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Bathroom Chats:With Ana Takahashi

Ana Takahashi is known for her out-there makeup looks. In a world of fresh, dewy skin and minimal makeup, she’s injecting all the fun back into beauty. No wonder that she’s the hands we turned to for our latest beauty campaign. An exploration of bold party makeup looks, that’ll take you from Halloween to Christmas, from night before to morning after.  

Takahashi has already taken a spot on the Dazed 100 list, landed magazine covers with Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, and painted faces (and bodies) for Acne Studios and Miu Miu campaigns. It’s fair to say, she’s making moves. 

From blocked-out brows to the power of TikTok and the allure of Lily Rose Depp, it’s time to get to know the makeup artist behind our latest beauty campaign.

Meet Ana Takahashi. 

Beauty is the ultimate form of expression for me.

Where did your journey with beauty begin? 

I’ve always been playful and creative. My profile picture on Instagram is a menacing picture of me wearing dull face paint as a toddle

What made you first see it as a career or want to pursue it as a career? 

At the beginning of my career, I was studying makeup for film and theatre. I then jumped right into makeup for fashion once I realised that I had no one to answer to, no bosses, no creative barriers. The fashion environment encourages you to think on the spot and come up with ideas with a great team of creatives, and there’s certainly less of a hierarchy compared to film. I felt that fashion allowed more space for experimentation and gave me a platform to lead on creative.

What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is the ultimate form of expression for me. From a young age I have always enjoyed performance-based arts - film, theatre, music performances. Makeup is one of the many elements attached to performance that can act as a way of enhancing characters and stories that people connect to on a deep level.

Your looks are incredibly detailed and highly creative. Where do you find your inspiration?

My main inspiration starts with the models themselves. I always think that the makeup is only as good as the model whose wearing it. I find it quite difficult to create a strong look if the model doesn’t have a strong personality to carry it off. I think this is why I’ve ended up using the same girls again and again, like a photographer or a film director would. Because it’s so exciting to work with someone who can inform the look and carry themselves differently once it’s completed.

How much does art feed into your work and what eras or artists do you look to?

You’ll find a lot of old Japanese references in my work; from ‘80s idols, to Japanese theatre, to a large [Kishin] Shinoyama photobook collection that I started over covid. Fashion-wise, I love Serge Lutens, Thierry Mugler, Steven Meisel… all three are amazing at portraying characters and stories within the realm of fashion.

I find it quite difficult to create a strong look if the model doesn’t have a strong personality to carry it off.

What do you think is the biggest influence on beauty at the moment? 

TikTok, of course. I’m a target for it myself.

What does your own beauty routine look like?

I’m addicted to Asian beauty. I love beauty TikTok and I follow some channels religiously. At the moment, I’m loving Korean moisturisers and hyaluronic acids. I want to be as low maintenance as possible when it comes to wearing makeup, so I think it’s great to focus on good skin first, so I don’t have to wear as much makeup.


What will we always find in your makeup bag?

Glue for blocking out brows.

Talk us through the process of creating a look.

First, I choose a model and decide what type of character would suit them. It’s even better if I know them beforehand and can develop a character around them. I have a huge archive of image references saved to begin the selection of colours, textures, shapes etc. Then I usually do sketches to see what would actually suit their face. This process is definitely influenced by my background in makeup for film. 

Whose face would you love to get your hands on and what look would you create?

Lily-Rose Depp. I’ve always been obsessed with her very rounded features and incredible bone structure. I adore the effortlessly chic style, and big brown eyes. In terms of what I'd do… I don’t want to jinx it or give it away.

What’s the most exciting trend you’re seeing come through for SS23?

I’m seeing a lot of brown this season - love it.