The ‘Digging Deeper: Beauty & Self-love’ Reflection beauty editorial is one of our online ISSUE segments, head to THE GLACIAL ISSUE for the complete editorial and the complete set of images
Beauty is skin deep.
This editorial digs deep into the inner world of the photographed models, in exploring how beauty manifests itself into self-love. It navigates their experiences with beauty, both as makeup artists and makeup users, giving voice to those usually behind the look. To do so, LOAD posed a series of questions to our selection of makeup artists who were asked to create a look on themselves based on the concept of ‘REFLECTION’:
What does makeup mean to you?
Harry: Makeup to me means…freedom, expression, power and creativity.
Makeup holds different meanings from one individual to another. Often, wearing makeup is associated with wanting to cover up and hide imperfections. This editorial contests this by showcasing that although true to some extent, makeup is much more than a correcting tool; it’s a form of art.
Coast: I’m painting with it and the face is the canvas.
The face is the canvas. Internal thoughts rise to the surface and inner creativity is unleashed.
Marianna: I feel free.
Makeup creates a channel through which one is able to break down all walls and simply let go. It’s freeing—with freedom comes expression and with that comes power.
How does wearing makeup make you feel?
Harry: I feel fearless and powerful…I mean…how can you be afraid when you look like that.
It is an exploration of the artists’ perspectives on wearing makeup rather than creating it. Makeup’s fluidity allows one to showcase different aspects of their personality and feelings at any given time; from finding empowerment through creativity, to being able to transform themselves in an instance.
Coast: Empowered. It’s a way to literally transform yourself into anything your heart desires.
It creates a channel through which an individual can exude confidence and express their identity, without having to necessarily communicate this through words.
Eva: Some days when I feel sexy or super feminine, I go super glam. Other days when I feel more cosy or relaxed, I do softer makeup. So, for me, my makeup adjusts to my mood.
Makeup is malleable. This editorial underlines that makeup is not used to change one’s appearance or cover up imperfections, but rather to enhance one’s inner beauty and allow for their inner world to be reflected onto the surface.
What does self-love mean to you?
Irida: Finding the energy and time to do the things you love and recharge yourself.
A question so broad yet so multifaceted. It’s easy to find ourselves caught up in a cycle, where prioritising our needs is a non-existent aspect of our routine, in an attempt to always look our best.
Marianna: Putting yourself first. Cause at the end of the day, we’re all we have.
Self-love requires that we release all judgement, learn to embrace our whole being and to put ourselves first. The first step requires an understanding that everyone has flaws; the second that these flaws should be celebrated rather than condemned.
Coast: It’s waking up everyday and choosing to be unapologetically yourself without caring about what other people have to say about it.
We live in a society where being yourself is ironically praised yet condemned at the same time. Self-love means choosing to be fearless. It’s choosing to live boldly, shamelessly, and unafraid of external judgement. In instances where one’s voice struggles to be heard, makeup acts as an outlet through which identity can be illustrated.
When do you feel most beautiful?
Marianna: When I’m with my friends. They make me feel safe and always make sure to make me feel beautiful inside and out. I love them more than anything in my life, forever.
Beauty is intangible. Its meaning fluctuates from one to another, underlining its complex nature. While it may mean hair and makeup in one, it may also mean quality time with loved ones and one another. Feeling beautiful is an emotion deeply rooted in our environment, those who love us and the way we love ourselves.
Harry: I honestly feel the most beautiful when I wear makeup. It just gives you that extra bit of confidence and makes you shine from within, even when a makeup look is not necessarily a ‘beauty’ look.
Feeling beautiful comes from within. Playing around with makeup allows one to experiment with their creativity, without necessarily adhering to the conventional standard of what a makeup look entails.
Eva: I feel more beautiful when I can be completely myself, because to me beauty is freedom.
Beauty is freedom, and true freedom lies in being unapologetically ourselves. We can experience the carefreeness that comes with feeling whole, in learning to accept ourselves as we are..
What inspired your look and how does this tie with the theme of self-reflection?
Harry: My look was inspired by everything icy with a touch of warmth in the cheeks and lips. It’s connected to my self-reflection because a lot of people view me as cold; someone who looks into your eyes is not able to tell what lies beneath. A reflection is not always your true self.
This editorial accentuates that the surface is not always representative of what lies beneath. Prejudice is a long-standing theme in our society, one which often chooses to make quick judgments based on appearance before digging deeper.
Eva: The look I did with the rhinestones was inspired by the reflection of real diamonds. I always struggled with perfectionism. I came to realise that you can only find perfection in the imperfect things in life and that freed me from all the stereotypes society had put in my mind of what it truly means to be a woman.
As a metaphor for perfection, a diamond starts off rough but with patience and time, becomes refined. With many facets to it, it further reflects our ability as humans to radiate different aspects of ourselves at different times. It also highlights that in attempting to attain perfection, one may lose themselves in the process. Perfection is an unattainable metric and true beauty has no correlation to it.
Irida: As mentioned above, I really love the transformative part of makeup, the way you can create a character. In my adolescent years I was deeply fascinated by all things mystical, fairies, gnomes, elves and I guess this is reflected a bit in this look.
This editorial emphasises that wearing makeup has nothing to do with feeling insecure. On the contrary, it conveys the artists’ boldness in creating such expressive looks. Hues of blue and silver meld into one as they directly reflect this issue’s theme. Each artist takes creative freedom in their own hands, experimenting with makeup and media to illustrate what beauty and reflection mean to them.
Beneath the Surface
[From the writer]
It took me a while to understand the importance of self-care, to understand that the way you love yourself is the way others will love you too. While it’s easier said than done, working on the mess within will reflect on the outside, and that only happens when you intentionally spend time with yourself. To me, self-love is as simple as enjoying my morning coffee on the sofa, making my bed or cooking myself a meal; self-love is also healing.
As we get caught up in the busy cycle of our daily lives, neglecting ourselves and our own needs can happen quite easily. Our inability to slow down as we are constantly on the go, and thinking about the future, creates a disconnect between our mind and body. Pausing and taking a moment to reflect, allows us to realise the importance of cultivating our inner-psyche. While this looks different on everyone, this editorial encapsulates how makeup can act as this tool for some.
A takeaway note:
Beauty is a love language; the more we cultivate it, the freer we’ll feel.
Written by Stella Georghiou
Visit the THE GLACIAL ISSUE for the complete editorial and images
Photographer Eleni Pavlidi @elenpav
In Frame – Make-up Eva Tsoka @evachokugh,
Marianna York @mariannayork, Coast Minos
@coast.artisrty, Harry Taxidis @_harrymakeup,
Irida Anca @iridanca
Hair Styling Bratis @bratis.k
Arti Direction Filippos Vogdanis @philip.vogdanis
Studio Lunar @lunar.ath
Article by Stella Georghiou @ssstellss