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

Freelance Makeup Artist shooting for the stars...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Never run with scissors...

Hey all!

Lots has been going on recently and I have a few really exciting makeup projects coming up so lots of prep going on (will blog about them all soon!) Sadly, as a result, my blog has taken a bit of a back seat... I woke up early this morning however, and decided it was finally time to do a look that I've had on my "makeup to do" list since, well, since I made painting my face an unusually regular habit, and share it with you all.

Today was the day that I became...Edward Scissorhands.

This is one of the few movies I remember watching as a child - and it it terrified me. Now though, I couldn't love Tim Burton's Scissorhanded loner any more if I tried. Johnny Depp is flawless as always and I love the whole message of the film (it actually featured on one of my uni course modules back in the day which I was overjoyed about!) The atmosphere, as with all Tim Burton films, is dark and obscure and the makeup is equally so, making it interesting and emotive - excellent for replicating!

The first thing I was sure to capture when trying this look was Edward's paleness. He's not actually human and has been hiding out in an abandoned mansion for goodness knows how long avoiding Vitamin D so it figures. I therefore started with a base of white creme paint all over my face and neck. My brows were still too prominent so I painted over them with white paint - concentrating on the ends more so. His eyes are sunken and drawn so I then used a grey/brown eyeshadow on the crease of the eye, circling around into the natural socket (where your bags would be) with a fluffy brush, blending out. Edward has a permanent sad, concerned look which is created by the shading that goes up from the eyes to the start of the eyebrows -giving the illusion of a furrowed brow.

I then used the same eyeshadow with a slightly larger fluffy brush to contour the face (Depp has a gorgeously chiselled face as we all know!) making the jawline and cheekbones stand out more. Once all blended out, I rolled some very small pieces of wax into sausage shapes and pressed onto the skin, mimicking where Edward's scars are. The one across the lip has a crevice in it so I used a metal spatula to drag a grove in it.

To make the scars look a little more 3D, I used a very fine brush to add a fine shadow along each, using the same eyeshadow once again. I then used a very light grey paint on the highest points along each scar to make them even more raised. I used the shadow once again on the lips, adding colour to the centre only.

To finish off, I back-combed my hair and added lots of hairspray, pinning back most and generally making it look bedraggled and messy and popped in some blackout lenses. Now...where are my leathers and horde of scissors....

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Gomez glamour...

Selena Gomez is super gorgeous as we all know, and she looks even more gorgeous in her latest music video "Come and get it". So much so, that I decided to go right ahead and "get it" (makeup look) for myself!

I started with MAC Studio Sculpt foundation after priming my skin and used MAC pro longwear concealer to highlight, blending in well. I set this with a pressed powder and then contoured with Nars "Laguna" bronzer. Selena is pretty bronzed in this so I used more than I would normally. I used MAC blush in "Harmony" and mineralize skin finish in "Soft & Gentle" on my cheekbones, down my nose and just above my brow bone in the middle. Using a large powder brush I blended this all well. For my brows, I used B. eyeshadow in "Cocoa".

Selena's eyes in this are very dark, smoky and dramatic. I used my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette for this, starting with "Tease" in the crease of my eye and just slightly downwards at the start of my brows, after lining all of my eye with MAC khol eyeliner pencil in "Smoulder". I used "Suspect" all over the lid to give the silver shimmer and then "Blackout" along the lash line, in the outer corner crease, winging out at the edge. I then blended this well with a fluffy blending brush, blending underneath the lower lash line also. To neaten up the winged edge, I used liquid liner and concealer. I used "Foxy" under the brow and in the very inner corner of the eye to highlight.

To finish off, I layered on Maybelline "The mega plush" volum' express mascara and added Katy Perry false lashes in "Cool kitty". For the lips, I used red liner and Bourjois "Rouge Edition" lipstick.

Not quite Selena, but I love this look for an uber glamorous night out!

Thanks for reading (:

Freud fraud

After creating my look last weekend influenced by cubism, I started looking into other art movements, styles and famous artists' work for inspiration. I remember looking into Lucian Freud when studying art at college and I loved his style of painting. He is known for using strong brush strokes and emphasising the various flesh tones of the human skin. I decided that this could be a really interesting look to try in makeup, hopefully transforming myself into a Freud style painting of myself. Here's how it came out...

In terms of how I did it, it was mostly improvisation and just using Freud's own self portrait for inspiration. I used a combination of water based face paints and various tones of concealer and foundation to mimic the style as best possible, building up until I was happy. It is a great way to look at portraying skin tones, we often think it is just beige or brown, but there are elements of all colours such as greens and blues that make up flesh tones - Freud uses all of these in his works.

I love looking at artists' styles for influencing makeup looks - art on canvass to art on the human body!


Sunday, 18 August 2013

All the right angles...

Good day guys!

I'm going super crazy with makeup looks this weekend and thought I'd share one of the designs I did yesterday, before continuing with more today (and they all pile up!) 

I've had some great feedback and response to this on Instagram so I decided I'd show you how I did a Cubism inspired look. Cubism for those of you who may not know (I'm sure you're all super clever and are fully clued up but just in case!) was an art movement in early 20th century and it's most famous pioneers were Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. It is an abstract style using lots of angles, lines and shading, creating a fragmented, three-dimensional and overall, looks pretty darn cool (see above). I remember doing this at school and thought it would be interesting to see how you could use the natural angles/lines of the face to recreate this technique. 

The way I did it was fairly basic and didn't take very long at all - it was another look that used a simple technique but had a great outcome.

I used a brown eyeliner pencil to draw the lines, using the natural hollows and lines of the face - I think it is important to always try and work with the face, making the final look blend in and flow well. The main lines were down the cheekbones, along the jawbone, down the nose and along the brow (as with when you are contouring). I blended these out slightly by dragging my forefinger downwards along the line, creating a slight fadeout. I then used a dark brown eyeshadow to blend out further, followed by a lighter brown. I then used white paint on the other side of the lines to highlight, once again picking out many of the areas you would highlight in your everyday makeup. Again, I dragged these lines out to blend. And it was as simple as that really! 

Looking to do some more art inspired looks so watch this space!
Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Respect your elders

Hey hey!

I've had this look in mind for a long time now but just hadn't got around to doing it, most probably because I was absolutely terrified by how I would look by the end of it! However, I finally caved and decided to face my fears and try this out today. So here it is, everybody, meet nanny Jade...

I used minimal products for this as the technique is predominantly based on adding shadows and highlighting to change the shape of the face and create the illusion of wrinkles/creases etc., so the only things I used were a very light concealer, a darker concealer, a clean foundation sponge and talc powder.

I saw a very clever technique online which I used mainly for my eyes - or rather "crows feet"! For this I used darker concealer and dabbed it around the outer corners of my eye and blended. Using the very light concealer, I smiled a super large smile and then dabbed this over the top. When you relax your face, the natural creases are still left dark and voila! you have yourself some wrinkles! I also did this same trick on my forehead and between my brows and lips. Once you have these natural wrinkles, you can use a fine brush to go over them again to emphasise them - the darker the colour, the deeper the wrinkles appear.

It is important to then blend this, avoiding overly cartoon-like wrinkles and to give a more natural look. I used a light brown/grey shadow to contour my cheeks and neck, making me look more drawn and thinner. I then continued to contour bags under my eyes and lines around my mouth.


I used talc powder on my brows and hair to look make it look grey and sat staring into the future. Scary stuff. If it's taught me anything - besides to moisturise more - it's to make the most of every day, I hate to sound like a 15 year old cheerleader, but you really do only live once...

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The tracks of my tears...

Hi there!

I was up pretty early today feeling inspired so decided to create a new look (One of two that I have done already today - makeup marathon!) Again it's pretty dark but I was really happy with the end result.

I'd seen someone create some latex black tears online and it was really effective, so I decided to do something similar, but by just using makeup.

I used a very pale foundation and then set it with white powder. I used a light grey shadow and brown blush to contour my cheekbones, down the sides of my nose, under my jawline, on my temples and in my eye creases/sockets. Because I wanted it to look creepy I exaggerated this more then usual to give a more gaunt and chilling feel and then painted in my eyebrows with black paint.

To get the teardrop effect, I used a fine paint brush and loaded it up with lots of water after dipping it into black paint. I then packed this on to the lower lash line enough to create teardrops which naturally ran down my face. I painted in some more and covered my eyelids with black eyeshadow and smudged in, adding lots of black mascara.

For the lips, I used a vibrant red lipstick and smudged the bottom lip colour down onto my chin with my forefinger. I added some fake blood to the bottom lip and let it drip down in natural droplets as with the eyes. I put some red paint onto a bristle brush and flicked it onto my chin to look like blood splatter (mmhmm!)

Originally this is as far as I was going to go with the look, but I decided I wanted to make it that little bit more freaky (of course) and add fake blood droplets to under the eyes also. I threw on some more black using the same splatter technique I used with the lips and then finished off by added blackout contacts.

I'm not entirely sure what you would call this exactly, but it's a little like a zombie/corpse/possessed bride/starlet. However you may describe it, I liked it!

Let me know if you do too! :)


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Gotta look fly for 4th July...


It's been a little while since my last post, but fear not guys, I'm back! I've been swanning off around Italy sipping on Bellini's and devouring kilos of nachos along the East Coast of America ( I know, how awful) so please do forgive me...

It wasn't just the extra love handles though, I also picked up some new ideas for future makeup looks, and I've got a fair few up my sleeve that I'm pretty psyched about...

I absolutely love America and had another fantastic trip there this June. I would love the opportunity to live/work there (hint hint to any single American men who may be reading..), y'all are so darn fun and friendly! I couldn't help but therefore dedicate a look to one of their biggest and best holidays (and movies), Independence Day.

This was a fairly quick and simple, fun look which uses just good old fashion paint and brushes. I sketched a take on the stars and stripes flag first, choosing to enlarge one star so that it surrounded one eye and then sporadically dotting smaller ones around it. I drew this with a wave, giving it movement and making it look more interesting, avoiding straight horizontal lines which can look quite flat. This also tends to work better with your face (especially my curvaceous nose!) which naturally has more dimension/curve to it anyway.

I painted this straight onto my face with a fine brush and white paint. The large star around my eye was the trickiest part to do freehand, if you turn your head a slight different way, it suddenly becomes very uneven, plus you have the eyebrow and general hollow of the eye to deal with... The best thing to do is to stop often, step back and survey how it is looking, or take a photo - you often spot things you hadn't in the mirror! You can then go over the lines to alter if necessary (an easier way to do this would be to print and cut out a stencil and use that as a guide also of course). I then just blocked in the colours with a larger brush, keeping the lines as clean as possible.

To give this more depth and movement, I mixed slightly deeper shades of the red and blue and a very light grey to show some shading in the flag.

Happy 4th July USA!!

Peace out.

Monday, 20 May 2013

I'm, too sexy for my latex...

Hey hey!

I ordered some more sfx (special effects) makeup stuff last week and this weekend they finally came. I got some gelatine mould and liquid latex which I've been meaning to get for ages now. I've been enjoying doing the looks I've done a lot but I thought it was about time I got a little more crazy with it (yes, believe it or not, it can).

What with the constant whisperings of how good the latest Walking Dead series is (really must watch), the arrival of my new liquid latex and the impending expiration of my white-out contact lenses, I decided this weekend would be the perfect time to create my first zombie! (As per usual, if you're a scaredy cat, perhaps you should quit reading/scrolling now)...

I started this pretty late on Sunday evening and had no real plan of how I wanted it to go or even end up looking besides "gut-wrenchingly gruesome" so it was a bit of trial and error. I made sure my face was super clean and then, to be honest, just slapped on the liquid latex sporadically around my face. It dries pretty quickly if you apply thin layers so I blotted it with my finger tips to give that mottled, textured skin effect. The great thing with this stuff is you can peel away at it and layer it up as much as you want - if you're anything like me and loved picking dried PVA glue off of your fingers back in art class at school, you'd find great pleasure in this...

After I was happy with the textures and torn gashed effects I flicked on some white Grimas face powder (also new and great) and then used a light grey/brown eyeshadow in what was to be the crevices (yum!) to add some depth and make it look like there were holes and tears in my skin. I used my white eyeliner all around my lash line and into my waterline and then used the same dark shadow in the natural hollows of my eyes and up to my brow bone. I went over this with black paint, staying away from the lash line.

I then mixed a deep brown red colour and added this to the what would be the deepest crevices to really add dimension and give the illusion that my skin was mouldy and peeling off. I added some more of this colour around my hairline, cheekbones and over my brows with a sponge to make it look more natural (well, you know what I mean, natural for a zombie!). I added crease lines in the bridge of my nose between my eyes and above to give a snarly look.

I finished this off by adding deep red face paint and then fake blood, concentrating on the mouth area, common in zombies as if they have been feasting on flesh, obviously... I pressed this right into the peeled parts of latex to make it look even more like my skin was torn, picking at it all the time. I completed the look with my white-out contacts and skipped off downstairs to share with my gorgeous loving family...Mwuahahahaa *throws head back in villain-style manor*...I was told I needed to moisturise more...

Chars for reading/persevering!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Petal to the metal...

Hi guys!

Though I've had same super kind positive feedback for my horrifically horrific looks of late, I have also had a couple of request to do something a little more tame/"pretty" next. So to avoid an intervention and to remind my friends and family that I'm still the Disney loving freak they once knew and loved and I haven't quote become a sadistic sally just yet, I thought of the girliest thing I could do - flowers...

I decided to do a super girly inspired look and use the gorgeous vintage floral print of Cath Kidston as inspiration. I love all of these prints and would happily have a house covered in them so, why not my face!?

There isn't really too much in the way of technique for this look - it was mainly a chance to practice my painting skills - flash back to blazers, braces and general nerdiness... no, I haven't changed much since school...

I sponged on some white cream paint lightly all over my face to even out the base and for the colours to stand out more (please ignore my neck, in hindsight I should have put white on this too!) I mixed a number of pale pinks, greens and very light grey, painting the main body of the flowers and leaves with the lightest tones, layering up with red and darker colours to add detail, shadow and light. I kept working on the flowers with my finest brushes adding detail until I was happy and voila! I considered wondering into a Cath Kidston store but I realised I would look a little like a crazy person....and I'm not sure where my nearest branch is...

I now have full reign to dive head first back into the gruesome stuff..hurrah!! JLM x

Saturday, 11 May 2013

It's important to floss


Okay - I really hope no one reading this is heavily pregnant, has a heart condition or is a total wuss because this is the scariest look I've done yet! The warning sign is there so I can't be sued...

I finally got some coloured contact lenses and was desperate to try them out. I loved how they really finished off the look and just wished I'd got them sooner to use in some of my earlier looks. I'd never put contacts in before so for me, that was probably scarier than the finished article! Luckily I'm fine touching my eyes so I got there in the end. I ordered white, black and red ones from FourEyez.com and I'm already excited to try more - they have a huge number of designs and my order came very quickly.

Back to the face. I saw a look very similar to this online and after my clown face with the super-sized toothy mouth freaked so many people out, I decided to try it again (Muwahahaaa!) I love the illusion it gives by concealing your real mouth, it completely transforms the human face by being so unnatural, and I love anything that is able to do that.

I started by putting my white cream paint all over my face and neck to make my skin really pale. I used my white eyeliner to really whiten all of my eyes and also sketch the outline of the mouth. I followed the line of the top of my real lips but took the bottom much lower onto my chin to make it much larger and sketched in the teeth. I used "tease" from my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette and a fluffy brush in the crease of my eyes and underneath, avoiding going up to the lash line. I used this to heavily contour also, making a strong cheekbone line, adding around my hairline and making my nose much harsher/slimmer by brushing along the sides and blending out. I added a touch of bright red/pink shadow to the underneath to add another dimension too. I outlined the brows with a black eyeliner, making them just thicker than my own with a point on the start and arch, extending them much further down at the ends and then filled them in with black paint.

I spent the most time on the mouth, filling in the centre with black paint, teeth with white and lips with a dark red. To keep the teeth super sharp, I used my finest brushes. It's easier to paint the teeth large than you would maybe like and then paint around with black. They always appear smaller once the black is added and it means you can go around them again to get a really straight line/good point and not worry too much about them becoming too small.

I finished the look by putting in my white-out lenses. This was a fairly simple makeup look to do but I was really impressed by how much it transformed my face. My mum had a sore throat the day after me doing this as she screamed so much when I showed her - mission accomplished ;)

If you are still reading and got this far, bravo for the bravery!

Until next time m'dears...! JLM x

Monday, 6 May 2013

What a rip off...

Good day!

I hope you all love blood, guts and gore as much as I do (not in a creepy murdery way, hopefully...) because today I decided that I hadn't made enough use of my fake blood and derma wax. And what better way to make use of it than by making part of my face look like it had been ripped!? An extremely genius and attractive thought, I know...

I love doing all sorts of movie/theatrical makeup looks (surprise!) but I can't deny that the gruesome ones really are the most fun. I'd seen a few special effects online where it looks like half of your mouth has been torn off and the teeth are therefore exposed. It's really effective and most importantly, pretty darn grim, so I decided to give it a go.

I had watched one technique where tissue and glue was used but I thought I'd use my derma wax to give the look of skin/flesh having been peeled away (plus the only glue I could find was super glue). I started by roughly sketching where the teeth would show with a white eyeliner, following the natural line of my jaw. I then rolled out balls of the wax into long sausage like pieces and placed them from the middle of my top and bottom lips and round the sketch to the back teeth. 

I moulded the edges to smooth out using moisturiser. I lifted the inner parts away from my skin to give the effect of skin peeling away and blended the outer wax edges into my skin more with some concealer. 

I painted in the teeth and mixed purply reds to fill in where the gums and flash would be. I added darker red where the wax joined my skin to give it greater depth and a 3D effect. I built this up a little, adding a red grey  in between the teeth and on the tips of the peeled away wax. I finished it off by piling on lots of yummy fake blood, dragging some above and below the wax and then just adding a bit more - you can never use enough fake blood apparently :)

Hope you like it and didn't stumble across this whilst eating...

Thanks for reading!

(p.s Here's another close-up, just in case you hadn't seen enough already - you're welcome...)

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Makeup memoir of a geisha...

ヒスイ (Apparently that is Jade in Japanese - I sure hope it is. Apologies if it is anything offensive, do let me know if it is before I get my tattoo...)

East Asian culture is beautiful, the detail in their clothing, architecture and art is so detailed. I've never had the pleasure of visiting, but it's definitely on my "places I have to go before I die" list. The "geisha" look is a globally recognised one and I had a fair few requests for it. I love the very elegant, classic geisha look (right) but I decided to exaggerate the separate elements and make it a little more dramatic. So here is my oriental inspired interpretation...

I started with cream makeup in white, sponging it all over my face, to the hairline and down onto my neck. I had to use my white face paint to go over my brows, disguising them as best possible. I then used black paint with a super fine brush to outline the new dramatic brows and line the top lash line, with an over-exaggerated winged look. I continued to fill in these "flicks" and took the line right into the inner corner and down towards my nose, giving that elegant oriental look. I filled in the brows, neatening the lines with some white paint and another fine brush. For the shadow, I used a really bright red/pink from my MUA palette, taking the powder from the inner corner right up to my natural brow and swept out towards my temples/hairline. I applied very light bright pink busher to my cheeks and red lipstick to the very centre of my lips, avoiding the outer corners. I finished it all off with some false lashes and a couple of upside-down paint brushes in my bun! :)

I liked how this came out (despite annoyingly not having any of the elegant, petite features of a Japanese woman - my features are a little too bulbous!) and would love to try another East Asian inspired look soon, perhaps with some more authentic head wear!

Thanks for reading :)

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!