Beauty Papers

  • Jan 13, 2017
Beauty Papers -

Combining intelligence and the kind of imagery you want to tear out and tape to your bedroom wall, Beauty Papers is a reminder that beauty isn’t a commercial category with a capital B, it’s a multifaceted, at times controversial idea that encompasses everything from politics to what you choose to put on your face each morning. – Alice Newell-Hanson for i-D

As women, we all have the right to feel beautiful. I am completely in favour of women doing whatever the hell they want to make themselves feel this way. That being said, I do feel that it is a damned shame that oftentimes it is hard to seperate personal ideals of beauty and what the fashion industry and society tell us is beautiful. It is hard to know for sure if we personally like wearing our makeup the way we do, or if subconsciously we are trying to fit into some kind of ideal. Still, there are very obvious ways in which women are fighting against what society has “standardised” – starting with defining beauty as something unrelated to the male gaze or mainstream culture. (If what one finds is beautiful happens to coincide with what men find and mainstream culture finds attractive, that is fine, as it makes no sense to rebel against something for the sake of rebellion, but attempting to define beauty on individual terms rather than allowing our understanding of beauty to be dictated by a male dominated society at large is very important.)

Beauty Papers, a magazine created by make-up artist Maxine Leonard and creative director Valerie Wickes, is doing everything right when it comes to re-defining our traditional understanding of beauty.

When interviewed by i-D, Leonard had this to say about the aim of Beauty Papers: “…I want to challenge what the word “beautiful” really represents. I’d like to explore words that I think youth culture would probably throw up at: “harmonious,” “exquisite,” “glorious.” I think we need something positive to come through now. We’re all feeling what’s going on around us. There is no money, there are no advertisers, but the idea that you can challenge what “beauty” is on your own budget is what the throwdown of Beauty Papers represents. You have to fight a bit more for it. And I think that fight makes you hungry…I think there’s something about offering people freedom and choice.”

Music to my ears, if you ask me.

Beauty Papers

Beauty Papers

Beauty Papers

Beauty Papers

Beauty Papers

Beauty Papers

Beauty Papers

Beauty Papers

Source: i-d

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Stay conscious, Rae

Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • Their imagery reminds me of Frostfrench – it is gorgeous! Your point about separating beauty from male attention/approval is really interesting, although perhaps we also need to separate it from acceptance by other women, who we try to please more with our fashion and beauty choices than men in some instances. What do others think?

    Inma x |

  • Women always need to fight more for what they want, what they need, what they deserve, what they believe in, but that’s what makes us strong! And beautiful! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • gosh, i love everything! the photos are so beautiful!

  • Oh my god, these pictures are stunning and so inspiring!

    Thankfully, I’m someone who never really cared about beauty norms and fashion expectations. My mum raised me well and never encouraged me to look at magazines and editorials. It came later, with the blogging industry actually. People like to share a ‘perfect’ life where it’s easy for women to feel out of place. It’s too bad getting approved by the bigger number became more important than feeling good in our own skin. x

    Jessica — NinetyCo

  • stunning, stunning pictures!

    i agree on what you wrote there. every bit of it. the media and society force all of us women to agree with only one, if not most of what they have published, thought and stereotype when it comes to beauty. it’s also the reason why some women grew hating makeup or the concept of it. for instance, some women think it’s okay to talk shit about other women who enjoy putting makeup on their face and that’s just …. sad. the associations and stereotypes that include “women who like to put on makeup are brainless, foolish scatterbrains because they only care about their looks and whether or not men are gonna like them” piss me off sometimes, pfft. it reminds me how some relatives thought the reason i began trying out makeup because i wanted to impress a dude or i decided to do it because i got a boyfriend… lol so ridiculous. i put on makeup because i like doing it. i learned to understand what the heck is a concealer because i’m curious about it. frankly, nobody needs foundation; a girl can not wear makeup and go out bare face if that’s how she wanna roll.


  • These are beautiful photos. I do think it’s important to redefine our traditional understanding of beauty… and I love that you mention sometimes what one finds beautiful WILL line up with the mainstream. Having an emphasis on individually defining beauty is a good place to start. Thanks for sharing, Rae!

    Kathryn •

  • Wow what a beautiful concept. These photos are stunning and it’s so important to celebrate all types of beauty

    Enclothed Cognition

  • I truly love this! I think it’s amazing that women are different, we should cherish and always try to look and be who we want to be, and not what social media creates. All the girls in the photos are so beautiful!

  • Beautiful pictures Team Rae!!
    美极了 x

    Viviene Kok

  • Sophie Lee

    This photoshoot is interesting, beautiful work <3

    xoxo, Cool men fashion