Amy Forrester is a makeup artist who, interestingly enough, saves her brush solely for others. “I’d rather wear no makeup,” says the MAC Cosmetics employee. “I wear my glasses all the time and I really don’t like to get dressed up.” But if you want to change your own look with a few master strokes, Amy is your girl.
She’s been using the human face as a canvas since she was young. “I didn’t go to beauty school, but I had a little sister to try new things on,” she says. But the art was more of an experimental hobby for her at first—her original aspiration was modeling, but she soon opted out for an art with more creative leeway. Her love for human art soon translated into tattoos, which she would much rather cover herself with.
“I grew up in a really small town and everyone was into football and cheerleading. … I had an older brother who was covered in tattoos and I went through a lot of different phases, so I really got it all out of my system,” she says. “I don’t care how I look, I’m confident in my own way. I love doing makeup on other people and helping them look the way they want to.”
She dipped a toe into the tattoo world at 18 when she got Psalms 51:1 on her finger (“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions”). “I was allowed to get tattooed when I was 16 but waited because I had a modeling career,” Amy says of her first piece, which was done in Venice Beach, CA with her mom. “I started small, but then it got a little bigger and bigger and then finally, I decided I wanted to go all the way with it.”
Even before the Bible verse, tattoos were in Amy’s blood. “I’ve known my tattoo artist Kong [at House of Art Tattoo in Bullhead City, AZ] since I was 10 years old. He’s tattooed everyone in my family. Me and my brother are in an unspoken race of who can get tattooed the most.” She says her next might not be another sleeve, but one of Shakespeare’s sonnets on her left arm.
Amy’s tattoos have since grown to display her love for the bizarre and unusual, like her sleeve of a zombie girl surrounded by a Beetlejuice quote: “I myself am strange and unusual.” A traditional Sailor Jerry clipper ship covers her chest, complemented by bats and roses scattered across her body. Her favorites are “Sorrow and Suffering” on the back of her calves, which she got at Living Ghost Tattoo, in Tempe, AZ. “It’s actually from a children’s Christian book, and it means a lot to me,” Amy says. “Without sorrow and suffering, you really don’t know what joy and peace are.” —Nadia Kadri