Have you ever dreamed of becoming someone else? Look in the mirror and see someone famous and fabulous … instead of your just old?
For make-up maestro Elliot Joseph Rentz, it’s not just a dream; it is a day job. The 26-year-old makes a living transforming himself into celebrities, using everyday cosmetics – and his incredible skills with a makeup brush.
He has done more than 200 facial transformations, from the Queen to Angelina Jolie, Madonna to Leonardo DiCaprio and from Marilyn Monroe to Prince Harry.
They are so compelling that the stars themselves have been overthrown, gaining nearly a million fans on social media, where he posts as Alexis Stone, his glamorous drag queen alter ego.
Reporter Sarah Rainey decided to put makeup artist Elliot Joseph Rentz’s skills to the test by transforming herself into singer Adele
“ I’ve always loved the idea of costume, turning myself into someone else, and one day I thought I’d try a celebrity makeover, ” explains Elliot, who started his career in fashion.
This was in 2017, and for the next six months Elliot did a different transformation every day in his Manchester flat, uploading the stunning results to Instagram.
Today, as a social media “ influencer, ” he earns hundreds of thousands of pounds a year from online sponsorship and collaboration deals, including a popular makeup range.
But could Elliot, who is completely self-taught, work his magic on me and turn me into two very different A-listers? Here’s how he fared. . .
STEP 1: BANISH BROWS
The makeup maestro (right) first cleaned Sarah’s face then started erasing her eyebrows to remove her natural expression
Elliot starts by cleansing my face and I sit in front of a ventilator until my skin is bone dry. This produces a neutral ‘canvas’.
I am face to face with huge close-up images of Adele. “I start by dividing each plane into parts,” says Elliot. “With Adele, it’s her button nose, that iconic chin, and her round cheeks.”
He starts erasing my eyebrows: this removes my natural expression and gives him more room to draw Adele’s eyebrows higher.
To do this, Elliot uses a glue stick that looks (and smells) like Pritt Stick, but is purple. It dries clear and it uses quick, upward strokes to press my brows flat on my forehead.
Once dry, a thick one, he applies a pan stick foundation over the top so that my brows blend into my forehead. I look like a boiled egg with eyes.
STEP 2: CHEEKS AND CHIN
Elliot applied a layer of foundation and cut out the main features of Adele’s face
Elliot applies a gel primer to my cheeks and chin, which sets the makeup.
Next up is layer by layer of foundation, about five shades too orange for my pale Irish complexion. “Darkening makes the highlights visible,” says Elliot.
We’re only there ten minutes – the whole look takes an hour – and I’m already wearing more makeup than I own.
Elliot ‘cuts out’ the main features of Adele’s face by using darker and lighter shades of foundation, which he applies with a small brush.
He paints lighter and darker lines along my nose, narrowing and rounding the tip, dark curves to give me the cheekbones I’ve always dreamed of, and a brown motion to create a cleft in my chin.
To plump my face – this is Adele for her weight loss – he uses even smarter contouring, then adds pressed powder and finishes it off with a coat of loose powder.
STEP 3: EYES RIGHT
The makeup artist then applied nude eyeshadow above and below Sarah’s eyes and built up layer upon layer
Naked eyeshadow above and below my eyes erases all natural folds and instead, Elliot floods the area with brown and gray eyeliner.
It builds up layer upon layer around the outer corners, slowly changing the almond shape of my eyes into Adele’s feline features.
For her signature cat movie, he applies black pen eyeliner along my top lash line and then out in an exaggerated curve. Then it’s the return of my brows, drawn in a brown eyeliner pen with a series of nimble strokes.
The final touch is a pair of spidery fake lashes, taped above the natural lash line to make my eyes look bigger and tilt them up to the corners.
STEP 4: DIRECT LIPS
Then he drew an exaggerated outline, about twice the size of Sarah’s own lips, and colored them in with a nude lip gloss.
With a brown liner, Elliot draws an exaggerated outline, about twice the size of my own lips, and colors them with a nude lip gloss.
I feel ridiculous, but Elliot explains that big lips are eye catching and help balance the new dimensions he has created by erasing my eyebrows.
He uses a cream highlighter to distinguish a patch of light on my bottom lip, which makes it look rounder.
Then it’s on with my outfit before trying on a wig. “The wigs bring everything together,” says Elliot. ‘They are the most expensive part of what I do; I have previously spent £ 2500 on a wig. ‘
After building up layer upon layer of makeup and applying some spidery false lashes, Sarah was transformed into Adele. Pictured: Sarah Rainey (left) and Adele (right)
I am amazed. I can barely see where I end and Adele starts – and it takes 17 baby wipes to remove her.
And he cooked me like Gordon too
Men’s faces are more difficult than women’s faces – even if your subject is a man.
“You use makeup, but try to make them look like they don’t have makeup,” says Elliot.
To make me look like Chef Gordon Ramsay, he starts with glue on my eyebrows. Elliot then uses grease paint (not foundation) to blend my brows into my forehead.
The makeup artist also turned the reporter (left) into TV chef Gordon Ramsay (right)
For those signature frown lines, he applies a dark eyeliner pencil, as well as a light highlighter pencil. I look like I was frowning permanently – and I aged five decades in five minutes. Elliot then uses the same dark pencil to draw on rough, jagged eyebrows.
For the masculine jawline, he turns to the contouring technique, with alternating dark and light brushstrokes, to create lines around the cheeks, chin, nose, mouth and eyes.
Then he makes freckles and liver spots with a toothbrush. A brown liner helps to thin my lips, while brown eyeshadow makes my eyes look tired and small.
The last step is contact lenses, which turn my green eyes blue.
I’ve always wanted to be a celebrity chef – but not the crazy wrinkly Ramsay. Still, it’s unnervingly convincing.
One of Elliot’s favorite transformations was the Queen, which he managed to achieve in just 30 minutes
One of Elliot’s first – and favorite – transformations was the Queen, and in just 30 minutes, I watch him go from a fresh 26-year-old to an eerie likeness of the 94-year-old monarch.
He starts with a shave, so his face is perfectly smooth and uses glue to erase his eyebrows.
Then he covers his entire face in thick grease paint, and after applying rouge to his cheeks and brown shadows to round out his square jawline, he uses brown, nude and cream eyeliner pencils to draw on the royal wrinkles.
“The most striking are the lines around her mouth, which run vertically instead of horizontally,” he explains.
Then he adds a splash of age with a toothbrush dipped in dark brown face paint. It outlines the queen’s lips with a brown liner and fills them in with a hot pink lipstick to mimic her signature Clarins shade.
Finally it’s on with the royal wig, a pair of pearl earrings and a matching royal white dress.
Elliot has perfected the art of slightly shrugging his shoulders and pursing his lips – and as he poses, I feel an inexplicable urge to bow.
And here are the many faces he has turned into
Makeup maestro Elliot Joseph Rentz (pictured), 26, makes a living transforming herself into celebrities, using everyday cosmetics
Elliot has been able to transform his face into Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin (left) and Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston (right)
The makeup artist was able to showcase his flair for art when he transformed himself into Tiger King Joe Exotic (left) and Angelina Jolie (right)
Other transformations include Poker Face singer Lady Gaga (left) and Madonna (right)
Elliot has also been able to transform herself into Harry Potter’s Dumbledore (left) and climate change activist Greta Thunberg (right)
Follow Elliot’s work on Instagram @thealexisstone and @elliotjosephrentz