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Flick through the pages of Val Garland's career

TextMatilda Ruck

Legendary make-up artist Val Garland has released her first book chronicling 30 years of life inside the beauty industry

After 30 years experience in the beauty and fashion industry, Global Makeup Director of L’Oreal Paris and beauty trailblazer Val Garland has released her first book, Validated.

Over her long career, Val has worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen, for example on his groundbreaking early collections such as The Birds SS95, and creating some of Vivienne Westwood’s most iconic punk looks. With her reputation as a long-standing rebel of the beauty world, Val’s “warts and all” editorial anthology is sure not to disappoint even the most casual of beauty fans. 

Speaking for the first time about her work with leading industry figures such as Kate Moss, Nick Knight, Vivienne Westwood and Edward Enninful, Val’s work offers a seductive behind-the-scenes exposé of life on set before the access-all-areas age of social media took hold. The images are thematically curated to document Garland’s key aesthetic influences in her work, from glossy Vogue covers to more candid images of life backstage, all accompanied by a characteristically witty narrative.

"I don’t think I’m very good at working in a controlled way," Val says in an extract from the book. "I don’t think I’m a very good copier. It has to just happen – it has to just flow. I think my attention span is too short to have a plan. I like the idea of painting. Often people like to say, ‘Oh, the perfect way to do a liner is to draw a little tick and then another one, then another one and join them all up.’ That just feels too thought out. I like to go BOSH! Do it all in one stroke. And if it’s not right I’ll do it again. I’m not very good at following a template – it just doesn’t work for me."

With its cover featuring an iconic Garland look on Karen Elson shot by photographer Sølve Sundsbø, the artist’s book is set to be more than just your average coffee table browse, but a cheeky backstage burrow into Val’s seminal years grooving out her own little slice of anarchy behind the brush.

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