Interview: Bea Sweet

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Scrolling through cut-creases and faces contoured and highlighted to within an inch of their lives, I one day came across the instagram account of Bea Sweet and proceeded to spend a considerable amount of time dreamily gazing and poring over luscious image after luscious image. Take the quickest of looks at her page and you’ll find straight away explosions of colour, ethereal skin, juicy, bright lips and more incredible eye looks than a beauty-oriented brain can handle.  

Essex-born and raised, super-cool make-up artist Bea has slowly but surely been carving a name for herself for quite some time, honing and perfecting her craft along the way. After studying Prosthetics at The London College of Fashion she began assisting and generally grafting her arse off, something that wasn’t always easy, “I’ve come through a lot and cut out a lot of bullshit to get to where I am now”. A testament to the age-old saying that ‘hard work pays off’, an average day in 2017 for Bea could involve working with artists such as FKA Twigs, Charli XCX and massive industry names like Nick Knight.

Her style stands-out head and shoulders above the rest and doesn’t conform. Light-years ahead in terms of setting trends and going from strength to strength with every look she creates, it’s exciting to watch her career unfold. As someone completely IN LOVE with her work, style, and overall aesthetic, I was thrilled to be able to speak to her for LSD…

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Finding inspiration… 

I get a lot of inspiration from my products, I tend to use a lot of things meant for lips on eyes and a lot of things meant for eyes on cheekbones. My way of working is to get something and shove it on the face, and that helps me calculate other decisions. Like if I do a wet eye, I will probably do a lightly matte skin, or if all the models clothes are blue I will either deliberately match the blue, or deliberately clash against the blue. I love colour, I love products. When brands send me colourful things with an interesting texture, then that’s particularly exciting (recent favourites have been NYX Cosmetics Cosmic Metals Lip Cream and Topshop’s Chameleon Glow Eyeshadows).

Instagram presence… 

I don’t really look at any other makeup artists pages tbh, I like individuals more, like my new muse @ugglyzoe. Some girls that I fan girl like @bbynokia & @pissedandoutofcontrol and also animals even more than that like @juniperfoxx and @this_girl_is_a_squirrel. My assistant and I tag each other in endless animal posts on IG and that’s always, ALWAYS a good thing.

Dream teams and collaborations… 

I would be really open to working with a brand but in less of a makeup-specific kind of way, so in more of an art-directing role or as part of a print-design process for a new, young and cool clothing brand that can be put onto merchandise kind of way. In terms of people I’d like to work with, Miles Aldridge is definitely up there because I love his love of makeup and his images are so finely poised each is like it’s own entity of art piece. I also really love Harley Weir so would like to work with her again, and lastly work more this year with Daniel Sannwald because his heart is as amazing as his work and his vision is something really beautiful. Actually, someone I met on set with Nick Knight the other day, Malcolm Edwards (hairstylist) was so bloody excellent on every level.  He let me do what ever I wanted and I didn’t mind at all when he sprayed models faces with dyes, and vice versa. I really love collaborating with someone and really collaborating not just following someone else’s vision.  He is incredible, I’d love to see him again soon. 

All time favourite face… 

This is really tough.  I can tell you some faces I’m excited about, like Adut Akech, Rae at Brother Models, I really love Maisie Williams (actress) face so I’d love to do her makeup a lot.  I love the face of Skin from Skunk Anansie, Moffy @ Storm, Duckie @ Storm, Helena Greyhorse, Cierra Skye & Liz Ord.

Your favourite piece of work… 

My first ever big shoot with Nick Knight where I cast 10 of my black lesbian-identified (plus one transman) friends as part of the “STUDS” series  is still pretty special to me because it ended up in V Magazines “Girl Power” issue and I like that sentiment.  I also did a huge shoot with Daniel Sannwald and Simon Foxton for Noon Magazine that went to print and basically cut out all of my work (I made 100’s of homo-erotic hand-cut tattoos), full body painting, bright red faces with pigments, and the shots they went for were the ones with 0 makeup, so that was disappointing as it started as one of my favourite ever shoots but also hey, it’s fashion, the second you take it seriously you’ve lost the game anyway.  I’m really enjoying Instagram at the moment actually, I think my favourite piece of work might be something along the lines of finding my style as a whole & mediating that through curation of my Instagram profile, it’s an on-going project and I’ll keep doing it while I find it fun.

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Music you are into right now… 

I have been listening to “Flowers”  by Raye, I like the notion of not going back to your ex and seeing through any of their pathetic attempts at apologetic gestures, this song is like a coming of age song, that point when you realise you’re done and actually you’re ok with that. I love “Bad Blood” by Nao and that her speaking voice sounds the same as her singing voice and I really want to do her makeup, I think we’d be a good fit.  So Nao if you’re reading this…hit me up. “Be The One” by Dua Lipa, I’ve also got to see her perform this a few times now while I’ve been doing her makeup for various performances and she sounds just as amazing live as she does on her tracks, she’s got the kind of voice I think can only come from someone with an old soul, you don’t get that voice if this is your first time on earth. This track “Blessings” 2 The Reprise by Chance The Rapper,  is word-for-word perfect, I can relate to so many of the lyrics like “found warmth in a black queen”, “I’m pre-currency, post-language, anti-label”, “call me Mr Mufasa, I had to master stampedes”, particularly the latter, I’ve come through a lot and cut out a lot of bullshit to get to where I am now, and I’m just getting started.

Advice for new MUAs… 

Assist, BE DISCREET, don’t shout about everything, grow your own style, excel technically and be social media savvy.  I need all of my assistants to be able to use snapchat, IG stories for example. Listen, be patient, less is more, be available, be ready, realise that when you’re with that artist that day, it isn’t about you but what you can do for the other person. I “trained” in fashion through assisting practically everyone in Industry, becoming the first assistant to no-one through being cock blocked, and carving my own way from then on.

Plans for 2017… 

Learn to death drop, go back to ballet (update: ACHIEVED) & work on my side splits.

You can check out Bea’s IG account @beasweetbeauty

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