This past spring I found Lyle Reimer, thanks to a heads-up from stylist and Fashionista supporter extraordinaire, Rachel Gilman. A MAC cosmetics pro and makeup artist in Vancouver by day, he transforms himself -- quite literally -- into a cast of quirky, odd characters by night. He then posts his incredible alter egos on his Instagram page under the handle @lylexox.
When I first profiled him, he had a little over 5,000 followers. Now he's up to almost 26,000. He was kind enough to create three looks exclusively for us, which is not a small task -- one of these looks can take him up to eight hours to complete. His props are fashioned from found items that he repurposes, and then he invents elaborate backstories for his characters, which he succinctly presents in his photo captions.
Here are his three latest, along with some behind-the-scenes intel straight from Reimer himself:
Margiela x LensCrafters
"Mystery and intrigue surrounded the fashion world when Galliano released the LensCrafters ready-to-wear line. Future collaborations for middle America include: Margiela for Tupperware and La-Z-Boy by Galliano for Margiela."
Reimer says he's been wanting to do a Galliano/Margiela inspired look since the news of Galliano's appointment at Margiela dropped. "That was a $10 black Halloween black wig, and I sewed wire through it so I could manipulate it into the shape I wanted. I gave it a good spray painting, then put white pigment through certain sections of it for a more powdered look," he says. He printed the Galliano and Margiela logos on some paper; soaking it in water gave it the look of fabric. Reimer took some 3-D movie glasses, which he, uh, forgot to return to the theater, and bedazzled them with crystals. "The thing I love about Margiela has always been those face masks covered in crystals. I'm just obsessed with them," he says. So those glasses also became a homage.
"...and the Academy Award goes to Minnie, for her role in the made-for-TV movie, Bleeding Hearts: The Tale of a Warfarin Addict."
Warfarin is an anti-blood clotting drug, in case you are not up on the latest pharmaceuticals. Reimer is intimately acquainted with it, thanks to an incident that happened when he was about six years old. He was exploring the garage of the girl who lived next door, where the two of them came across a sardine tin filled with "blue oatmeal." When you're six, your first thought is obviously, "Let's eat this!" So they did. The neighbor's dad came into the garage, figured out what happened, and rushed them to the emergency room to get their stomachs pumped. It was rat warfarin, which is used as a pesticide. "So warfarin has always sort of been in my brain!" Reimer says.
To make the very realistic looking veins on his face, he shaved off some MAC Paint Stick and mixed it with alcohol, then painted it on with a fine brush. Some air brush makeup over the top adds to the translucent effect. The hair bow is actually a bag from the mall. Reimer added extensions to a wig, and used a pencil and a lot of hairspray to make the coils.
"Accusations of sleeping with the boss arose when Shirley was granted all weekends off at Seafood Success."
This look is so classic lylexox: Beautiful makeup work with odd things stuck on his face and a completely weird backstory. The tentacles are actually pieces of bath mat that Reimer was trying to make into something else. He secured them to his face using Pros Aide adhesive, a trick he learned in makeup school. The makeup is the standout here. "I wanted a pretty version of really intense darkness under the eyes, like the most hardcore version of bags or broken blood vessels," he explains. He added flecks of glitter because he knew it would photograph "wet," adding to the whole marine vibe that's going on here. He whipped up that lip using a combination of yellow, deep indigo and white.