To celebrate 6 months of self-portraits, and to make it to Xmas, I’m working on my Showgirls! A tribute to two of my favourite inspirations: Fashion Magazines and Music Hall entertainers. If you want to find out more about what I learned. Self-portraits are edited to remove my acne scars. All clothes are vintage and were bought from a local thrift organization.Continue reading
Did I ever say I prefer a No-Makeup makeup look? I take it all back! Give me a Full Beat, because it’s fun to dress up! Introducing, my “cousin” Ornella Bilinski.
Photography & retouching by Cesar Ochoa.
See more of Cesar’s work on his >>website here<<
Makeup & hair by me.
A new character
Ornella, I call her. She’s an Italian soap opera diva. She’s based on several Italian actresses, and singers, as well as a touch of French diva, Dalida. I wanted an old-school glamour makeup of the late 60s. Black eyeshadow to frame the eyes, pink blusher, neutral lips. There isn’t much out there besides, the now predictable, no-makeup makeup for more mature faces. If I’m going to put my face out there, I might as well inspire!
Confessions of a selfie addict
I was getting comfortable with the Canon app that helps you make selfies! I have to confess: I’m also feeling very controlling of my image. It’s become my baby: I’ve been fostering it, nurturing my “Camera Face“. Because it’s become a separate thing! There is everyday, and then, there is this face, you see. It’s my creation!
So it was at once terrible and exciting, when my friend Cesar asked if he could take a picture of “me”. I had to explain that these were not pictures of me, but pictures of characters I created. But it’s hard to explain this to people when they know you personally.
Another eye, another face
Am I happy? Yes!! It’s a different face: as I suspected. But I’m happy with the editing that Cesar did: my skin is mature and it’s acne scarred and you can see it. The character itself turned out to be believable enough that it stood apart on it’s own. If you also factor that we were a team of two, and I didn’t get to see the images during the shoot–and Cesar didn’t shoot with a monitor– it’s a great feat!
The good news: Cesar loved photographing a character and he wants to try his hand at it once more to get the hang of it.
To be continued….
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
It’s been a year of revision of priorities. Instead of working on 15 beginner models, I’ve been working on a few select faces. One of these being mine, which has been quite a wonderful surprise for myself. The other “regular face” has been a colleague who turned singer and songwriter.Continue reading
I’m really happy. It’s been a month already, that this series of images was completed and edited. I was waiting for them to be published to talk about the process. All those colourful palettes you saw reviewed on the blog; well this is the reason why! Colour Collections are on the way!
Photography and Makeup by Ewa Bilinska
Model Rose at Dulcedo Models.
A YEAR IN COLOUR
In retrospect, I’ve been building up for about a year. Since I’ve been photographing and improvising, I’ve noticed that colour ideas were popping naturally, when I was “playing by ear”. On my journey into technicolor, I’ve been asking myself: how do I develop my own “colour language”. At first, I wanted to copy work that I admired. But I decided it would be lazy on my part–and I do tend to be lazy. I asked myself: “What kinds of colours do I want to apply to a face? What is obsessing me?”. I obsess about flowers. And I wanted to bring these kinds of shades onto the face. That’s how I arrived at a Colour Collection inspired by flora. In any case, you can just try just the lip…. After all: Lilac is pretty hot.
GETTING OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE
I wanted to try mega-closeups… My comfort zone is the “fashion portrait” format. I tend to use backgrounds or clothing as a sounding board for my makeup ideas, but I’ve never designed makeup looks that stand on their own, with no clothes. In this unstable position, I needed to work with someone I had already shot with, and with whom’s face I was familiar with. Rose at Dulcedo has beautiful lips, and a generous lid space to frame the colour work that I like to do around the eyes. She has the superpower to carry the most intense makeup looks and still look “natural”.
BUILDING ON A CREATIVE PROCESS
On the theme of getting out of the comfort zone: I decided to go against my slap-dashery, and to shoot over several days, as well as to try and plan my looks ahead of time. My goal was to experiment on my own, and learn how these flower colours worked. All these factors added variety to the shoot. It’s Rose’s face in all five images, but the camera angles and slight variations in lighting from day to day, create the illusion of different faces. Which is an unexpected result from working this close-up.
FLOWER POWER IS GREEN
I hadn’t noticed what made the images work together, as they were sometimes quite different. But after looking at all four previous shots, I realized that a shade of green was featured in each picture. My big lesson with this IN BLOOM “Collection” is that green is the perfect foil for any bright shade.
I’m really grateful for Rose, who came to channel a flower muse, even though I didn’t know where this was going and we were both experimenting and having fun. We made some great recordings of these flower inspired makeup ideas. Thanks to Dreamingless Magazine, to have printed them in their magazine. If you wish to purchase a hard copy, please follow HERE.
Lately, I’ve been enjoying being in total control of this blog. From doing the casting, the hair and the makeup, the styling, and photographing it all. This time around, three women put their creative talents to showcase our vision of beauty.
All of the images in this blog post came from Cristal’s vision of Bibi. I’ve been working with Cristal when I need more complicated hair, as I don’t have her experience.
As we were talking about the details of this shoot over Ceviche, in a Mexican restaurant. She was showing me images of big, wild, curly hair with a rose in the mouth.
As artists we do this Freudian mise-en-scène; we project ourselves onto other people to play out our fantasies. For me, it’s the greatest pleasures of photography. This realization, that the images I make are about myself more than my subjects, has been very present in my mind. And the more I shoot, the more I’m confronted with projections of my own beauty standards, my points of view on different faces, and understanding of ethnicity. You can only create things you project, and things that you allow to happen.
NEW KIND OF VOODOO
There is a chair I got as a present for working on a design project for friends. They were called Samare. You can see more of their work here www.design-milk.com/samare. Their beautiful chairs are inspired by Canadian and Aboriginal elements. She brought a lot of plastic flowers to decorate the chair, so we could use it as a prop.
Bibi has been modeling for a long time and she’s really good, it was wonderful working with her fast-paced posing.
It’s been three months of doing my own photography. With this latest shoot, my model Rose, plays a 70’s BIBA Girl.
The strain of the double duty of doing both the makeup, and the photography hadn’t really fully dawned on me. But it broke a personal barrier of being afraid to fail. Sometimes, if you want to learn to swim, you just gotta jump in. And jump, I did!
Why did I start doing my own photography for the blog? The last three years have been focused on finding the products that translate for the camera, and on understanding how lighting affects the makeup.
Working with Cesar was amazing. He is both great at lighting and I love the way he sees women. I couldn’t have gotten this far without our partnership.
But beauty is in the eye of beholder, and when you want to do extreme makeup, you need to find someone who will understand what you are trying to create. I couldn’t find another photographer that saw things quite exactly the way I did. Who liked the same faces I did.
If you’re curious about the BIBA look I have a in-depth video
I have to confess, I tried to coax some of the photographers I worked with, and I learned that it always ends up ruining a creative relationship. You have to respect the vision of the people you work with. If their vision doesn’t match up, then you have to find someone who does.
So I decided to take ownership of my makeup visions! I didn’t know if the pictures would be good, or what ideas would come out. I wanted to create what I saw in my head and do my own makeup experiments without having to please other people. I wanted to give myself the possibility of messing up.
Was it worth it to have headaches after each shoot, because I was getting my photography brain out of the mothballs? It was a challenge I hadn’t foreseen. Working the lens and working the model, demanded a lot of energy. I could only produce 2 looks. And adding all of the intricacies of photography as an added layer of the puzzle to figure out. But once I started, I couldn’t go back, it was just tooo fun having this freedom. Yes, it was worth it. For me.
I now see what comes naturally to me. I put the colours I want to put, and cast the models I feel inspired by. I can follow my vision. These Vogue inspired women started to appear, very glamorous and sophisticated.
When I saw Rose’s polaroids, I just had that Biba vibe from the seventies. I saw the turban right away. I saw the seventies makeup. Rose was loving every bit of it—even the turban! Goes to show that glamour and creating characters will always be fun in front of the camera.
Model, Rose at Dulcedo
Sephora Collection grey and purple single matte shadows.
M.A.C. Single eyeshadow in Sour Lemon.
Inglot single shadow in turquoise FS Matte 372.
PUPA Milano green shadow in 602 (limited edition).
M.A.C. Paintpot in Painterly as shadow base.
Halloween glitter from the dollar store.
Over the pastel look I blended:
Chanel Le Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Petrole.
Sephora Collection grey matte shadow to blend out the pencil.
Both dresses are vintage.
It’s a cliché, but you meet the right people at the right time, and sometimes in the most unceremonious ways. I met Andy through Cesar, my main photographer/partner in crime. She hired us to make some new head shots.
It turned out to be one of the most inspirational meetings of last year! Continue reading
It’s been a year already! A BIG year of Making Up The Magic, of creating visual dialogues while exploring the faces of women and the meaning of beauty, beyond the trends. And to celebrate, I’m going beyond the surface. Continue reading
As makeup artists we are confronted with different faces, our job is to find what is beautiful and to bring it out with skill and vision. It can be challenging to work with someone who is quite different from you, be it eye shape, facial structure, or skin tone. Thanks to Fatima, I got work with African beauty. Continue reading