For British makeup artist Bea Sweet, makeup acts as a tool that visually represents intersectionalities. Whether it can help address one’s sexuality, culture, or feminism, makeup is more than just applying products to the face.
After studying Prosthetics at The London College of Fashion, Sweet realized there was more to life beyond silicone and Orc sculptures so she decided to pursue her love for prosthetics, just in a fashion context. Sweet’s initial interest in beauty was sparked by her love of heavy metal music, more specifically Fallon Bowman from the all-female metal band Kittie, Skin from Skunk Anansie & Shirley Manson from Garbage.
Nowadays, Sweet pulls inspiration from things outside of the makeup world like feminist podcasts, ‘80s books, and ballet, all of which are key in allowing Sweet to produce her art. To Sweet, it is crucial that she believes in the art that she produces as well as the messages that she sends out into the world. Sweet’s hobbies and interests naturally feed into her makeup, helping her have an honest voice and maintain fluidity when it comes to creating her work.
Since her start in the beauty industry, Sweet has taken the fashion world by storm racking up an impressive portfolio of clients such as FKA Twigs, Adwoa Aboah, Charli XCX, Erykah Badu, Dua Lipa, and Taylor Russell. In addition, Sweet has collaborated with a handful of notable photographers, stylists, and designers, allowing her makeup to grace high fashion runways all around the world. If you enjoy reading editorial magazines, chances are you have seen Sweet’s work as it’s been featured on the covers of Dazed, GQ, i-D, V Magazine, and Vogue (British, CS, HK, Japan).
Sweet describes her beauty aesthetic as “deliberate, feminine and intelligent,” making her craft incredibly versatile. Her appeal stems from her masterful manipulation of intentionally placed textures and colors. Anything you can think of, Sweet can create. From bold-metallic pigments and striking paint-stroke liner to opaque powdery pastel eyes and futuristic glossy highlights, all of which are paired with effortless glowing skin as the canvas.
Every one of Sweet’s looks champions an unfiltered realness and fresh-faced aesthetic accompanied by a celebration of uniqueness. Rather than slathering the face with heavy amounts of makeup and creating over-the-top statements with extravagant color, Sweet’s intention is to tailor her looks to each individual face that she works with. What sets her apart from other makeup artists is her eye for innovation, highlighting each and every facial structure that she works on. Sweet’s looks are known to radiate minimal glamour, drawing attention to the eyes and lips and leaving bases looking almost naked — skin is lightly touched up but never camouflaged, allowing beauty marks, freckles, and skin’s natural texture to peek through, and pigments always perfectly complementing skin tones and face shapes.
Across all of Sweet’s work, enhancing an individual’s unique beauty through her unconventional artistic ability bridges the gap between makeup and art. Today, this connection is sparking a new wave of makeup renaissance that’s taking over Instagram.
Her Instagram feed is more than just an ordinary series of aesthetic photos — it’s a mugshot-like edgy documentation of her textual works of art. From salt and pepper fake eyelashes and chrome foil lips to feathered out magenta eyeshadow and lips that are solely adorned with bright red liner, each of Sweet’s posts showcases her eccentric visions and one of a kind talent.
For more information on Bea Sweet and to see more of her process and makeup looks be sure to check out her Instagram and TikTok!