BEAUTY SKETCHES WITH ALEX BABSKY

By Nateisha Scott


Known for his iconic sketches, Alex Babsky is a makeup artist that has actresses like Naomi Scott, Florence Pugh and Lashana Lynch walking the red-carpet at any coveted event. From drawing to complexion, discover the man behind the sketches.

NS: How did you develop as a make-up artist?

AB: I started out as a fashion student and from there I began making up the models who were showing my designs. Before long, the other students started asking me to make up THEIR models too. I really enjoyed the immediacy of this new-found medium & started drifting away from fashion and towards makeup artistry.

NS: So, it was makeup from quite early on then? Do you have a project that you worked on that you loved?

AB: Wow – each job is so different it’s virtually impossible to compare them, but it is particularly rewarding when a project reminds you how far you’ve come. I loved shooting the video for Duran Duran’s “Girl Panic,” in which members of the band were played by Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford & other supermodels who had originally inspired my interest in fashion & makeup decades earlier. I’ve had the good fortune to work with many iconic women, but I was also particularly excited to work with Barbra Streisand – I can remember both my mother AND grandmother watching her movies on TV almost as far back as I can remember, & she represents a kind of multi-generational star that I don’t think exists any more.

NS: Tell us more about your sketches, they are amazing. How do they help you creatively and why did you begin doing them?

AB: If I know in advance what a client will be wearing, I like to sketch out my ideas for a red carpet makeup beforehand to help me figure out the look. Invariably, time is always an issue when preparing a client for the red carpet, so arriving with a good idea of where we’ll be heading makeup-wise means I can get straight to work. I find that having a sketch also keeps both me & my client on the same page; if I suggest, say, a midnight blue smoky eye to a client, they may have an entirely different idea to what that might look like than I do, but a having a sketch of the proposed look avoids confusion. Additionally, if I want to suggest a makeup look that I know will look great on my client, but which is a little out of their comfort zone, if I can show them a sketch of how they will actually look with the makeup I’m proposing, it gives them confidence in what I’m suggesting & allows them to relax & enjoy their time in hair & makeup.

NS: What are signature products that you can’t live without?

AB: In my professional makeup kit, I’d find it really difficult to go to work without these; Lancôme Confort Galatée Cleanser & Tonique Douceur, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, Shu Uemura loose powder, Pat McGrath Xtreme Black Ultra Glide Pencil, & Makeup Forever’s Flash Color palette.

NS: For yourself, what is your morning grooming routine?

AB: As a makeup artist, I’m very fortunate that I’m often sent new things to try, so my skincare routine is generally whatever I’m currently trying out to be honest. Some favourites that I always come back to though are Lancôme Rénergie Yeux Multi-Lift, 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Lifting & Firming Treatment Mask, & Sisley Nutritive Lip Balm.

NS: Do you find time to workout with your schedule, what is your fitness and wellness routine?

AB: For fitness I wish I was more into my physical fitness really, but I’ll go for a run to blow the cobwebs off and in terms of my wellness habits, I have a short mediation I try to do several times a week – I’d like it to be every day really, but I’m afraid I’m easily distracted.

NS: How do you find yourself winding down in the evening?

AB: After every job, my kit needs cleaning & reorganising ready for the next job, which can be oddly therapeutic in the right frame of mind, otherwise I’ll indulge in an episode or two of whatever my current box-set is. I’m one of the few people who’d always avoided Game of Thrones because EIGHT series seemed such a massive commitment, but in the current lockdown, I’ve found I’m speeding through it!

NS: Do you have a favourite travel destination?

AB: Travel is one of my favourite parts of my job, & I feel really lucky to have visited so much of the globe – it’s something I miss hugely in the current Coronavirus lockdown. For me, the greatest pleasure of travel is experiencing something new, so I particularly love visiting anywhere with a rich culture markedly different from my own – I’ve loved travelling through Africa & South America & have a particular soft spot for Japan.

NNS: What advice have you found that has helped you through your career?

AB: “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” Creatively, I find ideas are most effective when they’re distilled down to their simplest form. When I began as a makeup artist, I’d really want to go to town on every face I did: bells & whistles on everything! Now I find it’s much more powerful to split this kind of thinking up into its constituent parts & work on each as a separate idea; sometimes muddling things too many visual statements means you end up with none.

SHOPPING EDIT

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND LIFTING AND FIRMING TREATMENT MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND EYE MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND EYE CREAM

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND EMULSION

BEAUTY SKETCHES WITH ALEX BABSKY

By Nateisha Scott

Known for his iconic sketches, Alex Babsky is a makeup artist that has actresses like Naomi Scott, Florence Pugh and Lashana Lynch walking the red-carpet at any coveted event. From drawing to complexion, discover the man behind the sketches.

NS: How did you develop as a make-up artist?

AB: I started out as a fashion student and from there I began making up the models who were showing my designs. Before long, the other students started asking me to make up THEIR models too. I really enjoyed the immediacy of this new-found medium & started drifting away from fashion and towards makeup artistry.

NS: So, it was makeup from quite early on then? Do you have a project that you worked on that you loved?

AB: Wow – each job is so different it’s virtually impossible to compare them, but it is particularly rewarding when a project reminds you how far you’ve come. I loved shooting the video for Duran Duran’s “Girl Panic,” in which members of the band were played by Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford & other supermodels who had originally inspired my interest in fashion & makeup decades earlier. I’ve had the good fortune to work with many iconic women, but I was also particularly excited to work with Barbra Streisand – I can remember both my mother AND grandmother watching her movies on TV almost as far back as I can remember, & she represents a kind of multi-generational star that I don’t think exists any more.

NS: Tell us more about your sketches, they are amazing. How do they help you creatively and why did you begin doing them?

AB: If I know in advance what a client will be wearing, I like to sketch out my ideas for a red carpet makeup beforehand to help me figure out the look. Invariably, time is always an issue when preparing a client for the red carpet, so arriving with a good idea of where we’ll be heading makeup-wise means I can get straight to work. I find that having a sketch also keeps both me & my client on the same page; if I suggest, say, a midnight blue smoky eye to a client, they may have an entirely different idea to what that might look like than I do, but a having a sketch of the proposed look avoids confusion. Additionally, if I want to suggest a makeup that I know will look great on my client, but which is a little out of their comfort zone, if I can show them a sketch of how they will actually look with the makeup I’m proposing, it gives them confidence in what I’m suggesting & allows them to relax & enjoy their time in hair & makeup.

NS: What are signature products that you can’t live without?

AB: In my professional makeup kit, I’d find it really difficult to go to work without these; Lancôme Confort Galatée Cleanser & Tonique Douceur, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, Shu Uemura loose powder, Pat McGrath Xtreme Black Ultra Glide Pencil, & Makeup Forever’s Flash Color palette.

 

NS: For yourself, what is your morning grooming routine?

AB: As a makeup artist, I’m very fortunate that I’m often sent new things to try, so my skincare routine is generally whatever I’m currently trying out to be honest. Some favourites that I always come back to though are Lancôme Rénergie Yeux Multi-Lift, 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Lifting & Firming Treatment Mask, & Sisley Nutritive Lip Balm.

NS: Do you find time to workout with your schedule, what is your fitness and wellness routine?

AB: For fitness I wish I was more into my physical fitness really, but I’ll go for a run to blow the cobwebs off and in terms of my wellness habits, I have a short mediation I try to do several times a week – I’d like it to be every day really, but I’m afraid I’m easily distracted.

NS: How do you find yourself winding down in the evening?

AB: After every job, my kit needs cleaning & reorganising ready for the next job, which can be oddly therapeutic in the right frame of mind, otherwise I’ll indulge in an episode or two of whatever my current box-set is. I’m one of the few people who’d always avoided Game of Thrones because EIGHT series seemed such a massive commitment, but in the current lockdown, I’ve found I’m speeding through it!

NS: Do you have a favourite travel destination?

AB: Travel is one of my favourite parts of my job, & I feel really lucky to have visited so much of the globe – it’s something I miss hugely in the current Coronavirus lockdown. For me, the greatest pleasure of travel is experiencing something new, so I particularly love visiting anywhere with a rich culture markedly different from my own – I’ve loved travelling through Africa & South America & have a particular soft spot for Japan.

NNS: What advice have you found that has helped you through your career?

AB: “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” Creatively, I find ideas are most effective when they’re distilled down to their simplest form. When I began as a makeup artist, I’d really want to go to town on every face I did: bells & whistles on everything! Now I find it’s much more powerful to split this kind of thinking up into its constituent parts & work on each as a separate idea; sometimes muddling things too many visual statements means you end up with none.

Discover the Edit:

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND LIFTING AND FIRMING TREATMENT MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND EYE MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND EYE CREAM

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND EMULSION

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