Skip to main content

making faces :: inspired by bowie

there aren't many celebrities whose passing would really move me. rather, there weren't, because we did lose one of them this month in a way that was unexpected and chilling in the story it told of the artist's strength and dedication up to his final breaths. like a lot of people from several generations, david bowie got into my musical world early. he had some of his biggest hits when i remember first hearing pop music on the radio. when my tastes took a turn for the stranger, i remember hearing bauhaus, one of my new favourite bands, covering one of his iconic songs. in high school, surrounded by friends who were more educated in the history of rock music than i, i discovered some of his older work, most notably the berlin trilogy and the ziggy stardust live album, the best live release ever in history [don't debate me on this one].

as i got older, i wasn't as moved by his new material, but i couldn't help but be impressed with his capacity to reinvent himself and to tap into the essence of whatever style he adopted. when i heard the single and saw the new video from his final album black star, that sense of awe increased again. here was a man approaching seventy who clearly still had a creative message to deliver and who could still deliver it in the most youth-obsessed industry on the planet.

and then, in the middle of the night, when i'd already suffered a crippling panic attack over nothing, i saw a notification pop up on my phone from the guardian newspaper: david bowie dead at 69. i said the only thing word that came into my head, which was "no".

the following couple of days, it was difficult for me to even go on social media, because, of course, this was someone who had touched such a broad range of people that virtually everyone among my friends was stunned and in mourning. a friend likened it to the entire feeling hungover without having consumed a drop and that's pretty accurate.

so as a little tribute, i decided to come up with something based on one of bowie's iconic glam looks, since he was the first male rockstar to embrace the possibilities of character creation and identification through makeup, which has always been at the heart of my own fascination with cosmetics. as the title of the post says, this is inspiration not recreation. if you want to see talented artists who can literally create the looks he originated, there are dozens of them. this is just my take on one of them, with my amateur skills.

i picked out the gaudy-brilliant look from his video for "life on mars", truly one of his greatest songs and one of his most recognisable uses of colour. it's clearly focused on the incredible electric blue around the eyes, something which normally intimidates the hell out of me, but in this case i wanted to do it for david.

first of all, let's look at the original ::



and now, here's my take ::




the base ::
hourglass mineral veil primer
urban decay naked skin foundation "1.0"
diorskin nude concealer "01"
nars smudgeproof eyeshadow base

the eyes ::
mac e/s "crystal avalanche" [shimmery white]
mac e/c "electric eel" [matte bright cyan]
inglot e/s "484ds" [nearly matte cobalt blue]
mac e/s "vanilla" [soft peachy highlight]
mac e/s "melt my heart" [light silver]*
tarina tarantino dream hyperliner "cute robot" [shimmery purple-blue]
ysl effet faux cils gel liner "sea black" [blackened navy]
ysl effet faux cils baby doll mascara

the cheeks ::
becca shimmering skin perfector pressed "blushed copper"
armani highlight powder "orient excess"

the lips ::
mac lip liner "redd" [tomato red]
mac lipglass "viva glam cyndi" [soft coral red]*

*suggested alternates :: melt my heart = mac electra; viva glam cyndi = guerlain rouge she-bam [more translucent, cooler]

in case you're wondering, yes, i did go outside the house like this, because screw the makeup rules for women my age. i actually got several compliments, although i suspect some of that is because people reflexively give compliments when they see something very bold on a person. nevertheless, i was pretty happy with the look overall.

so goodbye to you, you wonderful, beautiful freak and thank you for all the happiness i got from your music and simply from the fact that you existed. the world is a poorer place without you. 

Comments

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

real americans

recently in my genealogical research, i encountered something that i never anticipated: americans.

i knew that some of my grandfather's family had emigrated to pennsylvania in the early part of the twentieth century and that my father has even in recent years gone to visit some cousins in the northeast [they were big bernie sanders supporters, apparently] but that was, as far as i knew, my only connection to our southern neighbour.

but it turns out, that's far from the case. one of my british relatives who abandoned the old country in favour of life in the colonies landed in the united states and shortly after was married to a woman with an obviously dutch name. i assumed that they had met on the boat on the way over because, as far as i knew, he moved up to canada right away. but she was actually american-born, the daughter of a dutchman from boston and an established english family. when i say "established", i don't mean that they were members of the genteel cl…

filthy lucre

donald trump has shown utter indifference to the possible torture and killing of an american-based journalist jamal khashoggi by saudi arabian security forces acting on the direction of saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman but that's hardly a surprise. he said on the campaign trail that he loved the saudis because they gave him money. he refused to consider placing saudis on his infamous "muslim travel ban" list, despite the fact that saudi arabia is the one country that has been credibly linked to the september 11 terrorist attacks. or that the saudis' particular brand of fundamentalist islam has been described as the root of the extremism espoused by groups like al-qaeda and isis.

trump likes wealthy people and the saudi royals are the blueprint of the type of wealthy people he likes. they spend and live in lavish excess. family members are like catnip for the international celebrity press, even if the news media [like khashoggi] are perceived as enemies of the …

making faces :: written in the stars, in lipstick [part two]

it's the middle of september already? i'm not prepared for that? i mean, i am prepared for it because the heat this summer has been murder on me and i've been begging for a reprieve for months but i'm still bowled over by the speed at which time passes. this year, i've been measuring time through the launches of bite beauty's astrology collection, which arrives like the full moon once a month. [the full moon arrives every four weeks, which is less than any month except february -ed.] earlier this year, i took a look at the first four launches of the collection and already it's time to catch up with four more.

the most important thing for you to know is that after several months of problems, bite and sephora appear to have sorted out their inventory planning. for the last several releases, information has been clear and reliable as to when and where each lipstick will be available [pre-orders taken for a couple of days on bite's own website and a general…