Somewhere (over the rainbow) of September 2018, I had the realization that no matter how many faces I photographed, or worked on, I was running on automatic pilot. At the time, my life revolved between working a day job. Then, after work, I would be organizing my photoshoots. A shoot involved me doing the makeup, hair, coaching the model, and taking the pictures, plus editing the images!
Photographs are self-portraits
Photography & editing by me. Images were shot in natural light. 90% of the editing was to smooth my acne scarred skin.
FINALLY TAKING TIME
It took two major events to snap me out of my rut. The first one was losing my father, which helped me to gain perspective on life. The second was having to change jobs. The new job was a corporate affair, 9 to 5. The good thing about it: it finally gave me the peace of mind to go all out on what I wanted to do. I had the time to truly work the makeup. Because being your own (mature, ahem) model means that you can now take 3 hours to do perfectly your makeup, without having to please anyone. That my friends, was a true delight. I had time to research makeup looks and iconic women and try it out on my own mug.
The great secret to artistic accomplishments, is that if you truly want to break through the glass ceiling, it takes patience and practice to get all the little details right. And the thing is… it’s those little details that actually make all the difference between good work and outstanding work.
Selfie or Self-Reflection ?
I also felt my own self-judgement through my personal view on the selfie culture. By working on my own face and photographing it, was this making me a narcissist? Why did I think that indulging in the delight of the images you can create with your own face is a bad thing? Maybe, I was resentful? After working on other people for so long, I wanted some of my own talent to be directed at me.
There comes a time when you have to stop living vicariously through others. And facing my own face with my own experimental makeup–and learning to love it–and to own it, was a great turning point! It also made me realize that many artists use themselves as models for their paintings and drawings.
Along my travels in the looking glass, I realized that most models actually have a self-image that they cling to. Because I’ve been working behind the camera for a while, I knew that the image in their mind and the actual self are two different things. What I see in the mirror, what the camera sees, and what other people see, is not always congruent. Making up my face up to look like “not me”, as some say, was actually my end goal. Because makeup has the power to reveal a different perspective about my own face, to open a kaleidoscope of interpretations. At the moment that is where my journey is at.
MY FIRST FACE
For this project, I took inspiration from the famous picture above of Candy. I loved the nude effect of the original picture and I tried to make a cream and grey harmony. The hair is my first lace front wig, I styled it as much as I could to capture the sprawling effect of Candy’s luminous locks. I don’t think it’s bad to inspire yourself. In this case I wanted to understand the eyeshadow look, but my eyes being different, the result would be different.