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11 Nov

When Chicana glam goes emo: enter Selena Ruiz’s world

Combining punk, goth and juggalo make-up with Latine influences, the make-up artist is defining a recent variety of graphic eyeliner

If the cool girl is dead, then make-up artist Selena Ruiz could be dolling up the girlies for the funerals – chocolate over-lined lips, dark skinny eyebrows and daring wings all included. The gig could be fitting for her, too, since her makeup journey began as a coping mechanism after her mother’s death. Afraid to indicate how she truly felt, she would use goth takes on sharp shapes and abstract designs to govern how people saw her. What was solely a mask for pain has now evolved right into a blueprint for her signature editorial graphic liner. 

Ruiz’s creations are deeply rooted in her Latine heritage. Taking cues from the Los Angeles Chola look, her work is Chicana glam goes emo – a product of her community and culture. “I actually have full intentions of bringing my people and my style to those mainstream worlds,” she says. “I’ve been in rooms with individuals who have the facility to achieve this. I try my best to present my input and placed on whatever I can, but that’s why it’s cool. People hire me, for probably the most part, because they need my style. I like to go all out with what I believe is gorgeous.”

Her gothic twist on the classic Chicana look has proved popular, resulting in work with stars like Alexa Demie, Lourdes Leon and Sydney Sweeney, and types including Fenty, Gypsy Sport and Willy Chavarria. But when she first began doing make-up on herself, a profession was removed from Ruiz’s mind. At 18, two years after the lack of her mother, she was living in Riverside, caught up within the all-consuming budtending life and using experimental make-up to cover her pain.

“I’d take a whole lot of Xanax once I was younger – I realize it’s frowned upon, however it helps should you do have anxiety,” she says. “I used to be free to create, and that’s truthfully how the make-up began. I’d do geometrical shapes. I just like the sharpness of them; how easy and clean they were.” Over the past ten or so years, those triangles, rectangles and circles have come together as revamped Siouxsie Sioux and Soo Catwoman aesthetics. She paints faces in hues of black, white, grey and silver – often embellishing with metal balls, o-rings and gems – for something bizarre, edgy and grandiose. 

By the top of the 12 months, Ruiz hopes to publish a diary-like book featuring her signature line work, personal musings, and designs over old photographs of her mother to honour the lady who helped start all of it with a glance she never got to do. And as her star continues to rise, she is using her platform to bring other Latina artists up together with her and challenge those that are inauthentically co-opting the normal styles to the mainstream. “It’s not only make-up; it’s not only a glance. It’s a complete culture and where we come from. It’s our members of the family, it’s our friends, it’s community to us.”

Dazed spoke to Ruiz about how her Latine culture informs her work and sweetness style, crying before happening set as a young artist, and the backlash against Hailey Bieber’s “brownie glazed lips”.

When was your first interaction with make-up and sweetness?

Selena Ruiz: Once I was like 11 or 12, I used to be on MySpace – I used to be like a scene queen. All the other MySpace queens inspired me to choose up some eyeliner. And my mom, she was at all times into make-up and at all times had her bag lying around. I’d fuck with it. It was around that age that I began to do the raccoon eyes. That’s principally all I’d do. Then I’d take her MAC Studio Fix powder – she was really pale, paler than me – I’d put that shit in all places, even on my lips. I could be pale with black eyes.

Besides using make-up as a mask, why else are you drawn to it?

Selena Ruiz: I personally prefer to draw lines. I never dived into painting, art or anything actually on paper. But there’s something about lines; lines with liner. It brings me joy – it really does. 

What styles were you surrounded by while growing up? Do you discover inspiration in any of them?

Selena Ruiz: MySpace. Before that, my mom. She was young when she had me. She was 20 and grew up within the 80s and 90s, so she had that aesthetic: thin brows, eyeliner, lip liner. All of her friends were like that too. They might come over before clubbing to prepare, and I’d see it. I believed it was extra, truthfully – once I was younger, I hated make-up. I’d get so mad at my mom for taking a lot time to prepare. But my mom and her homegirls were my first beauty inspirations. They looked like dolls. They were caked up. 

What decade of make-up are you regularly looking back at?

Selena Ruiz: The 90s is an enormous reference, but I also love the 70s and 80s punk make-up. Just the crazy line work they’d do – it wasn’t at all times perfect, it was at all times type of fucked up. I desired to are available in and recreate it in my very own way, to make it very sharp and clean but add a beauty aspect to it. A few of them weren’t pretty, ? It was art, but they weren’t well executed. I desired to make it hot, like where I could put a supermodel, bomb base and crazy – thoroughly executed – eyeliner look. I like merging punk 70s and 80s make-up with a 90s vibe.

How do you are feeling concerning the rise of Latine influences in popular make-up trends?

Selena Ruiz: It’s annoying, I’m not going to lie. It is determined by who it’s. For instance, I recently heard about Hailey Bieber [and her brownie-glazed lips]. I don’t know if she had the intention of attempting to rename it or if she knew originally where the fuck it got here from. I don’t know if she was tone-deaf with that. I don’t know what the fuck that was, however it caused an enormous stirrup within the Latina beauty community. It’s the identical shit. We’re missed. After we do it, it’s ghetto; after they do it, it’s high fashion.

I used to be talking to certainly one of my friends – he’s a designer – Willy Chavarria. We were talking at a panel meeting about this subject. He was saying a magazine hit him up, fat budget. They wanted him to decorate Bella Hadid, but they wanted her to be like a Chola. He denied it, because what the fuck? They literally said those words, like Cho-la. That’s so ew. It’s not only make-up; it’s not only a glance. It’s a complete culture and where we come from. It’s our members of the family, it’s our friends, it’s community to us. These people see it, they usually’re like, ‘oh, that appears cool, but it’ll look cooler on us, and we are able to make it popular because we’ve the means to achieve this’

It’s wack. I don’t imagine in cultural appreciation – I actually don’t. Just stay in your lane. I believe it needs to be left to us, and I see an enormous rise in Latina artists without delay. I don’t know if it’s since it’s becoming trendy or popular within the mainstream, but I’m glad to see my homegirls doing it, and I’m capable of bring my homegirls along who don’t have a platform like that.

How does your personal Latine culture inform your beauty practices?

Selena Ruiz: Growing up it’s at all times been instilled in me just from being around. I like old photos from the 70s and 80s. @veteranas_and_rucas is an archive Instagram account that my homegirl Lupe runs. She’s an older woman who grew up in East LA, and other people send her photos of their families. They’re all LA-based or Southern Cali-based. The make-up is so sick; I’ve definitely taken a lot of inspiration from those old photos. Within the 70s, they’d do pencil-thin, rounded eyebrows with almost clown eyeliner with white underneath and white on top. It’s just beautiful.

Sometimes your graphic liner appears very Juggalo-like, is that this done on purpose?

Selena Ruiz: Definitely. I was super into clowns. Once I began doing make-up, my theme was clowns. I’d do my make-up like a clown and exit with it on because I believed it was cool. I still think it’s cool.

Also, it comes from the old skool veteranas from LA. They might literally do clownish make-up – drag down their liner to appear like a tragic clown or line their lips with white after which over their lip liner, they’d do a small white border. Clowns have at all times been a thing within the culture. You see it in all places. If you happen to go to the swap meets, you’ll see the fucking shirts with the payasa women on them. Payasos are an enormous inspiration inside the Chicano community. It’s a staple that comes naturally [in my make-up].

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