Anything Is Possible
Read up on our interview below.
When did you start doing makeup?
The second I hit puberty.
What interested you in the medium?
The school I went to didn’t have an art module (I know!), so it was just a way to express and play with color that was really accessible and had endless possibilities. It was so easy to play around with. There are lots of artistic people in our extended family, and my mother is particularly good at color visualization, so I think all those things combined captured my imagination. And makeup was the tool I chose for expression.
What was your favorite look that you’ve created?
Tough question, but I think the early days with Grace Wales Bonner were special. Her aesthetic expressed a sense of newness for the era and for men, especially black men. It was so intelligent, considered and interesting. For me, it was explorative—I would use pigment, glitters and all types of concoctions. A particular favorite was the fashion in motion event we did at the V&A.
What song is at the top of your playlist right now?
Arianna Grande's "7 Rings." My husband says it’s like she wrote it for me.
Whose makeup would you like to do that you haven’t done yet?
Rihanna, hands down.
Do you have an idea for the look?
It would be colourful and textural. Something loud and sexy but a lil shy at the same time... just like me. Jk, I'm nothing like that.
What is your favorite decade for beauty?
To be honest, I don’t really look to the decades. But If I had to pick, then maybe the 20s, because of the sheer discipline of refining a look properly for the first time. Also because they were really discovering new products and coming out with some great formulas for the first time (vaseline and mascara).
Who are some artists that inspire you?
Richard Diebenkorn is always a favorite and always an inspiration—I could look at his works all day and still find something new to be in awe of. Picasso, of course. Turner too. I like a lot of art—including the art that I hate, because it had enough balls to make me feel strongly, which is no simple thing.
What is your personal go-to beauty look?
I change it around a bit, but it's mostly built on anchor points, a cheek, a chunky clumpy lash—but mostly, a colorful eyeliner. That way, my eyes have an impact, but they don’t bore the hell out of you.
Give me a rundown on your skincare routine.
It is extensive. It will always involve a cleanse, serum and moisturizer as a baseline. After that, I add in extra serums, masks, exfoliants, targeted creams or oils as needed. Then there is the body care. I’m never without three different textures of exfoliator and body moisturizer. I always have a lotion, cream and oil in the bathroom. Climate determines texture choice (That old and classic saying!). On top of that, there's what I put in my baths: magnesium flakes, milk powders, scented blooming oils, etc. Like I said, extensive, but I love the product, so what's the harm?
Bright colors or glitter?
Do you have any summer beauty hacks to deal with the heat?
Get yourself a FOREO UFO, and use the Matte Manic mask on it. It's a treat on set when I have oily-skinned models, and we're in a hot location. Oh and Muji Blotting papers—they're great when you got a full beat on, and you don’t want to mess it up.
What iconic beauty look would you want to recreate?
I'm not really into that idea. I mean I'm not gonna tell you I only ever have original thoughts, but I don’t really base looks on what other people have done. I think it's a bit lame to try be someone else (a recent discovery since I've gotten older).
Thoughts on brows?
Brows are great, but they’ve been really pigeonholed of late—everyone has the same brow now! I like them to have personality with different shapes and sizes. it's a good way to throw the viewer off without being too obvious.
What beauty trends do you think we’re going to see this summer?
The optimist in me wants to say... a return to individuality.