Annaliese Eastwood’s fast-rising reputation on Instagram is no stroke of luck.
The young makeup artist has a tremendous talent for creating atmospheric designs that, sometimes paired with pop culture references, can mesmerise any audience – even those who have never dreamt of wearing makeup.
Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge caught up with Annaliese to chat about standing out online, being acknowledged by her idols, and her plans for 2019.
Q: When did you first become interested in makeup and how did that interest evolve into the intricate designs we see from you today?
A: I’ve always used makeup casually (and can I say badly before I properly started practising!) but never seriously.
I was in a rut as an artist back in August. I wanted to try out something new and wondered if there was a way I could link my abilities as an artist to makeup. A few months of experimenting with what sorts of things I could create led me to where I am today!
Q: I am a big fan of the pop culture inspired designs you do – like Casper, the Grinch, Pikachu and Bubbles (Power Puff Girls). What usually triggers an idea in your head and how do you set about executing it?
A: A lot of the time it can be completely random things, like just seeing something on TV or Twitter and feeling the need to draw it on my eye. Or mostly it comes from inspiration from my fellow artists on Instagram! I love pushing myself to try recreating my peers’ work to see how we differ. I’ve made some incredible friendships from this too.
Q: You also did a brilliant full face makeup design inspired by Violet from ‘Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory’. Why have you largely stuck to eye designs and do you have any plans to do more full face?
A: It is mainly down to insecurity. I started this account back in August completely anonymously, and only as it has grown have I felt more confident about actually showing my face.
Although I did love recreating a full face design, just sticking to my eyes is my favourite method of creating.
Q: You’ve had incredible growth on Instagram this year. What has been your reaction to it?
A: Absolutely shock to be completely honest. Back in the beginning of November, I was stuck on 2,000 followers and had dreams of reaching 3,000 by Christmas. Now in December, I’m almost at 20,000!
I just honestly can’t believe it and am just so grateful to everyone who’s supported me on my little journey!
Q: What do you feel has been the secret to standing out and having this success?
A: Definitely being genuine true to myself. A lot of the time it’s easy to get lost on such a huge platform of amazing creators. So doing something different and unique makes you stand out as something people haven’t seen before.
Q: As well as a surge in followers, you’ve also had acknowledgements from big brands and Jeffree Star. Can you tell us about any of these interactions and what they mean to you?
A: Interactions such as these mean absolutely everything to me. Jeffree Star Cosmetics has, and always will be, my favourite makeup brand due to it being so different and unique. I’m absolutely honoured him and his team decided to share my work.
Q: I am certainly not an expert on makeup or makeup designs, but I think it’s a really fascinating and personal art form. What does makeup design and the community surrounding it mean to you?
A: It has come to be my whole world, honestly. I love coming on to Instagram to see what my fellow creators have created on that day, and love showing my friends what I’ve created too. There’s a lot of negativity sometimes surrounding the beauty community, but the creators I know make it a wonderful thing to be a part of.
Q: Is makeup the main outlet for you to express yourself or do you have other creative interests?
A: As well as makeup, I’m also an art student and love to create art! The fact that I can link makeup and my art together is the best thing ever.
Q: You’ve done a few pictorials on Instagram. Do you have any plans to start a YouTube channel or something similar? Have you thought about what direction you want to take your success in 2019?
A: Definitely! I’m planning on taking a huge step out of my comfort zone next year and starting my own YouTube channel. I want to show my amazing supporters exactly how I create my looks. So many people have asked for it, and I think 2019 is the time to give it to them.
I’d also love to start relationships with my favourite brands, continue growing my account, and keep upping my creativity game!