Makeup activist Ezster Magyar on ugly beauty, anxiety and her artistic identity
London based, Budapest born artist Ezster Magyar worked her way from "the most hated beauty account on Instagram" up to the collaboration with Gucci Beauty. The whole community of new-generation makeup artists formed around her along the way: the movement she named Ugly Makeup Revolution. We asked how her projects extended far beyond makeup.
Interview: Polina Nagornykh
To be honest, I was never interested in makeup itself. I started beauty school with an eye pencil and an old mascara, well, maybe a black lipstick too, and that was it. Joining the school was not even my idea: my friend said I should try it, I had spare time so I did. I used to be jealous of talented people who seemed to know what they want. I never really knew what to do with my life. I would've done anything just to find my "hidden talent" and even though makeup didn't seem interesting enough for the first time, I found myself in it.
Let's start from the very beginning. How did you get into makeup in a first place?
MAKEUPBRUTALISM:
it's more than just makeup
I've been working as an editorial makeup artist for 10 years now, throughout last decade I did a lot of fashion shoots, advertorials, campaigns and TV commercials. Of course, if your brain works like mine, you can never become complacent. Years passed and I got bored of fashion. Few years ago, I felt like makeup and beauty in general were limited to me. To widen my palette I started experimenting with the different shapes and colors on myself at home. I documented all of the looks I did, uploaded them to my Instagram and shortly decided to separate this content from my editorial work. That's how Makeupbrutalism was born.
Magyar can use pretty much everything for her makeup looks: slices of raw salmon, used contact lenses, even teeth. Sometimes she quotes her vicious commenters: "I hope you go blind", written on her skin, makes you think how far hate speech can go.
You should know what teamwork is if you want to be a successful makeup artist. Makeupbrutalism has a different approach: it's a one-man conceptual art-project with no compromises to be made. Every failure or success depends on my own decisions and I want to keep it that way.
It's a matter of time, but personally I would like ugly beauty trend to live on. "Ugly" aesthetics are nothing new to fashion, the difference is maybe that now we're brave enough to call it "ugly". Sure, it's a trend like any other, they come and go. This one can only survive if there will be enough artists to pursue its rawness and braveness, if it's natural to their personal style.

You have to put yourself into everything you do, if you don't do that – you're only copying others. As an artist, you should listen to your inner voice, you should study what you really like and why. It takes a lot of courage to stick with that, especially when it's not popular at the moment. But this is the only way to find your personal style.
On top of that you run @uglymakeuprevolution account – a curated gallery representing irregular makeup artistry. The ugly beauty trend grew big: the aesthetics previously exclusive to fashion and art industries are now introduced to a wider audience. There's a new generation of makeup artists and influencers who work in this field. What do you think the future holds for the trend?
At what point did you start @makeupbrutalism page, what led to that?
Gucci Beauty noticed yours! (Magyar did a series of makeup looks for the brand last December). The collaboration was surely a huge step for you. How did it affect you?
It was a dream come true: for both a visual creator and a makeup artist that I am. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that Gucci loves what I do or that they even know I exist per se. The first brand deal set the bar pretty high! I felt I was on the top of the world yet so afraid at the same time: what's bigger than that? How can I evolve? That's me and my always worried brain yet again. I try to be grateful for everything I have achieved and if I'm never about to top that collab, this is still something no one can take away from me.
Well, you are not limited to just makeup. You started making art objects and the recent Artefact series is very interesting yet shocking to some. "The relation of Human aesthetics and disgust": how did you come up with such a concept?
Two things led me to this series. Lately I was studying human's body and its textures: back in November, I made a series of close-up photos of belly buttons, veins, scars, cellulite etc. People freaked out exactly how I thought they would. They wanted to put trigger warnings all over me – which only convinced me that I was right. People adore textures when it comes to art but they get disgusted when it's their own body.

I also sell T-shirts with my custom prints on Etsy. Someone told me once that I degraded my art to the level of everyday objects, they said the way I price myself is not good enough for an artist. But what makes something art? What makes someone an artist?
I used "human waste" such as hair and nail clippings to create everyday objects: desirable toiletries in theory, yet with a little twist they appeared monstrous for some. Funny enough, my hair combs shocked people even though the combs are always hairy! People love to be dramatic but the most important question here is – why do I feel disgusted by this?
Once you called @makeupbrutalism "a journey": where are you now?
The best thing about it is that you never know what the future holds. This year I want to release a book and make my first solo exhibition. It would be a great step to lead Makeupbrutalism into the offline space: to make it independent from any social platform, to make it real art. It's not a makeup account anymore. It has to be something bigger than Instagram page, bigger than just content.
Makeup activist Ezster Magyar on ugly beauty,
anxiety and her artistic identity
London based, Budapest born artist Ezster Magyar worked her way from "the most hated beauty account on Instagram" up to the collaboration with Gucci Beauty. The whole community of new-generation makeup artists formed around her along the way: the movement she named Ugly Makeup Revolution. We asked how her projects extended far beyond makeup.
Interview: Polina Nagornykh
To be honest, I was never interested in makeup itself. I started beauty school with an eye pencil and an old mascara, well, maybe a black lipstick too, and that was it. Joining the school was not even my idea: my friend said I should try it, I had spare time so I did. I used to be jealous of talented people who seemed to know what they want. I never really knew what to do with my life and would've done anything just to find my "hidden talent" and even though makeup didn't seem interesting enough for the first time, I found myself in it.


Let's start from the very beginning. How did you get into makeup in a first place?
MAKEUPBRUTALISM:
At what point did you start @makeupbrutalism page, what led to that?
I've been working as an editorial makeup artist for 10 years now, throughout last decade I did a lot of fashion shoots, advertorials, campaigns and TV commercials. Of course, if your brain works like mine, you can never become complacent. Years passed and I got bored of fashion. Few years ago, I felt like makeup and beauty in general were limited to me. To widen my palette I started experimenting with the different shapes and colors on myself at home. I documented all of the looks I did, uploaded them to my Instagram and shortly decided to separate this content from my editorial work. That's how Makeupbrutalism was born.


Magyar can use pretty much everything for her makeup looks: slices of raw salmon, used contact lenses, even teeth. Sometimes she quotes her vicious commenters: "I hope you go blind", written on her skin, makes you think how far hate speech can go.
You should know what teamwork is if you want to be a successful makeup artist. Makeupbrutalism has a different approach: it's a one-man conceptual art-project with no compromises to be made. Every failure or success depends on my own decisions and I want to keep it that way.


It's a matter of time, but personally I would like ugly beauty trend to live on. "Ugly" aesthetics are nothing new to fashion, the difference is maybe that now we're brave enough to call it "ugly". Sure, it's a trend like any other, they come and go. This one can only survive if there will be enough artists to pursue its rawness and braveness, if it's natural to their personal style.

You have to put yourself into everything you do, if you don't do that – you're only copying others. As an artist, you should listen to your inner voice, you should study what you really like and why. It takes a lot of courage to stick with that, especially when it's not popular at the moment. But this is the only way to find your personal style.


On top of that you run @uglymakeuprevolution account – a curated gallery representing irregular makeup artistry. The ugly beauty trend grew big: the aesthetics previously exclusive to fashion and art industries are now introduced to a wider audience. There's a new generation of makeup artists and influencers who work in this field. What do you think the future holds for the trend?


it's more than just makeup
Gucci Beauty noticed yours! (Magyar did a series of makeup looks for the brand last December). The collaboration was surely a huge step for you. How did it affect you?
It was a dream come true: for both a visual creator and a makeup artist that I am. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that Gucci loves what I do or that they even know I exist per se. The first brand deal set the bar pretty high! I felt I was on the top of the world yet so afraid at the same time: what's bigger than that? How can I evolve? That's me and my always worried brain yet again. I try to be grateful for everything I have achieved and if I'm never about to top that collab, this is still something no one can take away from me.
Well, you are not limited to just makeup. You started making art objects and the recent Artefact series is very interesting yet shocking to some. "The relation of Human aesthetics and disgust": how did you come up with such a concept?
Two things led me to this series. Lately I was studying human's body and its textures: back in November, I made a series of close-up photos of belly buttons, veins, scars, cellulite etc. People freaked out exactly how I thought they would. They wanted to put trigger warnings all over me – which only convinced me that I was right. People adore textures when it comes to art but they get disgusted when it's their own body.

I also sell T-shirts with my custom prints on Etsy. Someone told me once that I degraded my art to the level of everyday objects, they said the way I price myself is not good enough for an artist. But what makes something art? What makes someone an artist?
I used "human waste" such as hair and nail clippings to create everyday objects: desirable toiletries in theory, yet with a little twist they appeared monstrous for some. Funny enough, my hair combs shocked people even though the combs are always hairy! People love to be dramatic but the most important question here is – why do I feel disgusted by this?


Once you called @makeupbrutalism "a journey":
where are you now?
The best thing about it is that you never know what the future holds. This year I want to release a book and make my first solo exhibition. It would be a great step to lead MBRUT into the offline space: to make it independent from any social platform, to make it real "ART". It's not a makeup account anymore. It has to be something bigger than Instagram page, bigger than just content.