The art of skillfully transforming the human canvas into the desired appearance within an allotted time frame dates back to at least 6000 years. Apparently ancient Egyptian Pharaohs had specially trained domestics to apply cosmetics in order to make them appear more like the gods. The creation of a flawless appearance by enhancing physical features is a domain in the fashion industry reigned by specialists.
Although traditionally considered a woman’s domain, male make-up artists are certainly not a new concept. In fact, the industry has seen a surge in content around ‘male beauty influencers’ in the last few years. Over and above the tendency to be creative, intuitive, sensitive and expressive, most men rule the ball in the universe of beauty because of their mantra – craftsmanship takes no haste.
Here is one such guru, a professional in his field, whom many celebrities want to see as their personal make-up master. Born in the Buenos Aires district of San Fernando, Kenny Palacios is one such artist with a distinct personality. Known for his unstructured, original, nonconforming and innovative techniques, Kenny discovered the world of hairdressing and styling almost by chance. Many celebrities resort to the expertise of this young man who aims at creating the right look for the right occasion at the right time.
The make-up industry has produced many gems with exceptional talent and skills. In this issue we present to you one of those rare gems. Kenny Palacios.
Q.1 How did you discover your passion for makeup? And how did the skills that you learned… prepare you for bigger opportunities?
Kenny: I think that from a very young age I liked the world of hairstyle and make up. I always enjoyed transforming the faces of women to help highlight their features and make them look more prominent. I wanted their inner beauty to shine. That motivated me in pursuing a career in the world of makeup and hairstyling.
Q.2 Every makeup artist has some source of inspiration in order to create a wide range of unique styles. Where do you look for inspiration?
Ans. Inspiration to me comes from anywhere and it happens naturally. I look and find inspiration in each woman. I think they are all very different and unique in their own way and I try to highlight the beauty of each woman by playing with color textures and coming up with my own techniques that will hopefully result well on their faces. Every woman’s beauty is significant and unique.
Q.3 How would you describe your makeup aesthetic? Do you have any go-to colors or looks you like experimenting with, visually?
Ans. I really like to experiment with colors and create my own aesthetic and style. During the pandemic, it gave me more time and inspiration to create and come up with varieties of looks in terms of makeup. I’d like to say that I am one of the few, who dared to color outside the lines by coming up with a wide range of fluorine colors. I’d say being versatile and outlined is my style.
Q.4 When would you say was your ‘Big Break’? What were some of the obstacles you had faced in your career and what did those experiences teach you?
Ans. As they say, success doesn’t happen overnight. I think I gave myself great opportunities in trusting myself and trying to overcome obstacles that the universe had to throw at me. I preserved and worked really hard in a passion that chose me. It is a very frivolous environment in which we work, but I was always present with my effort and word of mouth is the best in getting recognized for your talent and efforts.
Q.5 what has it been like going from seeing your creativity being embraced by your clients… which is now gaining world-wide appreciation?
Ans. It’s a nice feeling when your clients love and have faith in your work. I always try to make and build great, meaningful friendships with all the people I work with. I think that being in a place with good energy and being surrounded by the people who believe and trust in your work is the most beautiful feeling one can ever experience. I’m very grateful for that.
Q.6 Every individual has their own beauty and there is no need to change it. However, there are times where our beauty isn’t noticed. According to you, how would you define this statement and how would you make your client’s inner beauty to shine?
Ans. I’d like to think being yourself and not altering your appearance is something that needs to be addressed more often. Natural beauty should definitely be enhanced. But as I mentioned earlier, every woman’s beauty is significant and unique. Every woman is beautiful in their own way. With my skills and the various textures I use, I try my best to ensure that every woman’s inner beauty reflects clearly on her face. It’s different for every woman.
Q.7 I’m curious to know this. With Instagram filters showcasing sketchy looks along with smooth skin and plump lips, do you think it is distorting the idea of beauty?
Ans. I do believe that the filters greatly disrupt the subject of make-up, based on the manipulated photos and videos uploaded online. This is also another topic that needs to be highlighted more often since most social media consumers tend to get carried away as to what they see on digital platforms, thinking its real which is not the case. However, I also believe that the usage of social media filters is a fashion trend and that it will soon pass, since trends on social media keep changing.
Q.8 As Kenny Palacios, you must be having an iconic signature look. What is your signature look, if at all you have any?
Ans. Many years ago, I used to have my hair black and I’d always dress up in black clothing. But now, I’d say my style has more or less evolved and I try being consistent in my fashion choices. I do like being unique. I’m not someone who likes to keep up with trends as I like setting my own trends; which is my personal style and the styles I create for my makeup.
Q.10 What is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?
Ans. I’m unique in my approach! I have variations and I love experimenting with an arsenal of colors. So, I’d say this is what makes me different from other artists too. However, it is equally vital to understand that every makeup artist is unique in their own way. They all have a certain style that makes them who they are. Mine just happens to be a combination of colors.
Q.11 What advice would you give to aspiring makeup artists? Do you believe it’s important career-wise to have a niche?
Ans. I want them to understand that they should always be encouraged. Never lower your focus and drive to succeed. If one door closes, more will open up. Sometimes it is important to understand that the word ‘no’ means not yet. Keep working hard in mastering your craft and more opportunities will gradually flow.