Pin It
David Gillers Dazed Beauty Community
Courtesy of David Gillers

Make-up artist David Gillers is crafting sexy, subcultural beauty

Taking inspiration from goth and visual kei aesthetics, David Gillers’ work is wonderfully weird

The Dazed Beauty Community is our ever-expanding encyclopaedia of creatives and emerging talent from across the world who are redefining the way we think about beauty. From supermodels to digital artists to make-up prodigies transforming themselves in their bedrooms, these are the beauty influencers of tomorrow who embody everything Dazed Beauty is about. Discover them here.

It’s easy to trace the path into the beauty world for Latvia-born, East London-based make-up artist David Gillers. It’s pretty much a straight line from his early childhood fascination with make-up to discovering the industry and becoming part of it. “Chronologically, I’d put it like this”, he says. “Playing with my mum’s soviet eyeshadows and destroying her lipsticks… going through (and never actually leaving) my goth and visual kei phase… then moving to London and learning that ‘make-up artist’ is an actual profession.”

While he may have spent the early years learning his craft via YouTube legends like Nikkie Tutorials and Pixiwoo, it’s the goth and visual kei phase that is now integral to the make-up he creates – subcultural influences are profuse in his work which he describes as sexy, weird and elevated. His portfolio is filled with heavy black graphic liner, faux piercings and devilish references. For one look, his Monster Energy addiction demons are imagined in human form complete with Juggalo-esque make-up, while another for the label Drop Dead sees intricate bat-wing eyeliner.

No matter what the look, all of Gillers’ work is tied together by a glossy-but-alt mood that feels signature to him. It’s no surprise then that his current beauty muse is Julia Fox (“The ‘sexy, weird, elevated’ formula is cranked to the max in her!”) Here, Gillers talks about his biggest career moments, future beauty innovations, and why the character he most relates to is from the Powerpuff Girls.

What is it you do and why do you do it? 

David Gillers: I give out beats, slays, yassifications – basically I am a make-up artist. I do it because it’s a creative outlet, an art therapy session, a networking tool, a job, a social event, and all that at the same time. It's amazing! 

What’s your earliest beauty-related memory?

David Gillers: Definitely the Make-up Mayhem my mum’s make-up bag had to endure.

What’s been your career highlight so far? 

David Gillers: If I had to point out one it would be keying my first-ever show. Exhilarating and terrifying experience at the same time!

Which fictional character do you most relate to? 

David Gillers: HIM from Powerpuff Girls, he is camp, fabulous, knows how to beat a mug and EVIL... perfection if you ask me!

What does beauty mean to you?  

David Gillers: It’s a way of projecting your inside self to the outside.

When do you feel most beautiful? 

David Gillers: When my bank account is not in the negative and my skincare routine shows visible results!

Are you optimistic about the future? 

David Gillers: Absolutely, I think that beauty always finds a way. ‘Artist’ as a profession originated over 67,000 years ago and is still going strong through thick and thin.

What is the future of beauty?  

David Gillers: I’m not sure yet, but whether it's an at-home circular facelift robot kit or high-tech youth serums that reverse ageing instantly, I’m up for it!

As a warning to the other members of the resistance, your head is to be mounted above the gates of the city. How would you do your makeup that morning? 

David Gillers: It would most likely be something bright and definitely clashing with the castle gate colour palette. If there’s no other way, at least I will ruffle some feathers by ruining the scenery. 

It’s the year 2100 and you’re the owner of the largest beauty tech company in the world. What five products or treatments will you dedicate your resources to trying to invent? 

David Gillers: Remember those at-home facelift robots and youth serums? That! Also, it would be cool to think of a product range that changes colours, like an LED lamp changing its colour with a push of a button. Imagine wanting to change your eyeshadow colour on the go, and being able to by just changing the setting in the app? A line of that would be great.

You have to replace part of your body with that of an animal or a mythological creature. What do you go for? 

David Gillers: I take the centaurs body, such a relief for your back carrying the kit and you get quite an impressive speed upgrade! Addison Lee? No thanks, I have my own “wheels”.