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Erika Bowes

Erika Bowes's photographs capture the intimacy of youth


TextDazed Beauty

We speak to the photographer about her beauty inspirations and hero products

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.

Photographer and visual artist Erika Bowes has been taking photos since she got her first Motorola flip phone when she was 13 years old. “I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but I loved documenting everything my friends and I did,” says the half Japanese, half British twenty-three year old. Erika’s work soon began attracting attention on social media and a following that remains almost ten years later. Erika now shoots on a combination of film camera and iPhone, though her intimate documentary style has stayed the same, capturing the raw beauty of everyday whether she’s shooting girls in their bedrooms or kids on the streets of Cambodia.

In 2016 Erika launched her own magazine and website, Sukeban, with friend and co-founder Yuki Haze. Born out of a feeling of alienation and disillusion in the fashion industry, Sukeban (which translates to “girl boss” in Japanese) supports POC artists and provides a platform for them to share their work. Here we speak to Erika about her beauty icons, the products she loves and her fantasy future.

What 3 beauty products are in your bag right this second?
I’m obsessed with everything Body Shop at the moment. It’s amazing for my skin and its also cruelty-free. Right now my three-step skin care is Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence then Body Shop Vitamin E Gel Moisture Cream (day and night) then during the day I’ll wear Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF50 also from the Body Shop. Skincare is my beauty product as I rarely wear makeup.

What’s your earliest beauty related memory?
My mum shouting at me because I didn’t moisturise before school, I’m sure I was like 7 haha

What’s your favourite smell and why?
Lavender and because it helps me with my migraines! I have a Muji air purifier and it was the first oil I bought for it and now I can’t stop, it’s really good before sleeping too.

When do you feel most beautiful?
After I’ve been to the gym and had a shower

Who is your beauty icon?
I’m not sure they are ‘beauty icons’ but I love actress Kumiko Hara and model Devon Aoki. Especially when they aren’t wearing much makeup, their skin just looks so fresh and bouncy. I have chubby cheeks so I'm usually drawn to that style face when it comes to beauty inspiration.

Are you optimistic about the future?
Yes, certainly but also quite scared. I’ve always been a person to dream about how I see my life being in the future and it’s never turned out the way I imagine. It’s never bad or disappointing, just completely different, quite interesting!  

What is your fantasy future?
Right now my work is my life and my love. I hope I never have to work at a boring job where I’m stuck and insanely miserable. But I think that's everyone's fantasy future.

What do you think the world will look like in 100 years?
Probably gross. But I hope its wild, green, luscious, diverse and gorgeous!

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