Samuel : This flamboyantly feminine makeup artist and model sees makeup as a celebration for all genders. 

For the dazzling makeup artist Samuel, fashion and appearance are inherently linked with her expression of femininity. Her relation with makeup started out as camouflage but has transformed into a lavish celebration, dashed with colour and identity. For our new VENUS collection, she both posed as a model and adorned the faces of the shoot’s beautiful personalities. And thus, we had a chat (which oddly resembled a job interview) to discuss gender fluidity in makeup and clubbing in tight corsets and floor-length veils. 

 

What’s your best quality?
Oh, what is this? A job interview?! But, I’d say my best quality is that I’m always in a good mood and want others to be in a good mood as well. For example, if I have people over I’d be sure they are taken care off. Yeah, I love to take care of others. 

So to continue the job interview, what’s your worst quality?
Haha, this really is a job interview! I’d say time management. Is that a thing? Maybe I’m a bit too lazy, like last night I was supposed to work but chose to watch a movie instead. Then today I thought, “wow you really took some time for yourself, you should also do that today.” So I guess that comes back to time management. 

Speaking of jobs: You're a very talented makeup artist.
Oh, stop it! 

What was your relationship with makeup like as a child?
When I was a kid, I started wearing makeup as a camouflage. I had a face full of acne and I thought I hid it all with camouflage sticks, but they weren’t even my shade and it was all over my face so people would ask “what are you wearing on your face?” And I’d be like “eh, nothing…” That definitely changed now. 

So what’s it like now?
It’s a celebration! I celebrate my best features and myself. Whenever I do makeup on other people, it’s very personal and aims to celebrate them. It includes dashes of colour and is always a bit messy and all over the place, yeah a celebration. 

Makeup is traditionally seen as something very feminine, maybe even something that’s exclusive to women. What’s your stance on that?
I believe makeup is for all genders. If you dig into the history books, there have been men traditionally wearing makeup, like in Japan for example. At some stage, it became exclusive to women, but I don’t even think of it that way. I hate all these makeup brands targeted exclusively to men because they are too insecure to try ‘women’s makeup’, whilst the product is exactly the same - it’s ridiculous! 

What does femininity mean to you, personally? 
It’s my world, it’s how I identify: As a femme. It’s the way I express myself and want to be perceived by others, almost like a femme doll.

And what role does fashion or appearance play in your expression of femininity?
The same thing! I don’t want to say something generic as “It’s how I express myself” but it is. It’s also what I miss most about going out; like going to the club in high heels, tights, no pants but underwear up till here, lacy outfits, tight corsets, face beat and a gorgeous long veil to the ground. That’s how I perceive my femininity to the fullest, how I want to see myself. 

And the fact you feel free to express yourself - your femininity - to the fullest in a club. Is that because clubs provide the only space to do that? 
Girl, I’d love to walk around all day in high heels and without pants, but it’s just not going to work! Oh god, I have so many corsets just laying around catching dust and I really need to do something about it. But yeah, I’d wear it every day if I could! 

On that note: You have quite a presence on Instagram. What do you think of the platform as a means of expressing yourself?
Actually, I was a bit overworked last December and so over Instagram. So I deactivated my account for two weeks, after which I stayed offline for more than a month and it was the best thing. But, at the same time, I have to be on there for work. I have to present myself in such a way to get bookings. 

In a previous interview, I spoke to someone who said Instagram is the new LinkedIn.
OMG, yeah literally! My friend had an interview the other day and they asked her to show them her Instagram, it’s crazy! 

How has the lockdown been for you?
If it wasn't lockdown, I wouldn’t be leaving my house anyway. I mean, it’s sad that people are producing fewer shoots than usual, but I love taking the time for them. Honestly, it’s been great. I love taking me-time, I’m totally fine with not doing anything all day! 

What’s your self-love language?
Hmm… What I’d say to anyone struggling with loving themselves is: Not only does their presence have value and importance, but you also deserve to be celebrated. You’re the main character in your life and you deserve to express yourself. Like, take gender visibility on the streets, expressing yourself is the only way to change the norm, both on- and offscreen. So yeah, you have value, you’re allowed to take your time and you should always allow yourself to celebrate yourself. 

 

Photography: Sascha Luna 
MUA: Samuel 
Model: Samuel 

Author: Marjolijn Oostermeijer