Beauty isn’t about perfection. In fact, the creative members who have joined the Authentic Beauty Movement are the best proof that true beauty lies in imperfections, big and small. They told us why authentic is the new cool and how they keep things interesting in their creative work by putting honest beauty above perfection.
What does Authentic Beauty Mean to You?
Authentic energy and the beauty of natural colour
Victoria Hunter (hair stylist and colourist, Whittemore House Salon, New York, USA)
Victoria is a hair colour guru who travels all over the world teaching professional hairstylists how to achieve natural colour results with her hair painting technique. She added a subtle glow to the hair of Chloe Nguyen, Annabelle Belmondo, Erika Palkovicova and Gabrielle Rul for the Authentic Beauty Concept imagery. To her, authentic beauty is all about good vibes.
„We are all energy, that's what it's all about. Authentic beauty is the real deal, it's truth, it's not fake, it's more like an energy and an alignment with an energy. Whenever I'm working with anyone, as soon as I walk into a room I can pick up the energy of that room and the people who are in it.“
Victoria’s entire career has been a pursuit of the alluring imperfections that make the colours found in nature so special.
„The hair painting we do is a very layered and very three-dimensional, not just a surface thing. It's thinking like an architect - shapes and the way that placement and everything. When hair painting came along it was great for me, because I finally felt free, and I felt more like an artist and it made more sense to me that this would be the way of the future because it looks like nature. With foil you‘re colouring the hair from root to end in the same colour and that's not what nature does. If you look at fur on an animal, it's imperfect, it's like how children's hair looks and it's what the sun does to hair, so when you're painting hair you're creating something that nature does. You couldn't have something better than what mimics nature.“
Authentic hair and street style inspiration
Tyler Johnston (session stylist, London, UK)
Tyler is a session stylist who regularly works with the biggest names in fashion, beauty, photography and a roll-call of international celebrities. He was on hand to make Annabelle’s and Gabrielle’s hair look authentically beautiful. Tyler creates his signature look by adapting his work to the personality traits of each individual he works with.
„For me it's important to be honest, truthful and to give authenticity to the hair. I'm really creating a look that celebrates the individual, that celebrates the spirit of the person I'm working with. You know, hair should look a part of a person, it shouldn't look too disconnected.“
Tyler’s work may grace the covers of the most important fashion magazines, the most glamourous red carpets and the catwalks of all "Big Four" fashion weeks, but it’s inspired by some pretty unlikely sources.
„My inspiration comes from the street, more so than anywhere else. I'm not a hairdresser who looks at hair magazines, I don't look at what other hairdressers are doing. I draw inspiration from the street, from subcultures, things that I see when I'm working around the world. I take that inspiration and I bring it to my work. I often cut lopsided, wonky haircuts. I call them anti-head shapes, kind of working against natural balance. I like things that are wrong. If something is a bit kooky or a bit wrong, then I try to make something out of it. It's too easy to do the right thing all the time.“
Imperfect faces and authentic minimalism
Miranda Joyce (makeup artist, London, UK)
Miranda blazed her own, very unique path into the beauty and fashion world. The British makeup artist’s career started as „a saxophone player in a 7-piece all-girl band“ which first led to doing hair and makeup for music videos, then for fashion magazines. For the Authentic Beauty Concept shoot, she created a subtle look that allowed the models’ natural beauty to shine through. She puts her unusual career trajectory down to good instincts and an eye for the peculiarities of individual faces.
“I love imperfection. I mean, that's the beauty of people's faces. Perfection is boring. It's not so much makeup that I love, but faces, so anything about them that's interesting is what I love. So I don't strive for perfection, ever, it's always imperfection that's the key. That's what makes the great models - they're all weird.“
Miranda was in the right place at the right time when, early in her career, the Zeitgeist changed towards the minimalist look she still favours today.
“When I first started in the 1990s, the aesthetic was very glamorous and we were doing big hair and body makeup and it was all the supermodels, but then I started working with [top fashion photographers] David Sims and Juergen Teller and that was an enormous learning curve for me. We were all together doing this new thing, which was incredible. It was a whole new way of approaching makeup and aesthetic. You didn't just do a formula, it was a new way of expressing yourself, new makeup completely, no one had seen it before and it was really exciting. For the first time, no makeup meant no makeup. It was a wonderful time.”
Feelgood fashion and comfortable realness
Karen Kaiser (swedish fashion stylist, New York, USA)
Karen came to fashion styling in a similarly circuitous way. Today, she is known in fashion circles for her love of clean lines, natural textures and effortless looks. Her science degree influences her work in subtle ways.
“I studied biology, which is a little unusual. I guess I started out wanting to help people in a scientific, physical way. Now it's turned into more of an aesthetic, where I can actually make people feel good. I'm definitely a people person and I love that connection with people and making them feel good.“
No matter what the look, fashion should look as good as it feels. For the Authentic Beauty Concept shooting, Karen collaborated with the rest of the team and the four models to find the minimalist outfits that would bring out their unique personality traits without overpowering the individual.
“I think there has to be a realness, there has to be comfort. Whatever you put on a person, they have to feel good, to feel like themselves in some way. When someone feels good in what they're wearing, it shows through in the pictures. There's a truth to capturing a bit of their personality or really understanding what looks good on someone, for it to show through in a photograph. I think that's sort of the easy part.”