Val Garland reflects on the ss21 beauty trends

September 27, 2020

Considered one of the most influential make-up artists of our time, the iconic Val Garland has shaped and defined some of the most rebellious and iconic looks of our modern day, from the “lashes for days” runway creation, to the “Just snogged” lipstick trend that was praised by many beauty moguls during aw17. In the last 25 years she has collaborated with the greatest creatives; from world renowned musicians to boundary-pushing photographers. When Val is not creating trailblazing looks, she is involved in the product innovation and make up artistry at Loreal Paris, as the Global Make-up Director. 

Today we are talking to Val about what she envisions for the SS21 beauty trends and how she found inspiration in the process of creation. 
What can we expect for the ss21 beauty trends? 
This season I’m seeing a lot of contrasting trends across the beauty industry which is fun. We’ve seen more and more of that glowy “clean” skin, that gives off a very “natural” look, however hard to execute. Additionally, we are also seeing trends that are going very much in the opposite direction, with graphical elements and sharp edges incorporated across both eye and lip liners.”   

You have particularly created 3 of the coolest beauty looks in SS21 for L’Oréal Paris, could you tell us a bit more about these?
One of the first looks I envisioned was the “Graphic Tick”, going back to what I mentioned earlier, this trend plays on the graphical elements and strong edges. The key to perfecting this look is to incorporate a range of colours in the eye liner to achieve that striking visual effect. The rest of the face should be kept fresh and simple!   
The second look I’ve created which also plays on brining the eyes out, is the “Smoked Metalica”, “copper smokies” trend. Here it’s all about blending burnished bronze and copper tans shades in your eye shadow to achieve a monotone balance. I think what’s so great about this trend is that it works so well on any skin tone and fit all eye shapes as well.
Finally, we have “Clean Sheen”, “glamour nude face”, which is about achieving that clean, radiant and flawless skin. It might look effortless to execute but it really requires a very natural blend both with the blush and eye shadow. It’s when you manage to perfect these small details that the look really comes together and looks on point!” 

This year is of course very different from others with COVID-19 affecting us all, how has this impacted your work and how did you find inspiration with the SS21 trends?
We have certainly faced unique circumstances and challenges this year. So, it’s really forced me to take a different approach in the process of finding inspiration and creating. I’ve been sheltered in my studio in London for many of the looks I’ve envisioned, which has pushed me to rethink my way of working. I think as a creative person, regardless of what your role is in the industry you have to constantly be looking at anything and everything, everywhere at all times. 

With the restrictions & social distancing we’ve faced during COVID, social media and technology has come to become an even more important medium for the beauty industry. How do you use this in your work?   
Well, I think social media has had an impact on all our work. You do need a presence on social media, but the key is working out who you want to be and how you want to be seen, so for me I want to share content that inspires myself and others. When it comes to technology in the cosmetics industry, I’m really amazed by the movement we are seeing, with beauty brands such as L’Oréal Paris pushing the boundaries of make-up and its accessibility, with developments such as Virtual try-on makeup, where you can virtually try on different shades and products from home, it’s really exciting.

What’s it been like to be the Global Make up Director for L’Oréal Paris?
It’s been an amazing journey so far. I not only get to work on the creative aspect where I get to conceptualise my vision and ideas around Parisian beauty for campaigns and launches, but also the very product development itself. I get to work closely with the L’Oréal Labs to decide on things such as textures and pigments of the products. So, it’s really a role that has allowed me to be hands on involved through every step of the way. I also find it extremely rewarding to focus on creating make-up that allows women worldwide to express themselves and feel empowered. 

How do you think women’s empowerment is reflected in today’s make up trends? 
Through many of the looks I envision and create, I really want to portray the women as a whole, and not objectify a piece of the body. In today’s society, we are able to push make-up so much further, perfection is no longer “perfection”. I think todays make up has opened up a new level and medium for women to express themselves through, because there are no boundaries of what you can do, It’s up to you alone to be the person you want to portray and this fosters self-confidence.

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