Making Up The Rules With Zoe

  • 4 min read

Zoe’s entire life has been consumed with a drive to create art and the outlet she is most passionate about is her makeup. You can view her outstanding and unique looks on herInstagram.

Is there a relationship between your identity (queer/gender/ethnicity/otherwise) and the work you make?

I think, whether consciously or not, the things you’ve experienced in life and your identity will always be expressed in your art. Art will always be a personal expression and I do think that my involvement in the queer community will always be represented in my art. Being a queer woman, I always kind of felt this pressure from society as a whole to shut up and look pretty but still demure. Nothing ever felt like enough; I was either too loud and masculine or too feminine and “girly” to be taken seriously. My overall look now is very loud and attention-grabbing, and I feel like that spurred from me not wanting to conform to what society expected of a woman.

What inspired you to do the “no eyebrow” makeup look?

Honestly, I have the constant need to change the way I look. I dye my hair, change my style every other week and eyebrows became just another thing hindering my ability to shapeshift. I like having the freedom to draw whatever I want on in their place, and also really just wanted to look like an alien. I just feel most comfortable with myself when I look strange!

Where do you take most of your inspiration from for your makeup?

My style and aesthetic are constantly evolving and so is my source of inspiration. Most of my looks are a reflection of how I’m feeling on that particular day, which can range from very colorful and kitschy to reflect the somewhat chaotic, joyous part of my brain to something dark and messy (and occasionally bloody) as a reflection of the depression which consumes a lot of my time and thoughts. Artistically, I‘m inspired by a whole slew of things; ethereal renaissance art, vintage catalogs and circuses/clowns have been big inspirations for me lately.

When was your first makeup moment?

I’m not sure I’m even able to pinpoint a big one! I’ve loved makeup since I was a child; the first time I remember wearing it was putting on my mom’s old drugstore lipstick when I was probably 6 or 7, so it’s really been a constant in my life. I think the first time I really broke a boundary with makeup was going to elementary school with eyeliner on and getting in trouble with my principal. I’ve always wanted to push the boundaries and break rules artistically, which I did with less worry in my youth. I actually remember writing a petition to change the dress code at my school the same year I got in trouble for wearing makeup.

How do you view the concept of wearing makeup?

I used to feel much more trapped by societal ideals for what Ishouldlook like. I was more concerned with using makeup to look more conventionally attractive and now I use makeup as a way to show the world how I’m feeling; it’s really an art form. I think to a lot of people who don’t wear makeup, there’s an assumption that people who do wear it are insecure and I feel like the way I do makeup now (which is to say, unconventionally) is a testament to the ways makeup can be used as art.

Is there a reason you choose to do more whimsical makeup looks as opposed to the more traditional looks?

There’s a lot of reasons! Like I mentioned before, my more colorful or “whimsical” makeup is really an art form and art can often appear weird to outsiders. It also comes from this weird need for attention. I just love when people feel something when they look at me, you know? I get a lot of comments on my aesthetic in the real world and most of it is people who seem to be in awe of the way my aesthetic is so unapologetically loud and out there. I want to be able to encourage people who are a bit more strange to express that in whatever way feels most comfortable to them. There is another darker side to going out in the world like this, though, especially living in a small town. I get a lot of rude comments from older people but I still feel like that can be a way to open people’s minds and expose them to people or looks they’re not used to seeing. In the way of social media, I honestly just think there’s an overload of traditional makeup and somebody needs to be pushing the envelope so why not me?

Who are your fashion/beauty icons? Whose look inspires you?

Lady Gaga has been a big inspiration for me since I was a child. I literally have a whole Instagram folder saved with pictures and videos of her, I feel like she really encouraged me to step out of the norm when it came to beauty.

What is next for you? Do you have any hopes, dreams, plans you are excited about?

I have so many dreams I’m not even sure where to start! Aside from makeup, my other artistic passion is film so I really hope to pursue that someday, hopefully in the way of movie makeup. I’m also planning to start a YouTube channel soon since it’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time. For right now, I’m pretty much sitting back and seeing where life takes me. Someday I’d love to start a makeup brand for people like me who enjoy fun, unconventional beauty!

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