We are so excited to share our new article series titled “Millennial Avant-Gardes” in which we’ve asked some of the most inspiring women we’ve come across on social media to share their story and craft. This time we are sharing the work of Ana Takahashi, aka @anatakonyourface.
Hey! My name is Ana Takahashi and I’m a 19-year-old make-up artist from London. My passion for make-up began at the age of 15, when I started getting into fine art painting in school. My teachers always encouraged me to take the painting route as it was what I was best at and also because I found it so enjoyable and therapeutic. It was around the same time as the make-up community on YouTube and Instagram started to get really big which encouraged me to be more experimental with my craft. Eventually, I started getting extremely bored of the same old “slay” and “full-beat” makeup looks and wanted to create my own style of makeup, which has evolved into a very colourful painterly style. With time my following on Instagram got bigger and people started booking me as a makeup artist, so now makeup artistry is my full-time job!
“I started getting extremely bored of the same old ‘slay’ and ‘full-beat’ makeup looks and wanted to create my own style of makeup.”
“Exploring different eras of makeup helped me discover shapes that would enhance my features in a way that suited me.”
MY IDOLS AND INSPIRATION
My biggest makeup idol when it comes to more traditional and glamorous makeup is Sophia Loren. Much like many 60’s female icons, Loren did her own makeup most of the time, which is why she had such an iconic and striking look. I remember during my teenage years I would feel insecure about my eye shape due to my mixed ethnic background being Japanese and Spanish, meaning I rarely saw people in day-to-day life or in magazines that looked like me. Doing looks on myself that I saw in magazines or on my friends such as a smokey eye or black liner in my water line simply didn’t suit me and just looked odd.
Exploring different eras of makeup helped me discover shapes that would enhance my features in a way that suited me. Loren’s use of white in the water line and extended winged eyeliner under the eye is one of the few makeup techniques that I found works perfectly for anyone with my specific Oriental and Latina mix. She also always sported a full bushy eyebrow, which I think is a very relevant beauty trend for this generation of makeup lovers.
Moving onto modern day makeup idols of mine, I have three in particular that inspire me; Juliana Horner, Bea Sweet and living icon; Pat McGrath.
Juliana Horner (@Vesperucca) was one of the first artists that I followed on Instagram. She creates the most incredibly intricate and colourful makeup looks as well as being an extraordinarily talented illustrator. It sometimes dazes me to think that she could be so original and skillful, and yet have such a light hearted and comedic sentiment about her work. Furthermore she has created her own eye shadow palette and make-up brand called Claropsyche (@Claropsyche), which I have a feeling will be very big and I can’t wait to see what else is to come. Juliana inspires me to be less preoccupied about what others will think of my makeup, and concentrate more on being fun, weird and interesting.
Bee Sweet (@beasweetbeauty) is a London based make-up artist that has been heavily influential in the community of avant-garde beauty lovers such as myself. I think this is because of her bold use of colour and advanced understanding of shapes and textures. She also doesn’t rely on models or photo editing to aid the appealing aesthetic of her work, which I think is something that has become increasingly rare to find in the make-up industry. I also love that her style is very “user-friendly” as it demonstrates a simple and striking way of using hyper-pigmented colour.
Pat McGrath (@patmcgrathreal) is another British Make-up artist who never fails to inspire me and every other make-up lover. All you’d have to do to understand why is to look at all the runway looks she created for iconic designers such as McQueen, Galliano, Valentino and many more. Not only is she an iconic make-up artist, she is also an extremely successful business woman whose make-up brand ‘Pat McGrath Labs’ was valued at $1billion, which is astounding given the fact that it only debuted in 2015. This makes her an interesting and inspiring person to read about regardless of whether or not you love make-up.
FAVORITE PRODUCTS AND HACKS
Considering the fact that I’m a make-up artist, I don’t actually own a lot of make-up! I like to stick to a few staple products that are multi-functional and affordable. My favorite product by far is the Aqua-Colour range by Kryolan because the colours are very pigmented and they dry matte, which makes them long lasting and buildable. I use the palette to create almost all of my makeup looks as the colours can be mixed together like paints to create new colours. This product is water activated which is nice because you can choose how thick/thin you want it. I like to use this palette with Art brushes, which are more affordable and more precise. Some of the colours can stain so it’s best not to use your favorite brushes with this palette.
If I’m doing my own makeup or a very natural makeup look for a job, I have other staple products that I always find myself going back to. One of them is the Glossier cloud paint, which is the most amazing crème colour product that is great for blush/lips and can also be mixed to make custom shades. A product I could NOT live without is waterproof mascara. This is a recommendation I make to anyone who struggles with having stubborn straight eyelashes, which is common for oriental people. The best highlighter I have used is the Pat McGrath Skin fetish highlighting trio, which has a beautiful glossy and iridescent finish. This highlighter is pricey but worth every penny!
“A good beauty hack that I use every day is doing soap brows to create the perfect bushy eyebrows.”
A good beauty hack that I use every day is doing soap brows to create the perfect bushy eyebrows. All you need for this is a bar of soap and a spoolie. I wet the spoolie and rub it into the soap to make a gel-like consistency and then brush the soap through my brows. Soap is a great alternative to brow gel for several reasons: soap keeps the brows in place for much longer, soap is £1-2 when brow gel is usually £10-£15, soap lasts me up to a year where as gel will only last a few months, and soap won’t dry out as it is water activated whereas brow gel is unusable once it is dry. My favorite soap for this is Pears original soap because it has no strong colour, so it won’t change the colour of your brows. You can buy cheap disposable spoolies online or get some for free from a make-up counter. Another hack is making a spoolie from old mascara by the cleaning the mascara wand!
“I take advantage of the fact that some things can be extremely aesthetically pleasing for no specific reason.”
MY MAKE-UP PHILOSOPHY
My philosophy when it comes to make-up can be summed up in four words; “it’s not that deep.” I think people assume that because my makeup looks are bold and unique, they must have some deep artistic meaning… but they simply don’t. I take advantage of the fact that some things can be extremely aesthetically pleasing for no specific reason. I just want to have fun and not have to worry about impressing anyone, and if people happen to like what they see, great! If they don’t like it, also great! We live in a day and age where many of us are consumed by social media, and a lot of the content that we take in can have negative undertones, and anything we upload can be heavily scrutinised. I’d like to think that my Instagram feed could be an escape from all of that and be a platform for lighthearted content. I upload my make-up looks with the intent of sharing my art, my inspirations and hopefully inspiring others along the way.