Close-ups on the industry’s fresh faces, bold iconoclasts and distinguished créateurs

Latest In beauty

June 3, 2014

Beyond the Skin

Jonas Åkerlund Takes Model Shaun Ross on a Hyperkinetic Trip Through LA in the Final #DefineBeauty Film

“Hollywood is so good at only seeing what’s on the outside, and using that first impression instead of going deeper,” says Jonas Åkerlund of the location of the final film in the #DefineBeauty series, in which he follows American model and actor Shaun Ross around the back streets and freeways of Los Angeles. “I think Shaun has spent all his life with those reactions. Look again and you see that this guy is really beautiful.” The Swedish filmmaker is known for music videos that span over 25 years—from Madonna to Beyonce, Iggy Pop to U2—and feature films including the darkly comic 2002 release, Spun. His gothic style is apparent in today’s portrait of the famed albino model, who recently starred in Lana Del Rey’s 30 minute film, Tropico. “When Shaun showed up on Hollywood Boulevard, Darth Vader and Mickey Mouse were affronted,” the filmmaker says of filming Ross, who was styled by his wife B. Åkerlund. “Like, ‘What the fuck is this guy doing here?’” Elements of Beyond the Skin were shot by Ross himself with a camera provided by the director, whose cat was given a supporting role. “She’s also albino so I thought they might have a connection,” says Åkerlund. “They actually did. She wouldn't stop sitting on his head.”

Look one: Top & skirt by Yuima Nakazato.
Look two: Head piece by Maiko Takeda, cape & pants by Yuima Nakazato, shoes by Nereku.
Look three: Leather jacket by Bohemian Society, metal mesh top & bracelets by Michael Schmidt Studios, boots by Gasoline Glamour.
Look four: Jacket by, Hyein Seo, top & shorts by Yuima Nakazato, shoes by Nereku.

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Greg Kessler: Macro-Morphosis

The Photographer Pays Lip Service in His Latest Interactive Series

Photographer Greg Kessler zooms in on the flirtatious mouth of Estonian model Merilin Perli in the first installment of his new beauty series, Macro-Morphosis. A regular contributor to The New York Times' T Magazine, Dossier Journal and 10 Magazine, Kessler is known for his backstage photography, revealing the meticulous transformation from barefaced to runway-ready through interactive headshots of models; with Macro-Morphosis he applies this attention to detail to each individual facial feature. “We started with a focus on the lips because they are so playful, expressive and, of course, nice to look at,” Kessler says. Makeup artist Lottie Stannard prepared Perli’s skin with a dewy mask before enlivening her pout with juicy summer colors including YSL’s Le Orange and Gardenia by Chanel. Once each part of the face is accounted for, Kessler’s goal is to stitch it all together to create a giant interactive, touch-screen video. “I see it as a tactile digital art piece,” he says. “You can put your hands over the face and each feature will be animated: blinking, winking, kissing, licking, smiling…”

Photographer Greg Kessler

Makeup Lottie Stannard at Atelier Management using Chanel

Model Merilin at Marilyn Models


Shiseido mask with Bite vitamin gel

Chanel Rouge Coco #13 Gardenia

Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Carthage
YSL Rouge Pur Couture #13 Le Orange

MAC Bust Out! Surf, Baby! Lipstick

High Pigment Matte Pencil in Pomegranate by Bite

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Aesop: Aesthetic Science

The Fabled Australian Beauty Brand Opens the Doors of its Research Studios

In celebration of its 25th anniversary this year, Melbourne-based science-beauty brand Aesop invited photographer Rene Vaile to document the laboratories where its team of specialists analyse each extract, vitamin and nutrient that goes into the holistic range. Founded by Dennis Paphitis in 1987 as an alternative to the chemical-filled cosmetic goods of the time, the brand focuses solely on using ingredients that benefit the body, including green tea, geranium leaf and mandarin. "A good product needs to begin from a sincere and authentic perspective," explains Paphitis of the company’s ethos. "It must be designed with integrity and a sense of timelessness." Taking sustainable living as a basic mantra, Aesop is also known for its sensitively placed and design-strong outlets across the world, such as the Grand Central Terminal booth opened last year and built out of 1,000 copies of The New York Times. Here Senior Chemist Rebecca Watkinson talks to us about the processes involved in developing Aesop’s celebrated products and the best way to take care of your skin.

How do you come across new ingredients to experiment with?
We are continually researching and exploring new ingredients, and often look to other industries for inspiration, particularly the food industry. The most recent example of this would be blackcurrant seed oil, which we use in our Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Treatment. Blackcurrants have long been known as a “super-food” for their anti-oxidant properties and essential fatty acid content. We saw that this could be an interesting topical ingredient.

How long does it take to perfect a new product?
It typically takes 18 months to two years to fully realize a product, with much collaborative effort and many iterations between concept, development, testing, manufacture and launch. Sage and Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream was ten years in the making, and not without its challenges, but was certainly worth the wait. 

Everyone’s skin is different. How do you define and test health and beauty?
We endeavour to make our products as applicable and relevant to as many skin types as possible. Our philosophy of skin care is based on scientific evidence that what most skin types require is to be cleansed, moisturized and protected. We counsel our clients to take care of their skin by using the highest quality skin care products and sun cream, drinking pure water, eating fresh food and getting as much sleep as possible.

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