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This Artist Is Re-Creating Defaced Subway Ads Using Makeup

One woman's graffiti is another woman's beauty inspiration.

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Lydia Cambron, a designer based in Brooklyn, New York, is taking defaced subway ads to the next level by re-creating them at home with cosmetics.

Lydia Cambron / Via lydiacambron.com

"Recently I used a cutout from a clamshell container with Sharpie in my mouth, so I could draw over my teeth. It's pretty convincing, but I'm just as into the illusion as I am how I achieve it," Cambron told BuzzFeed Life.

The project, called "Makeup Transit Authority," is an ongoing series using cosmetics, handmade props, and a 10-second timer to photograph herself.

"What I like is the connection between the defacing marks and makeup. My intention isn't to suggest a correlation between the two; I just find it interesting that the looks can overlap when I use cosmetics," Cambron told BuzzFeed Life.

Lydia Cambron / Via lydiacambron.com

"I go for ones with marks that are mostly contained in the face. I have a few with elements that have to leave the face and say, go over my hair or something, but I like to keep the focus on my face and not get too caught up in convincingly replicating hair, costume, or background," she said.

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Each piece takes about an hour or two. Lydia positions her camera at an angle, paints her face, then uses a timer to take photos of herself.

Lydia Cambron / Via lydiacambron.com

"If there are any prop elements I usually have a clear plan for that before," she said.

"The imperfections make the replications more interesting. There is still crafting and planning and a desire to 'nail it,' but I try make it more of an improvised thing. It's gotta be fun, or else it's not," she said.

Lydia Cambron / Via lydiacambron.com

"I’m conscious about it staying fairly lowbrow in execution. If the effects are overly fabricated, the mimicking quality is lost."

Her approach to re-creating defaced subway ads is improvised, but she has a clear direction.

Lydia Cambron / Via lydiacambron.com

"I will explore other methods as this all progresses but plan to continue this series for a while," Cambron said.

To follow the Makeup Transit Authority series, check out @LydiaCambron on Instagram.

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"For each composition I also post a non-posed pic of me in the makeup, so you can see the details and whatever props/effects I used to mimic the marks on the ads," she said.

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