Beauty lovers everywhere will be more than familiar with Val Garland and her work, but nonetheless, let us introduce you. Originally a hair colourist, it was Val’s interest in colour that steered her from hair and into make-up, in which she’s enjoyed unparalleled success. Global Make-Up Director for L’Oréal, a creative image maker, and one of the fashion industry’s leading make-up artists are just some of the roles on the British artist’s impressive résumé, and with the recent release of her book, we can now add ‘author’ to her list of achievements.
Cleverly named after her renowned Instagram hashtag, Validated! by Val and Karl Plewka shares highlights from her career and gives us an insight into the processes behind some of her most notable work in the industry, revealing them for the first time. Key recurring themes from Val’s work run throughout the book, from raw, to colour chaos, to tooled-up, and is the must-have tome for beauty obsessives. Grazia meets with Val to find out more…
What inspired you to create this book?
I always like to tell a story through my work. At some point I was thinking, ‘Why don’t I gather some of my favourite looks together, put them all in a book so my stories can hopefully reach a broader spectrum of audience?’
Do you have any stand-out favourite runway looks?
There are too many favourites, but if I have to name them, anything with Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh.
What’s your go-to product in your kit?
L’Oréal Paris Unlimited Mascara. The bendable spoolie brush makes it so easy to reach every lash at the corners. It curls, it lifts, it volumises and it’s in the blackest black. It’s basically everything you can wish for in a mascara.
And what’s your favourite product in your own make-up bag?
It has to be L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Foundation. It’s so lightweight that you don’t feel like you are wearing anything.
What’s your top beauty trick?
A confident smile. It always works.
What do you feel is the biggest misconception about beauty?
I guess the biggest misconception about beauty is that the more make-up you put on, the better.
Does the industry need to do more to embrace diversity?
I think the industry has been working on this for quite a while already. Beauty brands are launching foundations
that embrace every skin tone, developing packaging that is unisex and having both men and women appearing on major campaigns. I think it’s now down to the audience, the mass market, to accept these ideas. But we also understand that it does take time for people to embrace a different perception, even if it’s not new.
What advice would you give aspiring make-up artists?
Put yourself out there. Vamp up your social media presence. Stay true to yourself and be the best that you can ever be.
How do you stay inspired?
Arts, music, nature, men and women from all walks of life inspire me. The key is to stay hungry.
Validated! by Val Garland and Karl Plewka (Laurence King) is out now and available here.
Photos: Laurence King Publishing and Instagram @thevalgarland