Here’s Erin Walter’s Take on Beauty

Take a look at this California makeup artist's interpretation of living and breathing beauty in an otherwise rigid industry-oriented atmosphere.

Creative powerhouse Erin Walters has heaps of talent when it comes to bringing artistry to the fashion and beauty industry. Having completed her studies in sculpture at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, you can feel a multimedia sensibility in her work as a makeup artist as she finds ways to bring the projects to life.

We find this super inspiring, along with her knack for choosing and building projects where “typical” beauty is subverted and means much more than a two-dimensional photo. Feast your eyes on some of her best work yet.


“Oh, The Places You Will Go!”

Model: Sesen Debesai
Words by Erin Walters
Makeup by Erin Walters
Photography by Luis Burgos

Luis (Burgos) gets his inspiration from book quotes; he gave me Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You Will Go!, and I had wanted to try a paper makeup concept so this felt like the right fit.

Betina, the manicurist, graciously jumped in and we had fun sending ideas back and forth leading up to the shoot. Sesen was a fun canvas to paint, and a fun chill girl – it always helps when the model is game to try something unusual. Although paper makeup isn’t in the usual canon of beauty, it isn’t a new idea either. Some makeup artists I admire have done it and I wanted to put my own spin on it. In an attempt to diversify my portfolio and distance myself from “Instagram-type” beauty, I like to go all in on unexpected concepts.

 

 

“The Invisible Woman, for Girls Are Awesome”

Model: Marjorie Myers
Words by Erin Walters
Makeup by Erin Walters
Photography by Ramon Felix

This unique shoot was born out of being bored with the same formulaic fashion imagery my fellow crew members and I are asked to do repetitively from brands and ad agencies: waify model, long wavy hair, “no makeup” makeup, sexy pose, greasy lens, panties and a T-shirt with an awkward pop of color… #wanderlust.

The subject of this particular project is a close friend of mine. The shoot evolved naturally after a conversation with her (Marjorie), where she referred to herself as the “Invisible Woman”, citing the fact that woman her age no longer have value in our society. The final image of our shoot, where her face is covered with beautiful fabric, illustrates this poignant sentiment.

Marjorie grew up in Texas during the Civil Rights movement. Eventually, she started the dance department at the University of New Mexico, steadily bringing all the greats to the South to study and perform alongside. She is an activist, an artist, curator and she also holds a Masters of Science in social work. Long story short, she is a force to be reckoned with.

The photos here champion her as a mature woman, the artist she is, with influence from her travels through the Bedouin desert and modern dance background.

 

“Untitled 2018”

Model: Tessa Nesis
Words by Erin Walters
Makeup by Erin Walters
Photography by Dan Busta

Dan Busta and I have worked together for almost ten years. Both of us keep a busy
schedule but if the stars align we try to throw something together, for this shoot (and many others) we also have The Forge LA to thank for that. I’m lucky I get to shoot with my friends so often; it makes for easy communication and the freedom to throw ideas around. This shoot was last minute, informal, and improvisational. Dan was trying different things with light and lenses while I was building on the makeup. Halfway through, we switched gears. Really this was about a sense of play and ‘flexing creative muscles’.

Tessa was a great sport about having most of her body painted. She fit her style of dance and posing into the strange aesthetic Dan and I provided. We weren’t trying to make ‘marketable pretty’ images to please someone else. We carved out time to allow ourselves to make things just for the sake of Making.