When I started my blog, “art” was one of the topics that I knew I wanted to cover. Trust me, I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I have really grown to love and appreciate all art forms. Writing is art, dance is art, makeup is art, photography is art – I’m constantly surrounded by art, as we all are. I mean you guys have seen Ryan Gosling…creating him must have been freaking art, right? Sorry, I just had to lighten up the tone a little there.
Several months ago, I was binge-scrolling through artists’ Instagram accounts and came across Wendy Buiter. I was INSTANTLY drawn to her work. Wendy concentrates in fashion portraits, and they are truly masterpieces. In her pieces, she puts a lot of focus into exaggerating the eyes which I love so much. And a little side note: she just got nominated to be part of the Viva400 list! Viva is a popular magazine in The Netherlands, and the Viva400 recognizes 400 amazing women from the country who are really making moves in the world! So excited for her. I’ll leave the link at the bottom for you guys to go vote for her!
So, I was dying to talk with Wendy and get the inside scoop on how she got started. Aside from the awesome interview with her below, she also painted ME. Definitely the top 5 coolest experiences ever.
Here is my interview with the gorgeous, Wendy Buiter!
RR: From what I understand you were introduced to cosmetics and beauty at a young age. Was this something your mom or a family member had a large interest in? How did your love for art begin?
WB: Yes, I was interested in cosmetics/make-up from a young age. I think I was around 7 years old when my mom caught me playing with her makeup and taking everything out of her cosmetic case. I used the concealer stick all over my face! She said, “you’re doing it wrong, let me show you how…” And then she gave me a make make-over! Occassionally, she would line my eye with kohl liner in the evening, before I had to go to bed, of course. Then I would take it off again. And when I was around 12 or 13, I started to buy my own make-up. You could find me in the cosmetics shops a lot! Also, from a young age I loved to draw and paint. In school other kids would ask me to draw their assignments and pretend it was theirs. So I knew I had some talent 🙂 I was always drawing and painting, just for fun as a hobby. But since about 2 years ago, I officially started painting and drawing professionally every single day!
RR: The love you developed for beauty ultimately led you to start up your own company, BEAUTYPARTNER. What was one of the most memorable or meaningful collaborations you worked on during your time with the company?
WB: In my early 20s when working as a flight attendant, I wanted to get educated on beauty and cosmetics. First I took a course studying nails, then make-up, and eventually a hairstyling course. As a flight attendant I could be traveling for a week and the next week I would have some days off. So in my off days, I started to work on my own company. First It was a nail studio, but I didn’t think that was very lucrative. Then I took the company to a higher lever and made it a cosmetic staffing agency and academy specializing in personnel such as make-up artists, beauty consultants and promotional staff. My most memorable collaboration was with L’OREAL, because that was a great step moving forward. It’s such a well-known brand, so several other companies and cosmetic brands wanted to collaborate with us.
RR: What is some advice you have to offer to a young person working on starting their own company?
WB: Oh I could tell them a lot. You know, starting your own company takes a lot of effort and consistency, so I could give a lot of advice on many factors. But I think the main key is to have a focus. Focus on what you want and just go for it every day! No matter what, just keep going. If it feels good, if this is what you want, you’ll grow into it and eventually you will become the successful business owner that you dream to be.
RR: After several years, you left BEAUTYPARTNER to study art and develop your craft in The Netherlands, correct? Which artists were some of your biggest inspirations while studying?
WB: Yes, that’s correct, after 10 years I exited the company and started with classes at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It was a one-year orientation course. I also took some other (fashion/illustration) courses and drawing classes at different ateliers. Matisse and Kees van Dongen are my biggest inspirations. I love their work!
RR: The personality in your art stems from the development and exaggeration you put into the eyes and lips. At what age did you start making this your focus in your artwork and why? I think it’s uniquely beautiful, by the way 🙂
WB: I think being an artist is an ongoing process of developing your skill for aesthetics and the feelings/emotions you express. The focus on the eyes and the lips just grew into my work. It somehow became a natural part of my portraits. I’ve been creating this type of portrait for the last 3 years now. They just grew with me. Every day when creating new work, it keeps becoming more natural for me to draw the lines of the new works, I really don’t even think any more about what I’m doing. It just comes out of my mind naturally and my hands move with the paintbrush on the canvas. I just can’t help it!
RR: Which piece(s) of artwork that you’ve created are you the most proud of?
RR: I also LOVE beauty and cosmetics, and I love knowing what other people use. Tell me some of your favorite skincare and makeup products you use all the time!
WB: Well lately I’m totally into the bio, ethical, vegan cosmetics. So I use raw coconut oil for my skin (all over my body) and I use a variety of vegan/eco cosmetics for my face and hair. I’ve been buying all sorts of cosmetics that are eco-friendly too like shampoo, conditioner, styling gel, and wax etc. And lately also vegan foundation and powder from the brand Neobio – I think it’s from Germany!
RR: Do you have any skincare secrets that you live by?
WB: I eat clean (and vegan) and I don’t smoke. That keeps my skin healthy. I also avoid sunlight (especially in the face) and every 8 weeks I go to a salon for a microdermabrasion treatment. It keeps the skin glowing!
RR: And lastly I have to know – fragrance plays a huge role in the development of my style. As a beauty lover and artist, do you have a signature perfume/scent?
WB: Yes, but it’s probably very ordinary – Chanel No. 5! I love more perfumes than just this one, but this one is my all-time favorite. I have a bottle of the parfum (the extract) and it’s so special!
I am SO glad I got the opportunity to interview Wendy. She has had such a successful career so far and I can’t wait to see where she goes next! Go check her site out here for more AND vote for her on the Viva400 list here!
Photography by Allison Love and also courtesy of Wendy Buiter.