Sometimes using acrylic paints in place of more common products like eyeshadow and concealer, Redhawk reminds us that makeup can be so much more than a tool to supplement your outfit, or an afterthought before a night out—@madroni_redclock’s looks are the main attraction.
Below, the Las Vegas-based makeup artist sounds off on her relationship with makeup as her medium of art.
What was your first experience with makeup?
It would have to be watching my mom doing her makeup and, on occasion, being allowed to play with her products. I have always been entranced by the colors and glitter and the dreamy appearance they can give.
What does beauty mean to you?
To me, beauty is rare. Almost everyone has an attractive aspect to them, but beauty is another entity entirely. Attractiveness depends on so many factors and can change from region to region, not to mention country to country. A few factors pertain, like symmetry in faces, but attractiveness is extremely subjective. Beauty, in my opinion, is universal, and that is because beauty isn’t purely physical—it includes how people present themselves as well as their attitude and personality.
If you could compare your makeup style to that of a famous painter, who would it be?
I definitely see some of Marc Chagall’s painting style in my makeup. I often work both angular and fluid shapes into my makeup as he does in his paintings. I also strive to achieve the surreal look his characters have.
You do your own drawings, do they inspire your beauty looks at all?
My drawings have a huge effect on my makeup. My drawings feature a lot of line work and checker prints that I do in almost every makeup look. A few times, I have included the characters in my drawings into my makeup looks, and my makeup is always exaggerated and dramatic like my character’s faces are.
If you could paint the face of one person—living or dead—who would it be?
I don’t have a specific person in mind, but I love the idea of a monarch or someone in power wearing my makeup. Makeup for rulers used to be very elaborate and strange by today’s standards. Today, rulers are expected to be as normal as possible, and although appearance should by no means be the forefront of a ruler’s worries, pride in one’s appearance is a tradition for those in power, as they do have an unreal, untouchable feeling about them because out of all the people in the world, they were chosen to make choices for thousands or millions of people.
What’s one non-cosmetic item you have used as makeup before?
In my early days and occasionally now, I have used acrylic paint in lieu of makeup. Acrylic paint is, for the most part, far more opaque, although it has its own set of problems. One movement will make it crumble off of the face and it is very hard to make it even. White acrylic paint is a paint I would still use in makeup because it is very difficult to find an opaque white makeup to use for lines in my looks.
What’s one aspect of the beauty industry you wish was different?
My biggest wish would be for all makeup to be cruelty-free. I am vegan and only use cruelty-free makeup and hair products and that cuts me off from most brands. Subjectively, I would love to use brands like MAC and Pat McGrath, or Wella for my hair, and there are many products which would significantly improve my looks that I cannot use. Even objectively, animal-testing makes no sense as different species are allergic to and react differently to substances, and the cost and cruelty are unnecessary.
Who or what are your biggest inspirations?
I get most of my inspiration from color. When I sit down to do makeup I immediately think of what color my look is going to be. Color is what leads me to what shapes I will include in my look and the overall appearance. As for more physical influences, my sister has always affected my art. I have done multiple makeup looks based on her paintings and am influenced by her work with dots. Other influences would be vaudeville makeup, anything art deco, and 1770s fashion.