Thursday, 23 April 2015

Interview with the exquisite: Kiki Monstress


The moment that I set my optics on Kiki’s exquisite work I knew right away; I needed to reach out to request an interview. There are a myriad of ways to apply cosmetics in a fashion that suits nevertheless; once you take-a-look at Kiki’s work you will think that you’ve travelled to a realm of whimsy, fantasy and passion. I think, what impresses me most about Kiki’s art is that she is able to use a small space that renders a massive impression.

The eyebrow design, I relish most from her vast repertoire is her Alice in Wonderland design; think about it a: tea pot, Cheshire cat, the rabbits pocket watch, a Queen of Hearts card, red paint on a white rose and of course the mushrooms. I have no idea how her delicate hands are able to produce such awe-inspiring pieces. For more information on Kiki please follow her via social media on: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr & Twitter.





Rania:. Are you a classically trained professional make up designer?

Kiki: I always refer to myself as a 'free spirit', the commitment of school was never something I enjoyed or strived for. What I lack in motivation I make up for in passion I like to think, so I taught myself everything I now know regarding make up artistry.

Rania: What is your daily skin care regiment?

It's as simple and basic as they get, I try to use as little product as possible, I'll use things like coconut oil to moisturise, castor oil on my lashes and brows to promote growth, I'm also a really big fan of those newly popular coffee scrubs and I love experimenting with all Lush's vegan products.

I think my diet gets a lot of the credit, most mornings I like to heavily dose myself with all of those nutrient dense, beautifying foods (usually in juice/smoothie form) & a big litre of water to keep my skin hydrated and plump.


Rania: Is there something specific that you look for when selecting your tools and palettes?

Kiki: I feel completely out of touch with this question, I rarely am on the market for anything new, I'm so stuck in my ways, occasionally I will branch out and try something new if it has the leaping bunny logo, ensuring that no fur or furless babies were harmed.

I do often have a hard time finding really precise detailing make up brushes, so I opt for paint brushes, which turn out to be a lot cheaper, so if you're say for example an eyeliner perfectionist but your brush is making a mockery of you, try an art precision tip brush!


Rania: What was your very first intricate eye design?

Kiki: Now you're taking me back, technically I was probably 11! I remember receiving a little Rimmel palette with a small array of colours, but enough to get creative. I placed the purple, pink and blue on my lid and tried to seamlessly blend with my finger, I'm pretty sure I was in absolute awe of my appearance all day, but since I don't have photographic evidence of that one, my first intricate design that I am still genuinely proud of was probably my bat design. It really was a game changer, although I had already done so many looks previous to it, it was purely a concoction of my own imagination, and from then on I felt capable of being able to do this for a living.

Rania:. I’ve observed a trend over the last little while specifically relating to painted eye browns, yours are so elegantly shaped and coloured carefully designed to extenuate the lid design – what would recommend for women who have little to no eyebrows that are thinning to give them that extra pop?

Kiki: Matte eye shadows!

I see so many newbie’s using harsh pencils, which are completely acceptable, yet not the easiest to work with. All you need is a small angled brush and an eye shadow that best fits your hair colour, a few shades lighter or darker won't make much difference. It takes practice trying to sculpt in a new set of eyebrows but to start I would suggest small brush strokes where the brow is sparse and thinning, creating the illusion of little hairs. Clear or coloured brow gels also work a treat for making the hairs you do have more prominent as well.


Rania: What do you feel are some of the common mistakes of cosmetic application?

Kiki: Who am I to say what is right and wrong? There are a lot of beauty disasters out there, look at the recent Kylie Jenner lip challenge craze, that has OH GOD NO written all over it! But, in terms of creative makeup I wouldn't label anything as a mistake, because most often my triumphs started out as a mistake. However, that said, nothing good can come from not sticking your false eyelashes down properly! Ouch!

Rania: How do you feel the cosmetic industry has changed over the years?

Kiki: Cosmetics are no longer a tool to hide someone's insecurities and flaws, whether you're a man or a woman, whatever race or religion, Cosmetics are a form of self celebration and expression. This is the overall vibe that the make up community and many brands are shifting towards.

Perhaps if I do venture out into the critical and close mindedness society with a dragon masquerading as my eyebrow or a bouquet of flowers sprawled across my eyelids, I will be judged. But, it's the confidence installed in me by this movement and industry that makes me want to let others know it's ok to be yourself, made up or bare faced.

To quote one of my favourite brands: “Illamasqua is for the bolder person hiding inside all of us. It is an act and an attitude. A symbol of tolerance. A celebration of idiosyncrasies. A confident statement of self-ownership.”


Rania: I read the description to some of your designs and noticed that you use various tools and cosmetics made by a variety of companies; do you have a favourite brand and if yes, which one?

Kiki: Let me hit you with my top five used companies that without, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation... Sugarpill Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Urban Decay, Sigma Beauty (brushes) & Illamasqua. I'm actually starting a new love affair with a relatively new British brand named Eyeko, their precision eyeliners are so true to the name.


Rania: I could not believe your Alice in Wonderland eye design, how are you able to fit such intricately detailed images on such a small space as the eye lid?

Kiki: Whenever I look back at that one I think the same thing! I'm not even gifted at detailed drawing, there's just something about doing it to my eyes that feels natural, it's not a struggle or a hardship, it feels like I was born to draw tiny teapots on my face, you know?


Rania: While researching, I found that a bunch of your make up designs have matching contact lenses? What comes first the make up design of the lid or a funky coloured lens? (Your Dexter Eye with the dark contacts is absolutely priceless)

Kiki: The chicken or the egg? Haha, well either actually. I have been known to plan a look around a set of contacts I own but most of the time it's just rummaging through my heavily stocked contact lense drawer, trying to find ones to match. The exact same is applied to selecting false eyelashes too, it's usually an uncalculated last minute thing.

Rania: Are you able to salvage an eye when a mistake is made or do you wipe off all of the make up and start with a freshly cleaned lid?

Kiki: I'm glad you asked! It's petrifying sensing that a mistake may be on the horizon when I've fell in love with what I've already put down on my eye, luckily I rarely make a booboo and if I do it's likely I can patch it up. Think I may have just jinxed myself.


Rania: How much time does it take you to fully adorn a face including your delicious eye designs?

Kiki: Delicious! Haha! The minutes melt into hours and the hours melt into days, until I find myself parched and covered in cobwebs. Everyone asks me this question and I never know the answer, I'm likely to stop mid look and go run an errand.

Rania: Are there any theatrical/movie productions that you’ve done make-up for? If yes, which ones?

Kiki: I really wish that I had, I am sometimes my own worst enemy in this case. I have been offered so many amazing opportunities that I have turned down because my anxiety makes it difficult to reach my full potential. I have spoken to many social media based makeup artist's and surprisingly a few were able to relate. I do hope we'll stay in touch and I'll one day be able to tell you about all of my new makeup based adventures in the future.

Rania: What are 5 items you could not live without regarding your cosmetic work?

Kiki: My looks would not be the same without my Sugarpill 'Love+' eyeshadow, Eyeko's Precision liner in 'Marine', Illamasqua's Liquid liner in 'Scribe' which is a highly pigmented white, Anastasia Beverly Hills brow products, I cant name one, just all of them! And lastly I'd probably go with a glitter by Lit Cosmetics that I hold very close to my heart, it's called Magic Dragon. Heavenly!


Rania: All artists go through a creative block, how do you contend with yours?

Kiki: You're talking to someone who took a 10 month hiatus from the makeup world! I wouldn't say I get an artistic block, much rather the opposite, my inspiration lies dormant for a while and then I get intense desire to unleash my creative wrath all over my face. Even in a state of feeling uninspired I could create something half decent, or probably even quite good, but I don't get the same enjoyment out of it.


Rania: If you had a super power what would it be?

Kiki: I would shoot beams of vaporous, glittery swirls from my hands, which would take on the colour and intensity of my current mood, for no particular reason, probably just to feel like a rainbow Deity.