Sam Visser’s vision for the future of makeup

Sam Visser’s vision for the future of makeup

Artist in Residency: Sam Visser

Introducing Artist in Residency, a new series that brings the industry's most innovative makeup artists to Rose Inc. for a month of creativity and inspiration. Each week, you'll discover an original look—and the story behind it—created by an artist we love. Our inaugural residency highlights Sam Visser, a photographer and makeup artist based in New York. This week: a daring interpretation of an iconic '60s style.

This makeup artist and photographer has California roots, New York style, and an impressively thorough trove of fashion books and magazines from the ‘60s through the ‘90s. He’s known for his dramatic use of color and for remixing the aesthetics of decades past into something that feels utterly, consistently of-the-moment.

His residency inspiration

Call it Youthquake 2.0—a fresh interpretation of ‘60s style made by and for a new generation of changemakers. “This is 2020, so we have to think completely differently,” Visser says. “What is this turn of the decade going to bring?”

To explore that question creatively, he found inspiration in the bold shapes, colorblocking, and statement hues of mod style. Much as that freewheeling era broke plenty of rules, Visser says that the new era of makeup is less strict and more open to imperfections. “Makeup is coming back to very simple steps,” he says. “This look is based on just two colors.”


This is 2020, so we have to think completely differently.


Behind this look

For the first installment of our four-part monthly Artist in Residency series, Visser chose a daring color pairing. Eyes are the focal point here, no pun intended. “This is the most classic ‘60s eye,” he says of this two-toned makeup. The vivid lilac base color comes not from eyeshadow, but from eyeliner—Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Eye Crayon in Mist Me?, to be precise. After covering lids in the lighter hue, he drew Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Eye Crayon in (Grape)vine, a matte dark purple, through the crease. “I created a swoop-y wing shape, plus a black winged liner just along the lash line to create a feline shape,” Visser says. “I wanted all of it to be very pulled-out.” Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir mascara added some just-spidery-enough length and volume to lashes.

With such bright eye makeup, Visser chose to downplay lips and cheeks. “I usually do a lip moment, but I thought that her eyes were so beautiful,” Visser says. He opted to enhance the lips’ shape with Marc Jacobs Beauty Poutliner Lip Liner in (Nude)ist, a creamy cafe au lait shade. To finish, a coat of Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer Lipgloss in Pretty Thing added a vinylic (and sixties-on-point) shine.

Inspired to re-create this look? Tag us on Instagram @roseinc to share.