Ariana Papademetropoulos, Artist


"Everyone in my family is an architect, so I was encouraged to be creative as a kid. Right now, I’m fortunate that I can be an artist full-time. At the moment, I’m focusing on this series of watermark paintings, where I pour water onto found images so it looks like a mistake—it turns into this recorded moment, instead of just a painting. It’s kind of psychedelic.

I’m always looking for inspiration, so I’ll go to flea markets, and I collect books. French flea markets are the best things in the world. They have the most amazing vintage clothes I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m super into vintage—it’s all I wear.

I’m really into the Renaissance period, too. I look a little like I’m from that time, so I figure, I might as well emulate it. I’m pretty pale—I grew up around Los Angeles and Venice where the stereotype is that blonde, tan girl. Whenever I tell people I’m from LA, they’re like, 'Are you from the mountains?' because I’m so pale. Not everyone there is as into being tan anymore—people have let up on the self-tanner recently.

I don’t wear deodorant, which is also sort of Renaissance of me. [Laughs] I probably should wear it. But I think it’s kind of primal. I’m not saying it's good to smell really bad of BO, but on a guy it’s not so bad. It brings out your instincts.

I’m not really big on perfume either but I love the Philosophy Pure Grace. I want to go to a real perfumery and make my own scent that no one else will have. My friends run into that problem of stealing each other’s scent and it gets dramatic. It’s like stealing a piece of someone. A scent is so powerful—you think of someone, an ex-boyfriend or whatever, and it really resonates with you. So if your roommate starts wearing your perfume, it’s crossing a boundary.

My hair is naturally curly, so right when I get out of the shower, I take pieces and I twist it and put it into a bun for two hours, and then take it out. It keeps it a little more uniform all around. And then I put olive oil in it. It’s a product I would recommend for everything. If you don’t have eye makeup remover—olive oil; if you don’t have hair products—olive oil—especially if I’m traveling and that’s all there is around. I’m Greek, and I used to go there a lot growing up, and that's what I would always use.

I feel like I look best when I do my own makeup, as opposed to having a professional do it for me. It’s almost as if I’m painting on my face. I actually don’t use brushes—I use my fingers for everything. And even if I don’t wear a lot, the little things I do are very specific to my look—sort of like natural water-fairy nymph. Super porcelain skin, no mascara really. I use Vichy ProEven Mineral BB Cream—it’s my one thing that I love. It’s just drugstore, but it’s really good. Well, it’s probably the most expensive thing at the drugstore.

I always put blush on my eyes, or lipstick—I started doing that when I was traveling and lost my makeup bag. Then it’s the same color all over. I love a pink or plum blush especially. I like Stila and I like drugstore lipsticks, the 24-hour one from Covergirl. It stays on forever, but I don’t put the gloss on top, so it says super matte. It’s more natural looking. For my eyebrows, I just use Revlon Brow Fantasy—one side is a pencil, the other side is gel, which is the side I use.

I usually use sunscreen with the highest SPF—like, 80. I can’t really tan and I get freckles. I don’t like them on me personally. Back in the day they wouldn’t even paint freckles. No one wanted to go through the trouble of painting a freckle! I asked someone the other day, 'Why don’t dolls have freckles?' It’s because no one wants to go through the process of painting them on."

—as told to ITG

Ariana Papademetropoulos photographed by Tom Newton.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • beeswaxnoneofyour

    I actually like the blush as shadow look on her. Reminds me of a Maybelline ad for various plummy shades of shadow for specific eye colours from a Seventeen mag in the 80s. (yeah, I have a pretty specific memory). I don't really believe I could pull off mulberry on my brown eyes, but it was a cool ad.

    • Miss Y.

      For sure you can! I do it often with blush (Fratboy from the Balm or from the Sleek trio), just make sure to add mascara to avoid the pink eye look and if you want to be sure some eye liner as well.

    • Denisse

      I was given a bareminerals blush for graduation and since I completely avoid blush (my cheeks are red enough!) I tried it out as eyeshadow. I liked it and I have brown eyes!

  • Ria B

    She's absolutely stunning, and I love her creative outlook on life! Her art is lovely. I have to say I disagree with her take on freckles but to each their own :) I think freckles are lovely and add a bit of youthfulness and character to the face (though I do acknowledge they can be a sign of damaging sun exposure or aging..)

  • Alice

    As someone who mostly uses public transportation to get around I don't get people who think it's an artistic expression to not wear deodorant. There's a few things worse than having to share a closed space with someone who has an unpleasing smell(wheter it is bo or a strong perfume).

    • Vicki

      Agree!! For the sake of humanity, tame that sh*t! :)

  • AsphodelJones

    Her features are *unbelievable.* But yeah, deodorant. Come on.

  • Kira Retana

    she is gorgeous! great post love the makeup!

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    I also like the blush as eyeshadow but usually get blush colored eyeshadows because I will know they are eye area safe!

  • charmystique

    "My friends run into that problem of stealing each other’s scent and it gets dramatic. It’s like stealing a piece of someone. A scent is so powerful—you think of someone, an ex-boyfriend or whatever, and it really resonates with you. So if your roommate starts wearing your perfume, it’s crossing a boundary."

    I so agree, I hate it when my friends ask me what perfume I wear and buy the exact same bottle. Wutttt, that scent is mine biotch!! Yaaaas, I'm selfish like that.

    • Guest

      I think that sounds very Middle School -- especially when you consider that the subject of this article probably has BO. Perfume rarely smells the same on any two people. So if you want to wear Fracas, Opium, or Cristalle, go right ahead. I won't be angry with you.

      • charmystique

        You definitely have a point there! Although when I smell anyone welling a perfume I'm familiar with, I can immediately identify it. You'd be surprised how many conversations have started this way.

  • charmystique

    BO is a huge huge huge turnoff no matter who's wearing it IMO. No-go.

  • lw

    I think that maybe ya'll are assuming that someone who doesn't wear
    mainstream deodorant also doesn't regularly shower or have any sort of personal awareness which just reads BASIC to me. The Philosophy scent she mentions is a soap-and-water 'clean' smell- she probably smells like a lovely mixture of that and 80 SPF, which sounds far more appealing than a chemically over- scented mean girl :(

    • Alice

      I think you're being unfair. Even when I bum around at home deodorant free but doing nothing, I smell. It seems like b.o is the only smell that sticks to my skin. Also, she even mentions she probably smells.

      • lw

        Perhaps I was being unfair, but I think I was reacting to the tone of the other comments- yes, bodies smell, and with different intensities, but this also correlates with the release of toxins, etc. I'm just not interested in policing a stranger on her body, smell or not

    • Marie

      Some people don’t emit odors though, it has a lot to do with
      a person’s diet, too.

  • lola

    Please tell me I'm not the only person who never wears deodorant... I never sweat, ever- is there something wrong? i'm always either cold or sometimes fine, just comfortable with the weather...

  • Cherryredgirl

    I love her!!! I also use my blush for eyes. I prefer coconut oil to olive oil though.

  • Cachoo

    I have awkwardly wavy hair + have recently started slathering it in the stuff and I have to say I've noticed a definite improvement! It looks so much sleeker + softer to the touch. Can't recommend it enough.

    • Denisse

      Awesome! I'm going to have to give it a go. Though I have the problem of getting greasy quickly at the scalp, and brittle ends. I'm guessing you concentrate mostly on the ends when applying?

      • Cachoo

        Yeah! Rub it in your hands to heat it up and then only focus on the mid lengths down. It will do wonders for those dry ends.

        • Denisse

          Thanks for the tip! I'm definitely going to give it a go!

  • Madeleine

    Please, please, please use deodorant! People who forego it just don't seem to realize how much of a nuisance it is to those around them