Elisa Flowers Shows Us the Bill Murray We Love in Esquire
The legend goes that if you go out and party in New York City enough you’re bound to hang out with Bill Murray eventually. He has a tendency to show up at random clubs throughout weekend evenings, sometimes getting behind the bar and doling out shots like a party monster’s favorite grandfather. He’s the unofficial mascot of the City, something that becomes quite evident in the cover story for this month’s Esquire with a shoot groomed by Elisa Flowers. What’s important to remember about Bill Murray is that his career is a veritable map of historic laughs, each one writ on his face. Elisa was sure to allow that personality to shine through so we can see the man who has contributed to the soul of American humor.
A comedian wrestles laughter out of truth, and the truth of Bill Murray is that he isn’t the conventional idea of perfect. His hair is never all in the right spot, the lines of his face are always clearly visible. But that is who Bill Murray is, and what Elisa made sure to show us. She helps us to see the man that we are familiar with and love, leaving embellishments aside and showing the real story.
Elisa Flowers Enters the Beautiful Void
The idea of “the void” is different for everyone. It represents an expression of depth and intrigue, mystery beyond reality. It is a place apart, a space of indulgence and escape. For some, they find their void in books, nature, or creative expression. For others they only have to turn on their TV. In photographer GL Wood’s latest collaboration with makeup artist Elisa Flowers, they explored what the void could be in the aptly titled editorial “Enter the Void.” For the series of images, their team placed the models in a dark space that is seen almost through a glass like the screen of a television. And in line with their dreamlike concept, each model wears expressive and colorful makeup.
Elisa’s work in this project highlights the surreal nature of the imagery. Graphic designs around the eyes that enhance, extend, or even obscure the natural shape of the eye and brow are almost Dadaist in their application. Bright lip shades play off unique and contrasting patterns on the cheeks. Each of these elements reflects the colored lights that hit the models’ faces, caressed by innumerable hands, as they become the object of desire in a space we cannot reach or maybe even understand. This is an illustration of the unknowable, all through the filter of exquisite beauty.
All Hands on Deck for Jena Malone's As If Cover
When Jena Malone was cast as Joanna Mason in the Hunger Games franchise it caused a ripple of surprise. Joanna is tough but almost terminally haunted character, a deceptively edgy role that would demand every bit of technique from any actress. To that point, Jena’s resume had included typical teen roles that played off accessible anxieties and understandable challenges. It was an unconventional choice by the directors and producers but audiences were thrilled by her command of the complexities. Since then we’ve come to appreciate the actress for her ability to play in those grey spaces, something that Stacey Jones was more than aware of and took into account for the latest cover of As If magazine. The Fashion Director and stylist worked with Jena at the Bowery Hotel to display what it is that draws us into this artist’s work. Also along for the ride were Liam Dunn and Elisa Flowers to make sure her hair and makeup were on point.
Jena has explored the musical world parallel to the dramatic, and that’s the vibe that Stacey took advantage of for this shoot. We see an artist who very much looks like a girl dressed up as a woman, but it's a constructed tension that she plays for us so well. The fashion has a super high end glamour feel juxtaposed against Jena's girlish face. Her bold lip and eye, provided by Elisa, gives a red carpet feel while Jena's hair is in a towel, dipping her french fry into a bottle of ketchup. Liam has brought her hair to epic shape and texture, while Jena lounges barefoot in a window, sipping coffee out of a paper cup.
Because of each of these balanced elements we get a complex picture of an actress who has successfully redefined herself, proving that she has the complexity inside her that we've all wanted to see. It was up to us to see it, and luckily we have Stacey, Elisa and Liam here to make it easier for us.
Elisa Flowers Plays with Paper Dolls
Photographer GL Wood likes to play, especially with convention. Most notably, perhaps, GL's vision has captured Nicki Minaj, whose legs were extended across her cover art for Pink Friday, and in countless magazines. It is exaggerations like this that allow him to give an impression of the world that is beyond what we see with just our eyes, presenting a different glass we can take on and shape our experiences.
In his latest project, Paper Dolls, GL Wood examines the newest Fall / Winter 2015 looks in Women's fashion with the help of makeup artist Elisa Flowers. The experience is playful; the final presentation shows real collages of pieces from Balenciaga, Balmain, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, and many more on top of a single model, as if she were a paper doll. It is an examination of how the viewer of a magazine sees themselves in the fashions off the page. The model poses playfully, and exaggeratedly, showing off the inherent humor of the shoot. She reminds us that in some ways, this is a game. Blue and green eyeshadows and a bold red lip are reminiscent of the painted on colors of dolls freshly removed from their packages. With her tongue placed firmly inside a well rouged cheek, we are given the opportunity for a laugh, gazing upon fashion that is normally so out of reach but has suddenly been made immediately accessible.
It is the game that disarms the viewer, the whimsy that reminds us that this is here for us. It allows us to enjoy the experience, even if we'll never have the clothes beyond playing with them as paper dolls. The editorial is in the August issue of Life Style, a Chinese magazine with an obvious eye towards fashion.
Elisa Flowers' Subtly Sings for ELLE Mexico
Drawing inspiration from the chic and sporty 1970s, ELLE Mexico heralds the return of pastels with a “touch of rebellion.” An editorial styled exclusively in Coach, features the makeup work of Elisa Flowers.
Using the skyline and shoreline of New York City as a backdrop, the diffused light offers the ultimate textural variation, showing off the tonal details in the clothing, something that Elisa was able to use to her advantage. Creating a very natural face, Elisa helps complete a picture of soft perfection. The light touch of blush, with a slightly darkened lip, lets the model’s skin glow, reflecting off the curtained sky. In a shoot that's all about details, subtlety sings and Elisa’s work allows each element to show off its contribution.
With soft light and delicate shifts in tone, the louder elements come right through the images. Metal rivets and jaguar print bounce off bolder colors, and Elisa’s hand was there to make sure that the model’s face reflected the same dichotomy. Her sensitively smokey eyes stand up against the contrast of subtlety and volume, executing a beautiful balance.
Coach’s collection featured in this shoot was design in collaboration with B&A Illustrator Gary Baseman.
Elisa Flowers Blooms
Makeup is enhancement. Its role is to help artists create the best versions of their subjects to be photographed and reproduced for viewers to understand the story being told. A simple blemish can distract from the story, an emboldened eye can inject a fresh energy. Makeup artists work in the space between pedestrian reality and the best version of our world to find a happy convergence of beauty and accessibility. But sometimes artists like to push those boundaries to see what other stories there are to tell.
Elisa Flowers’ new portfolio “Beauty in Bloom” challenges our ideas of how makeup can be used. By challenging the conventions of classic coloring and contouring, Elisa shows us how a face needn’t be just reshaped, but a world can be drawn in color and line. A bold, courageous eye sharpens a look and changes a mood. Strengthened lashes on dewy skin and glossy lips bring otherworldly energy and movement. A matching severe color on a muted skin palette implies a whole culture outside the viewer’s understanding.
Elisa shows us what’s possible at the edges of expectation, and bids us to look deeper.
Elisa Flowers Champions Inner Beauty for Elle Mexico
For Elisa Flowers beauty is about the essence of the woman she's working with. “The skin and the inner beauty of the girl needs to shine through,” she explains, positioning herself as a champion of the natural look.
She’s taken it as a mantle, a one-woman charge, to have her looks be as natural and effortless as possible. Even in the constructed, and complex looks of Louis Vuitton for Elle Mexico, everything is light. “I like women to look really modern and fresh, so that was my approach with the make up,” Elisa explains. She’s not marring the face, or trying to contour and change the shape of who she’s working with, “When I look at a model, I really look at the girl.” For Elisa, the model isn’t just there to be a hanger for the clothes, she wants to pull out what makes them unique, what makes them beautiful. It makes the whole shoot more accessible, which is why she’s such a champion for it.
For this Elle Mexico shoot, they were constrained by the clothing. Louis Vuitton designs their looks very specifically, so Elle had precise directions on how they were to be styled. Everything from the ensembles to the accessories was predetermined. That’s why it was so important for Elisa to lend her hand, to bring a unique take on an already established line. “A softer more modern approach is classic, and it’s beautiful,” says Elisa, who brought that softness to meet the elegance of the apparel.
At the end of the day for Elisa, “I like seeing who the woman really is,” which is why Yulia Terenti is so noticeable from page to page to page. The clothes are important, the clothes are what she's wearing, but it's the style of Yulia that shows through. And that style was enhanced by Elisa's touch.
Used on eyes: ILLUSION D'OMBRE (INITIATION) and OMBRES MATELASSEES (CHARMING)
Used on skin: POUDRE UNIVERSAELLE LIBRE (MOONLIGHT)
Elisa Flowers Brings Bright Hues to Nylon x Nicole Miller
Elisa Flowers brought her craving for bright hues to NoLIta's Little Cupcake Bakeshop – specifically, the set of a Nylon x Nicole Miller advertorial printed in the magazine's March issue. "Nicole's collection contained a lot of black and white, as did the bakery's decor; plus, our model had brown hair and brown eyes," the makeup artist remarked. "I established my palette by looking at the pops of color in the garments and the location."
Flowers applied Bourjois Regard Effet Metallise eyeliner in Bleu Clinquant to lids and the brand's Rose Frisson blush as eye shadow. "One of the Little Cupcake employees recognized the model's vivid pink lipstick, asking if it was M.A.C's Candy Yum-Yum," Flowers recalled. "I checked and she was absolutely right!"
To adapt the splashy beauty look for everyday wear, Flowers suggests first evening out skin tone with foundation or concealer. "To find a lipstick that is the right shade for you, choose a cooler shade of red or pink if your skin is more golden," she explained. "For a more rosy complexion, go with a warmer shade." She cautions against using clashing colors on the face, which can be busy and distracting.
"Remember: It's beautiful to enhance a single feature," she added. "If you have a gorgeous smile, play up your lips with a luscious lipstick; if you're always complimented on your eyes, try a fun eyeliner."
Elisa Flowers for VANDALS' First Issue
Elisa Flowers's makeup spanned five decades for the debut issue of VANDALS, a new biannual photography, fashion, and art magazine developed in Paris.
"I gave all of the contributors free rein to be as creative as possible and [photographer] Michael Donovan wanted to pull from the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties, copying the makeup of each time fairly closely, but also allowing a bit of interpretation," explained production director Lisa Jarvis. Following an in-studio shoot, Donovan printed out the images and wheat-pasted them around Manhattan, capturing them again with his lens. "Elisa understood the brief well and furthered it with her own interpretation. I've received an enormous amount of comments about that editorial, in particular – it's a series that truly embodies the essence of VANDALS," Jarvis added.
For Flowers, the story was an exploration in eyeliner. "I noticed in the 1950s, the ends of the eyeliner swoop up, whereas in the sixties, there's a line in the middle of the lid that swoops down in the outer corner," she noted. "I did a smokey eye for the 1970s; punk meant more graphic lines; the nineties were a bit rounded." She achieved each look with Make Up For Ever Waterproof Cream Eyeliner applied in broad or thin strokes. Though Donovan insisted she didn't have to worry about the skin because the images would ultimately become street art, Flowers still treated it as she would a regular beauty assignment: "I drew a tiny heart next to the model's eye in one shot and covered her eyebrows with concealer. I strived for accuracy."
"I never thought I would work on something like this," Flowers said with a laugh, "but I like participating in art projects. It keeps me going."
Creem Asks Elisa Flowers, 'Is This Art?'
Creem asked Elisa Flowers to contribute an editorial to its winter issue, which included a range of answers to the question "Is this art?"
Flowers took the opportunity to unite her two passions – flawless makeup and a painterly application. "For me, the story was a fresh interpretation of the Dutch Golden Age, Expressionism and contemporary movements," she explained. "The colors and hard and soft lines were inspired by Louise Bourgeois, specifically her 'Secret of the Cells' series; the placement of the makeup was informed by Egon Schiele."
Flowers's first step was bleaching model Marcelina's eyebrows to begin with a blank canvas. "In the opening photo, I wanted her to appear like an old, cracked painting, so I liberally sprinkled Make Up For Ever's HD Microfinish Powder," the makeup artist said. "I used Dior Beauty's 5 Coleurs eye shadow palette in Bleu de Paris and Make Up For Ever cream pigments on her eyes and cheeks." Dior Addict lipstick in Rose Deshabille completed the look.
"Elements of this can be recreated for a more approachable, everyday look," Flowers added. "Enhance subtle tones you would find in your skin by gently tapping on a lip and cheek cream."
Photographer: Paul Cruz
Stylist: Leah Levin
Hair: Mara Schiavetti
Model: Marcelina at N.Y. Models
Elisa Flowers Goes 'Rogue'
Elisa Flowers looked to the archetypal Upper East Side femme for Fashion Gone Rogue's "Lady Luxe" editorial. "Everything came together after we pinned up [model] Catalina [Llañes]'s hair, creating a bob," explained the makeup artist. "The palette was informed by the garments – the gorgeous burgundy stole, the Armani fur, and the crimson jacket."
Flowers decided to emphasize Catalina's lips more than her eyes; in fact, she lightened the model's eyebrows with a thick concealer, like Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. "For the 'lipstick,' I used Make Up For Ever's Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil in Matte Dark Plum," she said. "Dark lipstick looks best on women with fuller lips; thin lips can come across as severe when rendered in dark hues. The only way to find a dark lipstick that works with your skin tone is to try several before you make a purchase. It may or may not be for you."
Finally, Dior Vibrant Color Powder Blush in Amber Show contoured the hollows of Catalina's cheeks. Flowers recommends brushing the product on the apples of cheeks for a healthy glow.
Producer: Mirham Ascencio
Stylist: Brandy Joy Smith at Wilhelmina
Stylist's assistant: Molly Drago
Hair: Shalom Sharon at ABTP
Model: Catalina Llañes at IMG
Elisa Flowers's Seven Deadly Sins
Makeup artist Elisa Flowers doubled as beauty editor for Creem mag's seven deadly sins feature. "It was such a great challenge to take on both roles," she remarked. "I submitted a storyboard to the editor, Katerina [Simonova] and we went from there. I picked the entire crew and proposed how we would frame each shot."
For the opening photograph, Flowers wrote the capital vices – wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony – on model Dominika K.'s back with an eyeliner pencil, prefacing the beauty looks she created to correspond to each. In the image for pride, Flowers used face lift tape to pull up Dominika's eyebrows. "Our original idea was to have her pose opposite a mirror, lifting her eyes with her fingers – like an older woman might do to appear youthful for an instant," Flowers said. "Then, we thought, 'How cool would it be to tape her eyebrows?' And the tape is usually an element that's hidden, but we left it visible."
Wrath called for M.A.C. Pigments atop a cream base. "I wanted her to look extremely angry, but I didn't want to show it in her facial expression; I wanted it to come through with the makeup," Flowers explained. "It was a bit tricky because I wanted some of the skin to show – which is where there's yellow – and I wanted it to have a dried pigment feel, as well. It had to be balanced." She chose a brown palette for sloth, and a clay mask for envy to portray Dominika "as so envious that her face is cracking."
Though the shoot is conceptual, Flowers pointed out that the dark lip seen in pride, lust, and sloth is a fall trend. "Select a color and texture that is wearable for you – think vamp, not vampire," she suggested. "I recommend NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Volga or Hang-up by M.A.C., which is a more sheer formula."
Photographer: Diana Scheunemann
Photo assistant: Pete Norman
Stylist: Sabine Feuilloley
Hair: Mara Schiavetti
Manicure: Mar Y Soul for Chanel
Model: Dominika K. at New York Models
Elisa Flowers's Best Day Ever for Brides Magazine
Elisa Flowers formulated an Instagram-ready beauty look for Brides' August/September 2013 issue. In an editorial titled "best. day. ever." the makeup artist portrayed a twentysomething-couple and their wedding party, with the ladies wearing an array of cosmetics; however, each woman embraces the full eyebrow trend. "Fuller brows enhance the eyes and become the defining feature on your face," said Flowers. "Think Kate Middleton."
But, Flowers mentioned, a bride-to-be typically eschews fads on her big day. "The makeup ... is a reflection of her personality," she explained. "Some brides have a very subdued personality and her makeup will reflect it with a more natural or classic look. A bride that is bit more of an extrovert will go with a bolder eye or lip." Flowers's own suggestions include a range of Dior products: Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Shade, Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing foundation, Dior 5 Colour Eyeshadow in Stylish Move, and Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in Fireworks.
Photographer: David Titlow
Stylist: Rachel Leonard
Men's stylist: Joseph Episcopo
Hair: Staci Child at Defacto for Cutler/Redken
Groomer: Jason Murillo at Defacto
Manicurist: Yuko Wada at Mark Edward Inc.
'Rock Me Easy' Gregg Hubbard & Elisa Flowers
B&A artists Gregg Hubbard and Elisa Flowers work together on a fashion editorial for the June 2013 issue of Elle Mexico. For the story titled "Rock Me Easy Baby", Gregg and Elisa worked with six models in the iconic New York City establishment Katz's Deli. Models Nykhor Paul, Fernando Cabral, Dominique Hollington, Kone Sindou, Ty Little, and Taejahn Taylor are all pictured wearing pieces from Tommy Hilfiger's SS 2013 collection. The ten-page editorial feels relaxed yet intimate, like a group of friends enjoying a nice afternoon in the city together.
Photographer: Santiago Rusenor
Producer: Mirham Ascencio
Grooming: Gregg Hubbard
Hair / Makeup: Elisa Flowers
Models: Nykhor Paul, Fernando Cabral, Dominique Hollington, Kone Sindou, Ty Little, Taejahn Taylor
ELISA FLOWERS MAKES UP COCO ROCHA
Make-up artist Elisa Flowers brings out supermodel Coco Rocha’s natural beauty for the cover story of this month’s issue of Elle Mexico. Coco is positively glowing in this story shot by photographer Santiago Ruiseñor and her understated make-up accentuates her defined yet feminine features.