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Courtesy @petracollins

Petra Collins on beauty and colonising Mars


TextDazed Beauty

Fresh from shooting her first editorial for Dazed Beauty, a cosmic shoot starring psychedelic rap artist Tierra Whack and her third eye, we caught up with the photographer to talk all things beauty

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 makeup prodigies transforming themselves in their bedrooms, these are the beauty influencers of tomorrow who embody everything Dazed Beauty is about. Discover them here.

“I guess it’s what life is,” says Petra Collins on the meaning of beauty. “It's dirty and weird and complicated and fleshy and flawed.” Born in Toronto and now living in New York, Petra is the perfect embodiment of a multi-hyphenate millennial: photographer, filmmaker, artist, curator, model, muse.

Petra began her career as a teenager, taking pictures of her sister’s friends, posting them on Tumblr and publishing them in best friend Tavi Gevinson’s magazine Rookie. With a hyper-feminine style, Petra presents her predominantly female subjects in pastel-hued worlds, offering a refreshing take on female beauty. But she represents a paradox. Modern and youthful, her work is tinged with a romantic nostalgia. She shoots on 35mm and yet is a visual icon for the Insta generation. It is this tension that makes her work so unique.

Over the course or her career, Petra has lensed campaigns for Calvin Klein, Adidas and Stella McCartney, worked on editorials for Dazed, Love, V, and Teen Vogue; shot music videos for Cardi B, Lil Yachty and Selena Gomez, and recently starred as the face of Gucci. Fresh from shooting her first editorial for Dazed Beauty, a cosmic shoot starring psychedelic rap artist Tierra Whack and her third eye, we caught up with the photographer to talk all things beauty.

What’s your earliest beauty related memory?
I remember being obsessed with hair mascaras that my mom had. My sister and I would sneak into her bathroom and steal them – then wear red streaks in our hair to elementary school.

Which fictional character do you most relate to and why?
Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

Who is your beauty icon? 
Isabelle Adjani in Possession and Debbie Thornberry.

You’re flying to the moon: what one beauty product do you take with you?
An eyelash curler. I carry it with me everywhere.

It's 30 years from now. You stumble home at 3 am and catch your reflection in the fridge door. What do you look like?
I can't look into the future like that / don't want to.

You have to donate a feature or limb of your body to an icon of yours. You get nothing in return. What do you give and why?
My nose. It’s the most fucked up defining feature of mine. I don't think I would look like me without it.

Would you rather Colonise Mars or build a utopia in the centre of the earth?
Colonise Mars. I love a butterscotch coloured landscape.

It’s the year 2100. You’re the owner of the largest beauty tech company in the world, what five products or treatments will you dedicate your resources trying to invent?
It would be just one treatment. A mist, pill, or cream you could apply or take that would give anyone with dysmorphic thoughts about themselves the ability to think and see clearly.

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