Makeup Artist Dick Page On The Experience Of Beauty

As part of ‘New Beauty’ month, we’re throwing it back to the OGs, icons, and trailblazers who paved the way for today’s creatives in the beauty space.


If you don’t know Dick Page by name, you certainly know him by his work. The English-born makeup artist got his start working with names like Corinne Day, Kate Moss, and Melanie Ward—I’m sure you have a mental image now—and is credited to many covers of Vogue and international campaigns over his decades-spanning career. Page’s now iconic makeup for the ’90s Calvin Klein runways—vaseline on the lids and lipstick on the cheeks—may not have coined, but certainly, contributed to the minting of the term ‘no makeup-makeup’.


His success is the result of years of youthful innovation, and proof that beauty can be whatever you make it. We caught up with the legendary makeup artist to talk food, feelings, and his advice for aspiring artists.

Dario Catelani for The Wall Street Journal, courtesy of Dick Page


Dario Catelani for The Wall Street Journal, courtesy of Dick Page

Describe the moment you felt you had “made it”.

“When I began to work regularly, in a good range of media (print, film/video, runway) with interested, enthusiastic people having fun, creating good work together and making a living!”


How do you define beauty?

“I can’t. My feelings about beauty race along several different tracks at once.”


In your many years in the beauty industry, has that definition shifted?

“I may not like everything that I used to, but everything I’ve done has a place and meaning which informs my work, although I can’t always say why.”


The beauty of makeup is its temporality. On the other hand, these looks live on forever in archive print and photo, etc. Does the “lifespan” of a look ever make its way into your thought process?

“No. I think that’s because my work doesn’t exist in a pure form, like a painting or sculpture for example, but is dependent on how it’s recorded or the context in which it’s seen.”


Pierre-Ange Carlotti for Interview Magazine, courtesy of Dick Page

Beauty has been and always will be ever-evolving. But, what remains the same?

“The individual perception and experience of beauty.”


Your signature look?

“I would say there isn’t one, but maybe the sense that the person remains their identifiable self in almost everything I do, even if it’s ‘A Big Look’!”


Any advice to those pursuing a career in makeup artistry?

“Be curious and engaged by everything you see. Don’t limit yourself to the human face in isolation or the static finish of makeup. Be aware of light, movement, action, and animation. We’re dealing with people here!”


Your (social media) life reads as fashion and food. Do the two ever intertwine?

“Everything overlaps and I never think in terms of “work-life balance”. I’m interested in lots of different things and I think who and what I engage with informs how I live.”

Roe Ethrige for W Magazine, courtesy of Dick Page

Roe Ethrige for W Magazine, courtesy of Dick Page

Makeup has always been very DIY (I think that’s why people are so drawn to it). What’s been your go-to hack over the years?

“Lots of color and texture to play with. I like things that I can mix; I want to create worlds of color, not just take something from its palette and apply it as instructed.”


What’s the single makeup item that every person should have in their beauty arsenal?

“The thing they love that loves them back. It might be a single black pencil or a box of greasepaints.”


Though it’s less rigid and a truly personal style, beauty—like fashion—follows circular trends. What will 2019 yield for us?

“I have no idea. Isn’t it exciting?”

No more articles