Cindy Suryadji: A Different Take on Beauty

I’ve always enjoyed seeing makeup artists express themselves through their work. It’s such interesting thing to see how their creativity translates into makeup, especially if the artist is kind enough to share the stories behind the makeup looks they’ve created.

About a month ago, I attended a short movie screening and photo exhibition entitled ‘Saigner a Blanc’ at Four Seasons Hotel by Cindy Suryadji. The FX Poetic Video art was directed by Iqbal Rais, produced by Cindy herself while the exhibition is a collaboration with photographer Ardyan Winanshah Pulungan.

Cindy Suryadji was educated in Institut Technique du Maquillage, Forum Makeup, Ecole Internationale de Coiffure in Paris, France where she studied all aspects of the art of makeup ranging from Beauty, Fashion, Theater, Corrective, Re-Looking, Special Effects, Face and Body Painting. Cindy is facinated with the transformations of all things human.

Being between Paris and Indonesia, lists of experiences includes Paris fashion shows, weddings, french télés and movies, Japanese fashion shoots, and magazine editorials. Cindy has also been a part of the makeup artist team to launch the premier line of Calvin Klein Beauty in France and gotten the privilege working as a chef maquilleuse and casting director for one of the shows in the 2010 Spring/Summer Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week.

As I watched the video and looked closer at the photo exhibitions, I realized that Cindy Suryadji has a rather unique take on makeup, compared to other Indonesian makeup artists. If we are accustomed to see glamorous and classically beautiful makeup, Cindy’s work is darker, more sinister and made you question about what it is that defines “beauty”.

Intrigued, I decided to have a little chat with this trilingual artist. And not only she took the time to enjoy the concept behind the exhibition, but she also shared some valuable tips for us on how to “fake” good skin.  Enjoy!

What made you choose to start a career in makeup? How did you get started?

Actually it was a huge struggle, because my parents didn’t agree with me choosing this path at all. It started out as an obssesion in university,  it’s actually a funny story, i started having adult acne you can say..i know, people usually have them in puberty, so out of panic, I started franticaly looking for products to diminish them and products to cover them, so from there I found the passion for all these beauty products and makeup from many different brands!

Until finally I couldn’t take it anymore so I left my career as an art dealer in Paris, to study makeup formally for 2 years. It was a challenge, because due to this choice i made, I was cut off completely from all my priviledges from my father and had to move to a tiny apartment and sold some of my belongings (bags, etc) to pay for school.

What would you say your makeup style is?

Hmm.. since I’m a fashion junkie myself, I think I love experimenting with all different types of makeup. But I think I’m more of an edgy couture type of makeup artist. I like the European style of makeup, where simplicity is beautiful. I have a personal quote close to heart, “Less makeup doesn’t mean less beautiful”

I love it when girls can showcase some parts of their beautiful features, even models are never perfect looking I think. Like for me, for example,  I feel like my nose is not so pretty, and I also have some blemishes so I concentrate on correcting my skin, and keep the focus of my makeup on my eyes. Just by doing that we can already start in the morning and go about my day and feel confident! And I can’t stress enough this: your more quirky and awkward feature is usually what makes you beautiful and different!

But I’d have to say I’m also a couture theatrical makeup artist, examples could be easily portrayed in styles such as Pat McGrath’s (every year’s) Dior and Galliano’s couture shows. Not to say that I have the same exact style but maybe more or less in the same category.

Your photo exhibition showcased a different side of makeup, not the pretty, glamorous makeup that most Indonesians are accustomed of, but “darker”. Do tell us the story behind the concept.

Maybe I’m also a dark person inside hahaha There is a tiny message too there, that blood doesnt mean scary, masky pasty makeup doesn’t mean ‘lenong’, and face transformation doesn’t mean monster. But I did choose the red line for all the photos : Blood.

Not to say I’m morbid and I like blood, but in this case I have a new found fascination with the makeup, how many different types of fake blood out there, and how many things you can do with it.

With the first two makeup, I used face painting on Marsha’s face, and I’m here to introduce a a different side of face painting. The ones we’ve seen so far showed face painting to be very complicated, carnaval-y, or even for kids, like tigers, bees, butterflies and there are so many strokes. I wanted to show my style where face painting can also be simple but still artsy and beautiful.  Even if she cries blood, she doesn’t look like a ghost or look wounded right?

With Camelia Malik’s makeup, it’s just my own version of a modern geisha.. but I added glitter so that it looks a bit more couture, and just something different. Also I had fun transforming her into a totally different person, here is where “edgy couture” comes to play.

For the twins, of course it’s simply the special FX makeup particularly for films, action, horrors.

And for the ones with my parents, it’s definitely about theatrical makeup (human transformation), maybe more for stage performance. (Yes, the following photos are of Cindy’s own parents. Aren’t they cool? – Ed)

But how fun it is, to create different characters, with art of makeup. I loveeee!

What do you think is woman’s ‘biggest sin’ in makeup? :D

Hmmm, I think trying to be something you’re not.

For example for myself, I do like those very European concept  for makeup but maybe it doesn’t look right on my face. It’ll look I’m trying to hard. I think a lot of people make the mistake of following certain trends, maybe having seen it in magazines or advertisements, which is alluring, but when you apply them on your face, it may or may not work.

So maybe we can use the concept we like but we need to adjust the makeup according to our own features, i.e: instead of bleaching your hair to be completely blonde, you can just add some blonde highlights. Or if we don’t have the right skin tone or features, avoid makeup like Lady Gaga.

But of course everything depends also on the purpose. If you’re in a band or a stage performer, sure, why not go for the extreme?

What are the 5 makeup products you can’t live without?

Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer (OBSSESED!!!)

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation

Ben Nye Makeup Concealer Palette

MAC Fluidline (Blacktrack)

Nars Blush in Deep Throat or Orgasm

Do you have a favorite tricks that you can share to our readers and one they can apply on their own?

Of course! Skin’s not always on their best performance because of a lot of factors (I love your article about Erha’s products to combat this problem) so when you dont have time to go to the doctors, or have a facial, the trick is : COVER IT UP!

I believe that good skin is the key to good makeup. You can have such beautiful eye makeup, or lipstick, but with bad skin, it cancels it out. But not to worry (I myself have horrible skin), you can FAKE IT.

  1. With HD Microperfection primer from Make Up Forever, this product sort of creates a smooth canvas and evens out your skin texture and imperfections. So it can give the illusion of having a smooth skin.
  2. Then top it of with the HD foundation
  3. Cover up little blemishes or marks with MAC Studio Sculpt concealer (use your fingers to take the product from the pot, then dab dab, softly onto the imperfections, dont push too hard, just let it naturally blend with your skin with the help of the warmth of you fingers)

Voila! Put a little blush, mascara and gloss, you’re ready to go. It could be as simple as this or this can be a base for a more dramatic night makeup for example.

What’s your signature style?

Hmmm , I’ve been told by a couple of my closest friends that I have this “elegant-edgy” style, for example I love my Hermes and Chanel accessories, but I’ll tone it down with simple makeup or none even, high pony tail, white t-shirt and dark jeans. I never follow trend, I stick to what I think is nice and suitable for me.

And I love my Louboutins too, but I won’t wear a dress with it, most likely I’ll pair it with skinny jeans itu, and a black tank top and lotssss of bangles and huge boy watch. But also depending on the occasion. I also love my gowns.

For makeup, my signature style is my thick thick Middle Eastern eyeliner. Some of my friends even created the nickname “Cindy smokey eyes” + flawless skin (I fake it of course), nude lips, and rosey dewy cheeks.

Lastly, what do you hope to achieve in your career?

Of course everyone dreams big. I would love to eventually venture out more into maybe producing (films, TVs) but most challenging is, I think that my style of makeup is still uncommon here, so I’m still trying to see how my style can contribute to Indonesia’s makeup industry.

It definitely would be a great achievement for me if I can somehow breakdown the tough barriers of this makeup world, and have my particular/specific style of makeup be accepted or even well appreciated :)

Thank you so much for chatting with us, Cindy and we have a feeling you can achieve those dreams of yours sooner than you think! ;)

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