In case you live under a rock, our newest cover series for V137: The “Gen V” Issue has officially made its internet-shattering debut, which sees a nine all-star cover roster starring Iris Law, Malika Louback, Evan Mock, Sky Ferreira, Charli XCX, Shygirl, Rina Sawayama, The Kid LAROI, and Eartheater—all decked out in the color of the season: PINK! Aside from the perfectly pink covers (so vibrant it could even make Barbie jealous) to the contrasting all-black attire sported inside the cover story, within the pages of the new issue, one thing is certain—the beauty looks were certain to be killer, as the magic hands of makeup artist Raisa Flowers transformed our cover subjects into the ultimate “Gen V” pink punk rockers.

Having first been featured as part of our Pride 2021 digital cover series, V’s Digital & Beauty Editor Kevin Ponce goes in conversation with the beauty pioneer to learn more about Raisa’s foray into the industry and what it was like working on the set of our new cover shoot!

Kevin Ponce: Let’s start at the beginning. How did you first get into beauty? What are some of your earliest memories of makeup in general? 

Raisa Flowers: The earliest memories were going to the make-up counter with my mom at Macy’s. My mom really loved to play with makeup, and I started to do the same. It started to become an outlet for my expression. Doing Makeup is like painting on a  canvas, you can express so many different emotions, styles, eras, and cultures… once I really leaned into it, I realized this was a passion for me. 

KP: What do you consider your first big break as a makeup artist? Do you remember how you felt that day? 

Iris Law | Photography by Richard Burbridge for V137

RF: I don’t think there was one singular moment that defined my success but a series of really impactful moments for both my career and my artistry. At that time, I really had to be like, ‘wow, I just did that… this is what I have always wanted.’ It’s a kind of a “Pinch Me” moment. Fashion and beauty are always about what’s next, I am always working on something exciting, but I sometimes take a step back and say be really proud of the work I have done.   

KP: What are some memorable looks that you’ve done that you would consider your favorites?

RF: Some of the amazing looks I have done with Aweng Ade-Chuol, everything that I have done with V Magazine, and of course my first American Vogue cover. I love creating work on both Precious [Lee] and Bella [Hadid]’s faces. It’s so fun!

Shygirl | Photography by Richard Burbridge for V137

KP: What creative forces would you say helps fuel inspiration for you in your work? 

RF: I absorb everything from the world around me. My friends and my community are huge inspirations. Black cultural icons, Grace Jones, Miss Eliote, Danyelle Luna, Lil Kim, and Diana Ross.

KP: Now to our #GenV cover series. What were your first reactions when you found out that the whole theme was pink? 

RF: Oh man! How was I gonna make pink look good on everyone? *laughs*

KP: Aside from the color pink being the main focal point, what was the general direction that you wanted for the beauty looks? Did you have any references while creating the looks on the talents? 

RF: Nicola [Formichetti] and I collaborated on the final looks for each. I don’t go crazy over references, I like to look at a reference maybe once or twice. I always want my spin on something to come through in an image. Then, I always really tailor each look and mood to each person’s face. My work is very much a feeling and vibe that I go with, I stick to my instinct about what I think looks good. 

Eartheater | Photography by Richard Burbridge for V137

KP: What was the creative dynamic like with each of the subjects? Did you find that some were more open to experimentation than others?

RF: I am always able to collaborate with any talent based on their comfort, but I always try and push the line just a little. I get people to trust my knowledge and taste, and typically, they are really happy when they do. 

KP: Which beauty did you like the best out of all of them? Which took the longest to complete? Why?

RF: I can honestly say I like all of them, they are all their own characters. Eartheater’s look probably took the longest, but that was just because we couldn’t stop chatting and catching up. *laughs*

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