In Conversation with: Phoebe Walters

Tell us where your interest in makeup started?
I grew up in the 2000’s watching TV shows like ’10 Years Younger’ and ‘What Not To Wear’, although looking back these shows are possibly quite problematic (and iconic). Trinny and Susannah were my idols and I think the shows opened my eyes to the world of fashion and beauty. The transformative makeover process has always been something that fascinates me. I think my earliest memory of doing makeup would be when I completely destroyed my older sister's Girls World by rubbing lipstick all over its face and backcombing the doll's hair.
What keeps you creatively inspired?
This has been something I have struggled with recently. We're inundated with imagery through our phones so it’s easy to get lost in what you’re being exposed to. I have phases where I need to block all of that and go back to the root of what I find creatively inspiring. If I am planning looks for a shoot or coming up with concepts I will typically start with a colour and go from there, I find colour theory fascinating and I like to mix custom colours for makeup looks.
What informs your idea of beauty?
I am moving away from the idea of perfection in my work. I like a rawness within beauty, meaning I look mostly for what’s not beautiful. To me, the juxtaposition of a smokey eye or a beautiful lip but leaving the skin natural and the under eyes completely untouched is much more beautiful.

What is your process from concept through to final image? On set, how do you work with the wider team (stylists, photographers, hair stylists, etc) to bring a story to life?
My favourite thing about my job is that it is hugely collaborative. Typically the team will communicate about the concept and the looks beforehand so there is plan for the day of the shoot. I personally like to allow freeness in my work because I think I work best instinctively on set. It could be something as simple as movement in the hair or a colour in the clothes and it can change the entire makeup look.

What do you think is having the biggest influence on make up at the moment?
For me personally, I am interested in the nostalgia of beauty and looking back on old glamour and 90’s grunge and exploring a world within those two eras.

What is the best beauty advice that you've been given?
I would say the best bit of advice is to not care what anyone else thinks about it. A lot of my friends will ask me ‘am I doing this right?’ about their makeup which I always find interesting because makeup is so personal. Some of my best work has been in moments where the makeup needs to be executed in 5 minutes and I haven’t had a chance to think about if it’s any good, don’t overthink it just do it.
How would you like to see the makeup and beauty industry evolve?
I believe brands are realising they need to cater to all ethnicities and genders, which is brilliant but there is still room to grow. I would like to see the beauty industry continue to get better with inclusivity and representation, creating space for everyone to enjoy makeup.

What does the next 6 months look like for you?
Something I love most about my job is how sporadic and exciting it is, so that’s a tough question because the industry is so fast moving! I hardly know what I am doing next month let alone in 6 months!