Tell us a few words about you.
My name is Panagiotis Karakassis, I come from Xanthi and I live in Athens since 2004. I started working as a freelancer hairstylist and makeup artist, meanwhile Ι was working in a clothing store as a salesman, to make some more money. From 2009 till 2017 I used to work for MAC and from 2017 until today I work again as a freelancer. All these years I have also been working through MAC but also on my own in fashion shows, magazines and television.
My main feature is that, anything new I like to apply it first on myself and then to my clients. Also, if I don't like something, I am not able to do it. When I feel free, I can do anything a client has thought.
What are the highlights of your career?
At first, I had the opportunity to travel with my old company in Dubai and to work backstage for designers from the Middle East, it was a thrilling and great experience for me. That's where my aesthetic and hand evolved because you get to see how products work in other facial structures.
I was very lucky because one time in a shooting I was asked to do makeup for an actress from London, that was Tonia Sotiropoulou, which turned out to be my ticket to be known and trusted. She is a person that I am grateful for and love, because not only we worked together, but we also became two very good friends. It's something I find very rare, to be both partners and friends, so I consider myself very lucky. Something also very important in my life, is my trips with her, we have been to almost all countries. I was in many events, I saw people I admired, their style and makeup and I selected many positive comments about my work. That was a very good boost for all I wanted to do. Of course, I had an amazing face / muse that didn't need much. This year's highlight was my collaboration with an amazing photographer, Frederic Monceau, for FORBS Paris. It was great luck for me, it gave me a very strong push on how to continue and evolve my work, because sometimes an artist can go through a period of stagnation because of routine. So, our collaboration in Mykonos with this photographer and this magazine made me feel full again. I admired him so much. What impressed me the most was how young and simple he was, with such great jobs, without being offensive. He was the perfect partner. I am deeply grateful for this cooperation, and I owe it to Tonia for mediating all that.
What made you become a makeup artist?
I grew up with three older sisters and whenever they were getting ready to go out, I usd to watch them and think about how they put color on them and how this transformation was done. We're talking about a normal transformation of course as they were using just an eye pencil and a lipstick. Moreover, from a very young age, I used to love magazines. I really wanted to create a magazine. I remember watching ads with face creams and shampoos, which featured bare skin without looking made-up and I was impressed. That stigmatized me and that is why I started working in the makeup field. Favorite magazines of mine were 01, NITRO, the Italian VOGUE and the American VOGUE. As a child, I was saving money all month long just to buy them. In order to save that money, I used to avoid spending money for anything else. I am still that maniac with magazines.
How is the makeup world connected to the art world?
We, make-up artists are above all, painters. We take a person, we turn the face into a canvas, and we create a new one according to any case. That is the reason why in castings, we choose “clean” faces. But we are also, in some type of way, surgeons. We do corrections that are not visible to the naked eye. We fluctuate facial features by using 3D techniques. So, yes, makeup is art.
How do you feel about today's influences?
Every person should adapt their style, based on their personality. Of course, you will have influences, but the best thing is to improve what you already have. Fashion is improvisation, you create it yourself, as we also do with trends. This I consider to be the most correct as well as the most timeless. After all, fashion is a circle, as in makeup, clothes and hair. It's hard to be a loyal follower, unless you're a pop idol. I think that even in this case, when you are called upon to create the image of a new artist, your base is his personality. So, fashion starts and ends with our personality. That's what I consider to be art. To combine today’s trends with your personality and make it acceptable to those around you.
I encourage young children to rely on their personality. All this social media “vortex” that obviously makes you learn faster and modernize, is also causing great harm. We become victims of the media, which saddens me. Today we follow ready-made templates and approach them as idols. We don’t have any role models in music, fashion, or makeup anymore. To recognize that, you need to know who you are. Nowadays, girls and boys don’t have self-awareness. It is very sad. And when it comes to fashion, of course you must be up to date, but you should, definitely, have some foundations. Unfortunately, our generation lives with fake role models. Even in social media they launch what sells the most. Fashion can be everyone’s product. But aesthetics come always first. There is a very bad influence because of the free internet.
What are your plans for the years that follow?
My collaboration with Frederic Monceau, as I said before, worked like a lucky charm as the season started off very well. I want to continue working in fashion magazines, to have my own appointments. Also, in association with Oriflame we have created a new school that is open to everyone. We learn theory, techniques as well as practice on the spot. This will take place in the company's special area, as a school classroom. We will of course visit all the major cities of Greece. More information will be posted on the social media after January, both by the company and by me. We have a great time and as I say in seminars, we break our habits. It's called Master Makeup School and I'm the teacher. I'd like to someday launch my own skin care products. I love skin.
I am also rebuilding my blog where I talk about makeup, products, men's and women's skincare, even clothing. At the same time, my goal is to keep my YouTube channel more active.
Last but not least, with Nadia Sidiropoulou (studio 83) we designed some T-shirts with the slogan 'Without Makeup'. I thank her so much for helping me fulfill this dream.