Monday, January 12, 2015
Friday, December 26, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
COVER YOUR FLESH
Start off with a clean face. Apply foundation all over. I decided to put in the highlights on top of the cheeks, right below the brow bone and on the nose.
EYESHADOW THAT IS NOT FOR THE EYE
Here, instead of shadow, I used three different shades of purple eyeshadow. Notice the cheekbone was more curved than angular. The jaw line and the sides of the face were darkened to add dimension and define the shape. The highlighted areas I enhanced with white eyeshadow. On the eye, I used the same colors as the rest, deep purples, violets and white on the inside of the eyelid. I added a little bit of brown to the eyelid crease to create more drama and some pink for the base of the lid.
ENHANCE THE FURRY THINGS ON YOUR FACE
Next, I lined the brow with some dark brown and applying mascara (extending those eyelashes as far as they will go). You can see the white eyeshadow more clearly in this photo.
SCRIBBLE CASUALLY ON YOUR FACE
Now we need to sketch on the pattern. The lines are drawn on with a light orange-brown cream and a straight edged brush. The contrast of edge and elegance is apparent in the wavy and straight criss-crossed lines.
NOW MAKE THAT DESIGN A STATEMENT!
Using a black makeup cream and the fine brush, carefully line the sketches and thicken them.
BLENDING BECAUSE LET’S MAKE IT DIFFICULT
Use the straight edged brush to blend the black inwards to create this effect.
ADD SHINY PIECES ON THE LINES
For the crystals, pick up the small stones with a pair of tweezers and work both sides at the same time to keep the design more or less symmetrical when placing them down on the skin. I used eyelash glue, as usual, to stick them on. Normally I would suggest dabbing the glue on the skin directly and then putting the stone on the spot, but because you are using a lot of black, the glue brush will quickly become dirty (and they are hard to clean), so I suggest simply putting a blob on the back of the gem and then placing them on the forehead.
Make sure you’re satisfied with the final touches and you’re done! (I did add an orange-brown line around the nose at the end, which I unfortunately forgot to photograph, but you can see it in the final product)
To see the full photoshoot, click on the final image below!
Friday, November 28, 2014
It begins with a feeling. A few disconnected ideas strung together by pieces of scrap. How should I describe it? It's like ripping off a section of lined paper where a raw, unrefined doodle was drawn, or nibbling on the breadcrumbs before biting from the sandwich. Then I unfold the ripped page and examine the casual fiddles of pen. I always draw a face. The features are platonic. It is a scrawl of colorless design that is added to a hidden collection of other doodles, which would eventually serve as the preliminary sketches for a grand photoshoot.
Why is this so important to me?
Why, as a child, did I spend hours arguing with my parents just to defend my little cardboard box from being thrown away? I firmly believed my container of textured buttons, glossy gift wrappers, colored ribbons, abandoned watercolor paints, and shiny rocks were fallen gems that accumulated to become necessary tools of some big artistic endeavor. I didn’t know how to explain that gut feeling, which showed me that in the future, these seemingly useless parts would unify for a purpose. But at that particular moment, I could not find clarity in describing what I envisioned, nor did I have the skills to complete these proposed apparitions. Needless to say, these repeated, heated debates about whether anything should be considered 'garbage' never got anywhere. That is, until I learned how to create accessories from the contents of cardboard box to complement my makeup art.
Now I can articulate my thought process.
I want to live in the present. But I am constantly engaged in conversations about what the past has taught me and what the future beholds. What will benefit my distant self, years from now? How may I overcome all possibilities of failure, avoid regrets and outsmart potential mistakes? I had to understand the trajectory of action very early on. I was taught that my behavior must be calculated so that I am granted with success. All this time, I’ve been running through the motions, thinking that this is how to enjoy the present. But my mind has a hidden agenda. It was trained like a professional to tap an algorithm into the system and automatically spew an analysis of pros, cons, threats and opportunities, short and long-term, yeses and nos.
This was the case, until I discovered a specific type of art. Because of the age gap between my sisters and I, I am used to playing the part of an only child. My playmates were mister pen and paper. I would draw disproportional figures of humans on blank pieces of paper, dampening the corners with my little sweaty palms. I talked out loud in what I thought would be the voices of these characters as I drew them. I became more and more enveloped in the fantasy that was their lives. When the paper no longer had any space, I would simply ball up their world in my small fists, crumple up the hour’s work and dispose of it without second thought.
These were the times when I wanted to be a writer. It gave me the same thrill to come up with stories with characters as interesting as the ones I once drew. A decade later, I found the same pattern of flow in doing makeup with its accommodating costumes and graphic designing. Throughout the one to three hours it took to finish a look, I lost myself in the magic of creation. I no longer threw away my doodles, as they soon became primitive versions of bigger dreams.
At the point of pure focus, I found myself enjoying these moments most. I felt present. My head was clear, time became absent and my hands became mechanical extensions of a body that provided a heartbeat. This continued through the process of editing later on. The most soothing environment, besides bath time of course, was to be sitting on a leather rolling chair, or a velvet sofa, computer in my lap, lounge jazz music softly audible in the background and a flavored latte in my vicinity (pumpkin spice for autumn, gingerbread for winter and cinnamon for spring, with whipped cream and the occasional sprinkle of caramel syrup or cocoa powder). With this and the white noise of chatter surrounding me, I can go for an average of six to eight hours, tweaking the finest detail on editing software. Erasing a stray hair from the model’s head, or adjusting, for the thousandth time, the luminosity of each hue in the photo—these are the things that I strangely find pleasure in, no matter how frustrating it gets to undo and redo things (or the frequent case of forgetting where I had saved my work from the other night).
Finding the right filter is like choosing candy. Innovating a tailored preset (a set of photoshop actions to auto-edit a collection of photos) is like baking homemade cookies on a wintry evening (forgive my clichés, I’m having a moment). When I’m done, I show my models the photos before anyone else, to garner some opinion, which is usually (but not always) positive. It is understandable that due to the nature of my aesthetic, my models get a bit weary of the outcome of the shoot as I do their makeup in production, because at times it is borderline…alien. Quite frankly, I think some of my best works have come out of allowing improvisation to take its course and I divested so much from my initial sketches that I created a completely different look. So it is rewarding to see the remarkable reactions of my models after they go through the processed photographs of themselves.
Often, they start off pleasantly surprised, followed by a humbled expression such as, “Oh, is that really me?” “I actually look like a model!” and “I can’t believe how good this looks.” My theory of where this gratitude comes from can be explained with an analogy. For a girl who walks around day to day without makeup, the one morning she decides to put on some eyeliner and lipstick, people take notice of the accentuation on her features. Sometimes this helps increase her self-confidence and sometimes it doesn’t make a difference. Then the one-day I decide to go to the extreme and paint on her face, does she finally notice something different about herself. How her cheekbones are defined, how her eyelashes frame the eyes better than falsies do, or howthe shape of her face presents a stunning profile when photographed from an awkward angle. We stare at the mirror everyday, blind to the details in our faces that make us unique and wonderful. Words can’t always show us that these little things exist. We have to discover it ourselves.
Now, I must admit the many flaws in my work. I will tell you that I cannot, for my life, draw symmetrically on a face, or on paper for that matter. I failed when I tried to practice ambidexterity in order to get better at painting myself. I will confess that I don’t know everything about creams and powders as a makeup artist is expected to. My photoshop skills save my amateurish photography skills. I’m just lucky I have a nice camera. Sure, through practice, I can look at a photo and know what looks good, what angles to avoid in modeling, how to hide the fat rolls, the double chin and how to crop, adjust or cover blemishes that I couldn’t hide with makeup. From the editing process, I can pull together a professional editorial with my favorite avant-garde style makeup (or full-blown non-fashion-related body art) inspired by paradoxical, abstract and/or literal concepts. But I compensate where I can for the lack of skills, which many self-taught artists experience. I am still learning the techniques and experimenting on my own. However the biggest benefit gained from all this is learning how to appreciate living in the ‘now’ and finding meditation in what I love to do.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
KEEP IT BARE
Start with a clean, bare face.
Apply foundation a slight shade lighter than the model’s skin tone for areas that want to be highlighted and darker around areas that need to be shadowed i.e. under the cheekbones, sides of the face, under the jaw line. This is very soft contour without using contrasting highlights and shadow cream makeup.
Olive tan and golden spice were the most versatile color for a variety of skin tones.
DEFINED BROW & DARK EYES
Fill in the eyebrows with a shade of brown that matches your own eyebrows. Then apply a smokey eye effect.
Begin to pattern the face at the top middle section of your face.
Concentrate on making big swirls, making some lines thicker and thinner. Be careful to wait until the drawings are dry as you work your way down because I have, on many occasions, been frustrated by accidental smudging of my palm on her forehead.
I used this fine liquid eyeliner to draw the lines.
EXTEND PATTERN DRAWINGS
Keep continuing the swirls down the side of her neck and over one shoulder until you get the desired effect.
That’s all! This is the final result:
To see the full shoot of this look, click here or the photo above.
Thanks for reading!
Monday, November 24, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Cream foundation base:
Use foundation of an olive tone cream base to even your skin color out, get rid of any redness, and allow for easier, effective contouring to happen
Highlight and Shadow:
Start off by contouring the nose. Highlight on the tip, and then draw two lines down the sides to create a more intense bridge of nose.
*Note: don’t forget to highlight as well as shadow!
I connected and deepened the crevice where my eyebrow and nose connects because I have bulgier eyelids and the dark brown compensates for any apparent puffiness.
I lined my eyes with pencil brown liner, elongating the ends with a baby cat-eye.
Add some shadow to your eyelid crease but only follow the normal angle of your eye so it doesn’t become too extreme. Make sure to blend downwards and highlight your brow bone with concealer or whatever you used as highlight!
Line eyebrow with brown pencil (can use the same eyeliner if needed). Extend it a little further down the outsides since we are going for the ethereal, creature-like look and we want it to look a bit weird.
Pale your lips by applying some nude lipstick
Green eye shadow:
Dab some green eye shadow onto your forehead (the general area above the eyebrows) and also where the shadow hits on the cheekbones. I used three shades of green to create a blurred ‘forest feel’: turquoise, apple green and a lighter hue.
Gold and white eyeshadow:
Add gold and white eyeshadow onto where the highlights are, specifically on your nose and cheekbones to get the shining effect when it catches the light. Here’s a side view.
|Shiny cheek, shiny cheek~|
APPLY LEAVES AND FLOWERS
Cut out your props:
Cut out small pieces of leaves in diagonals so that they don’t become green squares, stick on some flowers; add a pearl in the center if there’s a gaping hole. I just got the flower petal by dismantling a plastic floral bouquet and using the scraps.
I used the classic eyelash glue trick to stick everything on. Mind you, if the objects like the leaves are thicker or heavier, you will need to hold it on your face longer for it to stay. Try not to scratch the area if it gets itchy or wiggle your forehead. The less movement, the better.
|Lopsided leaves! (who needs symmetry anyway...)|
DRAW WHITE LINES AND COLOR THOSE LEAVES
Excuse my subtle duck face. I was trying to show off the white veins I drew where the leaves and flowers protrude from my face with a white wax eyeliner pencil.
I also slightly lined my lips with the white and blended it in. I touched a little white eye shadow on the center of my lower lip to get that nice pout going.
Adding depth to the leaves:
The leaves looked a little fake a while ago, so let’s brush on some gold and green eye shadow that you used a while ago as a base color on top of the leaves. The glue on them will help enhance the color as well and give it more dimension.
FALSIES, NECK PATTERNS AND LET YOUR HAIR FLY
Add some false eyelashes, mascara, fix up any colors you want more contrast on, draw some flower patterns (just use white cream makeup and press the tip of a dry, square brush gently on skin to make cascading petal marks down the sides of the neck).
Now you’re done!
To see the final photos from the set, just click here: