Skip to main content

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?

making faces :: fall for all, part 2 [a seasonal colour analysis experiment]

well, installment one was the easy part: coming up with autumn looks for the autumn seasons. now we move into seasonal colour types that aren't as well-aligned with the typical autumn palette. first up, we deal with the winter seasons: dark, true and bright.

in colour analysis, each "parent" season- spring, summer, autumn, winter- overlap with each other season in one colour dimension- hue [warm/ cool], value [light/ dark] and chroma [saturated/ muted]. autumn is warm, dark and muted [relatively speaking], whereas winter is cool, dark and saturated. so you can see that the points of crossover in palettes, the places where you can emphasize autumn's attributes, is in the darker shades.

it's unsurprising that as fall transitions into winter, you get the darkest shades of all. we've seen the warmer equivalent in the dark autumn look from last time, so from there, as with all neutral seasons, we move from the warmer to the cooler cognate...


do you not know what you do not not know?

i've been meaning to get back on the blogging bandwagon for ages but i've been lousy at focusing. i mean, i'm never great at focusing but it's been particularly bad lately. i've also made the horrific mistake of following the news too closely, not just in the last few weeks but in the past several months. i realize now that that isn't healthy. [no pun intended.] my head has been so wrapped up in politics that shifts from moment to moment, half-baked debates about social policy, trying to track what's happening behind the smoke and mirrors of the biggest news stories because we all know that those are the things that are really going to affect how we live. there are few things worse for anxiety than knowing that your dark fears about the chaos of the world are actually pretty close to the truth; and the thrill that comes from being able to say "i told you so" is remarkably short-lived.

however, it's pretty much impossible to deny that we'r…

making faces :: bette davis lips

the inscription on bette davis' grave reads "she did it the hard way", which should tell you something about the kind of life she led. indeed, she was known as a fighter, taking on studio executives at a time when that simply wasn't done, unless you "never wanted to work in this town again". even when she lost a legal battle against warner brothers that forced her to see out her contract, she was able to parlay her return to the screen into better roles that secured her legacy as one of the greatest icons of the screen. she was the first woman ever to garner ten nominations for best actress at the academy awards and the first woman ever to be president of the academy of motion picture arts and sciences [the people who give out the awards].

that bette davis ever became a movie star, let alone one of the biggest movie stars in the world, is kind of remarkable. after all, she wasn't conventionally beautiful, although her face was certainly unforgettable. …