“There are NO RULES to make up.
It’s make up – it should be fun.”
These are words to live by according to Chanel make-up artist, Anna Payne. Alongside the authenticity of an everyday woman, Payne also holds the magic of an artist. She delivers an enticing aesthetic that is about embracing rather than altering. “The core to my aesthetic is enhancing. It is about looking at a face and thinking how can I celebrate that face and make that person feel better about what they already have versus what can I change.”
Words by Sandy Aziz. Portrait by Tobias Delcroix.
Akira Reid at The Hive Management. Beauty story shot by Tobias Delcroix.
Makeup by Anna Payne at Agency of Substance using
CHANEL Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream and No.1 de CHANEL Revitalizing Foundation.
Hair by Federico Ghezzi at One Represents using Sam McKnight.
Manicure by Kim Treacy at Stella Creatives using
CHANEL Le Vernis in 506 - Camélia and 953 - Essential and CHANEL La Crème Main.
Casting by Edwin S Freyer. Retouching, Laura Cammarata at TST Retouching.
Makeup Assistant, Elisenda Amorós. Production Assistants, Connie Man and Boram Lee.
In a society where we constantly shift ideas on what is beautiful and desirable, it feels like the world is starting to let people be exactly who they are. But in the same way, Payne highlights, there is still a lot of pressure to look a certain way. “Everyone wants to be filter-ready or HD,” Payne explains, “we are constantly bombarded with our image, which means what the consumer wants for make-up has also changed as well.”
But back to beauty basics first, Payne grew up in a small Yorkshire village, “in the middle of nowhere.” She moved to London right after university and has been there ever since. Growing up, Payne fell in love with fashion and beauty by way of a Vogue subscription gifted to her by her grandmother when she was 10 years old. “Everything seemed so magical and a world away from where I was living. That was really informative and sort of gave me the love for the magic of fashion and being able to create different looks.” Beyond the glamorous pages of Vogue, watching her mum do her daily make-up also informed Payne’s idea of beauty. “It was a ritual,” laughs Payne. “She never used foundation, and she knew what she liked and she did it. She was always enhancing her eyes and wearing lipstick. I think the way she saw beauty is still in my work today – she would enhance what was there rather than change anything.” Like mother, like daughter.
Anna's Favourite Products:
Top left corner: CHANEL Les Beiges Water-Fresh Ting - the water-fresh tint foundation is loaded with skincare, it is very light and just gives you a little bit of coverage. They just brought out concealer in the same formula which is great.
Top right corner: In the same formula as the foundation, CHANEL has done a blush (Les Beiges Water-Fresh Blush) that gives a healthy glow and I love that.
Bottom left corner: The CHANEL Baume Essentiel Multi-use Glow Stick Sculpting - this is probably the one product I could not live without in my kit. I use it on every makeup, I am a really big red lip fan - the bottom of my handbag is a collection of various lipsticks. Most people would think they are all the same, but they are different shades of red.
Bottom right corner: At the moment, I am really loving the CHANEL Rouge Allure Velvet in 57 - Rouge Feu.
Payne wasn’t always a make-up artist and frankly, she didn’t initially plan to be one. Though she loved drawing and painting while she was growing up, she spent seven years working in IT marketing (and hating it) after graduating from university. “When I was 29, I was made redundant and I was trying to decide what to do that was artistic and took me back to what I love,” Payne reminisces. “I was out with friends and they suggested I become a make-up artist. I went home to Google courses, and in two days I was on a make-up course.” Even still, if she wasn’t a make-up artist now, she would be an art director of some description due to her love for “moodboarding, finding old references, and pouring through old artbooks.” All of which help her creative process now when she feels stuck. “I love looking at art for inspiration and colour waves and then I try to figure out what the magic is in that. I try to copy that magic and make it my own somehow.” Regardless of whether she is involved in a shoot or campaign, her creative process remains the same, “To find the inspiration then try to capture that and work back from there.” When Payne reaches for an example, she gushes over her love for Yves Klein’s blue. “I am obsessed,” she laughs, “that colour sparks emotion – so I try to capture that and translate it into my own work.” It is all so fitting as her creative process mimics her career switch. First, she finds what sparked her emotion – make-up – and then captures it by taking classes before finally translating that magic into her work as she enhances her artistic abilities rather than changes herself as an individual. True signs of a make-up magician.
Unsurprisingly, the defining moment of Payne’s make-up career so far is joining Chanel. But how she managed to get there is truly admirable. “I love Kay Montano’s work – she has the most iconic images,” explains Payne, and so she reached out directly to Montano and ended up becoming her personal assistant while simultaneously learning from her. “She had a Chanel contract, and that cemented in my mind what I wanted. When I signed with Chanel, that was my I-made-it-moment.”
Payne’s top make-up advice is to break down what you are trying to achieve. On the discussion of the difficulty of eyeliner – an all too relatable make-up blunder many people face, Payne thinks people “overthink it…You want to create a lash line slightly thicker – and then enhance the eye and pull it upwards… when you think in that way, you can actually just go along the lash line because you are enhancing the lash line.” Voilà! On set, Payne reminds us that it isn’t always as simple as following lash lines, but there is also still beauty in the unexpected. “Sometimes the make-up artist isn’t briefed in the same way a stylist might have been,” explains Payne. “You do something that has been suggested that you wouldn’t normally do and it turns out magical – that unexpected collaboration leads to the best work.” Payne acknowledges that, “you can come with a fixed idea to set but it will always grow and evolve.” and that is what she loves. “Some of my favourite shoots have been test shoots because there is no pressure.”
You can find the full piece in the Fall Winter 2022 Issue 9: Purchase your copy here.