Anoli describes make-up as a universal profession, and it’s easy to see why.
Her first make-up lessons took place in Larissa, Greece. She studied at the Makeup Designory in Los Angeles, where she also served as the make-up artist on the short film Punching Hitler. After styling such Hollywood notables as Kelis, Pamela Anderson, Jude Law and Hilary Duff, Anoli next found herself in Brussels, Belgium, where she worked as a M.A.C. make-up artist and joined the reality show De Designers.
She has done make-up for videos David LaChapelle filmed for Elton John. And she’s a staple at the Milan, New York and Los Angeles fashion-week shows, working with such designers as Eduardo Lucero and Salvatore Ferragamo.
These days, about the only place you won’t find Anoli (formerly known as Ilona Velez) is in an Estonian dentist office, although that’s where she first earned her living, as a dental technician. Her world tour began after she married an American employed by the U.S. Foreign Service.
Though it’s a challenge to establish roots in new cities, Anoli relishes the challenge—and the opportunities.
“I enjoy meeting different people around the world the most and love to learn about different cultures,” she says. “I strongly believe all those countries inspired me. Each gave me a different vision of color and a way of working. I’ve learned about the beauty standards throughout the continents.”
The first two phrases she learns when she’s working in a new language are “Close your eyes” and “Open your eyes.” Her top priority, though, is bringing out her subjects’ beauty. “My teacher, Tom Pecheux [with whom she worked at Milan Fashion Week], told me, ‘Anoli, make her look beautiful. Adapt the look for each woman,’” she says.
A magazine cover story on Nefertiti, meanwhile, inspired her to create a living version, and a trip to Africa gave her the opportunity.
“One day I met a young woman in Zimbabwe and knew she was the one,” says Anoli, who created the headpiece from scratch and painted on the necklace freehand. “When she was ready for the photo shoot, we were all speechless. In front of us stood Nefertiti, looking exactly as she does in that statue.”
Courtesy of Make-up Artist Magazine