If anyone is putting the ‘artist’ in ‘make-up artist’, it’s Isamaya Ffrench. The Brit turned a weekend gig painting children’s faces at birthday parties into a stellar career, where she uses skin as a canvas on which to devise new, wildly imaginative beauty looks. Under Ffrench’s touch, cosmetics aren’t about conformity. With clumpy mascara, eyelash extensions stuck in eyebrows, and mouths covered in Sellotape, her creations are more about the uncanny, unexpected potential of make-up; its playfulness rather than its ability to work Kardashian-esque contouring magic. Her subjects may look beautiful, but that’s really not the point.
Despite her young age, Ffrench has collaborated with a host of acclaimed fashion photographers, from Richard Burbridge to David Sims and Nick Knight, with whom she’s working on some long-term film projects. M.A.C Cosmetics, Junya Watanabe and Chloé are among the brands to have tapped her talents, along with YSL, for whom she’s now Beauté UK make-up ambassador. When not on the hunt for Lego bricks to stick to models’ faces (à la Agi & Sam AW15), she works on clothing brand English School, a joint effort with creative partner in crime Josh Wilks. A trained dancer, Ffrench also performs with maverick theatre troupe Theo Adams Company, who have made work for the likes of Louis Vuitton and last year released Saftey Curtain, their first film.