Behind the Brush: HELEN ANDERSSON

Born: Sweden

Current Occupation: Lead Artist & Educator at FACE Stockholm

Client history: Calvin Klein, H&M, Diesel, Lee Jeans, L’Oreal, Vidal Sassoon, Oil of Olay, Interview Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine etc

Celebrities: David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Robin Williams, David Byrne, Isabella Rossellini, Seal, Halle Berry, Heidi Klum, John Cleese etc

Artistic Approach: Doing makeup is more like sculpting than painting to me. I try to get a feel for someone’s bone structure by touch and then work on bringing out the beauty before covering anything up.

We’ve got the questions if you have the answers:

The career experience that taught you the most?
It’s hard to pick one incident but I think working with people from all walks of life, you find out first hand that all the beauty, money and fame in the world does not equal happiness. You must find your own way in the world, find a way to do what you love, to be who YOU want to be. I have found that living a life of gratitude makes me the happiest.

The craziest thing that’s ever happened on a job?
Ha! The event that comes to mind I can’t reveal (I could probably be sued!) Let’s just say it involves a celebrity, a private jet, and a manager and bodyguard that quit in the middle of a trip abroad, which left us in a very interesting predicament……

The most influential person you’ve encountered along the way?
David Bowie, hands down. He was such an inspirational man in so many ways.

The most memorable response to a makeover?
We both cried. I taught a woman how to properly cover a scar on her face that had haunted her her entire life. Her tears of relief made me cry too.

Here & Now, Living in Color

What you enjoy most about your current work?
I really enjoy teaching at FACE Stockholm’s Makeup Academy.
There are so many aspects to working on someone’s face that is not often taught. The psychology of touch, building trust and being able to show someone their beauty. It’s such an important aspect of being a good artist and I love sharing that with my students.

A prominent person today who you find most regularly influences customers’ style/makeup choices?
When I started doing makeup in the late 80’s, the Supermodel was everybody’s muse. Now it’s definitely celebrities that people look to for styles. Lately I have been asked to match Meghan Markle’s makeup.

One of my favourite inspirational celebrities is Isabella Rossellini and her sense of humor about beauty.

The product of the moment?
Anything that shimmers or glows or sparkles! (FACE Stockholm Eye Dust, Nordic Notes Illuminator Stick Gullveig, Loose Powder in Gold or Silver, Galaxy Glitter)

The trend you love?
Lipstick is always on trend! In the winter I love Saint, Hero, Fearless, Beloved – great deep, dark shades from FACE Stockholm. In the summer with a tan, really bright colors like Neon Pink, Matte Sangria and Gazpacho are my go-to’s.

Tomorrow’s Another Day, A New Look

One thing career related you’d still like to accomplish?
I think I just did. I’ve worked on David Bowie’s last project, the Blackstar and Lazarus videos for the Blackstar album. I’m so incredibly honored to have been part of that. I am so in awe of his life and everything he created and how he made it ok to be different. Oh and the way he wore makeup!

Also, I would like a magic wand that would make it possible for women (and men) to see their beauty and forget everything they’ve learned about how they are not enough.

Someone you’d love the chance to makeover?
Anyone I see who is wearing a mask of makeup, it makes me want to wipe it off and see what beauty lies beneath!

Something industry related you’re looking forward to?
I would love to see some rebellious moves when it comes to makeup trends. Surprise me!

The future of makeup, the changes you’d like to see?
I would love women to feel freer to express themselves, to be celebrated for their individual style and beauty AND age, rather than trying to fit into social media’s mold.

The great thing about makeup is that it washes off, so you can really play, experiment, do something different every day. You can express how you feel just by the lipstick shade you chose.

Or why not add a little sparkle to your day?