"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery" - Francis Bacon

Freelance Makeup Artist shooting for the stars...

Sunday, 21 April 2013

I'm blue da-buh-dee-da-buh-dy...etc etc

What do you get if you punch a smurf in the nose?..

Enough of the silliness, in all honesty James Cameron's Avatar is an amazing movie. I was absolutely blown away when I first saw it. The special effects and just general message (very reminiscent of the epic "FernGully" which I was obsessed with as mini me!) are brilliant and I love the look and mood of the whole thing. I was umming and arring about what to do next this weekend and after the amazing feedback I'd had (after being retweeted by The Tate for my Lichtenstein piece!!) I know that I wanted to do something really challenging. Avatar had been on my list to do and after a couple of people requested it, I decided that last night was the night to give it a go...

I didn't research other interpretations/watch any tutorials for this one as I wanted to just do my very own take on the stunning still of Neytiri that I had from the film (below). So I sat down with my derma wax and blue face paint to see what I could do...

I began by moisturising my hands and massaging the wax to make it supple and into small sausage shapes before placing them down the sides of the rim of my nose and above in between my eyebrows. I moulded this to my face, smoothing out as much as I could and added more to build my nose up as seen on the Na'vi. Once I was happy with the height and width, I blended the outer edges with lots more moisturiser (I've found that this is the best way to get the wax just how you want it and by avoiding it getting stuck everywhere!).

I mixed blue and white to make a light blue base and covered my face and neck, adding another coat once dry so that none of my natural skin tone showed through. I then mixed an ever so slightly darker light blue and painted over my brows, along my lash lines, around my lips and then added the zebra-like print effect, starting on my forehead, taking them down onto my neck. I then mixed a more black-blue colour and used this to darken the eyes further and sponge around my hairline, using it to contour slightly, as it had been looking a little flat. To emphasise this more, I mixed a very pale blue and added this underneath my eyes/cheekbones, along the bridge of the nose and along some of the lines on my forehead which I think really helped the overall look.

I mixed a light purple colour and applied to the tip of the nose and on the lips and then used my finest brush to dot on the small bright white speckles. I added a coat of black mascara to finish.

This look took a good couple of hours but I really did enjoy doing it. Using the wax on my face as part of a whole piece is something I've never done before and it really gave it that edge. My main criticism is again the paint, as it started to crack by the end and didn't full mask the join of the wax to the skin so I'm going to be looking for maybe some creamy face paint that has a greater pigment and thicker/creamy consistency (If anyone has any recommendations, please do let me know!) If I spend more time on it I would concentrate on making the lines a little neater also but overall, I was pretty happy with the first attempt :)

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

40's movie star mumma

I don't know anyone who loves old movies more than my mum, so today I decided to transform her into a glamorous actress, right out of the 1940's.

I have done the 1950's Hollywood glamour look, and from researching into the makeup of the earlier  decades of the twentieth century, many techniques/styles are pretty similar. One of the main distinctions between them though, are the hair styles, so for this look a added a quick updo to differentiate it.

I started by applying primer and Nars foundation all over the face, adding light Collection 2000 concealer to highlight (an amazing cheap concealer - highly recommend!) and blending before setting with Mac pressed powder. I then contoured the cheekbones, temples and hairline with Nars Laguna bronzer before adding Bourjois blusher in "Frosted Rose" and blended all with my large powder brush.


I used a light brown shadow to fill in and darken the brows and then added a similar shade to the outer corners of the eye. One of the main characteristics of this look is the back winged eyeliner so I added this with my Maybelline gel liner. I then added some black eyeshadow over this to darken further and get as close to the lash line as possible. I added a very light shadow underneath the brows and in the inner corner of the eyes. I lined the bottom waterline with white pencil and coated the lashes in lots of mascara. My mum has SUCH lovely long lashes so at first I didn't put any false lashes on, but to add that final touch of glamour, I decided to add these also. I finished the makeup with some rich red lipstick and a beauty spot.

For the hair, ideally I would have used a couple of rollers but I don't have any so I had to improvise and backcomb to add volume and then take two front sections and roll from the ends up, pinning to hold in place. I simply curled under the back hair and used some hairspray to keep in place.

This look really suits my mum and I thought she looked beautiful. I have a feeling I will be doing this again soon for her next evening out!

Thanks for letting me experiment on your face mumma! x

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Paint, powder and rock 'n' roll

After joking about how my swirly black pattern ended up looking a bit like a face tattoo, I realised I hadn't considered trying out a "rocky" look (as in a fan of rock music, not Sylvester Stallone, may save that for another time though). I had done a couple of quite detailed makeup looks over the weekend so I decided this would be an ideal Sunday evening experiment that hopefully, wasn't too tricky...

For this I googled the standard "goth"/ "emo"/ "rock" images for inspiration and there are some really awesome styles out there. I'm hoping to try a really gothic look soon but chose to keep it relatively simple for my first trial and see how it went!

I used my lightest concealer as my foundation as this typical look is very pale skin with mostly black eyes and dark lips. I set this with a pale powder and used a slightly darker one to contour lightly where I would usually and blended with a large powder brush.

I then used black liquid eye liner to shape and fill in my brows. I made these longer and thicker than I would usually just to make them more drastic and gothic looking. I neatened the edges with a small blender brush and concealer. I then applied black khol liner to both the bottom and top waterlines and created a drastic flick on the outer corners with liquid eye liner. I took the tip of these flicks and drew a line diagonally across my lid right into the inner corner before filling in the resulting triangular shape completely in black. I extended the line down towards the bridge of my nose and then took the liquid eye liner underneath my eye, again extending the inner line down towards my nose, parallel to the line above (being careful to leave a slight gap between the two). I added two more smaller flicks on the outer corners and set it with black eye shadow. I added some metallic silver eye shadow to the inner corners and lightly above the thick liner and blended with a fluffy brush. I then applied plenty of very black mascara and added a pair of short thick false lashes too.

For the lips I used some face paint as I didn't quite have the right shade of lipstick. I mixed red and black for a burgundy colour, lining my lips with this and then mixing a lighter colour to fill in the rest before adding some purple tinted lip gloss.

I decided that to finish the look, I would try and add a couple of piercings - or rather, some paint to create what looked like piercings! For this I dotted two very small black circles to the left above my lip and then in the middle underneath my lips on my chin. I then added a small white/grey dot over (half) the top of the black dots to look like a silver stud with a shadow. To give them more of a realistic look, I used a darker concealer to paint a slight semi-circle around the dots and smudge a little to make it look as though my skin was slightly raised where the piercings are.

This was a really cool look and I was pretty ready to hit a gig of some sort once done. Perhaps I should make the piercings a permanent feature...what do you reckon!? :P

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

More movie makeup...

I couldn't help but recreate this movie look at some point, it's so recognisable and having looked online, extremely popular with others doing the same. I tried to avoid doing it very early on just as I feared it was too predictable, but I decided today that I would just go for it. So here is my copy of The Swan Queen in Black Swan...

I started with a white base all over the face and neck onto the ears and into the hairline (I'm getting a little tired of my paint as it requires several layers in order to get a flawless look, by which point I can not move my face at all!) and then sketched on the winged eye makeup with a black khol liner. I copied the famous portrait of Natalie Portman for this, ensuring that it looked as similar as possible, going just up to and onto the brows and out towards my hairline. I then filled this all in with black paint.

Whilst this dried, I mixed red and black to create the plum lip colour. I painted this on to my lips, neatening up the edges with white paint before adding a touch of white onto the centre of my bottom lip and finishing off with a deep plum gloss.

I went back to the eyes which were now dry and neatened the edges/lines with more of the white paint and my super fine brush. I then swept on some white lines over my lids, in the inner corners and to the outer parts of each eye, creating the feathered look iconic to this character. Natalie has much stronger cheekbones than I do so I added some light grey eye shadow to emphasise mine with a fluffy brush and blended with a large powder brush.

I just wished I had the red contact lenses to really finish the look off! Another accessory to add to the list to get methinks...

Saturday, 6 April 2013

So, I got a face tattoo...

Though I love recreating well-known characters and makeup looks from various eras etc, I've been wanting to try a few different things recently, looking more at generic patterns and textures and how you can apply them to the face. I've got quite a few in mind that I want to try and this was the first...

There really isn't too much to tell on this one re how I did it as it was mainly just me freehand with black face paint and my super fine brush...If I doodle I tend to draw eyes, hearts and these sorts of swirly flowery vine-like things (all the manly stuff) so it made sense to stick to what I knew best to start with!

I began by applying foundation and light concealer under my eyes, down the nose and in the area between my brows and blending together. I used "tease" from my Urban Decay "Naked 2 " palette and a fluffy blender brush to contour more drastically than I would usually on my cheekbones, down the side of my nose and around my hairline/temples. I then brushed this from the crease of my eye up, into my brows and then into the inner corners to the sides of the top of my nose. I left my lips nude and my eyes plain so that the focus would remain on the pattern (hence why I feel naked/look like a boy in this!)...

I then began painting the various vines down, curling them at the end. I built these up, adding more flicks, swirls and thickness, until I was happy with it. I took some pictures and decided that it would probably look better if I took the black right into my hairline and onto my scalp. This meant that the pattern blended into my face more and made it look almost like a tattoo.

I can't wait to try some more! Watch this space...

Monday, 1 April 2013

Clowning around...

And so, back to the gritty stuff! It's freaky but the gruesome looks are just so much more fun to do!

I'm pretty scared (like many) of clowns so I thought I would face my fears with this one. It was going to go either way - kill or cure - I'm still not a fan, but it's the longest I've ever looked at a clown so I think I'm on my way to not minding them so much. Needless to say, I won't be setting this as my screensaver any time soon..!

Again, I had done some research online to get some inspiration for this one. I liked (well, you know what I mean) the sharp teeth seen on Stephen King's iconic "It" clown so decided to mimic these. The stereotypical vertical lines down the centre of each eye are seen on clown and mime makeup and I just think it's super creepy. To add even more intensity I decided to add circles around my eyes and smudge onto the brow line to give a scary heavy brow and just a small red nose so that I didn't look quite as approachable as the child-friendly clowns you see with huge bulbous noses.

I started with a white base, covering the lids, lips and brows. I then used a black khol eyeliner to sketch the mouth, using my own upper and lower jaw as a guide. I then drew on the pointy teeth and the verticle lines above and below each eye before drawing on the circles, by following the natural hollows of my eyes.

I used some red and black to paint a small circle on the tip of my nose and then painted in the outlines of my (new) mouth to create the lips. I then used a fine brush to go over the sketched lines of the teeth and fill in the gaps inbetween. I thickened the lines around the eyes, adding extra black paint over my brows and taking it up slightly on the outer parts to give that snarly look and also added little diamond shapes under each vertical line on my cheeks. I used a liquid liner to line my lash lines to darken further. I then mixed some grey to shade around the eyes and used a sponge to blot this and make it look a bit more messy and textured. I finished it off by neatening the teeth with white paint and a fine brush and added a few light crease lines at the very corners of my mouth with a dark grey.

This is probably the scariest look I have done yet and I had so much fun doing it. Must order some fake blood next - I may have to think about issuing a parental guidance certificate for my blog soon!!

Anyone fancy a trip to the circus?? (: