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Expressionism in Action

Makeup artist Valentina Li is one of China's most creative young makeup artists.

The growth of the makeup category in China over the last few years belies its short history in the country. As recent as two decades ago, it would be rare to find anyone Chinese with a made-up face. Makeup was used predominantly to cover imperfections — typically an investment someone made into their appearance for their workplace. Its role in society is now shifting to that of a creative outlet for individualistic expression and pleasure. Young creatives, like makeup artist Valentina Li, are experimenting in ways that veer far from established norms. Here, Li teamed with Shanghai-based imagemaker and creative director Alex Slavycz on a portfolio that emphasizes the new approach China is taking to color.