Lessons in Beauty with Maxim Magnus ~ i-D Magazine

Lessons in Beauty with Maxim Magnus ~ i-D Magazine

Our gorgeous Maxim featured on i-D Magazine!

Fresh from her catwalk debut this season, the 19-year-old Belgian model opens up about the transformative powers of make-up.

It's been a busy few months for 19-year-old trans model Maxim Magnus. The Belgium-born beauty made her LFW debut walking for young British designer Paula Knorr, signed to London-based model agency Linden Staub, and recently appeared in a panel discussion with Gurls Talker founder Adwoa Aboah in Berlin, taking the stage to talk about the trans community and the power of female activists. Fast becoming one to watch, here she reflects on the transformative powers of makeup.

"My first introduction to the beauty industry was via Gigi Gorgeous's YouTube channel. She used to go all out with extravagant looks and hilarious makeup tutorials. I just loved everything about her. This was before either of us had identified as trans — but her videos are what got me thinking.

I first started experimenting with makeup in my bedroom, where I would record makeup tutorials of my own that are no longer on the web. At the time they served as an outlet for my feelings, and a platform through which I could be creative. I loved everything about it.

The first time I wore makeup outside of the house was to my mom's birthday dinner. I remember my family was so proud, but at the same time were so scared of what the reaction might be from the outside world, not because they thought it was weird or because they cared about people's comments, they just didn't want me to get hurt.

I always felt quite beautiful as a kid, that was until I reached a stage where I started getting bullied. That definitely shattered my confidence, and made me feel insecure about my appearance, which in turn made me gain quite a bit of weight. In order to get that confidence back — even if it was just a little bit — I would wear a lot of makeup.

The most challenging time for me was between the ages of 10-13. Even though I was a very happy kid, I was never happy with my body. I would always use fashion as a way to express my true identity, and from the age of 14, I started dressing as a girl almost full-time. I would also wear a full face of makeup; the more I could cover my face, the better. I felt like it made people see me more as a girl because people associate makeup with girls. Thinking back, I probably looked better without it, but it just gave me that extra boost of confidence that I didn't have at the time.

I was also always outgoing and very extravagant, but I feel I was loud and cheerful to make up for my appearance and the horrible feeling I had inside. I might have always looked like a cheery and fun teenager, but that's definitely not how I felt at all times. That being said, the further I got into my transition, the more comfortable I became with my body and the less loud I got.

The way I view myself has changed immensely, even though today I still struggle with my appearance some days. Most days I feel great in my body, and when I don't I just think back to the days when I was struggling so much with my self-image and how far I've come. I think I've really grown into the person I want to be, and am still working on it every day.

To me, beauty means feeling confident in your body. My mood really affects the way I look. When I feel great, I look great. Your skin says so much about you, it's the first thing people see when they meet you. I feel like that like, if you eat well, exercise regularly, and drink lots of water both you and your skin will feel great.

Every morning and night, I wash my face with an oil from Marie Stella Maris, which is one of my favorite brands. Their products are natural, and also support a good cause. After I cleanse my face, I always use Caudalie's Beauty Elixir, which is something my mom has used for years. I love natural products and I don't want to be feeding my body chemicals it doesn't need.

These days, I keep my makeup fairly simple. I love to make my face glow because I feel like it makes me look healthier, which is super important to me as I'm so pale. I love to contour and highlight. I don't wear makeup everyday but when I do, I start with Estee Lauder Double Wear concealer, and apply everything with a beauty blender. I then go in with a Bobbi Brown blush stick and use it as my cream contour. For my powder contour and highlight I use a Charlotte Tilbury duo. I love these because they have a bit glitter in them and make me glow rather than having a matte contour that most people prefer — I just don't think it looks good on me. I then finish off with my MAC clear eyebrow gel to keep my big brows in place and then I spray some Caudalie Beauty Elixir to set everything. I have really big lips, which means they get dry super quickly, so to top off, I always use the Nuxe Reve De Miel lip balm. It's just the best.

My biggest makeup fail was probably buying a foundation that was way too dark for me. At the time I wanted to look more tanned, which is why I bought it. I remember I tested it out when I went to my uncle's birthday party. Not only was the foundation way too dark for me, my skin was also reacting really badly to it. I ended up washing off all of my makeup in the restaurant bathroom with hand soap… That was definitely not my best beauty moment. 

If I could give my younger-self a piece of advice it would be to not change your appearance for anyone but yourself, even if you're trying to prove yourself to people. It's important that you always stay true to yourself, because if you start changing your appearance for other people, that will only make you doubt yourself in the end and make you a lot less happy. Don't stress too much about the small stuff either, because the more you doubt yourself, the more that's going to reflect on your self-image. Lastly, only do things if they're going to make you happy and surround yourself with positive people because that will help with the way you view yourself."



Female Empowerment [news]

Pia for Allure [stories]

Kiana Polaroids [polaroids]

Vlada for Harper's Bazaar China [stories]

Pia Priewe Polaroids [polaroids]

Josephin by Catherine Harbour [stories]

Finn for W Magazine [stories]

Emilia by Catherine Harbour [stories]

Brogan x Kevin Germanier AW18 Campaign [stories]

Polaroids with Jennifer Koch [polaroids]

Vanessa Polaroids [polaroids]

Magda for L'Officiel Vietnam [stories]

Linden Staub x Irish Tatler [stories]

Lizaveta for Lovebite Magazine [stories]

Kiana for Irish Tatler [stories]

Kiana by Kostas Stavropoulos [stories]

Maxim for the Evening Standard [news]

Emilia by Isabella Lombardini [stories]

Erin by Jakub Koziel [stories]

Maxim for Gay Times Magazine [stories]

Catherine Neilson Polaroids #BackInTown [polaroids]

Lou for Manning Cartell [stories]

Linden Staub celebrates 2nd Anniversary [news]

Camila by Catherine Harbour [stories]

Lou for The MECCA Memo [news]

Chloe Polaroids [polaroids]

Esther Kinnear-Derungs for Deutschland Radio [news]

Dasha by Lena Melnik [stories]

Pia for Erika Cavallini [stories]

Chloe by Ashton Hugh [stories]

Pia 27.03.2018 [instagram]

Linden Staub x Who What Wear UK [news]

Magda for British GQ Style [stories]

Living in My Skin: 8 People Reveal Why They Love Their Freckles, Moles, and More ~ Pia x Allure [news]

Maxim Magnus at the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange Fashion 4 Development Afternoon Tea [news]

Camila by Isabella Lombardini [stories]

Erin by Anastasia Fua [stories]

Lizaveta for Hunger Magazine [stories]

Open Wide - The latest book by best selling author Melissa Ambrosini! [news]

"This model agency just became the first to ban fur" ~ Linden Staub x i-D Magazine [news]

Linden Staub Adopts Fur-Free Policy [news]

Introducing ~ Melissa Ambrosini [polaroids]

Milli by Lucas Suchorab [stories]

Jessica & Lizaveta for Stella McCartney AW18 Digital Campaign [news]

Georgia SF Polaroids [polaroids]

Dasha for Saks Spring Fashion Book [stories]

Pia for Drawer [stories]

Charlotte Pallister x Tom Ford Dazed [polaroids]

Yana for VOGUE Italia Online [stories]

Chloe by Jakub koziel [stories]

Lydia Atchison Polaroids [polaroids]

“The Real Mother Agency” ~ Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung [news]

Maxim: Nike x Zalando [stories]

International Women's Day 2018 #Empowered [news]

Milli by Jakub Koziel [stories]

Anna May for HEROINE Magazine [stories]

Marina by Lucas Suchorab [stories]

Maxim x Bare Fine Jewellery [stories]

Marina by Ashton Hugh [stories]

Kiana by Andras Bartok [stories]

Lizaveta for Forte Lookbook [stories]

Marina by Jakub Koziel [stories]

Kiana for GLAMOUR South Africa [stories]

Marina by Luc Coiffait [stories]

Five Things You Need To Know About Paula Knorr AW18 ~ Hunger TV [news]

Lou for Who What Wear UK ~ "What's Wasting Your Wardrobe's Time, According to a 59-Year-Old Fashion Guru" [news]

Linden Staub x Paula Knorr AW18 #Exclusive #LFW [stories]

Ellie by Lucas Suchorab [stories]

"Beauty and the Ugly Truth" - Boston Globe [news]

Linden Staub x Evening Standard - #MeToo [news]

Georgia by Jakub Koziel [stories]

Jessica for Victoria Beckham AW18 #Exclusive #NYFW [stories]

Dasha for Michael Kors AW18 #NYFW [stories]

Dasha for Zimmermann AW18 #NYFW [stories]

Dasha for Oscar De La Renta AW18 #NYFW [stories]

Milou by Jack Eames [stories]

Maxim for Design Scene [stories]

Erin by Josephine Roloff [stories]

Lotje by Oliver Beckmann [stories]

Linden Staub x Mint Velvet SS18 Lookbook [stories]

Vanessa by Josephine Roloff [stories]

Lotje by Michal Rzepecki [stories]

Astin for L'Officiel Turkey [stories]

Charlotte for MAC [stories]

Lotje for Luisa Via Roma [stories]

Galina for MOD magazine [stories]

Gemma for GLAMOUR Germany [stories]

Maxim for Wonderland Magazine [news]

Tsiu Kim and Ella for Flair Magazine [stories]

Chiara for ELLE Sposa [stories]

Maxim for Interview Magazine [stories]

Milo by Henry Knocks [stories]

Ella by Luke Hodges [stories]

Francesca for L'Officiel Italia [stories]

Emilia by Jakub Koziel [stories]

Lou by Isabella Lombardi [stories]

Lizaveta for L'Officiel Azerbaijan [stories]

Jessica by Jakub Koziel [news]

Francesca for Hunger [stories]

Pia for Oyster Magazine [stories]

Linden Staub
3rd Floor 29 Charlotte Rd
EC2A 3PF London
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 3871 0902



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