Monday 21 September 2015

Art & Makeup by Lan Ngyun-Grealis

Having grown-up with a passion for art but not knowing how to turn this passion into a job, Lan Ngyun-Grealis was one day asked to cover the make-up stand whilst working in retail to pay her way through university. Her eye for colour, detail and her knowledge of art worked with make-up and with a face as her canvas she had the added challenge of translating what the client wanted into a wearable look. Fourteen years later and she has published this stunning book, Art & Makeup showing how her love of art appears in her work and how she interprets these influences onto the face. She is also sick of people thinking that there is no creativity or talent required to be a make-up artist, especially in times of airbrushing and computers. If you haven't heard of Lan then maybe you've seen Paloma Faith, Lan is her make-up artist and responsible for all the incredible looks in Paloma's videos and shows.

I was lucky enough to be asked to a blogger event to hear about the book and see her in action and something that struck me was her self-assurance and confidence with the tools and products she was using. When I commented on the speed with which she works (she had a winged eye liner done in a matter of maybe 2 minutes, on both eyes) she said that with make-up she spent time finding what worked, a formula, and then she had the confidence to do it quickly and that freed up time for her to be more creative. I loved this, especially as we work in an industry when you are often given half the time you'd like to create a look, you also feel like you need to take your time to get it perfect. If she makes a mistake, she just incorporates it into the look and moves on - it's not a mistake to her it's just another thing to work with. This woman is a powerhouse.

It's not only Lan's confidence and knowledge that shines through in her work but her great overall eye for detail - you can see in Art & Makeup how she will incorporate headpieces and things stuck onto the face to create something. She has an overall vision and she will do whatever she needs to make it a reality. The books shows this by not only going into her interpretations of classical and more well known artists and movements - Impressionism, Cubism, Giacometti, Pop Art -but also more modern popular culture - The Great Gatsby, Mad Men, Charlie's Angels, Edward Scissorhands to name but a few.

Towards the back of the book Lan talks you through certain looks, discusses tools of the trade, use of colour and certain techniques. This book really is a must for any student or make-up artist wanting to learn more. I have been blogging and doing make-up for nearly a decade and I love this fresh approach - I've seen a lot of make-up books but I think this goes straight into my top 3 without question.

A few days later and I was part of the audience at the official book launch and it was incredible to see what she had created and to speak to so many people who she had worked with who only had fantastic things to say about her and her work. A truly inspirational one of a kind artist and one to check out if you haven't already. She's on Twitter and Instagram.

Art & Makeup is available on Amazon and is £28. I've included some pictures below from her launch show which was an incredible piece of make-up theatre (all show photos are from @Lolo_creative)

©Lolo Creative

©Lolo Creative

©Lolo Creative

©Lolo Creative

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