A chat with makeup artist Nami Yoshida

London-based Japanese makeup artist Nami Yoshida looks at beauty in a way that sets her apart from her peers. Her work has a gentle touch, one that graciously allows you to appreciate something rather harsh in an unexpectedly subtle and honestly, quite emotional way. We think Nami approaches her craft in an novel, unconventional way and she is a source of endless inspiration.

Read on below as fellow makeup artist Yuui Vision asks her a few questions about her craft.

PHOTOGRAPHY Yusaku Aoki @yusakuaoki
INTERVIEW Yuui Vision @yuuivision

What is the one word which describes you as a child? 


What was your first dream occupation as a child?

It was not a real dream as a child but I would write on the Q & A spot “what do you want to be in the future?” then I answered “something to make”. Then after I thought I want to be hairdresser because my mother used to cut my hair and she was good.

When did you get into makeup?

At high school, I liked to wear make up and change my appearance.

How did you start your career as a makeup artist?

I went to make up school in Japan after I quit university and studied make up for two years. After graduation, I moved to the UK and started assisting Ayami Nishimura. On set I met Letty Shmiterlow. I remembered my first magazine shoot in the Uk was with her and Alice, Danny, their friends. that’s the start of my make up career in the UK. Since that, from job to job, I was able to meet up with great inspirational people on jobs and I learned a lot from them.

Which part of makeup magic are you obsessed with the most?

When negative or small part in the basic values turns to be visual-able and valuable. I like dirt, raw, emotions, thoughts, space, layers, uncertain, anything stamped on human being. Make up can be big part of the person’s layer. those are hidden as trace in make up and face, both consciously and unconsciously. I’m into those space of make up and face.

“I like dirt, raw, emotions, thoughts, space, layers, uncertain, anything stamped on human being.”

What is your favorite on-set food?

Delicious lunch

Name some  items in your kit that you cannot work peacefully without? 

A toner and makeup pencils

Do you have any rituals on-set? If so, would you mind sharing it?

Touching face. After touching the face and looking into the face, I’m able to concentrate.

Where and/or what do you get your makeup inspirations from ?

I like to watch people and their face since my childhood. and also I like to look at face and make up in the photography. So I guess my inspiration comes from human self. I have this habit of seeing things abstract, more like seeing the space of sharing around things rather than seeing the details of the surface. Also I think inspirations comes from my experience of childhood. I had curiosity in the hole, and people pray. it might sounds random but I grew up in temple so this is probably one of big influence to me unconsciously.

“Touching face. After touching the face and looking into the face, I’m able to concentrate.”

So.. this one is a bit personal! My back is so painful from work all the time!! Do you have the pain as well? Do you have any advice on how to prevent hurting the back while doing makeup? or do you have any advice on how to heal it fast???

When my back was very painful, I started yoga and I got a bit of core. I couldn’t continue doing it but my back problem was solved.

Would you mind sharing your career goals in the near future? 

I’m not good at having a career goal though currently I live in Japan and started an individual publishing book label. So, hopefully publishing a makeup book in the near future. but it might change and I kind like to be flow…