Makeup artist Giselle Ali never ceases to impress us with her bold and color-forward looks. A quick glance at her latest Instagram posts will lead you down a rabbit-hole of her creative art. It’s the kind of remarkable work that makes you wonder how anyone could create such treasures with hair and makeup.
In a recent post, the Jamaican-born UK-based artist gave us another reason to want to play with our blue color palettes. Ali translates her love for blue into a double-tap worthy matching hair and eyes look. “I’ve been obsessed with blue; the sea and the sky. It’s my favorite color and I love how it looks on Black skin,” she told ESSENCE. The dramatically breathtaking work draws your eye and just holds it there. I stared at the photo for minutes before realizing I hadn’t let any breath in or out. I was that captivated.
In the post, Ali talks about an experience she had where another, White and famous, makeup artist had mimicked her work. As someone who keeps the influence of other artists out while she creates, it was a disheartening experience.
“I try not to follow many other artists. I like to keep my work fresh,” she said. “My mother ordered Jet magazines in the ’80s and we still have a huge collection. My favorite ones are from the ’70s. I love the eye makeup, the liner especially.”
She also gets some of her inspiration from the motherland. “I also love watching documentaries of African women painting their faces. I particularly love watching the wives of Fela Kuti. They were so masterful with color and form.”
At the end of the day, most artists are sensitive about their work. Their creations are pieces of them that collectively come from their thoughts, their experiences, their joy, their pain, their successes, and their failures. So it’s disappointing when those creations are “reimagined” by another creative with no credit. It’s something that many Black artists have been struggling with for decades.
Fortunately for Ali, she is an endless well of innovation. This blue eye with matching hair is so flawless and creative that it’s understandable why many would want to mimic it. Just be sure to give credit where credit is due.
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