BY Joy Ong
Seventeen-year-old makeup artist, Mattias Alvemalm, is breaking his own way into the makeup industry. With his fleeked brows and perfect wings, he inspires everyone who encounters his makeup venture to experiment and do what they love.
Do you remember the moment you first encountered makeup?
It was about two years ago, it was my sister’s makeup so I kind of just experimented with it. At the time, I didn’t understand that makeup was “just for females,” I just did it.
How did it make you feel?
It felt good because in a sense I could almost turn into someone else. I had been bullied a lot so when I put makeup on I was someone completely different from who I was originally. To be able to put makeup on, change how you look and make yourself feel good, really empowered me. I don’t wear makeup to hide who I am, I wear makeup to promote who I am even more.
You have recently made an Instagram account to promote yourself as a makeup artist. What made you make that decision?
At first, I didn’t want to make an account because I thought that I was going to get bullied even more. But after a while, I thought I may as well, and if I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore, I could easily just take everything down, but if people gave me positive feedback, and it made me feel good, then I could keep it up. So, I just looked at other small makeup artists and based myself around that.
How do you find the confidence to rock your makeup looks?
I get quite timid if I’m going out wearing lots of colours and very vast makeup. I have a bunch of friends who support what I do. They encourage me and say “it’s okay”, and they would support me if anyone were to bully me or yell out “fag”, which people have done before. I think it’s just a realisation that you are who you are, and others can’t change that. If you really love something, you shouldn’t have to stop or change it for others. I found confidence in myself and felt empowered when I had makeup on. I felt like I looked really good and I was really happy for myself and just focused on all the positive things and I disregarded all the negative things.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I look to other makeup artists. I browse through Instagram pages and other social media and look to both female and male makeup artists. Most of the time when I do my makeup it’s at about 11pm when I can’t sleep. I keep blending, shading and adding things until eventually I find something that I’m satisfied with.
What has been your experience with the negative stigma surrounding males wearing makeup?
I’ve had a lot of people direct message me or comment on my photos calling me a fag, calling me gay and telling me I shouldn’t wear makeup because I’m a guy. I don’t get phased by it that much anymore because I’m actually doing something that I love with my life. They can’t just come up in here and call me names and think I’m going to change who I am. Sure, there have been times when I have been discouraged to continue, but recently people are becoming much more accepting and things are slowly changing.
How would you reply to “only girls (should) wear makeup”?
Makeup isn’t just for girls, it’s never just been for girls. Nowhere, on any makeup product, does it say “designed for girls”. Makeup is something people wear to empower themselves. It’s something people wear to feel pretty and beautiful. I feel like, if you think makeup is just for girls, I almost feel sorry for you, because the world is changing and makeup isn’t for one gender, it’s for everyone.
At only seventeen, you’ve really come into your own and have grown as a developing makeup artist. What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to do what they love, but is afraid of what other people might think?
There will always be someone who judges you. There is nothing you can do to stop people from judging you. You have to look past that. I don’t focus on negativity anymore. Now, I’m focusing on people who care for me and the people who support me. Find the people, be it your friends or your family, who support you. Just believe in yourself because there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you’re doing what you love.