When my glitter/glamour filter is activated, why stop? When will my rapturous use of the Pat McGrath palette stop? At this price point: I’ve got to use it, or lose it, as the saying goes. Remix of the jewel-tones and classic Glamourrrrrr.
Model, Malika at Dulcedo models
USE THE FERRARI The Pat McGrath palettes are like a Ferrari, why keep them in the garage and just admire them? I wanted to challenge myself to find their full potential(s). As makeup geeks we tend to put items in our stash and call it a “Got It”. I own so much makeup that I often forget what I have. Then I’ll go shopping for something “new”, and come back home, only to realize I already own something similar. Then I whip myself into using the “old” shade. I call that Collectors Stagnation. To fight the urge of new, I try and take a day each month to air out my palettes and just swatch them and play with the colors to remember them and to get inspired. But these shimmering/glitter shades in the Subversive palette are really unique–at the moment. Of course, some company is already trying to copy the formula, and in a year or so, we’ll see something similar and less expensive. Makeup trends work like fashion trends; from couture to drugstore! That’s why I want to use this palette until I hit pan, or a company puts out something cheaper, more wonderful.
A NEW FACE CALLS FOR A REMIX. When I took a look at Malika’s polaroids, I loved the feline quality of her eyes and energy. My first impulse was to continue what I did on Lucrezia from Part 1, including a wig. But it felt like I would be pasting a look onto Malika’s face that wasn’t tailored to it’s energy. So I gave my brain a few days to “remix” the second look I had in mind. I also wanted to challenge myself to follow my own ideas to the end. I started to “see” an angular shape on her eyes. I saw the blue on the inner corner (which was opposite from what I saw on Lucrezia’s face). I decided to follow through with that “vision”.
FROM DRAG TO PAINTERLY. These kinds of intense eyes and lips can end up looking very drag-like. And as much as I like the drag aesthetic and the work of people who work within those ideas ( Miss Fame, Nikkie Tutorials, to name a few). For me, it’s not a style I feel good at channeling. What I do like about it, is it’s full on theatrics, which I want to appropriate. I tend to prefer to be subversive, movie-ish or have a magickal feel in my glamour beauty ideas, mixing punk and fashion references into it. I’m also realizing that I’m very driven by colour. In these experiments, I wanted to avoid blending, in order to make the colours as pure and vibrant as possible, to get that jewel effect. My other challenge was making the skin more full coverage and editing it more in Photoshop, because the looks are more “unreal”, the skin had to follow.
THE MAGIC OF COLLABORATION I asked Malika to bring two pieces of clothing that she felt comfortable in. I hadn’t really thought about the clothing. I was thinking of cropping the face very tightly like I did with Lucrezia. We started with a natural looking portrait, so we could get to know how we each “worked”. I asked what music she wanted to listen to, so she could feel as much ease as she could. I’ve come to understand that photography is a collaboration. It’s really about meeting halfway, for me, anyways. I loved the red turtleneck she brought. And we used it for the glam makeup pictures as well. It played off really well against the cobalt blue background and gave the pictures a graphic effect as well as some Audrey Hepburn and Edie Sedgwick vibes. Both are beauty icons that just popped into the shoot without any conscious effort on my part! Malika brought these two women into the mix, by her presence and fashion choice!
THE JEWEL Re-MIX I wanted to use a red shade this time with the blue to keep more in harmony with her medium skin tone, while still using the brightness and the shimmering textures of the Pat McGrath eyeshadows. I wanted the brows to be very 80’s. I used a brow gel by NARS in Kinshasa and the soap technique to lie them flat, and separate them. I used Giorgio Armani Brow Maestro in Black to fill in any sparse areas. For the outer part of the shape, I used Make Up For Ever Aqua Colour in Red (available at Sephora). Using a fine brush to draw on the shape, I blended it out onto the center of the lid. To blend it out and shimmer it up, I patted on some “Red Grape” and blended onto the lid. on the center of the lid I used the metallic “Peach Gold“, both are from the Joya Holiday Palette by Natasha Denona. To define the shape of the inner corner, I used a blue matte eyeshadow pen by Sephora Collection in My Boyfriends Jean, and the “Blitz Amethyst” eyeshadow from the Pat McGrath Suberversive palette over the shape and onto the inner corner of the lid. The lashes were already pumped by Tony Moly Panda’s Dream Mascara in 02, my current favorite black mascara. I lined the lower lid with a M.A.C. Chromagraphic Pencil in Process Magenta (the same I used for part 1), and blended it into the red.
RUBY LIPS. I used M.A.C. Diva on the outer part, and Ruby Woo and Lady Danger in the center, using two different lip brushes to apply the colours, and then I blended them together with another brush, no lip liner.
ADJUSTMENTS ALONG THE WAY. As we started shooting, I noticed that the Natasha Denona “Red Grape” wasn’t shimmery enough compared to the burst of blue in the inner corner. I patted on some of the Pat McGrath shadow in Night Creature over the red. I was surprised that, although it’s a magenta pink, the red base stayed true to colour while the textures matched up. I also realized that the eyes would look better with a black liner pencil: the colours where so intense that it was overwhelming her eye shape. It also added that 80’s touch that I was aiming for. The lips also needed to be jazzed up; I patted on some of the “Gold” shade from the Natasha Denona Joya Palette to the center of the lip, and I lined the lips with Mahogany by M.A.C. to give them more of a makeup-y look. I also decided to add the earrings: with all the glimmer on the eyes, I wanted to add something “extra” to the matte turtleneck. The look went from graphic, to a retro-glamour feel because of all the little elements.
WORK THOSE ANGLES. Depending on the camera angle, the look went from a 50s/60s nod to Audrey Hepburn, to an 80’s feel, especially when the lighting came from the side and the high angle of the camera! From that angle, the shape of the eye makeup looks perfectly straight! That was a a big surprise to me: as I had applied the makeup from a lower perspective. It’s really interesting how you can twist the same look and the same face into different directions depending on the lighting and the angles.
PHOTOGRAPHIC NOTES Since it was the first time working with Malika, the shoot took longer, as I was discovering how her face translated into pictures. I’m realizing how important it is to work more than once with a model when you’re doing intense makeup. In Part 1, I had previously shot with Lucrezia, so I knew what angles would give me the character I wanted to create. With Malika, I was all over the place, as the eye makeup was so big, I was thrown off by the way it was translating. There were so many surprises, as the shoot progressed, that my control-freak brain fried out a tad. Malika was super patient, as I was snapping madly from every angle, trying to find the best shots to capture the eye makeup, and create an interesting beauty idea/story.
For a review of the Pat McGrath Subversive and the Natasha Denona Joya palettes, read my previous article Holidaze – The Palettes .
Special thanks to Malika for being sooo patient with the long application and the long shoot!