Posts tagged warpaint
Posts tagged warpaint
It feels like I’ve been shooting, shooting, shooting for about the last three months, and as of next week all the editorial I’ve been working on should be erupting in the space of a month, so I should get to posting a little more about what I’ve been up to…. buuuuuut, until then I get to keep writing the sort of posts I like to read! And this one if pure visual porn as it’s all about the present love of my life, the button nosed, painfully cute vision of perfection that is Daphne Groeneveld.
To those in the industry, this little Dutch beauty has been a big deal for a couple of years now, but it seems she could be just about to cross that threshold into modern supermodel territory. Supermodels don’t really exist these days in the way they used to, we all know that, but you still have your Lara Stones, your Agyness Deyns, faces instantly recogniseable to the woman on the street, and with a face like Daphne’s both men and women will be falling in love left right and centre. When I spotted her this week in the new ad for Gucci’s Addict fragrance, it seemed like a real “star is born” moment. I practically got a lump in my throat when I saw this, SO BEAUTIFUL, and who could more perfectly personify that cute, mischievous, adorable little goddess character, than Daphne? I really am reigning myself in not to scatter this post with repeated heart emoticons. Just watch, and feel your insides go all a flutter.
I first cast eyes on Daphne in the Miu Miu FW10 campaign, with the now iconic sugar-bright eye makeup by Lucia Pieroni, alongside other cutie patooties Ginta Lapina, Lindsey Wixson and Siri Tollerod, and it seemed to usher in a whole new look for top models, moving away from the punky, edgy tattooed styles of Freja Beha Erichsen and Eliza Cummings, towards doll-featured, pillow lipped, angelic faces.
But don’t get me wrong, angel-faced though she may be, Daphne can edge it up with the best of them, with one of the quirkiest, most striking and ticks-every-box-beautiful looks we’ve been blessed with in a long time. Ohhh what a face! Enjoy!
I know I keep promising to write more product related posts, but one of the reasons I started Warpaint in the first place, was because I felt there just weren’t really any makeup blogs out there that I’d actually like to read. The product heavy posts just don’t get me going as a reader. Sorry product junkies, sorry sorry sorry.
For me, one of my favourite parts of this job is the research, yes I am a bad, bad nerd, and things like that get me very excited. When the concept for a shoot comes my way, or when a client describes to me the sort of look they have in mind, I become the absolute undisputed Queen of Google. The amount of files overflowing images that I’ve amassed over the years is ree-diculous. I can pour over photography and fashion books, or become inspired by a texture, or perhaps a lip colour I see during a runway show, mixed with an eyeliner shape I’ve spotted on a 1950s movie star. I’ve spent hours over the past couple of days amassing heaps of images of various stages of decay and buildings overgrown with flowers as inspiration for an upcoming shoot. Research is your frieeeeend. It inspires me, and that’s why I hope these more image heavy posts may get your creative juices flowing too. (I have received some insanely hot products recently though, I promise my next post will be an ode to my pick of the best!)
It’s easy when writing these Makeup Artist related posts, to pick the more avant garde, more “out there” bodies of work, by an Alex Box or a Pat McGrath for instance. But personally, my style, as an artist and as an appreciator of others’ art, is more eclectic. I get just as much pleasure from creating a beautifully glowing nude skin, and fluttery set of lashes, as I do from a full on high fashion creation. Whenever makeup students or new artists ask me for advice, I always try to impress on them the importance of appreciating the full spectrum of makeup, step away from those feather eyelashes young one! Come and take a look at the elegant creations of Miss Charlotte Tilbury.
Whenever I think of the more classic beauty looks, there are a few names that spring to mind, but probably first a foremost for me it’s the legendary Ms Tilbury who takes the biscuit. Not all makeup artists embody the glamour that people expect of us (myself often included!) but Charlotte is as recogniseable in the industry for her gorgeous boho chic and flowing firey red hair as she is for her enviable body of work. A regular collaborator with Burberry, Chloe, Mango and Donna Karan amongst others (and unofficially known as Kate Moss’s favourite makeup artist - Kate has Charlotte to thank for beautifying her on her wedding day. Not jealous at all Kate), she is known for that, polished, aspirational, feminine type of beauty. At the same time, her full-on 80s vamp look for Daphne Groenveld on the cover of Vogue Paris in December 2010 was equally iconic, as was her Cleopatra inspired block pastel eye for Alexander McQueen back in 2007. Whether more dramatic, or more stripped back, the words that always spring to mind are feminine and luxurious. Charlotte’s creations seem to come unashamedly from the mind of a girly girl, and as a bit of a tomboy myself, there are elements of that I definately aspire to!
Behind the scenes Charlotte has also been responsible for creating MyFace Cosmetics, currently exclusive to Boots in the UK (MyFace also has the backing of fellow makeup artist and personal fave Kabuki, talk about a dream team!). I’ll put my hands up and say it’s probably the highest quality, drugstore-price range of makeup you can buy. I’ve been given the range to use backstage at London Fashion Week and was seriously impressed, it’s presence backstage in itself is a testament to Charlotte’s reputation, you won’t find every high street makeup brand being used at the shows. Their MyMix foundations, amongst other things, are wonderful, I often advocate foundation as being one of the parts of your personal makeup bag where it’s worth splashing the cash for a great finish, but if you want to be more thrifty, then get ye to MyFace quick sharp. Charlotte also designed a full range of eye, lip and cheek shades clearly labelled as to whether they complement fair, medium or dark skintones. Pretty much a foolproof method for the woman on the street, to rid makeup drawers nationwide of stacks of pretty shades you’ll never use. Gawd bless you Miss Tilbury.
Enough of my gushing, feast your eyes on the beautiful creations of the lady herself, polished perfection never looked so pretty.
Another mental week, another week of lazy blogging. I put my hands up! I apologise! I shall be self-flagellating for the rest of the day by way of punishment, I promise. And while it’s been a busy week, it’s also been quite a colourful week, I’m noticing more and more neon colours popping up on shoots, which has been a definate rarity in previous years, and I am quite frankly loving it! Neon was forecast as a big trend for Spring, and maybe our dire weather here in the UK hasn’t had us all reaching for the rave shades just yet, but it looks like that trend is spilling over into the Summer months and maybe our recent spots of good weather are inspiring us to embrace these brain-achingly bright shades a bit more. Either way it’s about time, forgive me for sounding like a seven year old but come on, neon is AWESOME!
As I mentioned in my last post I spent a little time working with the so-gorgeous-I-could-just-eat-her-alive Rita Ora last week, and as support at Saturday’s mahoosive Coldplay gig at the Emirates Stadium, Rita, rocking a neon orange ensemble, went for a beautiful sultry, smokey makeup, and then just turned it right on it’s head with neon warrior battle stripes. Look at her rocking that shit below, she quite frankly smashed it!
Let’s have a little rundown of the products used on the beautiful bad-ass Rita shall we?
Lips prepped with Lucas Paw Paw Ointment.
Eyes in Mac Mineralize Eyeshadow in Gilt By Association to the lid, The Makeup Store’s Velvet Shadow to the socket. Further contouring with Mac Eyeshadow in Brun, with browbone and inner corners highlighted with Bobbi Brown Shimmerwash Eyeshadow in Bone.
Top and bottom eyeline, and waterline filled with Mac Kohl Power Pencil in Feline, buffed into and intensified with YSL shadow in Black Fannel along top lashline and Brun and Gilt by Association on the lower. YSL Eyeliner Effet Faux Cils in Deep Black worked into lash line for added intensity.
Skin was perfected with a combination of YSL’s Teint Radiance Foundation and Bobbi Brown’s Foundation Stick (also lightly used as a concealer), under eyes were concealed with a little of BeneFit’s Erase Paste, all set with a light dusting of Mac Pro’s Invisible Set Powder. Cheeks prepped with BeneFit Sun Beam, then contoured with St Tropez Matte Powder Bronzer and Mac Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul.
Lips were filled with Illamasqua Lipstick in Agony (Discontinued?! For shame!! Although they do do some other fantastic, highly pigmented, matte nude shades), pressed in with the finger to soften.
After bronzing up Rita’s limbs with a mix of St Tropez Medium Wash Off Instant Glow Body Lotion and Gold Skin Illuminator, we got our frickin WARRIOR ON and finger painted in those stripes, with an old school fave, Stargazer’s Neon UV Paint in Orange. This stuff makes me feel so wistful for my teenage years in Manchester’s Afflecks Palace (that’s like Camden to us northern goth/grunge teens of yesteryear) I can’t even tell you.
And the stuff glows under UV light! (One for the old skool RAVAH! etc) What’s not to love?! I also cracked out the very same colour just a few weeks ago at the MEAT Clothing show to create some neon Harajuku Barbie Style looks. Mix a little with your Mac Lipglass and off you go. Look at that combo with Mimi’s insanely hot neon green hair! I die.
I also shot a beauty story for More Magazine this week, and the neon brights popped up again! Little accents on the inner corner of the eye, a little liner here and there… Believe it or not this trend can be subtle, I bet you’ll be rocking a neon nail at least, just you wait.
And just to prove I’ve not lost my mind, check out this gallery of luminous lovelies. Never mind colours that pop, this is a serious colour EXPLOSION. POW!
You all know the saying about things being like buses, you wait forever for one… and then three come along at once. Well I always find freelance work to be a little like that, I’ll have two weeks with a couple of jobs thrown in, and long leisurely afternoons doing as I wish, then suddenly a marathon of jobs in quick succession and no time do or think about anything else. It’s all part of the fun. But it has meant my continuing absence from this blog so… yeah, sorry bout that, I am trying!
So, this week has been a fun one I must say, on Monday I shot a great menswear editorial for super hot 1883 magazine with the jaw-droppingly, nauseatingly talented, wonderful, secret fave photographer and fellow Slipknot fan, Sarah Brimley, with hair by the equally cracking talent and agency buddy Marcia Lee. I can’t say much about the editorial itself other than it has a bit of a dark side and is very, very cool, but what was surprising to me was how much I enjoyed doing the guys’ makeup for this one. A lot of the time for me, grooming men means doing both hair and makeup, and as a makeup first girl, styling the hair somewhat takes my focus away from the different makeup looks that can be achieved for the male models I’m working with. Not this time. 1883’s Fashion Director Chad and I discussed creating hyper real, polished skin, almost slightly camp (my word, not his), to give the beautiful boys an added sense of perfection and real beauty. It’s the first time I’ve cracked out the Chanel Vitalumiere and Illamasqua’s Satin Primer on guys… Can’t wait to show you the results! If you’re wondering why working with Sarah gets me so excited, here’s a shot we recently worked on together (yes it’s that shot from my blog title, I love it that much). Talk about making me look good…
In between then and now, I managed to fit in meetings with a number of cosmetics brands showcasing their new products (have I got some SEXY stuff to show you over the coming weeks, ooh-weee), a very sweaty looking sporty shoot with a pro-kiteboarder (yes that is a real sport) and then an even more hectic day than usual yesterday.
I started the day with the first of a couple of dates with the gorgeous, cute as a button but utterly badass girl of the moment Rita Ora. Rita had been at the top of my list of dream faces to work with for a while now, and it’s always a pleasure to get to tick such lovelies off that list! Along with the legendary dude and another agency bud Paul Percival we were getting Rita ready for a TV ad shot in my home turf of Dalston! Brrrap etc! Once the ad is out I’ll come back with a rundown of the products used, in the meantime here’s a snap of Rita rocking that hot wine red lip in her kitchen yesterday morning. Lip Tars being a total hero product yet again!
On my way home from the shoot I got a call asking if I could head to a Battersea studio to do a little grooming for Danny O’Donoghue of the Script (and my fave Saturday night guilty pleasure “The Voice”), so I dumped my eyeshadows, lip colours etc, and just took along my basic grooming kit. Little did I know the beautiful Bo Bruce would be there needing her makeup doing as well! DAMMIT!! In all honesty it would be impossible to make Bo look anything less than stunning but I couldn’t help lamenting this MAC Mineralize eyeshadow in Gilt By Association sitting in my cupboard at home;
IMAGINE THAT ON THOSE HUGE DOE EYES. My God. Next time… We had roughly twenty minutes in a darkened room with minimal kit, but Bo left rocking a serious Edie Sedgewick eye in blacks, soft grays and purples, two sets of lashes, contoured, dewy skin and a nude matte lip. It’s amazing what you can pull out of the bag when the pressure’s on.
And today, I am doing… nothing. And I can’t wait.
Doing a little bit of research about these old faves, I heard a hideous, vicious rumour that they had been discontinued, but after calling up in despair have been informed they are still alive and well, if only in MAC’s Pro Stores. I’m talking Sculpt and Shape powders, my absolute go-to faves when it comes to contouring. As far as I remember, these started life as a limited edition product a few years ago now, when MAC produced duo compacts, with a “Sculpt” shade in one side for contouring, and an adjacent “Shape” shade for highlighting. They were insanely popular, and I believe have only made a few welcome reappearances in limited edition collections since. However in the MAC Mecca of the Pro Store, you have the heavenly option of choosing your own six shades and making them up into a personalised blush pallette. There is no UK Pro Store website, so don’t quote me on this, but at present I believe there are ten shades, at £14.50 each, and I can safely say my personalised pallette of six is one of the most useful and versatile things in my kit. The swatches below taken from the lovely people at Temptalia.com show the current available shades, a selection of browns, bones and beiges perfect for shaping almost every skin tone.
Forgive my stating the obvious, but contouring of course, is the creation or accentuation of the natural contours of the face, and I’m not talking Siouxie Sioux style here, although I love that style just as much, this is more about creating natural shape and form to the face. The main bit of sculpting that girls and fabulous guys may want to create for themselves is of course the accentuated, high cheekbone. I can’t begin to think how many times I’ve been asked to explain how to contour a killer cheekbone. It’s one of those things that’s so simple, yet so effective, and once you grasp it you’ll feel like a frickin makeup GENIUS. It’s as simple as this; take a soft angled blush brush (the MAC 168 is perfect for this one), load up the brush with your sculpting shade (I tend to work the product into the bristles on the back of my hand for a second, to disperse any excess), then simply hook the brush into the socket of your cheekbone. You can feel the socket with your fingers, even on a moon-faced, seemingly cheekbone-less visage like mine, buried just there next to your ear.
Once the brush is placed, simply swipe it down towards the corner of the mouth with a flick of the wrist, simples. Feel free to repeat twice, even three times if you want a stronger contour. And if you feel you’ve created too harsh a line, don’t fret, just use your brush to soften, blending the colour upwards. And now look at you, RuPaul will be throwing serious shade when she sees your contouring skills. I appreciate it’s very easy for me to say “simples”, following that shorter than short explanation, so should you prefer a slightly more visual description, take a look at my old faves Pixiwoo as Sam takes you through a range of contouring in her tutorial below.
Sam uses MAC’s Taupe blush to work with, a great shade if you have fair skin but which also seems to be Pro only at the moment (I believe you can call the store and have them post product out to you, although that may depend on who answers the phone to you that day and what side of the bed they got out of that morning). Another trick if you’re looking for sculpting or highlighting shades and don’t have a Pro gaff nearby, in a store like MAC where there are such a range of skin shades to choose from; pick a product such as Studio Fix powder (it has that great slightly creamy powder texture that the Sculpt and Shape powders have, gorgeous for blending with), in a shade two shades darker than your skin tone for contouring, and two lighter for highlighting. Bosh. Sam also covers other types of contouring in her video, from nose, to eye socket, temples and more. For the sake of brevity here I won’t go into each (maybe in another post), but a great rule of thumb is to shape the cheekbones, temples and jawline. Picture an imaginary number three either side of the face as a guide, the difference it’ll make when well blended is unbelievable. And I cannot express the importance of blending here people. We’re not going for the Kim Kardashian half way through a change vibe (loves ya Kim).
If you’re wondering what in six shades of hell Kim is doing to her face there, her makeup artist is of the Kevyn Aucoin/Scott Barnes school of contouring, where concealers and foundations are used to sculpt the face. I have used the technique in the past for certain clients who prefer a look with higher coverage to the skin, and undeniably it works really effectively, however my personal preference is to keep things more subtle in matters of the skin, and my bezzie mate the sculpting pallette allows me the best of both worlds. Do go and read up on Kevyn and Scott’s work though, if you’re not already a fan, they are the absolute undisputed Gods of contouring and highlighting. Scott creates hyper perfect bronzed Goddesses out of the J-Lo’s and Kelly Rowlands of the World, and Kevyn was renowned for the transformations he could create without a prosthetic in sight. Gwyneth Paltrow as James Dean anyone?
And I haven’t even got onto the highlighting part yet! As we already know, contouring causes areas to recede, by creating shadow, and highlights bring them forward giving that real sense of depth. Sweep your highlight along the top of the cheekbone, just above your contour. Swish a little along the upper side of your jawbone, or on the forehead and down the bridge of the nose. Women have been contouring and shaping their eyes in this way for years, you’re simply taking these skills and applying them to other areas of the face, so don’t be scurrred. If you like a gorgeous, dewy highlight to the cheek, this is your time to shine! Seeing as you’re in MAC already why not add a little Cream Colour Base in “Shell”, £14.50, or for something a little more glitzy, that gorgeous sheer, gold hued, all purpose highlighter Pigment in Vanilla, £16.50.
And there you’ll be, all sculpted and refined like some sort of Michaelangelo masterpiece. Why not take a look at the gallery below for a bit of inspiration on how to rock a razor sharp cheekbone? Granted, some chicks like Marlene and Kate are just born with those babies, but brush up on your contouring skills and no one will ever know the difference. I won’t tell if you don’t.
A few things have lead me to writing a blog about this slightly odd topic; this will be a post about “THINGS YOU CAN STICK ON YOUR FACE”, for lack of a better turn of phrase. Or rather, embellishment, the haberdashery of makeup. When the vision calls for it, makeup doesn’t need to stop at powders and paints, we’ve been adding lashes for years without a thought, and gems on the odd occasion, so why not take things a little further?
Those who’ve read my post about Alex Box will have heard me talk about her love for applying all sorts of unorthodox materials when creating a look, and how after my time assisting her I’ve grown to often do the same. Never again will I walk by an art shop and come out without bags of sequins, stickers and Lord knows what else. Kabuki, the Brit genius behind the stunning Manish Arora butterflies is a master of creating beautiful bejewelled applique for the face. I remember the first time I was handed a Topolino book by my tutor back in my college days, being amazed by his use of flower petals and feathers, a look much copied, to the point where artists are now hungry for new materials to manipulate and create with.
The editorial that recently got me thinking about the subject at hand, is the jawdroppingly beautiful “Butterfly Effect” story featuring heavenly new face Elza Luijendijk that Ben Toms recently shot for Dazed and Confused. The images are surreal, ethereal and jaw-droppingly beautiful, as Peter Phillips uses, what at times look like real butterflies, moths and insects to embellish the skin of the delicate looking model. This is one of those “God I wish I’d thought of that” type editorials, using unorthodox materials, in a totally new way, to wondrous effect. Just plain stunning.
And for those wanting to rock the look but not yet ready to go out covered in lovely bugs, there are more “wearable” options, should you wish to embellish that pretty little face of yours. “Face Lace” is a great concept, perfectly executed and designed by makeup artist Phyllis Cohen. Yes you guessed it, it’s like lace, but for your face. Joking aside, Phyllis has created truly beautiful applique pieces that can be applied over makeup, creating stunningly intricate patterns on the skin. It feels as though the concept, if handled by the wrong person, could have come out feeling cheap, and looking it, but FaceLace looks the opposite; elegant, high end and expensive. They range from just £11.63 for smaller pieces, to £16.63 for the beautiful Noveau eye mask. I think my favourite is the Fleurty design seen below. God I’d put these on everyone if I could. Yummers.
And for those not quite ready to go the whole hog, why not pick up a set of the absolutely darling Paperself lashes? That’s right, you guessed again, false lashes, made from paper. The designs on these beauties are something you need to be more up close and personal to see, but work so, so beautifully as a gorgeously unique bit of detail to add to your makeup. At £10.50 or £12.50, in whimsical designs ranging from under the sea scenes to deers and butterlies, they’re just so dinky and gorgeous they make my heart flutter a little bit.
Not ballsy enough for you? Need more inspiration? Look no further than this ode to awesome embellishment. Now excuse me, I’m off to my local Hobbycraft.
Today’s post is going to be a little different than usual, in that it’s going to be even more image dependant than the norm, and you’ll have far less of me banging on to get through before you reach the good stuff.
I spent the whole of yesterday in my office (aka the sofa avec snuggly throw, laptop and Pepsi Max) catching up on work after last weeks crazy marathon. Some people find it difficult to believe that I actually have work to do besides painting faces, but believe me there is a lot of admin and research going on behind the scenes too. As I’ve recently moved my office from the kitchen table to the living room, yesterday’s soundtrack was a nameless music video channel, feeding me the most absurd mix of videos from past and present (may I just say the new Nicki Minaj is SIIIICK), which wasn’t conducive to great concentration as every five minutes I’d be staring at someone’s makeup.
Music videos are absolute PORN for makeup artists! The amount of looks we get to do! Seen from every angle! The inspiration! The themes! The moodboards! They might be insanely long days but they’re such fun, and as a viewer the makeup is undeniably a huge part of the aesthetic when it comes to pop vids. So here, I’m simply going to present to you some of my favourite makeup looks from pop promos over the years, please forgive the poor picture quality of the screengrabs, lovely people. Some of them are personal faves (Metallica anyone?), some you may never have seen, and I’m sure there’s plenty I’ve missed. I’ll also try to credit the makeup artists where possible but I ain’t no miracle worker, feel free to fill me in on any missing info!
This one’s for the MTV generation… Video killed the radio star, and that’s fine by me.
TLC; No Scrubs; 1999
Katy Perry; ET; 2011; Makeup by Kabuki
Grace Jones; My Jamaican Guy; 1982
Beyonce; Why Don’t You Love Me?; 2011; Makeup by Beyonce!! My God! Is there anything this woman cannot do?!
Christina Aguilera; Fighter; 2003; Makeup by Francesca Tolot
Visage; Fade to Grey; 1980; Makeup by Richard Sharah
Kelis; Acapella; 2010; Makeup by Kathy Yeung
Metallica; Until It Sleeps; 1996
Pink; U & Ur Hand; 2006; Makeup by Billy B
Björk; Oceania; 2004; Makeup by Crissy Guerrero
Whitney Houston; I Wanna Dance With Somebody; 1987
Madonna; Rain; 1992; Best brows ever! I wish I could figure out who was responsible for these beauties…
Robert Palmer; Addicted to Love; 1985; Makeup by Martin Pretorius
No Doubt; Ex-Girlfriend; 2000
David Bowie; Ashes to Ashes; 1980; Makeup by Richard Sharah
Lady Gaga; Alejandro; 2010; Makeup by Val Garland
Jessie J; Domino; 2012; Makeup by Andrew Gallimore
This week has been a bit insane work wise, one of those get in at midnight, fall face first on the bed, get up at 6am and do it all again runs of work, that I wouldn’t change for the world, but it has meant I’ve still not had much time to sit down and put any posts together. Must write blog in advance! Note to self!
I’ve been out and about on all sorts of jobs this week, from helping out the fabulous Percy and Reed guys with a few TV spots, to shooting 1883 magazine in a crazy London flat to giving girls a Chola-Barbie-esque makeover for Azaelia Banks’ new fave latex couturier MEAT. Needless to say it’s been a bit of a mad one. I’m also lucky enough to do a fair amount of my work within the music industry, and while it’s great to work with famous faces, or on big shows, it also means I get to work with a lot of newly signed artists before they hit the big time. This week that meant painting the face of the beautiful Tigs from hot new London duo Chew Lips for their album artwork. Tigs is heart-breakingly, adorably beautiful, like an even more pixie-ish Michelle Williams with a tomboy vibe. Love her.
I also ended up spending an afternoon shooting the whirlwind of uber-cool Brooklyn fun that is Friends in aforementioned crazy flat. Friends (the band, not the 90s sitcom crew) are responsible for one of my favourite tracks of the last six months, “I’m His Girl”. Look how frickin’ cool they are. Look at Samantha just a-boppin-along in her hotpants with her ghetto blaster being all fly and kissing the boys. She makes me feel like a sexually repressed old grandma. Hot chick.
Aaaanyway, before I go any further off on one, what I like about working with music clients, is the collaboration between artist, and makeup artist. They are representing themselves out there after all, so the final look is a mixture of their vision and what I can bring to the table, and although both girls have a very different aesthetic, the words “glam”, “grunge” and frankly, “fucked up”, were discussed on both occasions, when it came to the eye makeup. It’s obviously the big thing this week and that’s more than fine by me. I love a really tarry, oil slick, beautiful mess of an eye look, I think it started in my teenage mosher years when the hottest goth in my local rock club used to smush purple lipstick on as eye makeup (My God! Why haven’t I tried this recently?!), it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it sure as hell worked for me. Nothing says “rock chick” more than the I-give-so-little-of-a-toss-that-my-makeup-kit-is-a-tin-of-motor-oil smokey eye. I remember creating this kind of look a couple of years ago for the beautiful Coco Sumner, but this time, we took it up a notch.
There is really no secret recipe for me to write up in tutorial form for this one… it’s supposed to be messy! What takes a little practice is keeping it just the right side of too far gone. We’re going for the Joan Jett after the show vibe here as opposed to Heath Ledger circa the Dark Knight. I used a mixture of things on Tigs and Samantha, their looks were slightly different, but mainly a mixture of Mac’s must have uber-black Feline Kohl Power pencil, my old fave Lucas’s Paw Paw Ointment, Mac’s Blue Brown pigment for that two tone oil slick sheen and lashings of Armani Eyes to Kill mascara. For Tigs, I kept the look closer to the lash line, and softened it with a highlight of clear gloss on the lid, and a nude lip. For Sam we winged out the eye shape, and added a slick black layer of Illamasqua intense gloss in Repulse, serious New Romantic brows and a matte fuschia-purple lip. Plenty of bang for your buck with that look. Just be sure to keep an eye on it for a little while after application, gloss does have a tendency to wander, but once it settles into those smutty creases and you clean up any excess, you should be good to go.
And now, why not feast your eyes on this motley crew of inspiration for your own take on the glam grunge eye… Disgraceful aren’t they? Being a hot mess never looked so good.
Those of you who know Alex Box’s work, will know she is a definate one in a million, when it comes to her creativity, vision and execution. There are only a handful of great makeup artists in the industry whose work is instantly recogniseable and Alex may top that list; her use of colour and texture, her incredible brush work and precise lines, her vision of twisted beauty, are all wonderfully unique to her. Often immitated but never equalled, there is a soul behind Alex’s work that gets lost in poor immitations.
I like to think that all makeup artists are artists, each with our own vision and style, but to call Ms Box an artist goes without saying. As her recent book with Rankin proved, shots of these creations could hang on a gallery wall and captivate viewers in their own right. After her formative years in Grimbsy, Alex went on to study fine art at Chelsea College of Art, an unconventional route into makeup (which we all know often produces the greatest makeup artists!). While that fine art background may go some way to explaining her approach to her creations, when watching her work you come to see that perhaps her vision of the world, and beauty, is just intrinsically different to the rest of us folk. The looks she creates are never forced, never too thought out or pre-planned, it is true creativity and fantasy, and is inspirational to watch.
Over the years I’ve seen Alex perform masterclasses to packed rooms in which she doesn’t say a word, and builds her looks to music which she has painstakingly chosen to match the mood of each creation. She’s sent models down the runway with LED lights in their mouths, and perspex visors over their eyes (both with Gareth Pugh, never have a designer and makeup artist been so utterly perfect for each other!). I first remember hearing her name in my days as a MAC artist, many moons ago. She had created the look below, to advertise one of their new face powders that consisted of a close up of a black painted face, spattered with loose powder. It was ballsy and beautiful, and so far removed from the usual flawless, airbrushed cosmetic ads.
Then when I moved to London I joined the team at Illamasqua, where Alex is creative director. Her vision is key to the brand, and she’s a definate mother of the Illamasqua family. This was where I began working alongside Alex at a variety of shoots, shows and events. Alex was unlike anyone I’d ever assisted before, not only was she so obviously passionate about her art and wonderfully articulate in her desriptions of looks and ideas, but she was almost maternal with the young artists around her. Not to mention eye-wateringly stylish, with her trademark bleached streak and vampish nails, red-lipstick and vintage wardrobe, not a hair out of place (God I would kill for that wardrobe…). She openly complimented good work, was always happy to answer questions about technique, and most importantly she trusted us and our creativity and really let us get stuck in, see myself and the lovely Alex below, creating her riotous vision of acid-trip, neon flower children for House of Blue Eyes, each model had their own look, and they were incredible!
As I said earlier, Alex’s work is often immitated, even sometimes, strangely, by her peers, and while I would never wish to immitate another artist’s work (where’s the fun in that?!), I can definately see elements to my style that were picked up during my time alongside Ms Box. Alex taught me to be brave with colour, to use it in unconventional ways and with real strength and purpose. She taught me to embrace unconventional materials, she’s been known to use stickers, coloured hair spray, shuttlecocks, post-it notes, icing sugar, food colouring, even parts of lampshades and cushions, the list goes on! I now love scouring poundshops, art shops, fancy dress shops, markets, for exciting bits for the kit. Alex taught me how to block out an eyebrow, and to create a hyper-perfect brow in its place, and not to limit myself to the natural contours and features of the face. And most of all, she taught me to trust my own vision of beauty, and that makeup really can be art.
Big love to you Boxy! …x
This week has been an insanely hectic one, but when Warpaint began, I made a promise to myself that no matter what, I would always continue to smother this blog with lush posts for your delectation, so this week shall be no different!
Today I have been thinking about models as makeup muses, the often nameless faces that fill our billboards and glossy magazines… I remember when my love affair with the faces of modern fashion began, and can honestly (and slightly shamefully) say, it wasn’t that long ago. Around a year and a half ago in fact, when I found myself assisting the incredible Lucia Pieroni, one of my all time makeup heroes, on a shoot with another legend Mario Testino for the new Versace campaign. Up until this point my knowledge of models consisted of there being supermodels and… everyone else. I knew Kate Moss, I knew Agyness Deyn and Lara Stone, and of course THE supermodels, I knew those in the gossip columns basically. The two long limbed, otherworldly creatures on set that day, I knew nothing of, they were sweet, wonderful girls, incredible models, and that was where my awareness stopped. It turns out those two sweet girls were Abbey Lee Kershaw and Ginta Lapina, two of the most successful models on the face of the planet, the faces of Gucci and YSL respectively, alongside Mulberry, Miu Miu and many, many, many more. I had been an idiot, these had been the chameleon beauties behind many of the looks I had adored over the past few years (Chris Cunningham’s Gucci “Flora” campaign anyone?! Or Miu Miu’s bleached out, candy coloured Autumn Winter 2010?), but so wrapped up was I in looking at the imagery and makeup themselves, and because they weren’t making the pages of Heat magazine, I knew nothing of them. I felt like an absolute sham, how could I have overlooked such a huge chunk of the industry I was a part of?!
Safe to say that in the years since I’ve embarked on a long, tawdry love affair with numerous, beautiful women (aesthetically at least), backstage at the shows, on shoots, through magazines and on the strangely addictive pages of models.com. There are so many favourites, Sasha, Sigrid, Arizona, Daphne, Constance, the list goes on… But today’s hot date, is with the wonderful Malgosia. I first fell in love with Malgosia Bela in November 2009’s “Make Do and Mend” editorial for British Vogue with Tim Walker. In the quirky take on editorial, our model sported various creations made of recycleable rubbish, and showed such character and humour alongside her undeniable beauty that she just leapt off the page, my friend pointed her out to me and I was immediately smitten.
If you’ve never seen one of my favourite beauty editorials, “Metamorphose” shot by Miguel Riveriego for Numero then please check it out, you are in for a treat. The incomperable Val Garland uses her skills to illustrate the power that makeup artists have to transform, moulding Anja Rubik into a variety of characters, each of which she embodies to perfection. This post is my ode to just that, the ability of these incredible women, alongside great makeup artists (and of course stylists, hair stylists and photographers) to transform, and captivate under any guise… I present to you just some of the many faces of Malgosia Bela, the Polish beauty with the chiselled, almost androgynous, yet sultry features, still at the top of her game after 15 years and going strong, often delicate, often vampish, both blank canvas and muse. Quite something, ain’t she?