Winter Knits

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The time has come to snuggle up on the couch and keep warm in some good old knitwear. Rather than an ugly ironical Christmas sweater, I'll be wearing an extravagant, fuzzy, multi-colour knit. I still have to find the perfect sweater but I know it's out there somewhere. In the meantime, I'll be drooling over these!

 photo xo charlotte_zpshcxeqqdk.jpg

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A talk with Crystal Die, Make-Up Artist and Color Lover

As true color lovers, Crystal Die, a 23-year-old make-up artist and I just had to meet up. Her Instagram pictures are for sure some of the most inspiring and refreshing on my feed. I was curious to find out more about the girl behind the colorful flatlays and creative make-up styling. We got together in Gent for a talk about our mutual love for colors and fashion and we seriously could have gone on for hours!

Crystal Die has been living the freelance make-up artist life for over four years now. Her business has grown really fast, mainly due to her consistent style and excellent use of personal branding means, with Instagram being the most important one.

When did you decide to work as a make-up artist?
After I finished the final year of high school, I knew I wanted to do something creative but I didn't know what exactly. I had been studying fashion design and loved the drawing process but I didn't like making the clothes. I bumped into a make-up course on the internet and thought “okay, I'm gonna try that”. Then I started doing test shoots and quickly got to know people from the industry.

At the time, I had my own jewelry brand and that's why I already knew some people, so it was far easier to get into the scene. Soon I got to the point where I had to choose between the jewelry and the make-up. It got too complicated managing both so I chose make-up and I haven't regretted it for a moment!

What does your life as a make-up artist look like? 
I love my job because it so flexible. I also do hair styling, but make-up is more fun because of the colors. I feel like I want to engage myself in something else that's beauty-related, maybe even work as a beauty expert at a magazine. I feel the need to take-up new activities because I easily get bored! I've always had that.

I'm happy to be living on the country side. I really need to recharge otherwise I would go crazy. The fashion world is fatiguing. It's great but it asks a lot of energy and it is definitely not as glamorous as people think. Actually the nicest thing about the job is also the hardest: the fact that there is so much variety. The same goes for stylists and photographers. One day I work from 9 to 14h, the other day from 8 to 22h. It's fatiguing, but fun. I can keep up with it because it's fun. I think you have to know your boundaries when you work in fashion, otherwise you go overboard.

What is your personal style like? 
I love to wear glitter and gold, and I'm crazy about prints! I love statement pieces and I believe that prints make the best statements. Sometimes I wear clothes that don't fit together but I don't care and feel good in it. I do regret the lack of color on the streets, it's such a pity that so little people dare to wear colors or prints in Belgium. A lot of young girls seem to have the same style, simple, normcore-ish. They're all wearing the white Adidas sneakers. I find it funny that when I wear something colorful or extravagant, everyone turns their heads in Belgium and somewhere else they don't.

What is your favorite color? 
That's a tough one. I can't choose, because I'm dealing with a lot of colors all of the time! At the moment, I think I would go for pink. It changes all of the time. I'm having a pink period right now. You can really see it coming back in my flatlays.

What are some of your favorite beauty products? 
I don't wear a lot of make-up myself. At home I never put on make-up. When I go out, I fix my eyebrows and always put on bold lipstick and a bit of foundation, that's it. I like to express myself more through my clothes than through make-up. It's a common thing for make-up artists. You're busy with it all day so you don't find the time nor energy to make your face look flawless. For work I use a lot of Dior, MAC and Bobbi Brown, but also cheaper brands like Kiko and Flormar. It doesn't have to be expensive in order to be good!

Where do you find inspiration? 
Everywhere! On Instagram, in art, museums,... But it's hard to find good, original ideas. You will not get a good idea from googling “colorful make-up”. It's not easy to find truly original ideas and come up with things that have never been done before. I take pictures of literally everything that I see, that certainly helps!

Why is Instagram so important to you? 
Nowadays online visibility and branding is super important. Many brands have contacted me through Instagram. It's so much easier to be top of mind through social media. A consistent feed with your work, ideas and style certainly helps to get noticed. I try to post at least once a day, although it's not a simple task. Sometimes you just don't feel like posting, you have to be in the mood for it.

It's true that I put a lot of time and energy in my Instagram feed. It's a branding tool and a way to express myself. As I said, I am starting to feel that solely being a make-up artist isn't enough for me, there's something that I want to do but I haven't discovered what yet. Instagram is a great way to find out what that could be. Maybe a beauty blog or a whole new beauty concept... I'm still finding out what my next step is going to be.

Your flatlays are always on point. Do you have any tips for creating the perfect flatlay?
- Natural light is everything. I mostly take pictures around 10 o'clock, it's an ideal moment because of the light.
- The picture quality of your phone should be on point. You can take pictures with a professional camera for even better results.
- Look at the composition of your flatlays, try to create a story that is just right. Don't overdo with items on your flatlays.
- For the most original ideas, try to be inspired by things in your surroundings instead of looking at other flatlays.

What is your advice for starting make-up artists?
It's important to realize that the job is not as glamorous as it seems. The long hours, endless waiting and re-doing make-up, ... You have to be up for all of that. If you want to have a glamorous job, do something else. Still interested? Then start with doing free test shoots, working with other creatives and building your portfolio. Find your style and stick to it, in order to be unique and recognizable.

After a while, you get 'in', people will start knowing your name. But in order to achieve that, you have to network your ass off and have a lot of patience! It's also important to be creative in other fields. Don't only look at fashion, but paint, do other stuff... You can get a lot of inspiration from things other than fashion.

Thanks for this super inspiring talk Crystal! ♡

This story sure isn't over yet, because we're planning on creating an awesome style story together (with me as the stylist), so be sure to keep your eyes open! ;) Photographers/models who are interested, be free to send me an e-mail!

Follow Crystal Die on Instagram here!

 photo xo charlotte_zpshcxeqqdk.jpg

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