All eyes on: Chiao-Li

Chiao-Li’s make-up creations are one of a kind: with an extraordinary sense for proportions and silhouettes, she elevates make-up application into a whole new form of art.
Often unconventional but always aesthetically and technically on pointe, her compositions blur the line between surreal and real. She designs a balance even in the most abstract looks, constructs intense beauty in what seems weird at the first glance.
Her work has an extraordinary quality and precision –  be it in inspirational editorials, fashion show make-up for Iris van Herpen and or commercial works.

Over the past three years, the Chinese-born and internationally working artist has created the most delicate, poetic and mesmerising looks for each issue of TUSH.

Photo: Oriana Leyendecker, Model Xu Jung

Why did you become a make-up artist? 

I’ve always loved make-up. As a little girl I always loved fashion magazines and the amazing make-up I would see in them.

What fascinated you about it?

Everything! The way it beautifies and transforms and as a way of self expression.

What is your personal inspiration?

Art, nature, people on the street.

Photo: Laura Okita
Model: Liza Ostania

Do you have a vision for your work?

I love to challenge myself and am always aiming to create something that is new and exciting to me. 

How do you prepare for a shoot?

Sometimes I prepare a lot and will do facecharts or maybe a little test but other times I just show up on set and get inspired by the model, styling and photography.

When it comes to photography and choice of photographer, what is important to you? 

I love to work with people who can surprise me with their images. 

Photo: Jens Ingvarsson, Model: Anna Tihonchuk

Photo: Jens Ingvarsson, Models: Tia Jonsson, Lola Pierson

How involved are you in the planning of editorial shoots?

Sometimes I’m involved with every part of the shoot. Concept, moodboard, choice of photographer, models, hairstylist, stylist etc. Other times I get booked quite late in the process and am not as involved. I do get more requests nowadays for shoots for which I’m involved in every part of the creative process but I like both.


Photo: Anairam, Model: Laura Hanson Sims

Do you think the importance of make-up artists (for editorial, but maybe also commercial?) has changed over the years?

In the past few years makeup has made a big comeback. Which is amazing for makeup artists of course. Technical skills and creativity are important again. 

How would your work situation look like in an ideal world?

Working with a team I trust with everyone working towards the same goal: a great image! Knowing the hairstylist, stylist and photographer and any other creatives have great creative skills and taste.

Photo Oscar Ouk, model: Sherry Shi

[All make-up]
Chiao Li
[Editor ]
Laura Dunkelmann
Oktober 1, 2020
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