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Scarlett Carlos Clarke x Grace Ellington
Makeup Grace Ellington, hair Benjamin David, styling Charlotte RobertsPhotography Scarlett Carlos Clarke

These photos capture the seedy, sweaty glamour of Vegas aftershows

Photographer Scarlett Carlos Clarke and make-up artist Grace Ellington have teamed up on a shoot that celebrates the trashy glamour of sweaty, post-show make-up

There’s nothing more glamorous than the stage – the bright lights, the glitzy costumes, the rapt crowd. But when the spotlight is off and the audience have gone home, what’s left is its own kind of glamour – albeit one that’s a little grittier, trashier, with sweaty make-up and smudged glitter.  

It was this feeling that Grace Ellington and Scarlett Carlos Clarke wanted to evoke in their new shoot. “I saw the movie Cabaret at the BFI in the summer and just couldn’t stop thinking about the beauty looks in it,” says Ellington. “The heavy make-up was just stuck in my mind for months.” The iconic rhinestone make-up of Showgirls, which Carlos Clarke had just rewatched, served as another inspiration. “We wanted it to have a kind of old Vegas glamour but [also a] grimey aftershow feeling,” she says.

“I wanted the make-up to be beautiful and make the models look beautiful but in a sort of slightly dirty cinematic way, like you might not want to touch it,” adds Ellington. “I was thinking about how to reference the really heated skin from Cabaret but in a way that would feel a bit surreal, so I used a really fine glitter everywhere – especially in places like the t-zone and chin, so it felt a bit sweaty.”

For the background, the pair created a detailed world that would externally reflect the mood of the make-up, something that would be both glamorous and a bit trashy. “We talked about a few things like the inside of a plane for even an RV,” says Ellington. Ultimately they decided on a limo with a black leather interior. “That seemed kind of perfectly seedy and sweaty for this,” says Carlos Clarke.

Photography Scarlett Carlos Clarke @ Kintzing, models Danni Harris @ Anti Agency and Charlotte Smurfit @ Anti Agency, make-up Grace Ellington @ Saint Luke, make-up assistant Ruby Yu, hair Benjamin David using Davines, hair assistant Hannah Godley, nails Jen Turneragency Oscar Belville @ Kintzing, producer Kitty Wordsworth, exec producer India Lee, lighting Benedict Moore, digi opp Sam Binyman, styling Charlotte Roberts, styling assistant Leonor Menezes Carvalho, art department Racket Studio, casting Badlands.