ICONICA : Ayami Nishimura

Avant garde makeup artist Ayami Nishimura turns cosmetics from a morning ritual to a full-blown art form, completely transforming highbrow and mainstream fashion and celebrities with her unfettered imagination. Using the face as a living canvas, she creates glistening dreamscapes where Japanese history, nature, and visions of the future fuse together.

She opens the window to a complete fantasy world with her elaborate, distinctive, bold and whimsical creations.


Nishimura was born in Japan and has lived in London since 1993. Self taught, she has developed her own unique style; edgy, colourful and classically beautiful.

Nishimura recently collaborated with world-renowned photographer and publisher Rankin to present a selection of photographs capturing the avant garde spirit. In the second in his series of beauty books Rankin’s renowned skill for beauty portraiture shines.

“When Rankin suggested doing a book together, I immediately started doing a lot of research – I always do. I studied photography, fashion illustration, African art, nature, animals, painting, music – everything, really. I found myself fascinated by the idea of a cyber theme, and accumulated lots of different ideas based on that”. Nishimura explains.

“By the time I started the drawings, I could see the makeup in my head. For each image, I needed people – stylists, hairdressers, nail artists, and set designers. Set design was the most important for me. I like the full image to tell the story, so I always fill the space. The people I worked with brought the project to the next level”.

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