Meet Pablo Rodriguez

Fresh from his VERO takeover, the Illamasqua Head of Artistry gives us the lowdown on his favourite tracks, London hotspots and exclusive Dadaism-inspired beauty story.

Over the past fortnight, legendary makeup artist and Illamasqua Head of Artistry Pablo Rodriguez has been taking over our VERO account. Giving our followers a glimpse of his inspirations and the lowdown on the tracks that get his creative juices flowing, he also debuted an avant-garde, monochromatic beauty story.

To round off his takeover, we caught up with the beauty maestro to learn more about his illustrious career working for the likes of Vogue and Vivienne Westwood, how he gets in the MUA mood and what he has planned for 2021. 


What led you to become a makeup artist?

I was a fashion designer originally. After I got my degree, I designed high street clothes for a couple of years but I missed working directly with my hands. That trial-and-error feeling and the freedom of just wiping something off and starting again.


Where do you find inspiration?

Movies, definitely. From any period or country. I can watch the same movie infinite times and dissect all the details, as long as they are visually impactful. And the soundtrack is very important too, I can play the music and reconstruct the scenes in my head while I’m doing other stuff.


What was on your mood board for your VERO beauty story?

It was inspired by Dadaism, so it was very experimental, I even used typography as a makeup product. I created foundation and blusher with cut out letters from magazines from different dates, the newest one was from the week before the shoot and the oldest was from a newspaper published in the 1800’s. I wanted different textures and fonts for variety but I kept the whole story in a monochromatic palette of red, black and white to tie all the looks together.

Give us the lowdown on your favourite place in London?

Greenwich! There’s so much to see in such a small area. Forget the Cutty Sark, the Fan Museum is a treasure, the Painted Hall is unbelievable and my go-to tattoo parlour is there too.


What’s in your makeup bag?

There’s always a bunch make up prototypes, whatever I’m designing for Illamasqua at the moment, so I have them handy to test them on my friends every time I can, though now with COVID-19 I have to give them away and ask for feedback. I also always have a good SPF, so my tattoos don’t fade.


One beauty item you can’t live without?

For myself, hand cream. I hate having dry hands. And I’m obsessed with exfoliators, not the gentle ones… For doing makeup on models, I love eyelash curlers and all the red lipsticks in the world. That was more than one!


What music gets you in the MUA mood?

If I’m working in a studio it has to be something upbeat, like Roisin Murphy or Lizzo. At home, I slow down and play artists like Michael Nyman or Wojciech Kilar. I need different music moods to produce different makeup styles, so it also depends on what I’m working on. I also like mixes, McQueen used to have amazing ones at his shows.

Who’s your Vero essential follow?

HUNGER of course! Some publications are really behind with it, but your feed is super vast and creative.


Any New Year’s resolutions?

I never make any to be honest!


What are your plans for 2021?

Sadly, 2021 is not looking very promising for many people so the plan is to try to stay positive, be a responsible citizen and keep a close eye on the people I love. This is a time when we should give more than we take.


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 Pablo’s beauty takeover, which runs until 29 January.

29 January 2021