Hit Instagram Artist and Cosmetic Master Shares Her Creative Secrets

Self-confessed face paint and glitter addict Laura Lee Kalmakoff is leaving your selfies in the dust, with her wildly popular Instagram feed of conceptual beauty shots. The love-affair between face-painting and this 22 year old make-up artist and interior designer started off when Laura was nine,when she used to sneak into grade school with her signature lavender eyeshadow look. She hasn’t looked back since.

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Laura grew up in Vancouver, Canada, and has since moved to “the not-so-fashion-y Edmonton,” she jokes. She’s only been instagramming her work for a year, but already she’s cultivated a look that goes beyond lavender eyeshadow and into the fine-art territory of bold originality and excellent execution.

Experimentation, for Laura, is at the exciting heart of her creative practice: “playing with new concepts, techniques, and materials keep my job so interesting and enjoyable!” This experimental creative side runs in her blood, and came to the fore when her obsession with different textures, colours, and media helped her to build the kind of original compositions she’s still bringing out today.

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Nowadays, much of her inspiration comes from other artists on Instagram: another argument for joining this self-sustaining community of visual fans. We find out how she builds on this inspiration to create her unusual looks.

THE PLUS: You seem to prefer darker tones – why is this?
Laura Kalmakoff:
I do gravitate towards darker tones. Being a pale girl, darker tones create contrast, which is an important aspect of creating something impactful.

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TP: Ho do you go about creating each look?
LK:
Each make-up look I do requires brainstorming/sketching, doing the actual make-up, and taking photos/editing. Brainstorming can take anywhere from 5 minutes to several days! The actual make-up process takes about 1-2 hours, and the photo/editing aspect takes less than an hour.

TP: Which part of the human face do you enjoy “drawing” the most?
LK:
Definitely the eyes. So much opportunity to create visual interest there.

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TP: What’s the weirdest material you’ve used for make-up?
LK:
Cardboard eyelashes and string… Damn, I thought I had a better answer for that.

TP: What do you think about the relationship between make-up art and fashion?
LK:
Both make-up and fashion are forms of creative expression, and go together perfectly.

TP: Any summer beauty tips you’d like to share?
LK:
Summer beauty tips for normal make-up? You’re probably asking the wrong person. Summer beauty tips for creative make-up? I could go on forever. But just a couple – gloss, gloss, gloss. And colour blocking. 

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