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Meet Moochi, the Melbourne makeup artist pushing the industry’s limits

PHOTOGRAPHY BY NATHALIE SCARLETTE AND NIM DW
ART DIRECTION AND MAKEUP BY MEG MCCONVILLE
COLLAGE BY JAE BESORIO
WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ADIDAS

“Expressive, exaggerated, playful and a little alluring.”

We know that Melbourne has a wildly talented community of next-gen creatives (we’ve met a few on FJ before). For its latest project, the adidas Forum Newsroom, adidas wanted to tap into this talent. The brand recently brought together dozens of these local creators and set them a task, asking each to work on a creative project exploring one of five themes – identity, technology, culture, future world or life control.

Each participant was given creative autonomy over their project and a budget to enable their vision to come to life. They could work with whoever they wanted, however they wanted, creating whatever they wanted – some made baseball cards, others zines, others music videos. The project is inspired by the re-release of the iconic ’80s basketball sneaker and marks a new chapter for the brand, one that stays open to what’s next.


Looking for more thought-provoking reads? Try our Life section.


Over the next week, Fashion Journal will play host to the creative outputs of eight of these makers, like makeup artist Meg McConville (aka Moochi). For this project, Moochi has pushed the boundaries of conventional beauty standards by creating three looks inspired by the reimagined Forum sneaker. In collaboration with fellow adidas Forum Newsroom (creatives like photographer Nathalie Scarlette and graphic artist Jae Besorio), the experimental looks challenge how we traditionally consider makeup and the work of makeup artists in the fashion space.

I first spotted Moochi’s work on the faces of models in Melbourne designer Karla Laidlaw’s debut collection. It showed exaggerated, browbone-high pink blush and glossy black eyeliner, punctuated with shiny glints of metal across nose, lip and eyebrow jewellery (perfectly complementing the experimental looks). It was the kind of artistry that makes you wonder why you ever bothered with ‘no-makeup makeup’ in the first place. Now, if my blush isn’t hot pink and in my eye sockets, I don’t want it.

As it turns out, breaking the beauty rules is kind of makeup artist Moochi’s (or Meg, if you prefer) whole shtick. Describing her style as expressive, exaggerated and playful”, Moochi draws inspiration from underground subcultures, ’80s punk music and drag queens (duh). An established creative and frequent collaborator on the Melbourne fashion scene, Moochi’s most recent partnership came to life in the adidas Forum Newsroom. In an attempt to up my makeup game, I spoke to Moochi about her journey as an artist.

Tell us about yourself. How did you get into makeup?

Hello! I’m Meg (or Moochi) and I’m a Naarm-based makeup artist. Makeup was something I always knew I wanted to do, but didn’t know how to get into. I initially studied beauty therapy, which I enjoyed to an extent. I hated the structure and the regimented uniform, so that deterred me from continuing pretty early on.

I then studied screen and media makeup and got a retail job as a makeup artist – but I still felt stagnant. I was stood down from my job in Melbourne’s first lockdown and felt a new wave of creativity. I had free time to focus, practise my skills and develop my own style. I started experimenting with makeup on myself and taking self-portraits. I was terrified to start posting my work in the beginning, but people were really supportive and it ended up getting me a lot of opportunities.

Have you always been a creative person, or was it something you had to tap into?

I’d say creativity has always been a trait of mine, but it’s really developed since I started devoting time to my craft. It was an amazing feeling for me to realise that passion. When I was younger, I had all of this creative energy but didn’t exactly know what to do with it, so makeup has been an amazing outlet.

How would you describe your artistic style?

Expressive, exaggerated, playful and a little alluring. I like to challenge the modern notions of makeup by rejecting conventional beauty standards.

What are the essentials in your kit? Are there any brands you love?

I’d be lost without cosmetic paints! I use a lot of the Danessa Myricks Colour Fix and Depixym Emulsions. They work very similarly to art paints, so they make line work and blending super easy. You can mix them to customise new colours and they dry matte, so no smudge!

Your work really speaks to the intersection of makeup and art. Where do you get your inspiration for new faces?

Everywhere, really – patterns, clothing, jewellery and tattoos. I take everyday items that stand out to me and brainstorm ways I can them to create a look. I also do a lot of research into past subcultures like the ’80s punk scene, club kid era and drag – so a lot of inspiration is drawn from there.

I also get inspired by the different faces I paint. When I’m working on a new person, I study their bone structure and draw shapes that follow the different curves of their face. Makeup’s fun because you always have a different canvas.

 

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A post shared by Moochi (@moochimade)


For your adidas Forum Newsroom project, you collaborated with some other creatives to create some really beautiful collages. What was that collaborative experience like for you?

I loved it! In my job, I’m always collaborating, but this experience was really unique. I was able to meet a lot of new creatives and see some friends I haven’t seen for some time. Nat (who photographed two of my images) and Jae (who collaged them) have been friends of mine for a while now, and this was such a nice way to come together and create.

I was also lucky enough to meet Georgia, Ben and Nim in the adidas Forum Newsroom and I’m so happy I did! I couldn’t have done this project without any of these people.

What was the concept behind your project?

I wanted to use this opportunity to push my skills. I knew I wanted to do a makeup look, a coloured hairstyle and a nail look revolving around the Forum sneaker. The aim was to show how the sneaker could transform and elevate a look. When I decided on this concept, I’d never coloured hair or worked with nail art, but that’s what made this project so fun – it really pushed me to learn new skills.

What’s next for you?

I want to keep pushing my editorial skills, meet more people, work with brands and creatives, and just see how far makeup can take me. I’d also like to get my own space I can work from. I’d love to switch it up and spend my weekends creating looks for people who want to feel beautiful.

Shop the reimagined Forum shoes here.

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