This week, we're rolling out the three covers of the spring issue of Self Service, the biannual cult fashion tome (that we happen to be obsessed with), and speaking to the brains behind the pictures: the mag's creative director Suzanne Koller, photographer Collier Schorr, and makeup artist Karim Rahman. Here, Rahman talks about his favorite cover (pictured, featuring Iselin Steiro), the conservative use of mascara, and why we seem to be gravitating towards "very real" beauty:
“I’m French. I was born in the South, in Marseille, but I’ve been living in Paris for almost twenty years now, and working with Self Service for nearly that long. In terms of my aesthetic, it’s always a little bit different but the more natural look is definitely part of my philosophy; I’ve been working with Isabel Marant for 10 years, and she is very much about looking natural. But I love heavy makeup, too; I love black eyes, a heavy lip… I love the art of it, but I have to say I don’t try to hide women behind makeup.
I didn’t know Collier [Schorr]’s work before this shoot, but I loved working with her. It was totally different from what I do every day—it was not too fashion-y. And it was fun adjusting the makeup for Collier because she likes ‘boys’—she is very boyish—and yet we tried to still respect the character of the girl. The cover with Iselin [Steiro] is my favorite cover! [Laughs] One of my most important inspirations is David Bowie, and she reminds me of him: she has like no eyebrows and her bone structure is similar, everything. She has heavy, beautiful eyes. For the makeup, I just brushed her brows, and I drew them them in a bit with a pencil, because Suzanne [Koller, Self Service’s Creative Director] doesn’t like when you don’t have any eyebrows. It was all about beautiful texture, beautiful moisturizer with a little bit of shine on the lips and a lot of blush to emphasize bone structure. To keep the look matte, I blended the moisturizer and foundation, so you can still create shape and definition without being able to see the different textures.
How much to blend? It’s a recipe. First of all, I put a lot of moisturizer on the face. I have my little secret, which is Rodin Oil—just two drops—and then a little bit of cream moisturizer. I do a nice massage, to make everything evened-out. And the same thing with the foundation: I put a touch of foundation in my hand and I apply it almost as if I was applying a cream, so, from the middle of the face to the outer part, and a touch of concealer if it’s necessary. I don’t like to use much powder because I want to keep the natural shine and not have to add any fake shimmery things afterwards; I don’t like that.
With [the no-mascara trend], I think brands have been doing too much with fake lashes and things like that, so now people are like, ‘This is enough, this is a lie.’ But on the other hand, for me, a woman doesn’t move her eyes the same way without mascara; it’s very feminine. So, what I do is I still apply a little bit of mascara—but a tiny bit. I take the brush, take off the excess with my hand, and put a little bit of mascara at the roots of the lashes and expand it to the tips, but just once. One swipe in the middle and one swipe on the outer part, and that’s it.
This season, I think Self Service girl is sexy, sensitive, powerful, and very real. She is someone who is easy to see yourself in, and recognize in yourself. She is real, not like a girl on the cover who seems distant; it’s much more approachable. I think that women want to recognize themselves.”
—as told to ITG