We got used to thinking that a passion for makeup as any other art form is something you are born with or something you get into at a very early age. We hear it all the time from such beauty industry mavens as Lisa Eldridge or Sandy Linter. However, Emi Kaneko, makeup artist, whose portfolio now includes campaigns for DKNY, Dior, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, was sort of a late bloomer.
Unlike other girls in a high school she loved sports and hip-hop music and couldn’t imagine that she would be a part of a large makeup world someday. Followed by a friend, she got interested in painting and arts. The next thing she knew she was doing girls’ makeup right before their prom.
She practiced a lot on her own and in a while started assisting such makeup legends as Mark Carrasquillo and James Kaliardos. Rihanna’s costume designer Adam Selman was the very first designer she worked with. Pretty huge for a newcomer, huh?
Now it feels like Emi became a professional makeup artist, a true innovator of the industry in just a blink of an eye, but behind each big name in her sleek portfolio there’re hours of painstaking job. She never wanted to be the next Pat McGrath or Lisa Eldridge, replicating famous looks, popping out on the Internet every second. She’s always been pushing the limits of her imagination and trying to invent original concepts and ideas.
Divas of the fashion world love Emi for creative mind, the energy she brings to the shoots and fashion week’s stages, desire to experiment with colors and textures and mix up different styles. While she never stops stretching her creative muscles and perfecting her skills, she feels like there’s no such thing as mistake in makeup. “Even if it doesn’t work, it’s just makeup. I can take it right off”, says Emi to i-D magazine. She’s playful as an artist, always with a bunch of creative ideas brewing, so it’s always thrilling to see her looks on the pages of fashion magazines and the shoots from fashion weeks and red carpets.
AUTHOR || Irina GLOTOVA