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Making more from less: how one makeup artist turned old lipsticks into works of art

lipstick artwork creativity during coronavirus

"It's the silver lining from being in isolation. It is giving me the time and space to focus, create and explore." Makeup artist, Teneille Sorgiovanni turned expired lipsticks into works of art and in turn found an outlet for her endless creativity. 

There is power in slowing down. Dare we say that boredom is useful, no necessary, for creativity. That isolation is certainly not a time to keep busy. But that perhaps idle hands and wondering minds are the perfect start to get back in touch with our creative selves. On her inspiration, creative process and trials and errors. 

lipstick art

Where did you get the inspiration to start making art with lipstick?

The idea started a few years back, I couldn't part with throwing out lipsticks that were passed their use-by date and no longer safe to apply on models. As a makeup artist and dabbling a little in painting and drawing, I looked at this as an alternate medium. The colours, different textures and the luxury of them. I felt that there was something further to explore. 

Lipstick and thread plays on layers of colour, shape and form in an abstract expression on linen. It's been meditative in a way and given the current circumstance, it's the silver lining from being in isolation. It is giving me the time and space to focus, create and explore. 
lipstick art

What materials do you use in your art?

I manipulate and condition linen to create a canvas. Once they are primed, I then move to the lipsticks which are applied with different sized palette knives to best achieve my desired result. However, sometimes the lipstick takes its own path; bleeding into the linen and shifting shape (similar to the way in which it can bleed into the edges of lips). A malleable product that requires patience and cooperation, resulting in the perfect imperfections both intentional and unexpected.
lipstick art

Have you found a particular lipstick works best? 

I have fond memories of diving into my Mum's Chanel and Dior lipsticks as a child, so naturally when I first started I was drawn to velvety reds and satin neutrals. I tend to work with matte to semi-matte textures as I find that anything too high gloss doesn't give me the depth and longevity it needs. 

The designs I've created don't set, it's essentially a living artwork as the nature of lipsticks in general don't completely dry whilst they are oil based. This has been rewarding in maintaining the integrity of the natural form of the product.
lipstick art

Do you look to any artists/ artworks for inspiration when you're making your artworks?

Yes, absolutely! I love abstract expressionism. Artist's like Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly and Joan Mitchell have all inspired me, to name a few. 

However, I find inspiration in many different forms and often look to my makeup kit for colour scheme concepts. It's exciting mixing colour and texture and reaching a point of consistency that I'm happy with and just go for it.  

lipstick art