Alise Carter, or Ay Carter, is a self-taught photographer, retoucher and designer. Her Instagram is full of beautiful self-portraits, make up swatches and unusual experiments with photoshop, cosmetics and fashion. I am delighted that she has agreed to talk to me, to be honest, I’ve been a stalkery Insta admirer for a while now. Beautiful, talented and ambitious, we talk about her inspiration, her career and more.
A typical day in my life depends on what I’ve got planned for the month. I like to stay pretty busy and I’m constantly doing something different or taking on way too much work at once.
Last month, I got up at the crack of dawn to get ready to work 12+ hour days for a major company and this month, I’m sort of recovering from that! I loved every bit of that job, but man I was tired! Haha.
I generally get up pretty early, take care of and spoil our cat, and make sure my husband gets to work on time. If I’m not working out of the house that day, I like to try to tidy up and work on my personal stuff—makeup, portraits, or any freelance work I’m doing at the moment.
My father is the main reason for me starting in photography. He was a great film photographer and advanced to digital with the years. He always had a glorious camera collection and was always tinkering with some new piece of machinery.
He worked with computers a lot, also, so I got a lot of experience that way. My first time playing with Adobe/Photoshop was when I was 6 years old! It was Adobe 5.0 then.
I was raised around cameras and technology, so it was something I enjoyed and played with. My love for editing came about with the website Worth1000. They would host photoshop contests and it had some amazing pieces of art on there.
I then moved more towards beauty editing and photomaniulation (Back in my deviant art phase.) I’d love to be able to retouch for some major companies. An amazing retoucher I’ve recently started following is Julia Kuzmenko. She retouches for major beauty brands, and I’d love to do exactly that.
What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in a similar field?
Do what makes you happy.
If you want to go into photography, take photographs of everything. Work on creative shots and try to challenge yourself every day with something new.
If you’d like to go into retouching, download high res images online and practice! Same for graphic design. Come up with projects and challenge yourself with new and difficult things. It’s a never ending learning process! I find it fun to learn something new.
Describe your style in three words.
Dark, Bold, Experimental
Who are your style icons? How do they influence your style?
I’m not sure about a style icon. I don’t really keep up with any one, to be honest.
I adore the Olsen twins, Tilda Swinton, and Kat Von D. Kat has recently gone all red with her wardrobe, and while I’m an all black kind of girl, she is just a vision in red.
I do love the Morbid Fashion tumblr. They post a lot of “off the runway” fashion and some of those looks are divine.
What’s your favourite part about wearing makeup?
Transforming myself into something different every single day. In a time when the daily life gets repetitive, it’s fun to be able to have something you can change up and make different so easily while being creative at the same time.
Do you ever struggle with body image? If so, how do you combat it?
Every single day. I don’t really care what other people think, but I care a lot about what I think. It’s a constant struggle to look into the mirror and hate what you see or see something new you find as a flaw.
I think that’s why I like makeup and costumes so much…I can change what I look like for a little while. I feel more comfortable when I look completely different.
What are your favourite makeup products? What can’t you live without?
Currently, my favourite makeup products are:
- Black Moon Cosmetics Grim lipstick
- Kat Von D Beauty Lock It Concealer in White Out and Thunderstruck metal crush shadow. I also use the Metal Matte palette a lot.
- Sugarpill Flamepoint is my current go to for brows.
- Limecrime Venus I palette is a great one to have.