Posted in The Look

Subtle Sensuality

 Summer had some last rays to share, and now we’re back to our regular programming. Fall. I wanted something a bit more intimate and warm, and revisiting a softer version of a smoky, while keeping it smoldering for cooler nights. And some pause for Instagram vs Studio photography.

For this post I worked with Emily. It had been while since I wanted to shoot with her, but this globe trotter has been travelling the world. At the beginning of September, when it was getting colder, and it felt like summer was over (but it wasn’t). I decided to start working on fall idea looks, I asked her to bring some clothes and we would jam.

I’ve been working with new faces a lot, so I don’t get myself wrapped up in images of my subjects. It’s something I’ve noticed about the creative process of working with faces. Seeing a picture of someone is always a tricky thing; because images are constructs, and it might not be your own vision. Sometimes seeing another artist’s interpretation can prevent you from having your own point of view.

Emily likes to take a lot of selfies for her own Instagram. She had been her own photographer. Working with me put her in a position, where she didn’t have the same control over the creative process of creating an image. I, on the other hand, was used to working with new faces that were very open at exploring, and letting me create personas for them. 

When Emily arrived that day, I saw a subtle sultriness, a certain shyness,  that I found interesting. I saw some boho-chic, some Charlotte Gainsbourg vibes which I hadn’t seen in her portfolio, or on her Instagram. And it was those elements of her struck me as interesting, perhaps because they were a common ground.

This made me fully realize the difference between these two processes. The studio camera is more precise in its recording of details, the studio lights are brighter, burning through the makeup. It prefers moments of abandon, where posing gives way to a more natural gesture. Which is the opposite of the self-reflected, selfie, which is more a hand-held mirror. The camera acts more like the gaze of a stranger. As Emily and I were trying to meet in the middle, between instagram and studio portrait. We created these two portraits that stood out in editing.


Over the last 3 years, I’ve tried to do the Instagram makeup style. But this experience helped me to realize that the main reason why it doesn’t look good for the studio camera; because it evolved out of the cell phones and ring lights. These two mediums don’t translate makeup and faces the same way. That’s why instagram makeup hasn’t made it into fashion shoots, and fashion makeup hasn’t really been part of the beauty selfie.

For base makeup I used Shiseido Sheer and Perfect foundation in O60. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer for the under eye. For blush I used the DIORSKIN Nude Tan matte powder in 002. The makeup was set using NARS Crystal translucent loose powder 

For the eyes, I used a mauvey-taupe pencil by Lancôme (limited edition), to rim the top and lower lashline into a soft haze. I then re-blended the edges with concealer so as to not see any lines.  Then, I concentrated the darkness at the lashes, with a chocolate brown pencil to give as much depth to eye without using black. The finishing touch is super black mascara on the lashes to frames the eyes. On lips I used Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Lipstick in Covetous Nude, I applied it lightly to bring a touch of dimension to the center lip.

 We also went outside and did this street style look. We didn’t have much time to work on the image as the light fell really quickly.  The men’s camel jacket is vintage, underneath we used the same knitted top, over vintage H&M jeans. The knitted top was label-less, and I found it at a second hand store.




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