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.