Maxine Leonard is a Makeup Artist with broad experience and extensive knowledge in the fashion industry. Editorially, she has contributed to Vogue (British, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Chinese), Harpers Bazaar, Numero, i-D, Teen Vogue, LOVE, W and V.
Maxine’s career began when, on completion of her course at London College of Fashion, she worked for the Shu Uemura Artistic Team in Japan. During this time Maxine helped in the development of Shu Uemura’s product line, trend forecasts and concepts, which she regularly demonstrated on stage – during master classes and seminars.
“Mr. Uemura is truly inspirational and placed great emphasis on creativity and perfecting my individual strengths,” she says. And it was during this time Maxine not only discovered her own unique approach to makeup, but also determined the practice of creating beautifully luxurious skin - part of her training involved learning the sixteen ways Mr. Uemura had devised for cleansing the face.
Additionally, it was during Maxine’s four years as Beauty Director at Wonderland that she was able to creatively art direct beauty stories: translating briefs collaborating with luxury houses, including: Yves Saint Lauent, Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Vidal Sassoon and Shu Uemura – editorially and through film. Working closely with photographers Maxine commissioned teams; and created concepts and narratives for these shoots and films.
Maxine was appointed Brand Ambassador for SUQQU make up using her skills learnt from training in Japan and directed ideas through visual communication and live events. Maxine has consulted for other premium brands and make up campaigns for the likes of Kanebo, Dermalogica, Ren, Aveda, L'oreal, Claudia Schiffer Make Up and Serge Lutens.
In 2015 Maxine launched Beauty Papers with Valerie Wickes. Beauty Papers is a bi annual publication that aims at being smart, funny, shocking and inspirational. Looking at beauty from intellectual perspectives with quality writing and trusted opinion for a more fierce and intelligent reader. The underlying agenda is reigniting readers appetite for ambiguity and contradiction, fostering a greater appreciation of the reality of beauty.
Shortly after launching Beauty Papers Maxine and Valerie created a Media Agency which is a full service creative and strategic agency bringing unparalleled expertise in the world of beauty and fashion communication. These brands include Chanel, MAC, Dior, Serge Lutens, Bella Freud, Face Gym and NARS.
In 2016 Maxine and Valerie were awarded the D And AD Pencil for Best Magazine and Newspaper Design.
In 2017 and 2108 The Business of Fashion honoured both Maxine and Valerie with The BOF Top 500 which is a definitive index of people shaping the fashion industry.
Punk said 'screw the formula' Beauty Papers says liberate creative beauty, give beauty a braver, flawed and more honest face. There is nothing more inspiring than beauty when the chains are taken off.
To ask what is beauty......
Today is to come face to face with the changing definition of beauty. Perhaps more than any other time in history, we are preoccupied with, even confused by beauty: its power, its pleasures, its style, and its substance. Beauty may not be the most important of our values, but it affects us all; today more than ever, because we live in a Media Age where our visual landscape changes in seconds, and our first reaction to people is sometimes our last. Given this reality, the so-called "triviality" of beauty suddenly seems not so trivial after all.