Julia Edwards is a London-based makeup artist. Julia has been responsible for the beauty looks of Stormzy, Michaela Coel and Megan Barton-Hanson.
What shaped your appreciation for makeup?
Perhaps it is a cliché, but I grew up with a glamorous mother. I love looking at old photos of her and seeing her unwavering commitment to glamour. She wears a smokey eye every day, even if she’s just going to put the bins out!
I have always been fascinated by watching my mum apply her makeup. Although she’s definitely had some unusual application methods! She used to absolutely cake on her mascara and then meticulously separate her lashes using a safety pin—obviously don’t try this at home!
What is your go-to cure for creative block?
If I’m feeling uninspired, I stay off social media as much as I can.
Comparison, when you’re already in a somewhat self-doubting or negative head space, only serves to make you feel worse.
I usually try to just ride out a creative dry spell. I find that if I focus on spending time with family and friends and doing things that make me happy, my creativity returns naturally by itself.
How do you want your work to be remembered?
That’s something I am still figuring out for myself at the moment.
I feel like I am in quite a transitional phase of my career. I have a lot of plans and goals that I am keen to realise.
Since the pandemic, I have been more focused on stability and have naturally gravitated towards doing a lot of commercial work rather than overly creative and expressive projects. My work recently has been more commercial/clean or glam rather than experimental and editorial. I enjoy creating the latter and I’m itching to get back to it.
Whilst I love creating natural/no makeup-makeup looks, usually more is more for me. I’m in my element when creating a dramatic look.
Whatever style of makeup I’m doing, whether it’s a classic smudgy and sultry liner, a really juicy glossy lip or a more conceptual artistic look, I want whoever is wearing the makeup to feel powerful and sexy—whatever that means to them.
We asked Julia to share her 'bucket list concept'—the creative vision that she hopes to one day bring to life...
Growing up I was obsessed with two things: faces and cats. I’d love to do a beauty shoot that combines the two.
I'd create an ongoing beauty series where models pose next to a cat with visual similarities. For example, a ginger cat with a redhead model, a cat with heterochromia and a model with heterochromia, a sphynx cat and a model with a shaved head and so on.
I want models from all different ethnic backgrounds—the more diverse the range of human and cat faces featured, the more interesting the shoot will be. The odd celebrity featured in the series would also be fun! The model Sydney Harper is absolutely gorgeous and would be a fun way to kick off the series, I could see her posing with a Siamese cat.
I envision really luxe but simple and effective styling. Big chandelier diamond earrings, or a statement jewel necklace against a plain backdrop.
I absolutely love Desiree Mattson’s work, the way she captures a mood and the overall feeling of opulence in her photography would be perfect for this concept.
The main technicality to overcome would be getting the cats to sit still and pose without being spooked by the camera!