You probably haven't seen selfies quite like the ones Lyle Reimer posts on his Instagram page (@lylexox). Reimer, a makeup artist who works at MAC in the company's artistry and development program in Vancouver, utilizes the social media platform as an art gallery for his selfies, which are often as weird as they are gorgeous.
Reimer, 36, has a style that skews a little bit Cindy Sherman and a little bit drag. A quick glance at his feed also reveals his main influence: fashion. "I love fashion, I’m obsessed with it," Reimer said. "I think there’s a line in Sex and the City where Carrie said that when she moved to New York and she had no money, she’d rather have a Vogue magazine than food because she felt that it fed her soul." Karl Lagerfeld, Moschino and even Vogue's September issue -- in the form of a top hat -- all make appearances. (Vogue 'liked' the top hat post, much to Reimer's delight.)
A little over a year ago, after building himself a home studio to blow off creative steam after work, Reimer started his Instagram account. Last Halloween, Instagram's blog featured him as creative inspiration, and his account grew from 500 to over 5,000 followers. Reimer regularly posts his latest alter egos, often accompanied by hilarious text and copious, descriptive hashtags.The below creation was captioned: "Don't try and impress me with your fancy French imported soaps; hotel management is going to hear about a certain family of bedbugs in room 303! #luxuryhotelmyass #travel #hotel #me #mua #pfw #paris #styleblogger #newyork #nylonmag #visionaire #love #eyes #eyeamart #macpro #nars #chanel #gallery #lipstick #hair #vogue #gay #instagay #instalove #instagram #clubkids #rpdr #dragrace ##scene #givenchy."
It's not all about makeup, either. Reimer creates all of the accessories, and styles all of the wigs he uses. He collects odds and ends, and his friends and partner know to save cast-off items for him. "I have no idea what they’ll become, but I’m constantly collecting these random objects," he said. "Now I have people at work who are like, ‘I have an old bra. I’m going to throw it out.' And I’m like, 'Don’t throw it out! I’ll make it into something!'” He's used cabbage, candy, egg shells, water bottle caps, chip bags and, my personal favorite, a bright orange placemat from the dollar store that he "patina'ed" to look like pennies:
It takes at least three hours for him to create these looks, and he often uses 15-20 products for each look. With the exception of Halloween, though, he never goes out in character. "I do my makeup, I do the look, I take all of my pictures," he explained. "Once I have the pictures I want, I hop into the shower and it’s washed off. Like, done, and I go to bed."
Reimer hasn't done any editorial work yet, but he's had companies reach out to him to collaborate. One shoe company wanted to shoot its whole lookbook "Lylexox-style." Even though it's opening up whole new opportunities for him, he sometimes has doubts. "You know, I’m getting close to 40 and doing all this stuff -- dressing up -- and I think, 'Is this too weird that I'm still loving doing this?'" he asked. Then he said brightly, "No, it just feels right. I can’t stop!"