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Cupid Willow Smith
courtesy of Instagram/@willowsmith

Cupid on the otherworldly beauty looks he created for Willow Smith’s album

TextAlex Peters

The Dazed Beauty Community member reveals the inspiration behind the beauty for Willow Smith's new album

Earlier today, Willow Smith dropped her third album, an impressive feat considering the musician is just 18 years old. An experimental pop record, Willow explores themes of female empowerment and relationships. Accompanying the music is album artwork which sees Willow with nature-inspired ornate face adornments, from mossy swirls to petal eyelashes. The distinct, visually stunning beauty looks are instantly recognisable and could only be the work of Dazed Beauty Community member and this year’s Dazed 100-er Cupid

Cupid’s surreal self-portraits, in which he makes use of everything from pearls to insects, are at the same time ethereally beautiful and disturbing, and we have long admired them. It turns out Willow Smith is just as much of a fan of the artist as we were, and the feeling, Cupid says, was definitely mutual. “Willow reached out to me a while ago to work together and I knew I wanted to collaborate with her because I’ve been a fan of her music for such a long time,” he says. “The experience was amazing, it totally exceeded any expectations I had. It was such a collaborative effort between me, her and the photographer Furmaan Ahmed. Between the three of us, it was just an exchange of ideas and it worked really well because we are all such fluid people.”

Of the three looks Cupid created for Willow much of it, he says, was spontaneous – the result of the energy and creativity on set that day. Drawing inspiration from Willow’s personality, Cupid wanted to portray the young singer as powerful and in a light that she maybe hadn’t been able to show before. He also drew inspiration from his own background which heavily informs his signature style.   

“The looks were mainly inspired by nature and the idea of otherworldly beings. It sort of had an alien vibe to it, but there’s something really natural and there’s something really raw about all the looks that we did,” he says. “I ended up featuring tribals made out of moss which was a representation of where my general visual aesthetic comes from – my background which is Pacific Islander. Being an indigenous person it's always about mixing culture with nature and finding nature through culture and finding culture through nature and that relationship is really important to all my work.”

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