As Alexander McQueen, my favorite designer, once said:
"The world needs fantasy, not reality. We have enough reality today." And these are words I live...
Marika D'Auteuil, a renowned make-up artist, has recently created a buzz in the beauty industry with her latest project, Illusory Beauty. This series of AI-generated image galleries showcases D'Auteuil's unique approach to beauty, utilizing cutting-edge technology to push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of make-up artistry. With a curated taste for fashion, aesthetics and fantastic realms, Marika’s AI vision is not only stunning, but also thought-provoking, as she explores the relationship between technology and beauty.
Take a closer look below at the realms of Illusory Beauty, and what it means for the future of the beauty industry with RED-EYE & Marika D'Auteuil.
Can you tell us about your background and how you became a make-up artist?
I used makeup as a teenager to differentiate myself from others and to express myself creatively. I organized themed photoshoots at home with different worlds and out-of-the-ordinary concepts. I was heading, without realizing it, into the world of editorial fashion photography which fascinates me now. Coming from a small town, I had to move to Montreal to really start working in the field in a professional way, 12 years ago. I knocked on every photographer's door to find teams willing to collaborate and help my artistic visions come to life. Now I work internationally, as a makeup artist as well as an educator and a content creator for beauty brands.
What inspired you to create the Illusory Beauty series of AI-generated image galleries?
I discovered the technology one morning when I came across an Instagram post, there was a surreal scene from a sci-fi movie with extraordinary characters and costumes. I started my research by wondering who had done the makeup and the costumes, because I had never seen anything like it. It was while digging into this account that I finally realized that the images had been computer generated. I spent that entire day in front of my laptop creating images with AI. I wonder if I even took a break to go to the bathroom haha. And since that time, I've been hooked. It is for me a creative therapy and a tool of infinite inspiration. It made me want to share these inspirations with the beauty community, which is why I started my Instagram page.
How do you see technology impacting the beauty industry in the coming future?
This is a good question that I often ask myself. I imagine that the day when we can generate custom makeup is closer than we think. Whether it's foundation shades or lipstick colors... maybe even complete ready-to-wear looks that can be transferred directly to the face? The possibilities are immense. In recent years, with Youtube, IG, Tiktok, the world of makeup has really democratized and I think the trend will continue in a more and more creative way with the advancement of technology.
Can you walk us through your creative process for creating the images in Illusory Beauty?
I often start with a general inspiration that I explore through trial and error until I find a sweet spot. Once my perfect universe has been found, I adjust the details in terms of colors, models, etc. It's tacky to say but I really find my inspiration in anything. I did a series with pets, inspired by my two dogs. I did a series inspired by Chinese porcelain because of a light-bulb moment I had looking at one of my ramen bowls...a lot of my colorful looks are inspired by my work as a makeup artist. Inspiration is everywhere, really.
How does your work in Illusory Beauty challenge the traditional notions of beauty and aesthetics?
I think seeing such amazing styles of beauties can be inspiring for the next generation of creatives, it can be motivating to think outside the box and try to have even more fun with makeup. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's refreshing and a change from traditional glam and the limitations sometimes placed on us by the classic beauty standards that are often conveyed on social media.
It also inspires us to surpass ourselves as artists, when we see computer-generated makeup. It leads us to question ourselves on the ways to achieve all this IRL, whether in terms of techniques, textures and colors. I find it a great challenge and extremely stimulating.
Can you explain the thought process behind choosing models for your Illusory Beauty series?
Ultimately, from the beginning, I see all these scenarios taking place on another planet, in another dimension. Hence the: "It’s alien Fashion week", in my bio. So for me, these fashion "aliens" must be diversified in their looks. Personally, in my work as a makeup artist, I work on different ethnicities on a daily basis so logically it had to be the same with my AI images.
Can you speak to any specific challenges or limitations you faced while working with AI technology in the creation of Illusory Beauty?
To be honest, I had to start retouching some images in post production because I realized that most of the models looked very very skinny. The technology seems to have some limitations when it comes to bodies. I still have trouble generating "standard" or "plus size" models that stand out well. There is work to be done at this level.
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or collaborations you have planned in the realm of AI and make-up artistry?
I'm currently working on a series of beauty prints that will be released very soon, I'll keep you posted on my Instagram page! There are also several other secret collaborations that I can't talk about right now, I guess you'll have to follow me to find out. Opportunities arise at the same speed as technology advances. That's exciting!
What message do you hope people take away from Illusory Beauty?
I just want to share beauty. I want to make people travel and I want to generate emotions. If it can inspire, make you dream, get away from the real world or stimulate your imagination, it's perfect. It's my goal! As Alexander McQueen, my favorite designer, once said:
"The world needs fantasy, not reality. We have enough reality today." And these are words I live by :)