Reads: Beauty Papers

Reads: Beauty Papers

One of our major aims at Glasshouse is making sure that everyone who walks through our door leaves with a hairstyle or product that they really love – even if this means going against the status quo. This willingness to dodge the ‘done thing’ where necessary is an attitude we share with our latest favourite read: Beauty Papers.

Beauty Papers is a biannual journal which, in its own words, celebrates ‘the culture of beauty.’ In a climate where one-size-fits-all beauty blogging tends to rule, Beauty Papers appeals to the more creative side of beauty craft. Not always concerned with creating images that are typically ‘pretty’ (we were especially struck by their ‘Smudge’ mini-series, for example), Beauty Papers is more interested in showcasing beauty as art, and its approach is a much-needed one in the industry. 

Its founders, Maxine Leonard and Valerie Wickes, are no strangers to beauty media: Maxine served as beauty director for Wonderland magazine for four years, whilst Valerie is a creative director who has lent her expert eye to a number of the world’s biggest brands.

Both women see the magazine as “beauty with the chains taken off” – liberation and freedom are crucial parts of their mission statement, and something we especially love about Beauty Papers is that it’s especially invested in widening diversity in the beauty industry, and features models of different genders and ethnicities. In their description of what Beauty Papers aims to do, the two invoke punk rock’s “screw the formula” approach, and seek to lead the way in making beauty journalism and imagery much more multi-dimensional: “Without character and emotion, there is no beauty and it is too oppressive to present one ideal to women or men,” they say.

Less enamoured with ideas of glamour and prestige, which the beauty industry is often saturated by and consumed with, Beauty Papers seeks to promote an individualistic approach to beauty. Its message is more “wear the pink eyeshadow if you feel like it today” over “I’m not sure that pink eyeshadow really works with my skin tone.” It’s about beauty as something fun to be enjoyed, rather than as a set of rules to be followed by the letter, and it’s this easy outlook that we find so refreshing. 

So if you’re feeling overloaded by images of perfection, or bored by the beauty media you’ve currently got in your life, you could do much worse than picking up a copy of Beauty Papers to get you inspired all over again. Its philosophy is one we love, and its one we wish many more beauty industry players shared.

Issue 02 is out now - or flick through our copy in the salon during your appointment.

Words: Lauren O’Neill
All images: Beauty Papers