I’ve always had an obsession with wigs. As a kid, I spent most of my free time in the city and one day I spotted the sign on Swanston st and awkwardly made my way up the stairs. I would’ve been about 16 at the time. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The breadth of styles and colours staring at me from around the showroom was startling!
At first, I was hesitant and quite self conscious. I wondered what they’d think of me; a pimply-faced teenage boy with minimal money to spend, wanting to try on ladies wigs. But the staff were amazing. They actually encouraged me to try all sorts of styles! They were all so warm, and I felt no judgement whatsoever.
“When you do what you love, everything else will fall into place”
I started out as a dancer but my real dream was to become a makeup artist, though, back then, I didn’t know that I could actually make that into a career. That’s how I got into drag performing; it was the only way I could fulfill my love of hair and makeup at the time. I then became a hairdresser after an injury caused me to give up dancing.
Then, three years ago I decided to just give it a go. I taught myself to do make up from Youtube videos, entered a competition and won first prize, which took me to Paris to study at a beauty academy. Thus began my opportunity and privilege to meet all the right industry people. I later became the face of MAC cosmetics, after having the nerve to enter a worldwide modelling contest, which, miraculously, I won and then my face was literally everywhere! I was flown to New York and made up by the most elite stylists in the beauty world.
Now, I maintain a balance between modelling, doing hair and makeup. I have an extensive collection of wigs that I wear myself to mix up my style (I’d have so many more if money was no object!) but I also use them in photo shoots. If a model doesn’t have the right look, I love being able to pull out a wig and fix it up on the spot. Although social convention implies that men aren’t supposed to invest in accessories to edit their appearance, especially wigs and make up, I don’t care. I’ve never been swayed by the opinions of the masses. I believe that people need to feel good in their skin, however that translates for them.
The message I have learned through my journey is that when you do what you love, everything else will fall into place.
Check his website: http://www.bendniprowskij.com/