❤︎ The Gemini with
the Pisces Tattoo ☾
PHOTO SET BY JACOB GREEN
FEATURING GINA SHKEDA
STYLED BY MADDIE CORNACCHIA
☾ q: who is
❤︎ a: i'm a makeup artist, a youtube vlogger, an influencer, a filmmaker - many things, really! but above all else, i pride myself on being a creative.
FORMATTED AND EDITED BY MIYA STRAUSS
☾ q: of those pursuits, would you say you prefer being in front of, or behind the camera?
❤︎ a: it's tough to say - but both are involved in most of the work i do. being in front of the camera provides a vessel for my audience to connect with, which i'm grateful for. but i think that connection comes from what i do behind the camera- all the creativity and production that goes into the content i share. as i grow in my career, i'm finding more and more that much of my passion lies in work that is purely behind the camera - it's a different type of fulfilment, to make connections through content that is rooted entirely in expression, without speaking directly to the audience.
☾ q: so, where was your starting point?
❤︎ a: i started my youtube channel when i was in high school, before the beauty guru movement exploded into what it is today. i just really loved makeup, so i decided to film videos of my process. i didn't expect it to blow up the way it did, but the success of my channel has opened up many doors for me to explore other avenues of creation, and interact with other creatives.
☾ q: as a pioneer of the industry, what have you noticed has changed?
❤︎ a: well, when i first started making videos, the industry hadn't yet been commodified into what it now is, and makeup artistry was all about the craft - there was no reason to do it other than you loved it, and you were good at it. as it grows in popularity, new reasons to be a 'beauty guru' arise - it's marketable and accessible, so people jump at it as a chance to market themselves. for a large portion of the industry, it seems the 'entertainment value' has become more important than the craft itself, it's like one large reality show.
☾ q: where do you place yourself in that equation? how do you differentiate yourself from that world?
❤︎ a: for many, it's about chasing the lifestyle - one which i've gotten a taste of, and truthfully, it's not for me. if anything, i feel it takes away from the actual work; it validates the commodification of industry players, and deemphasizes the importance of the artistry. so i try to avoid the frill. it goes without saying that there is a big focus on appearances in the beauty industry - i mean, duh. part of the job is literally, putting on our best face, and presenting it to the world. but so many influencers are more than happy to allow their followers to believe that they just 'woke up like this!', it's dishonest, and frankly just problematic. i don't ever want my audience to see me and think, 'either you're born with it, or you're not', because that just isn't true! i am always honest about the time, money, and effort that goes into my appearance, because it's my responsibility to be. to believe otherwise contradicts the very nature of what we do, which is helping others feel as beautiful as possible.
☾ q: what's next for gina shkeda?
❤︎ a: i'm really proud of myself for how far i've been able to take my career in makeup, and i'm so thankful for the support i've received. i've worked hard for my voice, and i hope to continue using it to create innovation within the industry, and inspire my viewers - but i don't plan on stopping there! since i started my youtube channel, my passion was split between makeup, and the production process. lately i've been getting more serious about the ladder, which has lead me to creating videos outside of the makeup world, and i'm so excited to see where that leads me.