Obsessions

Playing with Pigments

“We’ve been using pigments to playfully decorate ourselves and express our individuality for thousands of years. Only recently has makeup sadly evolved into a tool to hide behind a giant lipped, shiny cheek-boned, doll-eyed mask of same-ness. I’m continually inspired to rebel against the imagery that has helped lead to the dying of our cultural diversity. Makeup is paint. This story is about playing.” Makeup artist Sarah Jagger and photographer Billie Scheepers celebrate the joy of pigments.

Photography BILLIE SCHEEPERS
Beauty SARAH JAGGER

Beauty Papers: What was the last beautiful thing you saw?
Sarah Jagger: A group of teenagers sitting in the park, talking and laughing. None of them had their phones out. 

BP: How did you approach the make-up for this shoot?
SJ: Photographer friends always joke about how much planning I put into a beauty story but this one was different. I knew that I wanted to paint Cynthia in lots of colour and Billie and I had talked about a 70’s feel to the story. But this time I let the plan go and let the brush play. 

BP: Tell us one of your favourite make up techniques.
SJ: Using makeup backwards. Playing aside, I love healthy looking skin. Using liquid pigments on eyes cheeks and lips first, I then apply foundation and press a little moisturiser over the top. 

BP: Current kit hero product?
SJ: Nars liquid blush. Cheeks, lips… I even love it as an eyeshadow with loads of gloss on top. 

BP: What is your favourite black?
SJ: Jet black Kohl powder from the Berbers in Morocco. You can find it in the souk sold in ornate little bottles. I stock up every time I visit. 

BP: What is your favourite red?
SJ: Flaming red. Hot, spicy, tropical, orange red. It turns lips into Latin lovers. 

BP: What does the word glamour mean to you?
SJ: Bravery. Our appearance is our biggest form of communication and to me, glamour is what happens when someone has the courage to express themselves as an individual.  

BP: What is your first memory of glamour?
SJ: For my 6th birthday party my mother decorated our garage with a maze of iridescent plastic curtains. My friends and I all chose each other’s outfits from my giant dressing up box and we danced around in glitter, feather boas and fairy wings. 

BP: What is the future of glamour?
SJ: I think that the evolution into cyborg-humans is way closer than we think… and if it has to happen I hope we use the genetic modifications and robotic enhancements creatively so that we can celebrate glamour as individuality. I like that idea way more than the vision of a new race of ‘perfect’ looking, superhuman clones.

BP: Living, dead, real or imaginary … who has the best make-up look?
SJ: The children of the Suri tribe in southern Ethiopia who ornately decorate themselves with flowers, pigments, beads and feathers. 


Photography Billie Scheepers at One Represents
Make-up Artist Sarah Jagger at Carol Hayes Managemnet using NARS
Model Cynthia Wrobel at Elite Models