Made-up in the Maldives
Think you know the Maldives? Think again...
Take a dive into the waters that surround the Maldives and you’ll discover a tropical kaleidoscope of colour. From the neon blues of the Regal Angelfish, to the shimmering scales of the Lyre Anthias, these glistening waters are filled with dazzling wildlife.
Inspired by this exotic marine life, esteemed make-up artist Karla Powell has created a series of unique and original beauty shots, presenting the wildlife of the Maldives like you’ve never seen it before.
Scroll down to see Karla Powell’s amazing Maldives interpretations, with details on how you can meet these fantastic creatures on your trip to the Indian Ocean:
“This lip art design was a chance for me to interpret the astonishing details of the Blue Lined Surgeon Fish. By using vibrant ombre lip colours and layering real rose petals on the upper lip, the lips emulate the Surgeon’s scale texture and colouring. The upper three quarters of the Surgeon are banded alternately with black-edged blue and yellow stripes and I introduced elastic string to mimic these strong lines. This gives the look a unique and mysterious appearance, just like the Surgeon fish.” Karla Powell
“The Blue-lined Surgeonfish, Acanthurus lineatus, belongs to the family Acanthuridae, also known as the surgeon fishes. The distinctive characteristic of this group is a sharp scalpel-like spine at the base of their tail. They grow up to 38cm and are very easy to recognise by their distinctive color patterns. The Blue Lined Surgeon grazes on algal turfs within their feeding territories in shallow waters. Divers and snorkelers can easily spot them on coral reefs or rocky substrata exposed to wave action, up until a maximum depth of 15 metres”. Amanda Batlle, Resident Marine Biologist at Maafushivaru
Spot the Blue Lined Surgeon fish by snorkeling the house reef, or by taking a boat diving trip, on the island of Maafushivaru.
“In my view The Regal Angelfish is one of the most beautiful fish from the Maldives. What caught my eye were the imperfect barring patterns; these strong line markings reminded me of an obscure maze and I was inspired by the Regal Angelfish to create a high fashion fantasy look that communicated the alien-like world of the ocean.” Karla Powell
“The Regal Angelfish, Pygoplites diacanthus, also called the Empress Angelfish, is common around the Maldives for snorkelers and divers between 0 and 80m. They can grow up to 25cm and are mostly solitary creatures who feed on sponges. This species is just one of a number of reef creatures whose body stripes reflect near-ultraviolet light, and it’s likely that these patterns camouflage the Regal Angelfish in a different part of the light spectrum. The colours humans see is the visible by-product of this near-ultraviolet camouflage.” Elisa Fini MSc, Resident Marine Biologist at Baros Maldives
Baros Maldives has a glorious house reef perfect for snorkelling, a further 30 dive sites within an hour’s reach, plus a personalised ‘Diving by Design’ programme service, making it ideal for guests who would like to see the Regal Angelfish in its natural habitat.
“This was my favorite creation in the series. With this abstract eye creation I strived to create a balance between a variety of colours and textures. The different application techniques and placement of colour cause the viewer's eyes to bounce around the image, echoing the sense of movement and energy you find in the coral reefs.” Karla Powell
“Lyretail anthias, Pseudanthias squamipinnis, are small fish belonging to the Serranidae family. The bright pink males measure about 15cm, whereas the yellow-orange females are slightly smaller. They feed on zooplankton, and are usually found in tropical coral reef environments such as channels and outer reef slopes, from 0 to 50 metres deep. Lyretail anthias are known to be protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that the most dominant female in a population might reverse sex if the dominant male dies.” Fanny Couture, Resident Marine Biologist at Four Seasons Resort Maldives, Landaa Giraavaru
The Four Seasons Resort Maldives has a PADI Five-Star IDC Dive Centre, with a variety of programmes allowing you to explore the area’s wrecks and coral reefs whatever your diving ability.
“I was looking for a truly spectacular fish to inspire me and the Clown Triggerfish caught my attention immediately! This fish is one of the most striking of the Maldives’ coral reef with its unforgettable patterns. I wanted to create the same effect with my lip art, creating a look as memorable and unique as the Clown Triggerfish. The adult Clown Triggerfish is predominantly black, with large white spots on its belly and a reticulate yellow pattern on its back. Clown Triggerfish also appear to wear orange “lipstick” with yellow highlights on its fin! There is really no other Triggerfish that looks as striking as the Clown Triggerfish.” Karla Powell
“Generally shy and solitary, the Clown Triggerfish, Balistoides conspicillum, is one of the more rare fish species to spot whilst diving. Found along steep walls, as deep as 70 meters, they retreat into the crevices of the reef when approached. They can reach 35cm in length and their dramatic coloration confuses predators; from below, the white spots look like the water surface, whilst from above, the fish blends in with the reef environment.” Elisa Fini MSc, Resident Marine Biologist at Baros Maldives
If you've been inspired by the variety and vibrancy of the marine life under the Maldives' glistening waters, then why not see what more they have to offer...