Pictures of the Floating World
“The future of glamour is individuality. Glamour means something different for everyone. Just like beauty, it’s more of a feeling.” Photographer Jumbo Tsui and makeup artist Chiao-Li Hsu paint models in the mode of Ukiyo-e; traditional Japanese woodblocks depicting ‘Pictures of the Floating World.’
Beauty Papers: What was the last beautiful thing you saw?
Chiao-Li Hsu: I saw some preserved flowers and I could hardly believe they were not fresh. I didn’t know it was possible to preserve flowers without drying them. For some reason I thought it was beautiful and creepy at the same time.
BP: What was the idea or the inspiration behind your shoot for Beauty Papers?
CH: I really love working with Asian models and I’ve been super inspired by Art Deco lately. I showed Jumbo the photographer and Issac the hairstylist some inspo and they loved it. Jumbo came up with the idea of adding inspiration from Ukiyo-e to the concept and I thought that was an amazing idea. Issac suggested to use metallics which really ties everything together I think. It’s always a collaborative process.
BP: How did you approach the makeup?
CH: I always approach makeup from a beauty perspective. Whatever I do, it always has to add to the model’s beauty. I had some ideas sketched out for this shoot because I wanted to be well prepared. But I always try to keep an open mind and recognise beautiful moments when they occur. That’s what I love the most about photoshoots: things never turn out exactly the way you imagined them.
BP: Tell us one of your favourite make up techniques.
CH: I love blending! There’s something magical about blending colours and seeing them flowing seamlessly into each other.
BP: Current kit hero product?
CH: All of my makeup brushes! Whenever I shoot several days in a row in the same studio, I will leave my makeup in the studio, but I’ll always take my brushes home every day. When I lose a brush that I really love, it’s really upsetting to me, especially when the brush has been discontinued and I can’t replace it.
BP: What is your favourite black?
CH: I love the navy eyeliner by UZ. Blue is actually my favourite colour and this eyeliner looks black or blue, depending on the light.
BP: What is your favourite red?
CH: Often when I apply a red lip on a model, I will layer a few reds on the lips until I like the shade. One of my favourite combinations at the moment is layering Shiseido Modern Matte Powder Lipstick in the colours Night Life and Hyper Red.
BP: What does the word glamour mean to you?
CH: Whenever I think of glamour, the first thing that comes to my mind is the old Hollywood glamour of movie stars like Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich.
BP: What is your first memory of glamour?
CH: My mother has always been a very beautiful and glamorous person. When she first moved to Europe, my father used to make some of her clothes and I always thought she looked amazing in them!
BP: What is the future of glamour?
CH: The future of glamour is individuality. Glamour means something different for everyone. Just like beauty, it’s more of a feeling.
BP: Living, dead, real or imaginary… who has the best make-up look?
CH: I’ve always been fascinated by Empress Wu Zetian who ruled during the Tang Dynasty. She was the only female Emperor that has ever ruled China. I really love the makeup that women wore during that era and I would love to one day do a shoot inspired by Empress Wu.