VANITY VENOM

Words:  Crystal Lubrikunt

After winning the UK’s first ever NYX Cosmetics Face Awards this year Alright Darling's Crystal Lubrikunt gave the beautiful Vanity Venom a call to talk about make up artistry, social media, Drag Queens and her experience with James St James!

C. Hi Vanity how are you doing on this extremely stormy British evening?
 

V. Um I’m alright... You know, the weather’s not exactly like L.A is it?

C. Ooh L.A! Very nice. What have you been getting up to over there?

V. Just hanging around with a bunch of gay guys all the time! It's great.

C. Teaching the gays how to conceal!

V. They teach me!

C. So why the name Vanity Venom?

V. There’s a lot of levels to my personality, I give off this gothic approach to normal people, I get stereotyped quite often but I’m not like that. I’m into everything and I wanted to represent that with Vanity defining my beauty/artistic side and Venom representing the dark and grungy side.

C. How does it feel to be the winner of the NYX Cosmetics UK Face Awards?

V. Oh my god it feels amazing! Especially because it’s the first ever one in the UK so now in the future they’ll always compare to the first winner so it feels great to have been the one to set the bar for the competitions future.

C. Tell us about the experience, did you think you’d be able to make it all the way?

V. With the contest I was so surprised to be honest as it was all video challenges and make-up tutorials and I had never ever owned a camera! So I didn’t expect to go down well as some of the other girls they had these big followings on Instagram and Youtube and then there was me who’d never owned a proper camera and ends up winning it, I didn’t expect it!

C. That’s quite fabulous because we’re within this generation of Youtube, Twitter and all kinds of platforms of social media where these internationally known bloggers have their huge productions that take place within their videos it’s incredible that NYX Cosmetics saw through all that and were focusing completely on the make-up, it’s wonderful!

V. It just shows if you work hard enough you can achieve whatever you set out to do, I really wanted this from the start I mean when there’s £10,000 on the line you don’t just slap on a smokey eye! Now I can afford the camera!

C. Now being a UK representative for NYX Cosmetics; make up artistry has taken over social media in the past 3-4 years, do you think social media is the reason why so many are pursuing make-up these days?

V. I have a strong art background which I decided to take advantage of in make-up and there are a lot of people that pursue make-up but aren’t that passionate or they just see the following, “the free make-up” or “ooh I can be famous” and to me it’s not about that at all. My work has my heart and soul within it, I love it so much and if it wasn’t for that my life wouldn’t have changed so much and I feel too many are following a trend. It’s more of a popularity contest with a lot of people.

C. They see it as a trend and not as a career.

V. Absolutely, it’s not how it works!

C. So who inspires you?

V. I take inspiration from everything but I get a lot of inspiration from drag, cabaret performance and theatre. I love Pat McGrath, she’s obviously a big influence being one of the biggest make-up artists in fashion right now, Ve Neil I love who created characters like Edward Scissorhands and has an amazing career in cinema working as a make-up artist. I tell who I do love, Baddie Winkle, I love her! Anyone who goes out there and just are themselves!

C. As a make-up artist with an edgy style does it feel restricting when all a person wants is a smokey-eye or the perfect red lip?

V. You know what’s really annoying to me? The red lip accompanied with a smokey eye has been done for decades it’s like, we’ve seen it all done before! Do you not want to do something fresh? If you wanna go out with green lipstick and pink eyebrows? Do it! I don’t think it’s make-up or the industry that is restrictive I think it’s people’s opinions and “whats trending” That’s whats restrictive.

C. We’ve seen you’ve been rubbing shoulders with a few Drag Race stars, is the secret dream to just paint queens for the rest of your career?

V. With drag make-up I’d be so intimidated to do their make-up but I’d love to give them a new light or a new look referencing a character or something but I just think no one can your make-up as good as you can if you’re a drag queen or make-up artist, it’s not that I don’t think I could do it but it’s their routine! And I’d hate it if they went “Oh no girl I don’t do it like that!”

C. So what’s the dream?

V. I’d love to do what Pat McGrath does like catwalk shows that give you a bit more freedom whether it be Jeremy Scott or Vivienne Westwood, I would’ve loved to have been able to work with Alexander McQueen when he was alive on his shows. So not just your average catwalk make-up. My favourite make-up to create has always been avante garde.

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C. Now you’ve also made an appearance on James St James’s popular WOW Presents show: Transformations. What was it like working with James?

V. I’ve just done my 2nd episode with him! The first time I was so nervous as someone like James to me is such a big inspiration and I never would’ve thought I’d even meet him never mind get the chance to be on his show. It was crazy, and I loved the episode when it came out but I can tell I was nervous and was holding back so when I went on this time I was a lot more comfortable as I feel he is my friend now, you know when you just click with somebody? Like that. He’s so much fun and the way he is on the show is exactly what he’s like, he’s just James and I loved working with him.

C. What’s next for Vanity Venom? Could we see you working with a cosmetics line or releasing a brush collection anytime soon?

V. I would love to do that! There’s a few things that I don’t think are on the market that i’d love to bring out as I sometimes am using 4 products together to achieve a certain look and I’d like to eliminate that so I’d definitely would love to bring a range of things and would have to be involved with every single step, I would never want to just slap my name on it like “here’s the Vanity Venom palette, bye!” No, I wouldn’t ever want my name to be on a product that I personally wouldn’t purchase or am not passionate about because I just think it’s wrong. I see a lot of make-up artists, especially YouTubers vloggers collaborate with brands and you can tell they slap their name on a product and couldn’t give a real toss about it.

C. Any final words?

V. I have been working on getting my YouTube presence out there so I hopefully will be releasing a lot of videos around Halloween as I intend to create at least 10 Halloween looks for the season so we’ll see!

C. We wish you the best of luck Vanity and thank you so much for talking to us!

V. THANK YOU! 

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