Posted in The Look

Back To The Bold

The pictures in this post were shot almost 9 months ago. It marked the official beginning of my “graphic” exploration. At the time I was obsessing over the work of people like Peter Philips and Pat McGrath. I was getting bored of natural and I wanted to work on a more graphic approach to eye makeup.

Photography César Ochoa
Hairstyling by Cristal Han

9 Months In The Making
I usually photograph and post images within a week or two. This time, I’m posting images 9 months after they were taken. It’s strange. It’s like seeing a picture of yourself from a year ago– you sort of look the same–but different. The intention was to do a spring shoot but it turned out a bit too fall like. And by the time fall came around magazines had lost interest. It’s the danger of doing things to be published. Luckily, I’ve got my own blog.

Lining It Up
Doing these graphic shapes made me really feel like an illustrator. Since I’ve started the journey of working with makeup 3 years ago, I’ve found my own particular brand of mixes. I call them my recipes: a collection of foundations, contours, blushes, and eye shadows that I know will work well, because they’ve been camera tested. But I’m also tailoring them for each person. I’m finding that I can never really do twice the same thing (mostly because I improvise a lot). And every time I do something familiar, I’m more interested in seeing how I can change it around. Or else I would just be doing a red lip the same exact way, or doing a liner wing the same way over and over…For me– that is just madness!

I like the excitement of what the moment can bring, the inspiration that comes through when you let go of what you think it should look like. When you can free yourself enough to make mistakes so you can learn, experiment– actually both are not exclusive. That’s the kind of moment I had on this shoot, it was a milestone that led to all the work that came after it.

The moodboard for the shooting

Copy or Inspiration?
Looking back, I have to admit that I copied many looks from the runway a bit too literally. There is no shade in copying other people’s work. Because, first of all, you’ll never do it as well as they did. Secondly, it will always look like your work. Copying those looks helped me to understand what was going on in their minds when they created them. It gave me so much perspective on graphic proportions and how they photograph.

After I did this shoot, I did many variations on the graphic eye for the blog. This year, I was really obsessing over sixties makeup. When you look back at the history of makeup, it really started in the 60’s. With Twiggy, and her big, painted-on eyes, making it really painting your face. I watched and re-watched the cult movie “Who Are You, Polly Magoo?” probably one of the first fashion films on such a big scale. All of the eye makeups are stunning and pause worthy.

If you love drag queen makeup, it’s really just 60’s makeup on steroids. Call it “going back to the source“. I needed that foundation to have a good understanding of cut-creases and shapes. It was also an exercise to see how I could emulate the style, without looking retro. And the fun is really in the details!

Models: Teagan and Brittany at Next Models Canada

This was the first look of shoot on Teagan. Top is by Valerie Dumaine.

This was the second look I did on Brittany. Shirt by Valerie Dumaine.


Jersey dress with turtleneck with embroidery by Ambivalence.

Gingham shirt tunic dress by Ambivalence.

Jersey top by Valerie Dumaine