or are some form of a remake of an original version – making his job more difficult, he says.
“I think there’s an influence, and it also makes you [feel] like you’re not creating your own looks,” Mowat explained in an interview over Zoom.
Mowat said he decided not to watch the 1984 version of “Dune” so as not to have director David Lynch’s depiction of the characters influence how he would create them.
“I had the same challenge with ‘Blade Runner’ because there was this thing, this huge epic thing that people would compare it to inevitably, and I just thought, ‘I can’t get caught up in that’,” Mowat said
Mowat said he has since looked at clips of the original film and is “really glad” he didn’t beforehand.
Swapping out characteristics of red hair and wildly overgrown eyebrows, Mowat opted for subtle yet distinct features to recognize each planet’s people, specifically the people that live on the desert planet of Arrakis, known as the Fremen.
The Fremen’s costumes – including actor Zendaya’s – were heavily influenced by Bedouin tribes and Moroccan culture, and Mowat said he wanted their hair and makeup to match that aesthetic.
Fremen who use spice have distinctive blue eyes. Mowat also opted to make their makeup look natural, using nude hues to create a “very neutral yet kind of beautiful” look. Their hair is unkempt, but not so much to the point where they “look like savages,” he said, adding that there is an “attraction” about the Fremen.
“They’re not uncivilized people,” he said. “They look like they live there, so they should look good because that’s where they belong. That’s where they live and where they thrive.”
Mowat says the makeup team also covered actors playing Fremen people in sand and dirt to match the desert environment.
Bald caps, eyebrow covers and small tattoos were also part of Mowat’s looks for the Harkonnen and Mentat people – features not seen in previous adaptations.
In addition, Mowat helped to create the prosthetics for the villainous Baron, played by Stellan Skarsgard. He says the fat suit and prosthetic makeup was a “huge elaborate build,” taking the team 16 weeks to conceptualize and create.
“My concept was a character that was based loosely using a gorilla – the size of a gorilla, the power, the viciousness and fierceness,” Mowat said. “Then some Marlon Brando in ‘Apocalypse Now” and ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’ with that very white skin and makeup.”
Mowat said the transformation required Skarsgard to spent six to eight hours at a time in the makeup chair.
With each character’s appearance being “meticulously” thought out, Mowat said the film is a testament to the artistry of those who work behind the scenes on major movies.
“For me, it celebrates filmmaking on the big screen – great costumes, great production design, music, every type of makeup imaginable – it just encompasses every aspect of cinema that we love so much,” he said.
It’s time to take your go-to look to the next level — slightly.
In case you’ve been living under a rock or on a remote island for the past year and a half: we’re just now easing out of a pandemic.
During our time quarantined at home, many of us embraced our natural skin and focused on skincare rather than slathering on makeup. But now that outside is officially opening back up (at least in some places), beauty lovers are using this as a chance to be as extra as possible when it comes to makeup application – especially for the eyes.
So it makes sense that this summer’s hottest makeup trend meets us right in the middle – and Dior’s Cruise 2022 show, which took place at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece, is a clear indication of just that.
“It’s a very natural, glowy base for everybody, then each girl has [pearls],” Dior Makeup’s creative and image director Peter Philips told a group of journalists backstage. “Some girls just have two pearls, some have four, some have the whole eye, some have the under-eye – it’s my take on the Greek eye.”
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But what really made the look so show-stopping were the pearls used to frame the eyes. And ironically enough, these little details matched perfectly with the palette Philips began working on at the top of the year – long before he had decided on the final runway look.
“It’s a bit of a coincidence, because palettes you can’t do overnight, it takes a little bit of time,” he shared. “But I knew where we were going to shoot, I knew it was going to be in Greece. So I said ‘I’ll make a relaxed palette that’s something you want to have with you on a cruise.’ [I wanted] something that’s beautiful and flattering, which is not too intimidating and easy to wear.”
While you might not know her name, if you follow fashion, you will certainly be familiar with the work of makeup artist Raisa Flowers. She’s the mastermind behind poet and activist Amanda Gorman’s dewy, fresh-faced look on the cover of American Vogue’s May 2021 issue and is quite possibly the reason why you’ve considered adding colourful contact lenses to your go-to beauty look. You might even recognize her from a slew of recent runway appearances, from Gypsy Sport to Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty, or even on the side of a bus modelling for Calvin Klein.
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Born and bred in Mount Vernon, New York, Flowers has built a name for herself thanks to her unapologetic use of colour and alien-esque aesthetic, regularly using her own face as a canvas on which to experiment. That said, she wants to reassure the industry that, yes, she can in fact do the natural look, too. “I’ve assisted Pat McGrath during fashion week, I know how to do this,” she quips over Zoom. While we’re on the subject, she has another message for the industry: “I want people to know that I’m here and I’m a badass.”
When did you first become interested in make-up?
“My mum loves make-up, so I got into it because of her. She wears it every day, even on the days where she’s going to the laundromat. I started doing make-up pretty young, around 13 years old. I would experiment on my aunties, my granny and my friends – I was doing weddings and school proms at 16. So, I was doing it for a long time. I didn’t want to be a make-up artist, I loved it for fun, but when I started doing it more and more, it got me super inspired. I was into fashion – that’s where my love of make-up came from; seeing the show make-up and all these different types of looks got me into it.”
You’re known as much for your own looks as you are your editorials. Do they require the same sort of approach or do they occupy different levels of creativity?
“When I’m doing editorial, it’s based on the vibe of the shoot and the creative. People have a specific vision of how they want it to look and it can become super linear unless they actually want to spend time on it and collaborate. Normally, they want the clothes to shine instead of letting the make-up be a whole vibe.
“My own make-up is based on a vibe. I will be chilling and then I just let my hands play. Either I will dream it on myself or I will see myself in a certain way. And if it doesn’t come out how I envisioned it, I’ll try something else. I’m down to be open and play with it. Sometimes I have no direction of where I’m going with it and I just like to let it flow and create something beautiful. Some of my best looks have been the fastest looks. I’ve done the ones that I hated the most in the moment of doing them, and then they just came out great.”
How would you describe your relationship with make-up?
“I love make-up, it makes me happy. I love being able to pick a colour palette and play with different textures and make someone feel super beautiful, especially on a day where they weren’t feeling beautiful. Having a model sit in my chair and being inspired by their face is something that’s important to me; it gives me an adrenaline rush. When I do something really good, it makes me feel how food makes me feel: satisfied.”
What’s been your biggest highlight so far?
“Working with Rihanna, doing her make-up and being in the Savage x Fenty show was big. We share the same Caribbean heritage. We’re both Bajan and Guyanese, which is a big thing, so just being able to share the moments I have with her, and connect with her on these types of levels, is very important to me and my career because it shows me that I’m going in the right direction.”
What was it like to have your first AmericanVoguecover with Amanda Gorman?
“I was so excited to be part of that important cultural moment. A Vogue cover was definitely on my bucket list for sure. Check.”
Which direction would you like your career to go in?
“My goals in the industry are just being myself and doing the level of work that I’m doing. I want to bring back makeup again. I feel like shoots are boring because people care so much about the clothing. When you see work from the ’80s, they have such big concepts and it revolves around the make-up, the hair, the styling, everything. Now, it’s so minimal – it’s just like, ‘Let’s do some skin,’ and throw it out and that’s it. I would love to bring back the type of feeling of creating a mood.”
You’re constantly challenging traditional notions of beauty in your work. Why is this so important to you? What are you hoping to communicate?
“For a long time, people wouldn’t hire me because my looks were too dramatic. Then all of a sudden, there are these shoots with contacts. I would love for the industry to be more open to trying new things. I’m one of the only few Black women in the industry doing make-up on my level, other than Pat McGrath, but she’s gigantic. I want to make my mark and put these high-level, tasteful looks into the world.
“A lot of Black people have been shunned by the industry or put to one side just because people think they can’t do the same work that their counterparts can do. I have piercings. I have tattoos. I look different, my art is different. When I’m on set, I’m the only Black person 90 to 95 per cent of the time. A lot of girls say to me that they feel comforted when they see me, especially Black talent or any person of colour. I have a different complexion and they feel comfortable knowing that I’m there because I might make their skin better or make them look better. This is an experience I want to give people.”
What would be your advice to aspiring make-up artists looking to get into the industry?
“Stay true to yourself and the things you are most passionate about. That is what resonates the most. If you don’t think there is space for you, create your own.”
What does make-up mean to you?
“It gives you the freedom to express yourself in any way that you want. It’s so freeing to throw some colours on my eyes, pop a contact in, throw a lash on – it allows you to be your true self. I feel like a lot of people would love to wear make-up but they judge it because they think it’s too much. People should experiment with it more. I love beauty, it’s a performance and it helps you to be your true self. So, I hope we’ll get more into it.”
What would you advise younger generations who don’t feel beautiful or free enough to express themselves?
“What is beauty anyway? Real beauty is internal. Love yourself first and real beauty will radiate out.”
By now, it’s been well-established that social media has turned those who might otherwise be beauty enthusiasts into downright industry powerhouses. People like Marianna Hewitt and Jackie Aina have been able to build entire businesses through channels like Instagram and YouTube.
But while Katie Jane Hughes definitely leveraged Instagram to get to where she is today, her path has been slightly different from your average influencer’s. For one, she’s not shilling her own products; for another, she isn’t known for doing one signature style of “Instagram makeup” — and that’s because her actual beauty signature is experimentation.
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“As soon as I started to wear makeup myself, and the crazy changes of makeup styles that I did go through — which were terrifying, now that I look at it — you have to go through all of those to find your signature style,” she says. “And I don’t think we ever really land on our signature style; I think that we land on different signature styles throughout our lives.”
That means that followers of Hughes will learn how to do something she dubs “Big Mac Energy” (yellow lids with bright red-lips) one day, and how to layer Weleda Skin Food under Glossier Haloscope for a glossy highlight the next. That sense of playfulness is partially how Hughes got where she is today as an in-demand makeup artist. A few years ago, she began experimenting with the kind of editorial looks she wanted to do professionally on her own face and posting them to Instagram.
From there, she grew a huge following pretty organically; now, she works with brands like Glossier and the newly launched Rose Inc., creating looks for campaigns. It’s a bit of a leap from where Hughes first began: She learned how to do nails and was working with brands backstage at fashion week, even though her real passion was in makeup. But while it may seem to the outside world that Hughes is undoubtedly, well, “making it,” she’s not resting on her laurels just yet.
“I’m not where I want to be, and I feel like that sentence — ‘I’m not where I want to be’ — is something that I don’t take lightly, because I don’t think any of us are ever where we want to be,” she says. “There’s always room to grow, room to develop and learn more stuff.”
When did you first become interested in beauty?
Really, back when I was a little kid, because my mom was a singer and I always used to watch her put her makeup on before she would go on stage. She would have these scarlet-red lips, these black lashes that were super-thick and bushy and beautiful, and loads of bronzer. She was just super, super glam. Seeing my mom transform into this stage siren was really cool.
I wanted to do music too, initially. You know, music and beauty really weirdly go hand in hand. I think you’ll find a lot of people who are talented in music and are also talented in makeup. I don’t know what the actual tie is, but it’s often a common thread.
What were your first jobs within the beauty industry?
My first job in the makeup industry was at an Estée Lauder counter back when I was 17 in my hometown of Birkdale, in Merseyside, [England]. It was the first time I started finger-painting with eye shadows, and I remember getting kicked under the counter by my manager, because I was like, “Yeah, just use your fingers for all these eye shadows, it looks great!” and she was like, “No, you could be selling brushes!” I was like “Whatever, I like the way this looks with my fingers.” I just painted Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for a Rose Inc. shoot with my fingers for one of the looks, and it’s a funny, full-circle kind of situation.
I didn’t really love that counter experience and that counter lifestyle, but you have to go through it; it’s training, and it’s an integral part of doing makeup. You have to learn on real people before you learn on models.
From there, I was 17, 18, and I got a job in a nail shop and learned how to do nails. I was a manicurist for about five years, doing nails in salons, and when I moved to London in 2008, I started to do nails in London in a fashion environment, which helped me connect with all these people. I knew I wanted to do makeup, and that was a very much a stepping-stone career for me.
Then I began assisting people who wanted someone that could do nails, as well, for jobs where there wasn’t a manicurist on set. It was a weird, fortunate situation to be in, because people wouldn’t necessarily [hire an artist to do] their nails with their makeup — which I totally get now. Even though I was already there in my head, I wasn’t being taken seriously by my peers.
I always knew that I wanted to rebrand when I moved to the U.S. in 2013. I was Butter London’s global ambassador for about three and a half years, and I moved there to be with them because they were also wanting [to launch] makeup. I thought, this is the perfect opportunity to go from nails into makeup.
I started putting makeup more at the top of my priority list, and then when I left the brand in 2016, I just disassociated myself with nails completely. It was like, this is it, this is where I’m going to cut ties with my nail past. A lot of people don’t even know that I used to do nails now, and it’s only been two years. It’s quite amazing how [social media has helped] going cold-turkey into makeup.
How did social media help you make that transition?
I honestly don’t think I would be where I am now without social media. I never really assisted for anyone because of the nail thing, so I definitely took a different path. I think that it would’ve taken a lot longer, and I think that social media is changing the game for so many talented creatives like me. It’s become this mini-agent and given us a platform to show what we can do, and what our styles are.
For me, my social media blew up because I was basically posting creative looks on my own face that I wanted to do in an editorial setting, but I wasn’t really getting to do it because editorial was so neutral and natural. Only the biggest and the best makeup artists would get to do the creative stuff.
If my Instagram was what it is now, but four years ago, the people that take me seriously now would not have taken me seriously then. I strongly believe that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what I just said, I think it’s just that things have to get there on their own, and people have to get there on their own. Even though I was shooting a few editorials and a few branded things every month before my social really took off, you didn’t really get the opportunity for jobs back then, in 2014 and 2015, to do the creative stuff that we get to do now because of social media. People weren’t as expressive on social media like that.
Where did you get the idea to use your social media as a platform?
I was seeing a lot of what I would call “Instagram makeup” on Instagram, but nothing else — that heavy brow, that heavy contour and that heavy lip, and the cut crease and the liquid liner and all of the things, the lashes. That’s totally fine, and I loved watching those tutorials; it’s not my style or my aesthetic anymore, but I was there at one point in my life. I genuinely have such a deep appreciation for it, because it’s really fucking hard to do that makeup. I actually tried to do it on myself a couple of times, just out of the sheer fun factor. I had to stop halfway through, because I couldn’t actually do it.
I’m okay with that, because it’s not the style of makeup that I do, and it’s not the style of makeup that I think I would ever get asked to do on set, which is what I care most about. My makeup in an editorial setting and an advertising setting, because that’s my career. The Instagram stuff is really just a bonus, cool little side project for me. It’s my passion project, being able to educate women and men and whomever wants to wear makeup around the world doing the similar styles that I do on myself.
I really like feeling like I’ve got a minimal, fresh complexion; quirky, cool color combinations that inspire me. I think that I put something out there that spoke to me as a creative and [it resonated with people] because they didn’t find that many accounts like mine. Now my Instagram is literally my agent; it books me every single one of my jobs.
Why is it important to stay accessible to people who follow you?
Because it’s like, without them, what’s the point? Without actually helping them reach their beauty goals, or inspiring them to try something new, to get closer to what they want to be at that period in their life, what’s the point? It’s very hard to engage back sometimes, because it really takes everything out of you when you’re just feeling a little bit like you don’t want to be on and you just want to do nothing.
People notice that you’re not there. It’s funny, I was away for a week and somebody was like, “Is everything okay? I haven’t seen you on Instagram,” and I’m like, “No, I’m good, thank you so much for checking in, but I just needed to take a week off.” It’s amazing that people would notice that, but it’s also amazing that it takes that much work. I don’t think of it as work, I think of it as a hobby that just takes a lot of my time up. But everything relies on engagement. Why do it if you don’t have the time to engage?
How did the experience of working within a brand prepare you for what you do now?
I don’t think I would ever work with a brand exclusively ever again. Not because it was bad, but because I really, really love being able to use multiple brands. Back then, I did use multiple brands; I just wasn’t able to talk freely as much to the public about what I loved and used, because I was always talking about that brand — and I wanted to talk about that brand, because I had a big hand in some of the product development.
I don’t even think if I ever did my own line — which I probably won’t, because there’s just so much stuff on the market, but who knows — I don’t think I would even be exclusive to my own brand, ever. I just think everybody loves Chanel Soleil de Tan, and everyone loves Nars Creamy Concealer.
How do you choose which brands you work with?
If something goes in my kit professionally, it’s 99.9 percent on my table at home. The best thing a brand can do if they know that an artist likes something is send them two, because they’ll get double exposure from that person’s social channels, if they have one, and then in their kit.
Texture is a massive thing for me; if something has a beautiful texture and reads beautifully in a photograph, then it’s definitely going in my kit and in my table. Like, Weleda Skin Food is an absolute massive one for me, as are most Glossier products, like Stretch Concealer, I use at home and I use in my kit, as does Haloscope; Creamy Concealer from Nars is also on my table and on my kit, as is the Caudalie mist. There’s so many.
How do you choose which projects you take on?
This is another amazing thing about social media. I work quite closely with Glossier, where I do some of their shoots and I create some of their content, and I’ve seen a few products [prior to launch], but I was talking about that brand super-organically on my Instagram prior to working with them.
I always start talking about a product organically first, even if the brand approaches me and says, “Oh, we really want to work with you.” I’m like, “Well, send me stuff, let me use it first, see how it feels, let me use it on my social and Instagram Stories, see if [my followers] like the product, if they’re interested in seeing more, and then we go from there.” I wouldn’t just take a random product out of thin air and go, “Oh, look at this, it’s cool!” It’s not my style at all.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
It’s getting involved in the creative process from start to finish. I just worked on a campaign with Innisfree; the content will be out in September, but I worked on a project with them from start to finish where I weighed in on the casting of the girls, weighed in on the photographer and weighed in on the looks that I created for the campaign, and I’ll weigh in a little bit on the editing. The same goes with brands like Glossier. It’s more of that whole, full-circle creative process from either a branded or an editorial standpoint.
[From a] social standpoint, the best part of it is just feeling like you’ve made somebody’s day and helped them achieve their beauty goals that they’ve struggled to achieve.
What’s something you wish you’d known when you were first starting out?
Nothing really. I feel like about four years ago, I probably would have said that I wish I had known that it was more important to spend more time assisting and try to get on as somebody’s first assistant for a good four or five years. But I think, because of the way my career took a turn, I’d probably be doing myself a disservice by doing that. I feel like my path took a turn that I didn’t think it would take.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Find a signature makeup style that makes you happy, share it, post it, don’t over-edit your content if you like that real-life kind of skin. Keep promoting yourself in a way, but not in an obsessive way; just do it in a very natural, organic way.
It’s such a collaborative industry nowadays. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley found me on Instagram and was like, “I really love your work, I’d love to work with you sometime,” and it went from me doing her makeup for an event in New York to working on a bunch of Rose Inc. stuff with her. You’ve just got to figure out who you want to create with and try to make that happen and learn from it and grow from it.
How have you seen the industry change since you started out?
There’s definitely more room for the new guard of talent; the old guard of talent are doing a slightly different thing. They’re launching brands and they’re doing more collaborative things with brands, whereas the new guard of talent is doing more social collaborations and getting more of that airtime on editorial websites and editorial Instagram. Before I felt like a lot of the talent that would’ve been featured in print, like quotes about products and that kind of stuff, would have been the iconic, old-guard kind of crew, now I feel like it’s much more my generation, the up-and-comers getting that space, which I think is awesome.
What is your ultimate goal for yourself?
I think I’ve done a lot of amazing things so far — I led a fashion show at Lincoln Center, that was a massive moment for me. I cried at the end of the show because there was so much pressure on it, and I was just so proud. I got emotional after the Rose Inc. shoot. There’s so many things that I’ve done, I feel ungrateful to say that I haven’t gotten there yet. But I feel like more of what I’m doing now is what I want to do more of.
I think if I did a collaboration with a brand that I really, really, really loved, that had my name on it somehow, that was super-organic and true to my brand as well as their brand, that would be a pretty special thing.
“As a painter and an artist that has been inspired by how beauty is perceived globally, it is very important for me to create a universal brand.”
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #49 series on my blog.
Mohammed Hindash is an artist born and raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Hindash studied and graduated with a degree in Studio Art, and later gained his exposure internationally for being one of the leading pioneers in makeup artistry and photography. Hindash began as a painter and YouTuber reaching over 68 Million views with 1.7 million subscribers. Crowned as one of the hottest makeup artists in the industry, the beauty mogul encapsulates the entirety of his artistic journey. Transitioning from portrait paintings to makeup and photography – and now into his own brand, his most intricate masterpiece.
Timeless. Authentic. Innovative. The brand’s drive stems from creating complex cosmetic masterpieces inspired by the true foundation of art.
“Art and beauty has always been an extension of me, so when I started experimenting with photography I knew I wanted to give into the world of cosmetics through make up artistry. It felt like a seamless, natural transition from being a painter.”
The creation of such an innovative product for the beauty industry should not come as a surprise, then.
The 6-pan gradient color story is inspired by a painter’s palette, deconstructed, and reassembled in a sleek, contemporary multi-use product. Beautopsy is made of a vegan formula which blends 12 fundamental colors that flatter and enhance all skin tones. Use as eyeshadow, eyeliner, contour, highlight, blush, and bronzer – the gradient colors offer a limitless color way pay-off.
Beautopsy is a multi-use pressed pigment palette that can be used on the eyes and face. Create the ultimate look by swirling your brush along the gradient pans to customize your perfect shade. Sweep along eyes, cheeks, brows, highlights and contours of the face. You are the artist of your masterpiece.
TAN + LINES – a soft tan brown that blends into a pure white
WET + PAINT – a beige that blends into a banana yellow
BOY + WONDER – a peach that blends into a bubblegum pink
FEEL + REAL – a neutral brown that blends into a true concrete gray
LOVE + KILLS – a fiery orange that blends into a hot red
INTRA + FATUM – a chocolate brown that blends into a pitch black
Makeup artist Raoúl Alejandre is a strong believer in holistic beauty—that is, going beyond the fantasy and what you see on the surface to unlock something much deeper. “Like most of us, I want beauty to continue to broaden up,” he tells Vogue.“Not just by including visual representation of those often marginalized, people like myself, people that don’t fit the set of beauty norms we were once fed to believe in, but also incorporating values, important ones, like mindfulness.”
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #48 series on my blog.
For Alejandre, a California native who is currently based in Los Angeles, the question of when he got his “start” in makeup doesn’t quite apply. “I’ve practiced painting my whole life and makeup was just one of those other mediums I picked up as a kid because I wanted to express myself,” he says. “I would rummage through my mom’s stuff, and when I got to a certain age, I would sort of steal her old makeup and hide it in my sock drawer so that I could play with it on myself.”
Through his journey, the artist has developed a signature look that is fiercely elegant. His carefully painted eyes—a soft mashup of baby blue and moss green, a glossy, plum lid—and a pronounced lip, often nude or red, are undisputedly glamorous but don’t scream it. From actors like Alexa Demie and Ryan Destiny to musicians including Rosalía, SZA, and Lil Nas X, everyone Alejandre touches is left with a look of assured confidence that easily captures attention.
His inspirations come from legends in their respective fields (Salvador Dalí, Richard Avedon, Federico Fellini, and Siouxsie Sioux), life experiences like moving to New York City for a few years—“It’s where I broke all my rules and really got to know myself,” he says—and interior design.
“I could have a meeting with someone or be at dinner with a friend and I’ll look at the ambiance around us; I’ll look at the colors of the food in front of me, how they touch, the textures of the chair, the window treatments, and the lighting fixtures, because they all play such an important role in the final picture,” he explains.
It’s this attention to detail that has led to creative partnerships with MAC, Dior Beauty, and Revlon, along with a rolling list of celebrity clientele and publications. For Dazed, Alejandre created a series of makeup looks that were applied solely through Photoshop, proving once more that the digital space is the next frontier for beauty. “Growing up, I had one uncle that was super tech-savvy and he just threw me in at such a young age, teaching me how to create digital designs on Photoshop. On top of that, I was really into *The Sims*—I love how surreal they look, the language, the fashion, and all of the weird gestures that they make.”
As Alejandre continues to push the conventional limits of beauty and design, he’s mindful to release himself from the labels and expectations that can develop as an artist establishes themself in this industry.
“We grew up being conditioned to believe you have to be either this or that, you have to do this or that, but, no, I want to pick everything. I want to express myself and I want to use makeup as a medium to tap into every other medium. I don’t want to be limited in my lifetime. I want to feel free forever, honestly.”
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #47 series on my blog.
This past week on Instagram, a few muses welcomed spring with colorful eyeshadows. Model Pooja Mor glistened under the sunlight, wearing turquoise eye shadow and a big smile, while model Chloe Yu had her lids saturated in blue and pink, thanks to makeup artist Michael Anthony (and the Pat McGrath Labs Subversive palette!). Then, embracing aquatic shades, “Versace Hottie” Precious Lee reported “for duty” in a cobalt blue shadow and Barbie Ferreira sported a blue smoky eye courtesy of Sam Visser.
More standout eye makeup came by way of Aweng Ade-Chuol, who graced feeds with artfully drawn black winged liner, full lashes, and bronzed cheeks, as well as Tracee Ellis Ross, who had thick, sooty swipes of eyeliner frame her upper and lower lash lines, with soft curls grazing her forehead.
Meeting the arrival of warm weather, Erykah Badu leaned into her light with a swipe of terra-cotta lipstick and the VanJess sisters were feeling peachy keen with blushy cheeks and pink manicures. Activist, writer, and cultural organizer Raquel Willis donned a red lip and sleek waves, and gave us all a much-needed reminder to let “the sunshine in.” As for Carly Cushnie? She ushered in International Women’s Day by celebrating the strong women around her. “I couldn’t be prouder to be a mother to my girls and [am] so grateful for everything they have taught and continue to teach me,” she wrote in a caption. “Thank you to all you incredible women out there. What an honor to be a woman.”