Pieroni shares her organic, intuitive philosophy for beauty and hints at what's in store for Document.
Document is proud to announce the appointment of the visionary makeup artist Lucia Pieroni as beauty director. In line with Document’s vision of presenting timeless and modern imagery, Pieroni, who has been responsible for some of Document’s most iconic covers as well as stunning looks for Prada, Versace, and Valentino, discusses her personal relationship with beauty as well as what’s in store for Document.
Maraya Fisher: We are so thrilled you are joining us as beauty director. What beauty philosophies do you hope to bring to Document?
Lucia Pieroni: I guess my philosophy would always be ‘less is more.’ I have a very organic, intuitive way of working, which I’m hoping to bring to Document.
Maraya: Growing up, I was always captivated by Debbie Harry’s extreme smokey eye and was never able to replicate it despite many hours with my bathroom mirror. Was there a specific makeup look that was formative for you? Who were your beauty icons growing up and who are they today?
Lucia: I guess my mum was my first beauty icon. I remember watching her doing her makeup when I was very small. She used to wear a lot of black mascara. The mascara came in a little compact with black cake that she’d spit on and run the brush over, adding loads of layers; that seemed to take hours. She’d wear a blonde, slightly teased fall in her hair and pale nude lipstick; she looked pretty cool. I definitely went through a Debbie Harry and Siouxie Sioux phase in my teens. I think now my beauty icons would be anyone who grows old gracefully.
Maraya: Can you tell me about your early experiences with makeup? Did you have any mentors or was it a trial and error process?
Lucia: I think it was a bit of both. I wasn’t really thinking of doing makeup. I started, really, because my older sister Paola used to model, and I would sometimes go along to shoots just to hang out and found myself helping out one day. The photographer asked me to come back to do another shoot the following week. From there, I met the photographer Donna Trope who had a studio upstairs in Hoxton market. We tested together for about a year, experimenting with color and light. She taught me a great deal.
Maraya: Your looks span from the very soft and romantic to the bold and dramatic—they are always, however, startlingly beautiful and artistic. How would you define your approach to beauty?
Lucia: My approach to beauty is quite organic, even if I have a strong idea of what I want beforehand. It always starts with the face in front of me, looking at that person will always have an influence on the initial idea. Whether I’m doing a crazy, blue-painted mask or no-makeup look I still want to see the beauty in that face.
Maraya: There is a constant revolving door of what is ‘in’ and ‘out’ in beauty: bushy eyebrows versus thin, glossy lip versus matte. What are the best and worst trends you’ve witnessed, and how do you maintain your personal aesthetic through the noise?
Lucia: Working in fashion, we have the privilege of defining these trends in the first place, so we don’t necessarily have to engage with trends that don’t speak to us personally. I suppose if I had to name a trend that I really don’t get, it would be the extremely overdrawn eyebrows that appear to have been drawn on with a Sharpie!
Maraya: What is your process when approaching a shoot? When approaching a face? What are the first elements you consider and how do you know what to accentuate?
Lucia: I love being part of the creative process of making images, even if it’s a no-makeup makeup look. I used to paint and draw a great deal, and it’s those lessons of light and shade I still use when painting a face. By chance, I saw a movie about the painter L.S. Lowry last night, and he kept saying, ‘I’m a man who paints, nothing more, nothing less.’ I love the simplicity of that statement.
Maraya: I really loved the mask motif in your most recent shoot for Document with photographer Craig McDean and our creative and fashion director Sarah Richardson. Some of the masks were physical, while others were gorgeously created using makeup. Can you tell me about the process and ideas behind this shoot?
Lucia: Sarah had these beautiful paper masks made out of old comics, and they inspired us to perhaps create a mask with paint or makeup… it was all very spontaneous and ‘in the moment,’ which I love.