This Q&A was first published on June 9th 2015:
Having first interviewed Benjamin Puckey in 2012 I interviewed him again in 2015 for my Dutch Week special after his career had really catapulted within those 3 years.
YOU CAN FOLLOW THE WONDERFUL BENJAMIN ON INSTAGRAM BY CLICKING HERE
I’m featuring Make-up artist Benjamin Puckey for the second time actually. The last time I featured a Q&A with Benjamin was in December 2012, when at that particular time, French Vogue had just listed him as 1 out of 4 new hair and make-up artists to watch out for.
Benjamin is Dutch by default really. Born in England to English parents, they moved to The Netherlands when he was really young. So he’s an official Brit-Dutch. Now living in New York and having taken the fashion industry by storm, this trained fashion designer decided to pick up make-up brushes instead, and after assisting the amazing Peter Phillips for a few years, Benjamin went out alone. His success has been phenomenal so far and he’s still rising through the ranks.
I managed to pin this extremely busy man down so I’ll let him do the rest of the talking from this point.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys, Girls, Fashionistas and Beauty lovers, I give you………..
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?
Growing up I wanted to be a fashion designer. I graduated from college as a fashion designer, but ended up working as a makeup artist.
HOW DID YOU END UP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW?
While studying fashion I’d help out colleague students with the photo shoots for their collections by doing the makeup. I really enjoyed it and decided to pursue it further by going to the House of Orange Makeup School.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IF YOU WEREN’T YOU?
If money wasn’t an issue I would liked to have been a painter, but I could also see myself working as a beauty editor or cosmetic chemist.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
I live in Brooklyn, New York.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING IN YOUR CITY WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I wish there was more affordable housing in Manhattan, because it has now become an island for the super rich. The creatives that gave the city color and vibrancy have almost all had to move out.
WHAT ARE YOU INTO RIGHT NOW. (MUSIC, FASHION, ART, FOOD)?
I love eighties Italo Disco: Valerie Doré, Umberto Tozzi, Sandy Marton, Betty Miranda, Silver Pozzoli, Angie Care etc
Classic Disco by Giorgio Moroder, Sylvester and Gino Soccio.
Eighties Pet Shop Buys
Mac Demarco’s new album Salad Days
Lykke Li No Rest for the Wicked
Anything by Grace Jones
Sia 1000 Forms of Fear
Arcade Fire The Reflector
Food wise I’m eating stuff that people a hundred years ago would have recognized as food (no processed “Frankenfoods”), although I’ve cut out dairy and wheat from my diet and am cutting down on alcohol and sugar. It has made a big difference to my energy levels.
I love the art by Jason Martin, Cajsa Von Zeipel, my father Thom Puckey, Elisabet Stienstra, Melanie Bonajo and Timothy Horn.
WHAT MUSIC WERE YOU INTO GROWING UP- ARE YOU STILL INTO IT NOW?
The first album I bought was by Milli Vanilli and I’m most definitely not into that anymore!
WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNER THAT YOU WOULD WEAR?
I love the clothes by “Casey.Casey” that are made in small collections and very hard to come by. Everything is hand sewn and in beautiful dark hand dyed fabrics.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU MOVE TO NEW YORK?
I moved to NYC in 2008 because I was bored in Amsterdam and needed a change of scene and a new challenge.
YOU WERE BORN IN BRITAIN BUT GREW UP IN HOLLAND, WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?
I was kind of torn between two very different cultures. I spoke English at home and Dutch at school and with my friends. Culturally the Dutch and English are very different. Especially in their manners. The Dutch are very blunt and forward, while the English are definitely more held back and slightly avoiding.
AND DO YOU FEEL IT INFLUENCES YOUR WORK IN ANYWAY?
Having grown up in a very creative environment with both my parents being artists I think this definitely influenced my work. I remember Amsterdam as a child when it was still a very exciting, liberal and creative place to live. Being surrounded by artists, hippies and punks made a big impression on me as a child.
THERE’S NOW A BIG INFLUX OF PEOPLE IN FASHION COMING OUT OF THE NETHERLANDS, DO
YOU THINK THERE’S A REASON FOR THAT OR IS IT COINCIDENTAL?
The Netherlands doesn’t really have a fashion history and the Dutch don’t have a strong fashion history or sensibility which is why Dutch designers have a very open mind when it comes to designing and are very original in what they do.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE DUTCH FASHION?
Very conceptual and intelligently cut clothes inspired by a fantasy of what an eccentric lady in another country would be wearing.
DO YOU THINK IT WAS IMPORTANT TO INTRODUCE VOGUE NEDERLANDS, WHICH LAUNCHED ONLY IN 2012?
I think it was very important as The Netherlands is slowly becoming more and more interested in fashion. Young girls are brought up to be equal to boys which is great, but you’re seeing now that a lot of women are empowering themselves by developing their femininity and style. Especially the second and third generation of immigrants that came from southern Europe and North Africa are very much into fashion and glamour. The market for luxury goods in The Netherlands has grown tremendously. For that reason it was an organic development to have Vogue launch a Dutch version.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN WORK?
I work as a conceptual makeup artist. I always collaborate with a team working on the look of the model to fit into the concept of the shoot. I’m mostly known for makeup that doesn’t take over from a model’s beauty: sculpted faces with beautiful glowing skin are always the base of every look. Having the model look her most beautiful is always my main objective no matter how abstract the makeup may be.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ANIMALS?
I don’t have any at the moment, but I love cats. I would love to have a couple of Main Coons. They’re such a beautiful and smart breed.
LIST YOUR TOP 5 FAVOURITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS. ( CAN BE HAIR/ SKIN/ BODY/ PERFUME)
My personal top 5:
The Dr Colbert TRIAD Facial,
Anthelios Tinted Mineral Facial sunscreen,
Windle & Moodie Volcanic Ash Wax,
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Silk Mood perfume.
IF YOU WERE PUT ON A DESERT ISLAND AND COULD CHOOSE ONLY 10 SONGS TO HAVE ON AN IPOD WHAT WOULD THEY BE? ****PLEASE NOTE: ONE WHOLE ALBUM CAN BE CLASSED AS 1 SONG, SO YOU CAN CHOOSE 10 ALBUMS IF YOU PREFER *** (EXPLAIN IF YOU WANT TO, WHY YOU CHOSE THEM)
( I chose albums)
Blondie – Parallel Lines
Madonna – True Blue
Dusty Springfield – A Girl Called Dusty
Massive Attack – Blue Lines
Tanita Tikaram – Ancient Heart
Sade – Promise
Annie Lennox – Diva album
Pet Shop Boys – Introspective
Tina Turner – Private Dancer
Renaissance The Mix Collection Sasha & John Digweed
IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE BESIDES WHERE YOU ARE, WHERE WOULD IT BE.?
The Pacific North West of the USA in Oregon: Portland or Eugene. I love the lush nature there and how people are really liberal and focused on green and healthy living.
MASTERMIND IS AN ICONIC BRITSH TV QUIZ SHOW WHERE THE CONTESTANTS ARE QUESTIONED FOR 2 MINUTES ON THEIR CHOSEN SPECIALISED SUBJECT. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR SPECIALISED SUBJECT IF YOU WERE A CONTESTANT?
The history of makeup
WHO OR WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Lately the American comedy show Broad City has had me in fits of laughter! I also love the classic BBC Comedy “The Good Life”.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ONE LINER EVER?
Never date a man with an ass bigger than yours.
IN A FILM OF YOUR LIFE, WHOM WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY YOU?
Paul Newman (dead) or Ansel Elgort.
YOU’RE PACKING TO GO ON A TRIP FOR 2 WEEKS AND CAN TAKE 5 FILMS ON ITUNES OR DVD’S WITH YOU, WHAT WOULD THEY BE, AND IF YOU WANT, SAY WHY YOU LOVE THEM? (IT CAN BE SOMETHING YOU HAVEN’T SEE YET) IF NOT FILMS:
Le Mepris by Jean Luc Godard: It’s the perfect dreamy holiday movie.
Mulholland Drive by David Lynch: A beautiful and mysterious film.
Blow Up by Antonioni: One of the movies that got me hooked on fashion.
Brokeback Mountain: Because it moves me.
Grey Gardens: I can watch this documentary over and over and discover something new every time.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING YOU LIKE TO COOK?
I’m more a baker than a cook. I love baking complicated multi layer cakes, but only when I’m taking one to a dinner party. I don’t want them in my house, because I end up eating the whole thing!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DESSERT?
I can’t choose one. I’m obsessed with dessert. I love anything with berries, meringue and vanilla. A good boozy trifle and any kind of fruit crumble with ice cream.. Don’t get me started on ice cream!
WHO WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL FOUR GUESTS TO A DINNER PARTY AT YOUR HOUSE. (THEY CAN BE DEAD OR ALIVE)
Madonna, Greta Garbo, Debbie Harry and Sigmund Freud.
DO YOU HAVE A GUILTY PLEASURE, IF SO WHAT IS IT?
I love to watch QVC and HSN when they’re selling beauty products. It’s incredibly entertaining!
WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO NEXT?
I’m going to Los Angeles, where I just got back from.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD.
NAME ANY TYPE OF PRODUCT IE: FOOD, TOYS, CLOTHES, OR COSMETICS ETC THAT YOU ONCE LOVED BUT IS NOW EITHER DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND.
The old formula of Estee Lauder’s Maximum Cover Foundation in the thin blue tubes. Since it’s been reformulated it doesn’t have the same incredible coverage anymore.