Who is JO Avertidou?
I come from a mixed background. I was born in Armenia and because of my grandmother’s Greek origins my family and I moved to Greece. I always had an interest in culture, arts, fashion and travel. So I studied Fine arts, Drama and Theatre, but I knew I wanted to connect my career path with makeup artistry. I started working as a makeup artist from my early twenties and since then I knew what I wanted to do that for a living. It’s been two years now, that I’ve moved in London. I needed to explore more of what’s out there, and I found it’s the perfect city for someone who wants to get inspired and open its horizons.
Why did you choose to become a Makeup Artist?
I was influenced a lot by my mum. She’s a beautician, so from a young age I was surrounded by women and heard all their beauty concerns. Choosing this form of art as a job, came naturally for me. I realised very soon, that I wanted to interact with people and express myself by creating a moment of beauty.
Who is your favourite Makeup artist and why?
Terry Barber and Isamaya French are my current favourites. I really like how they turn makeup inspiration into a playful process.
What are the essentials in your makeup bag?
One product for every feature of the face. Mascara, bronzer and a lip gloss.
What makes a great makeup artist in your opinion?
Acceptance of the person you’re working with. It’s very important to realise that beauty is not one thing and it can be fluid.
Do you take into consideration your client’s skin (complexion, texture etc.) when deciding your approach and does this influence the kind of brands that you use?
Absolutely. It’s a cliché but makeup artists will never stop talking about how important the skins’ condition before is applying any makeup on. Brands help a lot with the variety of products, but it’s also good to have a good understanding of them. I like to mix to achieve the textures and the result that I need.
Talk to us about your favourite look, what was the inspiration behind it? What did you learn from it? If you could do it again, would you change anything?
I love to create powerful glamorous looks on women and when it comes to photoshoots, I like strong but minimal looks. Sometimes it can be a touch of a daring colour or other times a bold graphic eyeliner.
One of my favourite ones is a project inspired by the simple minimalism of a building structure. I loved the process of working with a group of young people. We had just started building up our creative portfolio so we had to find the perfect building, the perfect hairstyle and the styling that would match the aesthetic we wanted. It was the very first time I had to follow my own guidelines and because we couldn’t find a stylist, I did the styling. A new passion came up which was to put together a shooting and create the images that I had in my mind. By wanting to explore more I took a Creative Direction course last year at London College of Fashion. If I could work again on a project like this, adding more models would give a different dynamic and energy but I wouldn’t do big changes.
Every experiment or an attempt of expression leads us to our next ideas and helps us to take further our creative thinking.
Would you ever consider developing your own beauty brand? If so what would it be? If not, why not?
Absolutely. It’s something that I have been thinking of and I’m working on it. Developing a successful brand identity is the most important step for a business. I’m still at this early stage where I’m focusing on brand’s meaningful values. Consumers more than ever want to express their beliefs through their purchases. I agree that the brands of now and future, should raise awareness about critical issues and connect with the world. I can confidently say that modern glamour would be an aspect that I’d work on and by saying” modern”, I mean anything that’s current and would make a product more than another beauty item in our cosmetic bag. Anything I work on, has to reflect my views and my personality.
How do you think the current crisis (COVID-19) will impact the future of the beauty industry?
Beauty industry had to adapt so quickly into a new form of communication with customers. Online businesses and social media took over and helped brands to connect with the world. Our preferences of what we buy are changing cause our lifestyle has changed. I feel like we’ve turned to skincare and self-care, so the beauty industry will focus on this aspect. It was, though, a very tough period for many freelancers like nail technicians, hairstylists and makeup artists. We, as individuals, will have to adapt to a new way of working. It’s very important that people we work with, can feel safe.
In your opinion, will your career require you to resort to technology to educate the fashion industry about makeup?
Makeup now is at its booming period. It’s something that compliments 100% a fashion image, and at this era, having everything done online, it’s important to keep engaged shoppers, even when it’s not possible to shop.
The digital experience gets even more personalised and virtual reality meets our demands.
Fashion brands are developing their makeup lines and big names of the beauty industry is educating the crowds on makeup practices. The fashion community through collaborations as well as makeup artists, often, lead the Creative Direction. We saw during the lockdown, makeup tutorials and the possibility to learn makeup online. Getting education about colours and techniques was something that required being in a class, but now it’s one click away. The fact that we can connect with other artists that we admire is amazing! I really do believe though, that a make-up experience needs human connection.
Have you seen the increased focus on sustainability have an impact on the beauty industry? If so how? and which brands do you think are leading this?
Of course. I see more and more often, brands practicing sustainability and running business with a respect towards the environment. Refillable products, recyclable packaging, organic ingredients, cruelty free makeup and reduced water usage are some of the characteristics that we can find nowadays when shopping cosmetics. Big leading brands are trying to become greener. I’ve noticed that new small brands are most likely to create a sustainable beauty industry in the future. L’Oréal’s brands have raised awareness around sustainability, Hourglass is one of the luxury vegan makeup brands and Axiology is perfect for bold lipsticks.