THE BEAUTY MANIFESTO is the love child of one of my favorite creative duos. Meet Amy Strozzi, a celebrity makeup artist, and John Michael Fulton, esteemed photographer and rising favorite among the starlet set. Together, the two have created a world of carefree, innovative looks that align with the standards of the modern woman. We chatted with one of our favorite creative duos about the project and where the manifesto will go next.
What is your beauty manifesto?
Our beauty manifesto is really that anything goes. For this particular project, there are no rules. We are simply exploring different forms of beauty, sometimes its very commercial in feel, sometimes it’s experimental, sometimes it’s a bit dark. I guess that’s the point, beauty has no defined expression to it. You try something, it either works or it doesn’t and you move on.
How did you pick the models to feature on the site?
For our first few sessions we worked with girls we knew from Instagram that have either reached out to JM before, or he has met from previous castings. We needed girls who would be patient with us while we were figuring things out! We’ve just started shooting personalities as well…some cool musicians and artists. We really just want to work with interesting people who aren’t afraid to show their face as bare as we shoot it for our opening look.
TBM is described as a photo project rather than beauty blog, why is that?
I’m sure I’ll think of it as a beauty blog of some sort eventually. At the moment it’s a side project for JM and I that allows us to practice our craft and for me, try out new products, for him, experiment with lighting & finishes.
What do you think makes the Beauty Manifesto different from a typical beauty blog?
I don’t think we even compare since we’re basically just doing whatever feels right at the moment and then putting it out there. How and what we’re showing today may look totally different next time. It’s a work in progress for sure.
What made you want to start The Beauty Manifesto?
Originally we started TBM as a means to shoot more in general, while at the same time making good use of all the products I always have and often don’t get to use. It’s a very intimate setting since we shoot in a little space in our house, sometimes it’s just us and the model, or sometimes the stars align and one of our super talented friends is available for hair/styling, and it ends up being a big fun creative hang.
We really just want it to be no stress, and a good time for everyone involved.
The photos and imagery are so beautiful, any plans to expand the project into a book or physical object? (EDITOR NOTE: You totally should!)
We went into this project with no bigger intention than to just get started and see what happens. It would definitely be cool to see it in print someday!
What do you look for in a good face?
It’s always good when the model has at least one unique/strong feature so we can utilize it. Whether it’s lips, lashes, cheekbones, brows or even a great nose or teeth, just something to play up. It’s bonus when they’re the type that gives you some weirdness or personality when it’s time for that last experimental shot. Some girls are more into the idea of theatrics than others.
Do you plan the looks you want to feature of base it on the models vibe?
I wish I could say we had big plans going into these shoots, but we’re only just starting to get there. Sometimes we will just say “Bardot vibes” or “dots” and see what happens. Sometimes I have a great new cosmetic I want to feature so I’ll just use a color or brand as the theme. Since we’ve started shooting personalities and musicians, we also want to make sure they feel comfortable with whatever we’re doing so that’s more of a group conversation.
What other photo projects would you guys like to embark on together?
I think we’re really going to enjoy shooting more of a mix of personalties, and some of the collabs we want to do with artist friends. We’ve also got some cool theme’s we’ve been saving for when we can really execute it well. We’d love to start traveling more and shoot in other cities.
My Dad keeps trying to convince us to make a calendar of our cats, maybe that’s the secret
goldmine we’re not exploring…
What is the most rebellious thing you do in your job?
I think we’re in a really cool moment in time where everyones starting to get really experimental with their looks. Massive exposure to everything gives people so much inspiration and confidence, this next generation coming up isn’t afraid to wear heart shaped glitter out in the world and they usually look amazing in it.
I think for me it’s more like rebelling against myself, pushing my own boundaries and stepping past pretty into weirder territory. Just doing it and being okay with whatever the results.
I’m also currently obsessed with putting shiny red lipstick on boys.
Can you give us a few makeup tips that everyone needs to know?
Invest in a great matte red lip color of whatever shade you like best. I suggest . Those are my go-tos.
If you’re going to try your hand with glitter, have a roll of scotch tape around to help pick up the mess on your skin or otherwise.
Pointed q-tips are your best friend for cleaning up the eyes and lips.
Clean your brushes!!
photos / JOHN MICHEAL FULTON
makeup / AMY STROZZI
story / KOKO NTUEN