Mix It Up

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Unexpected objects are the foundation to this exclusive beauty story for Models.com from Mikael Schulz. The photographer pairs up this time with Canadian makeup artist and social media extraordinaire, Lyle Reimer, to create out of this world beauty looks that borrow from a hodgepodge of odd items. We spoke to the daring makeup artist to understand more on the elaborate shoot, the motivation behind the concept, and for a glimpse into the first part of this uncanny two-part series.

See more of the Models.com original editorial below.

Photographer – Mikael Schulz (Hall&Lundgren Creative Management) for Models.com
Makeup & Model – Lyle Reimer | Hair – Linda Shalabi (New York: See Management, Stockholm: Linkdetails)
Photographer Assistant – Claudio J De Menezes | Makeup Assistant – Matthew Drohan

When did you first discover fashion and beauty world?
I first came to understand the world of beauty and fashion thanks to my aunt. At a very young age I idolized her well travelled and stylish persona. I grew up in an incredibly small town (a population of less than 200 people) and didn’t have access (or even knew it existed) until my aunt would stop in from one of her trips. Her luggage would be filled with designer clothes and always had the most amazing fragrance that wafted from her luggage. Her cosmetic bag would be filled with Chanel, and I’d watch intently as she would put her face on in the morning. She was what “city” and “culture”, “fashion” and “style” meant to me. I am forever grateful to her for planting those seeds and always encouraging me to embrace that part of myself.

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When did you first start bringing mixed media into your makeup looks? Why did you first pick it up?
I have always created art that is mixed media. Whether it be large scale paintings or the creative journal that I keep, it’s always been a platform for mixing genres/techniques/mediums. After finishing up makeup school, I realized that tapping into your personal style will be the thing that separates you from the pack and will allow you to have a voice in the beauty world. So I began working with photographers and hair dresser friends, testing the waters with bringing mixed mediums into my work. I have also always loved the mash up of high and low together and so I was inclined to celebrate that in my work; taking garbage and random cast offs and giving them new life in a beauty perspective. It’s now always my mission, when creating looks, to find incredibly obscure items for inspiration and find a way to weave them into the overall aesthetic. I have to thank my Mom for always encouraging the art of recycling and inspired me to make something out of nothing…. She was and is the queen of that!

Do you first plan out your transformations or is it a more organic process of seeing what is around you and incorporating it into your creations?
My looks are never fully planned out. Part of the enjoyment for me is the process, and I absolutely love going on an adventure every time I begin a creation. Unless I’m away on a work trip, I’m in the studio almost every day creating pieces. Whether it be a headpiece, a pair or earrings, or some facial adornment, I’m always making something. So then when I have set aside a day to create a whole look I have lots of random objects all around me to fuel the inspiration. Then if I actually need a pair of earrings crafted from burnt toast…. Voila!

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration comes at the most random times and in the most mundane circumstances. The key for me is to just always be open to it and never censor the source. Of course I’m obsessed with fashion and always find inspiration in the collections, the color palettes, textiles, the models, and the theatrics of the runway presentations. But I also have a deep appreciation for the mundane objects of every day life; a shoehorn, a tube of toothpaste or the empty jug of laundry detergent. It’s about marrying those seemingly opposite references into one image.

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How was it working with Mikael Schultz and the entire team? How long did each look take?
Working with Mikael was an absolute dream! From the minute we met on Instagram to then meeting in person in NY at his studio, it was so comfortable and authentic that I knew we would be able to create something special together. He has such lovely energy and knows exactly what the shot needs to look like, and gives amazing coaching support to get the desired image. He also truly embraces collaboration, and creates a platform that everyone involved can each bring their best to the table. Each look took close to 2 hours, once all the details of hair and accessories were nailed down. The days of work had such a great flow, and I left the studio having acquired new friends.

What’s next? Is there anything you haven’t done that you would love to do?
Well, I worked on a book with Bea Akerlund, in which I created multiple mixed media looks on her, which is soon to be on book stands. I have some editorial work coming up in NY and in Germany, and will be doing masterclasses in Taiwan all about “makeup outside the box” and creating looks from inspiration to completion. I would love to collaborate with Galliano on a look book for Margiela, and would also love to create a Window for Barneys or Bergdorf’s in the genre of mixed media/meets beauty.

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