Elaine Lynskey Wants You to Wake Up!

As part of her VERO takeover, The North London make-up artist tells us about her latest shoot using bright colours to inspire hope and change.

The future of beauty is an unfinished book but, with rising talent like Elaine Lynskey changing the game, it’s looking extremely bright. Elaine doesn’t just create fire beauty looks, she challenges the industry with her unique style. Pushing boundaries in the pages of magazines like Dazed, Vogue Italia and The Fader, her magic hands have also met the faces of Lily Allen, Daniel Caesar, Anne-Marie and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.


It goes without saying that Elaine is set for very big things but it’s her most recent collaboration with VERO, created for her HUNGER takeover, that has us talking. Invigorating and attention-grabbing, her exclusive beauty story is filled with positivity after a painfully heavy 2020. Bursting with bright colours, this is Elaine’s way of telling the world to “wake up!”. Over on the VERO app, Elaine has also shared some her favourite London hot spots, top tracks for getting in the MUA mood and insight into her creative process.


Below, Elaine tells us about her desert island makeup item, rubbing shoulders with Britpop legends and her undying love for classic garage.


Tell us about your recent collaborative beauty story with HUNGER and VERO? What was the inspiration behind the concept?

The concept “Wake up!” is an abstract reflection on 2020 so far. The world has experienced so much turbulence this year and we have been forced to learn about ourselves as well as global, political, social and racial issues. So we need to wake up! I wanted to use bright colours to convey hope and positivity for the future.


Where do you tend to find your sources of inspiration? 

Everywhere! I try to draw inspiration from different sources that capture my attention: be it colours in paintings, different eras of makeup, shapes, road markings, nature, tones and textures. Tones and textures, particularly, can add a depth of feeling to makeup, not just colour. I was living in North London during lockdown, near some beautiful parks, which inspired me to paint again. I taught art classes for my nephew over Zoom, and he’s inspired me to start drawing again. I’ve also assisted some legendary makeup artists like Pat McGrath, Lucia Pica and Thomas De Kluyver over the years and that inspiration carries through with me.

How would you define beauty in 2020?

Beauty in 2020 is bold, experimental and viral. It sees new trends arising from a cult Netflix series, as well as modern versions of different eras of makeup.


What does the future of beauty look like?

I hope that beauty in the future is diverse and that difference is celebrated. Learning to love the skin you’re in is a struggle so many people go through. I would like to see an end to apps that modify faces or body shapes for an “ideal” look. I’m also really hoping to see powerhouse beauty brands extend their product lines to represent the diverse world we live in.


If you were sent to a desert island and you could only bring one item from your makeup kit, what would you bring?

Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate compact! Multi-purpose and it has a mirror. Win-win!

What album or track gets you in the MUA mood?

Ah, it all depends on the mood! I love a Classic Garage tune to get me in a creative flow.  David Bowie’s “Heroes” can get me in a concentration zone. I also really love Arlo Parks’ “Black Dog”, Anaïs’ “Nina” and Griff’s “Say it Again” for a chilled one.


What are your favourite books and films to relax with?

I love inspiring real-life stories, anything that has an element of hardship or growth that I can learn from. The last book I grabbed at the airport was The Fear Bubble by Ant Middleton which was brilliant, I took a lot from his story. The ‘80s era is my “go-to” for films, like Mannequin. That storyline is mental! Who came up with it?! It’s a great film though and obviously ‘80s styling, hair and makeup is up there!


As a London girl, what are some of your favourite city hangouts that you missed over lockdown?

I’ve really missed Campania & Jones off Columbia Road, swimming at the lido, food markets and meeting up in pubs! There were some great exhibitions at the V&A and Design Museum that I was excited to check out after lockdown. I’ve missed popping to my favourite makeup shop in Camden, TILT. They give so much time to their customers. Giving them a big shout out!

What’s the biggest achievement of your career so far?

I’m proud of the magazine covers and album artwork I’ve worked on like Years & Years’ Palo Santo and Clean Bandit’s What is Love?. Seeing my work advertised on billboards in my hometown was a moment because music has played a huge part in my upbringing. My parents owned a pub and music venue, The Bull & Gate in Kentish Town, where Britpop bands started off. Many were signed by records labels on those nights.


What has been your favourite look to date?

I’ve had so many! But one that I will never forget has to be the entire process of making up Olly Alexander head-to-toe in glitter for a festival headline slot. I could go to town on that! I also really loved the punk looks we created for Matty and Adam from The 1975 for the “Give Yourself a Try” music video.


What have you got planned for the rest of 2020?

2020 is still up in the air but I’m looking forward to getting back to work with Clean Bandit on their third album, working with some cool new artists including Rex Orange County and hopefully some exciting editorial!


VERO is an authentic social network — no ads, no algorithms, just great content. Go to to sign up and follow @hungermagazine for more exclusive content and to catch Elaine’s beauty takeover, which runs until  4 September .

31 August 2020