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making faces

i remember someone i used to work with commented on my eye makeup one time saying with a certain surprise that i always did it differently. i guess i understand the perspective, because some people- a majority, most likely- choose a particular look that they feel emphasises their best features, they've found a mask that represents them. personally, i change the mask i wear every day for the same reason i wear different clothes every day- because i generally feel differently every day. perhaps some day i'll discover a singular look that sums me up, but i generally find that there are just too many mes waiting to get out and play.

trust me- i'm understated
there are times when i'm forced to tweak my appearance. when i'm looking for work, or starting work, i cultivate a sort of muted, restrained look, the kind of thing that most people seem to associate with maturity and responsibility. and i generally keep that up until such time as i feel comfortable pushing the boundaries. (i don't think i'd last long in any place where i felt that the boundaries truly could not be pushed.) i think that everyone has that sort of persona that they drag out like an outfit reserved for special occasions. this is the face that makes me seem like a rational, trustworthy sort. i just usually have to wait a while for it to sink in that i am those things, no matter what i look like. it's a quiet version of me, but it has its purposes.

as i mentioned last week, there are certain associations with strong, red lips. so that's something that i crack out when i need or want to command attention. as a result, when wearing my bossy lips, i tend to leave everything else played down. no need to set up competing teams on your face. this is a very straightforward mask, no complexity to it. and no, it's not like i wear this only when i have to do a presentation, or yell at someone, or have an important meeting. but it helps.

is it hot in here?
of course, sometimes, it's more about the eyes. it's never been a mystery to me why dark-rimmed, smoky eyes came into fashion. it's actually an incredibly easy look to do (you can make it as complicated and layered as you like, but you can accomplish the effect with literally one dark colour smudged all around your eye) and because the contrast it creates with the whites of the eyes is wonderfully striking. personally, i have a variation on this that i keep as a mask for summer nights when i'm going out. it involves combining a lot of smudgy, dark, sparkly eye makeup with warm, shimmery colours over the rest of my face and lips. the idea is that, if it's hot and i'm going to be somewhere packed with people, i'm going to be glistening with sweat and my makeup is going to get messy anyway. i might as well look like i did that on purpose.

this is my happy face
conventional logic holds that you should choose to emphasise either eyes or lips but never both. i have the same respect for that little nugget as i do for other bits of lore that are accepted just because lots of people say them. yes, the fact is that it will look a little extreme, if for no other reason than it's not what people are used to seeing. but sometimes, extremity is what you want. sometimes, exaggeration sums up your mood. and aren't all masks on one level or another an exaggeration of some part of you?

really, i just rolled out of bed
even what looks natural can sometimes be carefully constructed. the entire advertising industry is built on this. we know, each of us, what we look like when we are completely unkempt, unadorned and there are people (how many people varies from one to another) who we allow to see us that way. really, this is another face we put on- the one that expresses ease and comfort. in my case, i don't think it's any more or less genuine than any of the other faces i have. it has its audience, like all the others. but of course, i always keep a natural-looking mask around as well, because you never know when it might come in handy.

many believe that masks imply a certain cowardice, that they are something behind which one hides. i'm sure that there are instances where that is the case. but i tend to takea more expressionist view. my various masks aren't things that are constructed, that i use as cover, but things that i draw (double entendre!) from inside that are small expressions of whatever part of me is at the forefront at that particular moment. so yes, what i look like can change, sometimes dramatically, from one moment to another. i just happen to think that all the mes i have deserve their time in the spotlight.

feel free to share descriptions and images of the yous you love to share as well.

i won't go through all the details, but i had help in creating the masks i'm modeling (plus many others) from mac cosmetics, nars, dior, guerlain, chanel, bobbi brown, lancome, armani and others...

how do you like me now?

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…

making faces :: chanel's velvet realm

who doesn't love velvet? i know when i was younger, i used to, as george costanza longed to, "drape myself in velvet" and although that phase passed with time, i still think that the plush fabric has to be one of the high points of human achievement, up there with interior heating, advanced medicine and vodka. so to me, it's no surprise that one of the most hotly anticipated launches in the cosmetic world is chanel's new "rouge allure velvet" lipstick line, because even the name immediately makes me want to put it on my lips.

on a more concrete level, chanel describes these lipsticks as "luminous matte", which is sort of like the holy grail for lipstick lovers. we all want those intense, come-hither film noir lips, the sort where young men and sunlight are lost and never heard from again, but historically [including during the making of those films], applying a matte lipstick felt sort of like colouring in your lips with an old crayon that had…