Taylor Swift on the cover of Wonderland magazine, photographed by Thomas Whiteside.
Any Taylor Swift fan can tell you about the country-turned-popstar’s devotion to eyeliner. But the singer, whose most recent video for her single “Blank Space” made headlines yesterday (and earned Beyonce comparisons), ditched her signature beauty look for the cover of Wonderland magazine.
For someone who’s been in the public eye for nearly a decade, Swift is almost unrecognizable. Photographer Thomas Whiteside shot her looking bronzed and almost bare-faced—even slightly androgynous—thanks to hairstylist Karin Bigler and makeup artist Maxine Leonard, both of whom gave Yahoo Beauty the scoop.
“The team were keen to push for an androgynous feel with Taylor,” says Leonard. “Slightly toughening up her natural look with a strong brow and her hair taken off her face.” Bigler says that once the team agreed to take Swift’s look in a new direction, Whiteside came up with a beautiful Richard Avedon/Kate Moss reference and Swift was totally up for it. “Editorially, the idea is to change a look and push an image forward,” says Leonard. “It’s a big ask.” Bigler adds, “We all presented our ideas to Taylor and she was up for it.”
And thank goodness, since the end result is stop-in-your-tracks gorgeous. Leonard says, “The look was a bronze glow with freckles, promoting youth and health.” She used Tom Ford’s Shade and Illuminate Intensity 01 on Swift’s cheekbones, and Suqqu Moss Green Eyebrow Palette on her brows. “Taylor does not usually wear her brows this heavy, but I felt it would give strong definition to her face,” Leonard says.
Bilger used Sebastian Professional’s Shine Define Spray and Potion 9 to give Swift her swept-back wet look. “And of course water,” she says. “I worked the look in with my hands. It’s almost like doing sculpture!”
Needless to say, both artists are thrilled with the results. “The idea of daring to go bare is a bold approach,” says Leonard. “There’s a sophistication to this that I love.” At this point in Swift’s career, only a fool wouldn’t take her seriously. But if this is part of her strategic plan to shed a youthful image in favor of a more sophisticated image, we can’t wait to see what comes next.