Baxter blends line between art and makeup

For most people, painting brings to mind paintbrushes and a large canvas. However, painting takes on a different form for sophomore Maggie Baxter. This summer, Baxter began to experiment with painting on something other than a canvas: a face. 

“I had seen other people doing fun face makeup on Instagram. So it all started from looking at Instagram accounts and seeing people doing makeup, and I was like ‘oh, this is cool, I should try this,’” she said.

As someone who enjoys painting on a canvas and has done so for a year, Baxter is able to translate that painting background to a new form. Face makeup, or face painting, can range from simple and natural to extravagant and complex.

I was able to be creative at a young age which I think has really shaped me as an artist and creative person.”

— Maggie Baxter

“I’ve been drawing, painting, and making art since I could hold a pencil or paintbrush. I grew up in a family of artists and I have always been surrounded by art either made by my family or pieces that my parents had. My mom always made art supplies accessible to me and never told me what to do with them, so I was able to be creative at a young age which I think has really shaped me as an artist and creative person,” she said.

Baxter mainly uses her own face as her canvas but has experimented with using other people’s faces. She was able to utilize her skills in the fall play The Madwomen of Chaillot.

“I had so much fun doing makeup for the play and I got to do some fun looks with really dramatic eyelashes and doll-like features. Working on different faces is fun because everyone’s face is different and when you do things like contour you have to adapt to the face,” she said.

Her process starts out with inspiration. After that, she starts painting the look onto either her face or someone else’s, and it tends to change as she goes on.

Inspiration for my looks comes mostly from seeing the ways in which I can adapt art to my face.”

— Maggie Baxter

“Inspiration for my looks comes mostly from seeing the ways in which I can adapt art to my face like when I did my garden brow look, I looked at my eyebrows and thought that they looked bushy like grass and created the look around that idea. I also come up with looks based off of a theme like with the look with flowers that turned out to look kind of like a Monet painting, I wanted it to be like a blushy fairy. I often start a look with just a general idea of what I want to do and then it develops as I go like maybe I’ll add glitter or lashes or do my brows differently. I like the process of creating a look,” she said.

Face makeup, or face painting, is a very unique form of art. Artists are allowed to get creative with what they put on both canvas and faces, but being shown on a face brings its own uniqueness to the art. Baxter loves how unique makeup and face painting is and hopes to continue exploring it. 

Want to see more of her art? Follow her art account on Instagram @magsbaxt.

This story was originally published in the December 2019 issue of The Rubicon.