Makeup by Richard Symons | Photography by Clara Pafundi
"With my work, I’m always looking to take beauty to a place that makes people rethink the idea of “beauty”. I never want to put a smokey eye and a red lip on someone and call it a day. There's no magic in just making people pretty anymore, and I knew there had to be people out there who felt the same way, which is why I started Shuttle.
It was really born out of a place of boredom for how beauty is perceived and almost an anger at how a lot of people treat the idea of a beauty shoot, which has largely remained unchanged until very recently. And more importantly, it was born out of the pique at how exclusionary the beauty industry can be to people who aren't cis, white women.
I wanted to use Shuttle to show how beautiful people are regardless of their skin colour or gender identity. It is also a great place for make-up artists to have absolute freedom without worrying if a look is going to be usable because it’s too strange; nothing is too strange.
For this shoot as a whole, I was really just thinking about pulling elements from the weird and wonderful features of nature. Make-up for me is all about experimenting and playing with ideas while keeping the skin clean and beautiful.
The FIRST look was kind of just going in softly, thinking of the eye as a two-dimensional plane and blocking that out in colours that felt very fresh and outdoorsy with the chilling white and the leafy green.
The SECOND look was more about drawing from animals, specifically deer and that almost cherubic idea of them. Fake freckles to me seem very overdone, but I wanted to do them in a different and obvious way (because tbh, it always looks fake). So making them gold and applying them in a messy, splattery way, kind of reminded me of like a glamorous spraying of mud.
The THIRD look was 100% absolutely about microscopic life; the colours and the shapes of what I did came from a bacterial space.
The FINAL look was playing with the idea of insect wings and exoskeletons. It is an idea that gets used a lot in make-up but rather than drawing from colours and textures, I wanted to draw more from how shells and wings are always divided up into little panels like plates of an armour."
- Richard Symons