Obsessions

Airbrush Alien Glamour with Marla Belt

“The last beautiful thing I saw was a glorious summer sunset over the West Side of Manhattan. The colours were neon orange & pink, morphing into a purple hue that looked like an 80’s New Wave dream.” Makeup artist Marla Belt collaborates with photographer Bryan Huynh and hair stylist Peter Gray to create an airbrush alien glamour.

Photography BRYAN HUYNH Beauty MARLA BELT

Left: Top, Dress, Boots by MM6. Right: Dress by Yohji Yamamoto

Beauty Papers: What was the last beautiful thing you saw?
Marla Belt: The last beautiful thing I saw was a glorious summer sunset over the West Side of Manhattan. The colours were neon orange & pink, morphing into a purple hue that looked like an 80s New Wave dream.

BP: What was the inspiration behind your shoot for Beauty Papers?MB: The inspiration behind the shoot was the work of Japanese illustrator Pater Sato and futuristic alien beauty. It’s a Japanese aesthetic with an 80s sci-fi feeling.

BP: How did you approach the make-up?
MB: I wanted to create an alien structure to her face to mimic Pater Sato’s illustrations so I decided to apply a bald cap and cover the brows as well. I then blended bold reds & blues along the contours of her eyes, cheeks, forehead & chin to give an airbrushed appearance.

BP: Tell us one of your favourite make up techniques.
MB: One of my favorite makeup techniques is sketching the look on the face. I like to work quickly but precisely as needed so I map out the structure of the look in a rough scribbled way using a tapered watercolor brush and then refine as I go. It’s like underpainting as a guide for how I want to develop the makeup.

BP: Current kit hero product?
MB: My current hero product is Pat McGrath Labs Mothership V Eyeshadow Palette in Bronze Seduction. I love the creamy smooth metallic shades and rich burgundy & bronze tones. The colours work on every skin tone.

BP: What is your favourite black?
MB: My favourite black is Kiko Lasting Gel Eyeliner. It’s the deepest blackest liner I’ve ever used plus it’s waterproof & smudgeproof. It’s the best for creating dramatic cat eyes.

BP: What is your favourite red?
MB: My favourite red is MAC Lipmix in Crimson. It’s the perfect classic 50s red, so saturated and applies like a dream. I use it on the eyes & face too. I like to blend the smallest amount around the eyes with a fluffy shadow brush for sore looking goth eyes.

Right: Dress by MM6

BP: What does the word glamour mean to you?
MB: I think of glamor as the embodiment of all that is beautiful and sensual. Red lipstick is the perfect representation of that.

BP: What is your first memory of glamour?
MB: My first memory of glamour was going to see Grease in 1978 and being obsessed with Olivia Newton John. I thought she was so glamorous & sexy when she became the bad girl at the end, with the permed hair, disco makeup and tight black outfit. I was only 5 then but completely fascinated with fashion and makeup.

BP: What is the future of glamour?
MB: The future of glamour is living your best life. Health and happiness are the most important assets to achieving glamour; the rest is just a charade.

BP: Living, dead, real or imaginary … who has the best make-up look?
MB: I think Boy George had the best makeup in the 80s. He sported so many provocatively creative looks and his androgynous style took it to another level. I find myself referencing his beauty looks a lot in my work, especially his bold use of colour. I always loved his yellow eyeshadow and dramatic painted brows.


Photographer: Bryan Huynh
Make-up Artist: Marla Belt @Streeters using MAC
Hair Stylist: Peter Gray
Stylist: Cece Liu
Manicurist: Honey
Retoucher: Hamzah Amin
3D Artist: Rodolfo Hernandez
Casting Director: Julien Pineault
Model: Kiko Arai