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I'm a total 10. 4 for the looks + 6 for personality = 10.
Here for free Chipotle.
The only thing lower than my standards is my self esteem.
Monogamy is unnatural.
I do stuff. I also do things.
Plz be at least relatively intelligent b4 msging me.
Check out the interview below for more fire.
Where did your love for nail art come from?
It actually started when I was around 9 years old, I always had an interest for it so my mother bought me a beginners kit from Argos. I’d sit and paint 90s flicks on her friends nails for £5 each—entrepreneurial even then! I see nails as an extension of someone’s personality. People tend to look past them but at the end of the day we do everything with our hands, so why not decorate them as much as you would your face or with your clothes?
What inspires your work?
Pretty much everything! If I like the colours and style of something I’ll try to interpret the design into nail art. For my birthday nails last year, the inspiration came from just an airbrush graffiti sign advertising local brew outside a pub in Brixton. Inspiration can come from anywhere if your eyes are open to it.
Is your work usually commissioned or do people like to let you decide what to paint?
It all depends! My clients mainly take inspiration from my page and create their own designs from that. In some cases I have free reign, which obviously is a nail artist’s favourite thing to do.
What’s your signature style?
I’d say religious iconography would be my signature style. There have actually been times when clients have told me people have recognised my work from just seeing them in the street. It’s even happened abroad which is amazing.
What’s your favorite nail art that you’ve made?
It changes every time, but it’s definitely when I spend hours and hours on a really detailed painting. For example Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Georgia O'Keeffe's Ram's Head, White Hollyhock-Hills—they’re probably my favourite to date. Other than that I love doing little characters with bold bright colours, Powerpuff Girls, Hot Stuff, etc.
Can you describe the feeling of having a fresh set of really sick nails?
Definitely like you can take over the world. I feel like it’s innate in women to have claws, it brings something out in us, ferocity and power.
If you could paint anyone’s nails, whose would you paint and what would it be?
Rosalía of courseeee! We’ve been in contact and it’s going to happen! We just need to both be in the same place at the same time to create some magic.
Swedish performance artist Grebnellaw is creating her own red, white and fantastical world.
Beauty's in the Eye of Brian Vu
The NYC-based photographer creates theatrical portraits where makeup has the starring role.
Sal Meets World
Tell us about your experience with makeup. How long have you’ve been doing it for?
Salaam! I’ve been doing since I was 14 or 15 I think? I think it’s one of the first times you try and find your identity against the background of being in a school uniform and with 30 other kids to compete with. And at the time, I just wanted to fit in a little more. As time passed, my traits of actively trying to be weird and edgy pushed me to try new makeup even though I didn’t like it at all. I was trying to use the products to fit in, but I was going to do it my way. So the black lipstick started to show up, then deep purples, super bright reds, then the eyeshadow, coloured mascara, and finally, eyeliner. So if I was to congratulate anything in regards to my journey with makeup it would probably have to be my ego! As time moved on, so did my ideas of what makeup was and how I wanted to interact with it. It’s sort of just led me here, where I can do fun things and inspire people and just let my imagination wander from my brain to my face.
Was your journey practicing makeup an easy one?
I would say yes. The only difficulty in the come up was being able to afford makeup. My household was not beauty obsessed, so new makeup items came as birthday gifts, or they didn’t come at all. So that was pretty tough because I didn’t have much to play with—literally. However, to do makeup? Never. I never stressed about it enough to make it difficult, if that makes sense. I just sort of did it, and swallowed the outcome regardless of whether I had an incredibly beat face or the liner on either eyelid were doing their own thing. Not twins, not even sisters, more like third removed cousins from your dad’s side. But the mistakes made it fun and made it real I suppose. I was growing up in the age of the rise of beauty bloggers. I was just trying to make it real to me.
Did you always know that makeup was the career path that you wanted to follow?
I still don’t know if it’s the career for me if I’m being honest! I love it, but I hate it too. It’s a toughie, but I will say that I love seeing the effect of beauty empowerment. That could possibly be a career for me. I just want to encourage people to not feel intimidated by makeup and really go for what they want!
In each photo you take, your glowing skin mesmerizes us. What’s your secret?
Cleansing is key! Skincare is key! Natural sunlight is key! Also mix Weleda Skinfood with Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, and you have the perfect illuminating base! Or mix Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint with Glossier Futuredew and apply with your hands like a moisturiser and you have another amazing base!
What does your everyday makeup routine consist of? What are your go-to products?
My go-to's would be: Glossier Invisible Shield SPF, Weleda Skin Food, Glossier Boy Brow, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, Kosas Colour and Light Palette in Velvet Melon because of it’s bomb cream highlighter.
When I’m not doing makeup, I’m ___
Living a life of extremes, meaning I’m either being super active or vegetating in bed watching Netflix.
While creeping on your instagram, your usage of vibrant colors stands out to folks immediately. What draws you to play around with such bright colors?
I think you just said it, it stands out! It’s engaging and playful and you can express yourself so much more louder.
If you could craft your ideal makeup product, what would it be?
Oh this ones a toughie. Honestly, there’s so much out there, I don’t think the beauty industry needs another thing.
What inspires you to create?
As vague as it sounds, anything and everything. I say this a lot but inspiration can come from everywhere, not just Instagram! Keep your eyes peeled and mind open, and if something provokes an emotion or response then take a second to engage with it and inspiration will flow from there.
What next can we expect to see from you?
I’ll be starting a podcast with two friends and it’s called "Tree Brownies", so keep an eye and ear out for that! Alongside that, I want to engage more with my community this year and hopefully be able to host more spaces that help facilitate dialogue and appreciation for my community. I also want to curate more photo projects, so if anyone’s reading this and is interested feel free to message me!
Anything Is Possible
office beauty talks to makeup artist Ciara O'Shea about the limitless bounds of makeup.
Are You Hungry
You have such an otherworldly and unique artistic style when it comes to makeup. Describe your style in your own words.
I usually describe my work as distorted drag, as a lot of how I paint is still derived from the classical drag paint. Some characters are more abstract than others. Some have a very literal inspiration. I like to play as much as I can in the framework that I created for my brand.
Do you have a complete vision for your looks before you begin creating them? Or is it more that you go where the process takes you?
Everything, head to toe, is planned out, starting at the outfit and then, as a last step, is followed by the makeup, which I consider as just another accessory to complete the vision.
So many of the looks you create are packed with intricate details. Do you often practice creating one look a couple of times before you create it for a shoot?
I rarely practice a new look. My work is a constant process of building a catalogue of shapes and makeup concepts that work well together as a whole character. Whenever I come up with a whole new design, I might test it out on paper beforehand, but only as a rough sketch. This also means I ended up with somewhat less successful or slightly incoherent makeup looks for some shoots and events, but I think by now I do have quite a good understanding of balance and detail in makeup.
How long does it take to create one look?
Starting with the outfit, usually a month. The face alone then takes two to three hours from start to finish. I do work quite fast on myself, but I like to go back in a few times to get the details right and sharp.
Your work has these wildly ethereal elements within them, like graphic irises or blacked-out eyeballs. Do you combine digital editing with cosmetics to bring your visions to life?
Most of my makeup is dependent on the lenses I use and the negative space they leave in my eyes. I wouldn’t consider it such valuable work if the shapes and illusions I create so delicately were just digitally edited. Makeup is still a physical craft to me. I’m happy about general cleaning and retouching, but most photographers wouldn’t understand the intention of the specific things I paint, so I wouldn’t allow just anyone to go into the actual paint work.
Are there any other artists, makeup or otherwise, that you draw inspiration from?
I still don’t know how to answer the big question of where my inspiration really comes from. I am as inspired by the artists and people around me as anyone in this day and age would be. When I was younger, I didn’t really have a way to find artists or art that inspired me, so I read a lot and tried to build the imagery in my mind. Now, whenever I find someone really inspiring, I try to reach out to them to see if a collaboration was possible, or I do a look dedicated to them.
Left - Pastel rainbow dress by Hungry and Alexandru Plesco.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome since you began working with makeup?
Working with other faces would be the number one challenge. I went into makeup thinking it’d just be a fun hobby, then a great tool to use for my creative vision, but I’d never considered it as a career path. I do enjoy working as an artist behind the scenes, and after doing the proper training, I am also secure in working on models, but I’ll always be most comfortable working on my own skin.
What are three makeup products you can’t live without?
Number one would be glue. PROSAIDE is my weapon of choice and something I couldn’t do without in many of my designs. Secondly, my black and white INGLOT liners are my current obsession, as I went through quite a lot to find gel pot liners of that quality. Picking a third is quite difficult, as I’m using so many products regularly, but at the moment I am adding my STILA liquid eyeshadows and glitters to everything. Simply beautiful product.
Left - Dress by Vivienne Westwood.
Right - Shoes by Dior.
Many of your looks channel an animalistic aesthetic. What animal would you be if you could be any animal, and why?
A squid. No actual reasoning. Just... a squid.