It would be cliché to call Lottie a star, but her Instagram handle does it so we don't have to. We've been watching Lottie stand out via her social channels—OK, mainly Instagram, but also Twitter—and would like to invite the rest of the general population to join in. But you can only glean so much from social before you've got to call someone up and tell them you're interested in more. Which is exactly what we did. What followed was a mutual admiration email thread, some of which is below. Because sharing is caring, and we didn't want to keep Lottie to ourselves, everyone, please meet @Lotstar:
Did you have a big break?
I would say my big break came before I moved to New York. I'm actually a California native and now live back and forth between LA and New York—though my theory is that all Californians eventually come back. But anyway, before I moved here, I was approached by Mia Tyler to be her personal makeup artist on a TV show. It was such an amazing experience—she let me experiment with different looks, and we had a lot of fun. It gave me the confidence to go out on my own as a freelancer full time.
So how long have you been working as a makeup artist now?
I've been freelance for 12 years.
Did everything fall into place quickly for you?
I don't think anything is ever that easy. It's all a process. I went to school for graphic design and interned at a magazine as a student. It was there where I saw firsthand that makeup—something I was always interested in—could be an actual career outside of working makeup counters. After some time in England working office jobs, I began practicing makeup looks on all my co-workers and friends.When I moved back to LA, I was introduced to a young photographer also starting out named Alex Prager. Alex and I began to work together, and that's how I built my first portfolio. Once you have that portfolio going, you can start working fashion shows—I did shows with Smashbox in LA at the now-defunct LAFW, after which I took the plunge and moved to New York with hopes of working more in fashion.
Is there any work you're particularly proud of?
I'm so proud of all my work with my girls Jamie Nelson and Alex Prager. I shot my first editorial for Vogue with Alex. Keying my first show in Milan is also a standout in my career.
Do you have a “look' you always go back to or does your work change with each job?
I approach my work in a very collaborative way, always. When it's a shoot, I speak to the photographer, stylist, and hairstylist to get an idea for what we want to do. If someone suggests something I dont think will work on a particular model, I will always do my best to explain why and come up with alternative ideas. For example, doing crazy creative makeup on a very commercial-looking model or a model with features too strong can be a disaster. For red carpet, I like to see what the talent is wearing and how the hair will be before I make a final decision on look ideas. Then, I'll propose an idea to the talent. The same goes for runway. I think there is a huge misconception with young and new makeup artists who don't understand that it's not always a “makeup show” on shoots. Sometimes—a lot of times—less is more. Balance is key.
What inspires your work?
I am usually inspired from the model and their features and always no matter what or how creative the makeup, always try to keep their beauty and let them be the star. I think my background in design definitely carries over and when it comes to my creative work, it always is about balance for me. When I first started, I wanted to put everything on the face. Lashes, glitter, rhinestones, stencil work all at once. It takes a lot of experience to know when it's OK to push the makeup and when the makeup really needs to take a step back. In the end for me its about a beautiful final image.
Of course I have always been fascinated by the fantasy work of people like Serge Lutens and Topolino as well as paintings from my favorite artists like Edward Robert Hughes, John Waterhouse, and Gustav Klimt. Inspiration is so general, though, and can be super cliché. It's so personal, but also relative, to the moment you're in.
And finally, what do you love about your job?
I think beauty and fashion is just a wonderful artistic statement and always ever-changing, which makes my job the best in the world. We get to work with different people constantly while also building small-team families and creating magical images. For runway, it's very gratifying for me to collaborate on a piece of fashion history. Every show I finish feels like an amazing accomplishment. I have been so lucky to work with some of the best photographers, artists, and have the best assistants who feel like family to me. And it's only the beginning.
Photos via @Lotstar.
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