Inside Makeup Artist Jo Baker’s Beauty Mood Boards and “Ultimate Muse” Lucy Boynton

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Jo Baker has been counting down the days until she gets to work with actor Lucy Boynton again. For this evening’s look, worn in celebration of Chanel’s new Fifth Avenue flagship, Baker created a neon mod eye moment, petal pink and swirls of silver shimmer framed by ample lashes. 

“Lucy is my ultimate muse,” says Baker. “She is so utterly game, and she’s like an open book for any aesthetic. I could pull from the 1800s, I could make her into a spoiled brat toddler at a party with a tiara on with obnoxious freckles and blush. She’s probably my only client like that, who is so interested in storytelling that the vanity of presentation comes from a place of, ‘What character am I going to be today?’”

This is important to Baker, who got her start in editorial makeup and thrives on the creative elements of her career. From era references—those based on both a client’s nature and the outfit in question—to mood boarding, the makeup artist is all about the process. One scroll of her Instagram immediately reveals said penchant for daydreamy looks and digital mood boards, which Baker does after creating a look.

“It’s literally me on my phone, in a hotel lobby or a corridor somewhere, on Google images searching anything that comes into my head: ‘galactic,’ ‘retro,’ ‘cartoon,’ ‘Vogue,’ ‘1960s,’ ‘Space Odyssey,’ just waiting for things to come up and make sense,” she says. “And finally I’m like, “‘That’s it, that’s exactly where my brain was going.’” This may seem counterintuitive, but Baker’s mood boards, while fun for her, are really for us. “I just love presenting so people can learn about colors and tones and texture,” she says. “I love the art teacher vibe of what I do, allowing people’s brains to open up a bit to different eras, different times, different inspirations.”

For Boyton, that era inspo tends toward the 1960s. “She does give me that ‘60s dolly, even through her mannerisms, and her style,” says Baker. She’ll wear like a fat Prada loafer with a little skirt, a blouse, and a black leather jacket, so already her personal style is giving me punk, a little ‘90s, and ‘60s mod.”

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Jose Reber

Jose Reber is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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