She's been featured in Wonderland and assisted superstar MUA Erin Parsons, for Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue and Interview Magazine; but, most recently, Emilie Louizides collaborated with Slapp, to mastermind looks for our Festival Beauty campaign. Highly educated, driven and explorative in her work, Emilie focuses on the “art” in Makeup Artistry. With diversity, playfulness and bravery as the cornerstones of her work, Emilie is a believer in pushing yourself.
We caught up with her after our #FestivalSlapp photoshoot to ask about study, self-love, and the importance of concealer…
What drew you to the Fashion and Beauty industries?
I’ve always loved art and I have such vivid memories of drawing and painting in my art classes all through my time at school. When it was time to go to college, I began pursuing Fashion Design but quickly realised that I wasn’t passionate about it. I gravitated toward beauty and started collaborating with designers and photographers. Once I completed two years of college I suddenly realised I had this complete portfolio of makeup work that I had produced outside of school, all on my own! Instead of continuing at my prior college I decided to take my portfolio to LCF and threw myself into hair and makeup full time. LCF showed me what a massive (yet also tiny) world the beauty industry is. This fuelled my inspiration, kicked off my creativity and eventually drew me in to being an active member of the industry.
Having been a mix of self-employed and working for larger groups, which valuable lessons have you learned?
Being self-employed has made me a more driven and self-sufficient person. I have a part time job as an in-house makeup artist at a photo studio but aside from that I don’t have a boss who gives me frequent assignments. It’s my job to constantly network and update my Instagram, website and CV so that the freelance jobs I’m passionate about will always be on my schedule. On the flip side, working for larger groups has taught me that I can simultaneously be a team player and my individual self. Taking other team members’ ideas and suggestions into consideration has helped me grow as an artist and I like to think that I’ve been able to help other artists do the same.
What does beauty mean to you?
On one hand, I think beauty is about being your most natural, authentic self. On the other, I think it’s also about experimentation and transformation. I’m constantly exploring new forms of expression on myself and on clients. I do believe that certain makeup looks are more beautiful than others, but I think that’s down to personal taste.
What do you hope to explore with your work?
When I first started doing makeup my slogan was “enhancing natural beauty and building confidence”. I would execute fresh and minimal looks and operate from a less-is-more mentality. Over the years my style has evolved and my mission has become more about creating and curating art-based beauty. I hope to continue working on shoots similar to the Slapp Festival Beauty shoot, where I can have a lot of creative freedom. I want to be able to continue to explore how the face can be used as a canvas for artwork.
What has been your experience of diversity in the Beauty industry?
While I believe the mainstream side of the Beauty industry has a long way to go in terms of diversity, I’ve been pleased to meet people of all genders, races, and belief systems whilst working on different sets. I didn’t grow up sheltered, but I also didn’t grow up directly exposed to the real world. My work has introduced me to the most varied and beautiful people and it’s really been a gift. Makeup artists and models are immediately put into an intimate situation, even if they’re just meeting for the first time. As I’ve rubbed products into strangers’ faces I’ve listened to their stories about how they’ve been the subject of racism, homophobia, transphobia or general bullying. The corner of the industry I’ve chosen to be a part of celebrates people for exactly who they are which is the main reason why I’m always proud to show up and do my job!
What has been your proudest achievement so far?
Completing a BA in Hair and Makeup for Fashion at London College of Fashion is without a doubt my proudest achievement so far. When I was in high school I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to college, and when I attended a University in the US I only felt inspired by makeup, which I was pursuing outside of my curriculum. LCF gave me the opportunity to prove to myself, and to the people who doubted me, that makeup deserves a massive amount of credibility. My three years at uni were supported by cultural and historical studies and academia. Each term helped me polish and refine my technical skills, become a better writer and a more creative artist.
Who are your beauty muses?
In terms of advanced artistry and technique the first people off the top of my head would have to be Val Garland, Inge Grognard, Erin Parsons, Sebastain Bieniek, and Paulina Otylie Surys. Their work goes against the grain by breaking the standard makeup rules by including abstract shapes, mixed media and wild colours. As for non-makeup artist muses, I’m extremely inspired by Lady Gaga and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000. Their ability to transform is absolutely mesmerising. There’s something about wearing and owning every internal part of yourself on your external form and that’s exactly what those two do.
What’s signature to your own look?
I always like it when my eyes and cheekbones look prominent. I’ll sometimes achieve this by just curling my lashes and “non-touring” with concealer but if I’m opting for something more full faced and glam, I’ll incorporate other products and techniques. Fluffy brows frame my eyes and tons of mascara makes me appear more friendly and awake! Emphasising the high points of my cheeks with bronzer, blush and highlighter adds extra sharpness and dimension.
How do you keep healthy, body and mind?
One of my favourite sayings is “treat your body like it belongs to someone you love”. With this mantra I try my best to take care of myself by staying hydrated, eating well and getting enough sleep. But I also like to spoil myself (and the people I love) so I’ll occasionally eat candy and have a wild night out! These practices establish a balance that’s equally good for my body and mind. I focus on the mental side of myself by going for walks and doing yoga, acknowledging how I feel, asking myself what’s actually a big deal or not, occasionally seeking therapy when I can’t figure things out on my own, and recognising how grateful I am for my wonderful life.
Could you share an early beauty memory or mistake with us?
I think the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to any form of makeup artistry is playing it safe. Looking at old photos from shoots I worked on months or years ago has made me notice that I would plan looks around my strengths and avoid my weaknesses. I would blend out a solid smoky eye but be too afraid to top it off with winged liner. Or if I was working on a more creative shoot I would shy away from something avant garde because I didn’t want anyone to think it was too weird. At the Slapp shoot I broke a ton of makeup “rules” by ignoring the ways products should be used and placed and it resulted in four distinct looks that I’m really proud of.
If you could only Slapp On one beauty product, which would it be?
If I have thirty seconds to do my makeup I apply the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (in the shade Crème Brulee) underneath my eyes, on top of the redness around my nose and smile lines and on the high points of my face. I blend it all out with a kabuki brush and I don’t even have to set it. I love how concealer covers discolouration and blemishes while brightening up the most flattering parts of the face.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Slapp readers?
Experiment with your artistry. If you like to go bold with a purple lip then push yourself a bit further and try a metallic or glitter lip. Test out a mismatched eye shadow look, or stick unconventional objects like bits of aluminium foil or temporary tattoos onto your face. If you prefer to keep your makeup more natural then just step out of your comfort zone by using different brands, even if you’re just swapping one translucent setting powder for another. Or even just use your favourite lipstick as a cheek stain or eyeshadow!
What did you like about Slapp, while collaborating on the Festival Beauty shoot?
The #FestivalSlapp shoot showed me who a Slapp girl is; someone super cool and put together in their own, unique way. I loved getting to work with such distinct people at the shoot, who confidently displayed their individual styles and personalities while respecting each other’s work and taste. Feeding off of each other’s suggestions and ideas kept us inspired and motivated throughout the day. To me, this is the key to collaboration and it’s what made the day so enjoyable and successful.
What’s next for you?
I plan to stay in London, so I can begin working for a beauty-based brand, publication, or creative agency. I'm excited by the thought of collaborating with other creative people who are just as passionate about this industry as I am.
Follow Emilie: @emilielouizides