From Lil Nas X to Alexa Demie, Barbie Ferreira, and SZA, celebrity make-up artist Raoul Alejandre has continued to bring his touch of OTT 90s glamour to many of the most sought after faces in the beauty world today.
Having worked across editorials, fashion campaigns, and red carpets, it comes as no real surprise that the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has prohibited people from social interacting, and, in some cases, leaving their homes, has forced Alejandre to think of new and creative ways to exercise his artistic flair.
Working throughout quarantine, the Los Angeles native wanted to bring together his creative community in the best way he knew how – through make-up. Expressed as a digital beauty series, this project features models Ana Bobrovska, the Dupont twins, Jermaine Ampomah, and model and Dazed 100-er Aweng Chuol. Each turned into avatar-like characters, Alejandre used photoshop to imagine virtual make-up looks inspired by each of the model’s favourite images, music, colours, and garments.
Wanting to find new ways to connect with people during quarantine, the make-up artist says this project was the best way for him to push his visionary boundaries, at a time when innovative creativity is becoming more and more necessary in our ever-shifting way of living. “My inspiration behind this project was based on how limited in-person contact became,” he explains. “Specifically working with friends and artists that are living in other cities/countries. I improvised and applied a lot of my make-up techniques digitally.”
With bottom lips seemingly separated into two, decorative pearls sitting in tear ducts, and multicoloured eyes, model’s faces are subtly morphed, creating new, alien dimensions. Using earthly tones, such as dark blue, greens, and browns, the finished series evidently draws from the wildlife documentaries and anime films Alejandre was watching during the making of this project.
“Nature has so much life, colour, movements, textures,” he explains. “While anime is full of fantasy and imagination. Stimulated by both, I chose to apply these shapes, colours, and line work to my art using a different medium.”
Typically employing retro 90s glam to his work, most popularly seen on Euphoria star Alexa Demi, this creative endeavour seems to be a somewhat departure from Alejenadre’s usual style, although, as he explains, the intersection of beauty and technology has always been intriguing to him.
Detailing how technology has helped shift the beauty industry into something more accessible “to anyone with a phone”, Alejandro says: “Technology has provided a platform that has allowed me to express myself and experiment in the industry in such a different way than when I began my career. It has given everyone the opportunity to express, educate, and inspire.”