Inspiration from the funniest of places

I take inspiration for makeup and hair design from the funniest of places. Books, (not so funny!) the landscape around me, architecture, campaigns, street style, fashion, the list goes on and on… but recently I was shocked to find inspiration from Hero, a Martial Arts movie starring Jet Li.

I watched it completely by chance (it was not my choice!) I’m not into martial arts movies or so I thought. This movie moved me! Some of the shots are just stunning. The colours, magnificent and the wardrobe, well it really makes you understand what a huge impact great costume designers, makeup designers and hair stylists can have on a film. If you haven’t seen it, I cannot recommend it enough.

So here are a few of my favorite random visual inspirational references.

Pirates of the Caribbean, this might seem a bit of a weird one but, by Ve Neill simply adding eye-liner to Johnny Depp the portrail of the character deepens. I know I’m biased because I’m a makeup artist but I really believe Johnnies makeup made the character. I loved Captain Jack Sparrow, mostly because of the black eyeliner. I’m hammering the point, but I loved it!


Top Knots, what can I say. I was wearing my hair just like this for days after watching Hero. It’s a must see. Jet Li, my heart-throb hero!


Keeping with the Asian theme, when I was in Vietnam years ago I couldn’t get over how green the greens of the rice paddies were. They were so vibrant, green like I’d never seen green before. I often draw on this memory when I’m considering using bright colours on shoots.

When I was thinking of becoming a makeup artist my gran gave me the book Decorated Skin by Karl Groning, it charts our history of makeup. From body-painting of stone age people right through to the present day, how much our fashion has changed! It is packed full of stunning images, “illustrating an art form”. Your body, face and hair are your canvas, the limit is your imagination!

I love a moodboard! I’m always gathering images from magazines, the internet, flyers and postcards, I have a little note book filled with all these wonderful things. I think it’s so important to be continually drawing from the world around us and using it in our creations.

My brief for this shoot was Oneiric; Cowboys; American Indian headdress; Plates and Feathers; Futuristic and Symbolism; and Black and White.


Keep your eye’s open and be inspired, who know’s where your next idea will come from!