Makeup artist Sarina Nexie has drawn a large following on Instagram by transforming her face into a canvas for spectacular and eye-catching designs.
Sarina joins us on Close-up Culture to tell us more about her work, her makeup journey and more.
A: There is something ethereal and distinctly personal about your style of makeup design. What do you love about this form of art?
A: What I love about using my face as a canvas is that I can do whatever I want, and if I don’t end up liking it I can just wash it off at the end of the day. Also, there are no limits to what I can do – the only limits are those which I subconsciously set for myself.
Q: There are so many designs of yours that I love, particularly those inspired by films and TV such as ‘Dumbo’, ‘Toy Story’, ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Tangled’ and ‘Kill Bill’. What usually sparks your creative juices and then how do you go about putting that idea in motion?
A: Thank you so much! I usually have an idea about a subject I want to create, and then I try to build on that idea and add more to it as I go. I rarely know exactly what I’m doing before I start doing my makeup, and I like it that way because I feel like planning something too much takes away the creativity.
Q: Do you have a favourite design you have done so far?
A: Oh wow, I think it might be the Toy Story one. Just because it’s so bizarre and unexpected.
Q: You are gifted enough to do anything you want in the make-up world. Would you ever consider working on films or TV in the future?
A: I have considered it, however I’m not sure if that’s the path for me as it involves doing the same makeup over and over again. I’m not too fond of being stuck in a loop, if that makes sense.
Q: I went all the way back to your first Instagram post in 2013 and found you in a studded hat and just a little make-up. It is fascinating to scroll up and see your progression. First, I’d love to know what spurred your initial interest in such intricate make-up designs?
A: Oh no, you went that far back! I have always loved drawing, and up until July of this year I only drew in paper. I had always wanted to do more creative makeup, but I never dared to do so in fear of failing. In July, I just put aside all of my fears and just did it! It was such a relief to put all of my doubts aside and just do what I’m passionate about.
Q: Can you tell us more about your journey in the last five or so years and your reaction to the success you are currently having?
A: Five years ago I started my first classes in makeup school, dreaming about working for MAC cosmetics. Three years ago I did work for MAC, and I also started posting makeup looks to my Instagram. I soon realised that MAC wasn’t my path to take in the industry, so I quit and started working freelance as a makeup artist instead.
The last year my focus has shifted tremendously towards Instagram – and now YouTube – and seeing it grow the way it has these past few months has been extremely humbling. I have to pinch myself every day to make sure I’m not dreaming, because I would never in a million years expected for so many people to want to follow me on my journey. It really just makes me feel so happy!
Q: I was excited to see you have started a YouTube channel because have the potential to grow a very successful channel. You’ve started with a Vlog and a makeup tutorial, what are your plans for YouTube moving forward?
A: Thank you! One can dream (laughs). I think what people want to see the most is how I create my looks, so my main focus going forward will be tutorials. I’m still so new to the YouTube world, so I think I’ll have to try and fail along the way a lot, but I look forward to it!
Q: We have seen the huge success of people like Jeffree Star and James Charles. Who are your inspirations?
A: The two mentioned are for sure some of my inspirations, as well as Nikki Tutorials.
Honestly though, everyone I follow on Instagram inspire me in one way or another. There is so much talent all around!
Q: What are your thoughts about the makeup artist community more generally? Do you see this as a positive community?
A: Despite the drama that occurs every once in a while, I think it is a really positive community. However, there will always be toxic people in any community, we just have to steer clear of them and remember to be positive ourselves.
Q: You are now well established on social media and I imagine you have so many opportunities coming your way. What do you hope the future holds and are there any upcoming ideas or projects you can tell us about?
A: I just hope that I can one day live solely off of social media. It’s what I love doing, so that would be my ultimate goal. As far as ideas and projects, I’m still at the drawing board. But some things will definitely change and improve along the way!