onsdag, september 3

The 20s: Billie Dove

My reference picture for the 20s is also a painted magazine cover, though probably drawn from a photo of Billie Dove. An interesting makeup detail in the picture is the typical 20s manicure with the tips (and probably the half moons, though you can't tell) left white. Not the whole tips, like a French manicure, just a few millimeters. I didn't bother with this since I have really short nails anyway.
Face: I used my palest foundation since face powder in the 20s, like the 30s, was pretty much straight up white.
Blusher: The blusher application in this picture is interesting - it's really applied on the apples of the cheeks and all the way in to the nose in a way that's generally advised against these days. A very natural place to blush but for some reason not considered appropriate in the 21st century! Though since it's a drawing it might be the illustrator's artistic freedom... I used a very bright and pigmented cardinal red from Illamasqua (I don't think they make this shade anymore) but went extremely easy on it and barely let the brush touch it. Since the application is so unusual I didn't want to look too clownish. It would probably look better on a cuter, rounder face - mine is a bit long and thin, which makes intense blusher look really garish.
Eyebrows: Like the 30s eyebrows, these are dramatically pencil-thin, but not arched high above the natural ones. I followed my real eyebrows in a straight line and then prolonged them downwards almost to the outer corners of my eyes. They liked straight and/or sad-looking eyebrows in the 20s! You don't have to make them so thin and you don't have to do the downwards slope, just draw them on straight and low without a well-defined arch.
Eyes: The best match would be a matte brown eyeshadow. The one I used looked grey-brown but turned out to be completely grey upon application. As a general rule for retro eyeshadow, use either a colour that matches your eyes or a neutral, and always choose a matte one without glitter or shimmer. If they wanted shine, they mixed it with vaseline. Billie Dove might be wearing brown eyeshadow because she has brown eyes, and in that case it's correct for me to pick a cooler hue to match my blue(ish) eyes. I applied it thickly on my actual lids up to the crease and then blended up towards my eyebrows. I also used the same eyeshadow as an eyeliner underneath my eyes, but I think it turned out a bit too harsh - I should have left the inner corner bare. To complete the look, you should add a pair of absurdly long fake lashes, but I just put on mascara as usual. (Look at those circles under my eyes! At least it's realistic - they had no other way to cover those than photo retouch in the 20s...)
Lips: They had a lot of interesting lip shapes in the 20s, like "The Beestung" and "The Cupid's Bow", mostly involving underdrawing the lips particularly towards the corners of the mouth, but in my reference picture the lipstick follows the natural contours. If you have full lips I'd recommend underdrawing them anyway for a proper 20s look. The lipstick I used is Illamasqua "Salacious", the perfect matte toned-down raspberry red.  It looks lighter and brighter in the picture - red is so difficult to photograph. It's very dry so I have to really work it into the fine lines to avoid a sort of reversed feathering effect, but it's worth it because it lasts and doesn't smear, just fades elegantly.


tisdag, juli 22

The 30s: magazine cover

I had to resort to a painted picture as my reference picture for a 30s makeup since colour photos from the 30s are rare and hand-tinted, which amounts to the same thing as painted anyway. I'm not sure where the picture I chose is from, but I'm guessing the cover of a ladies' magazine.

Face: I used a fair, cool-toned foundation for that porcelain-pale look. Powder in the 30s generally just came in one colour: ivory.

Blusher: I applied a cool pink blusher sheerly on a quite large and round area of my cheeks, not using the blusher to sculpt my cheeks at all.

Eyebrows: 30s eyebrows were pencilled in extremely thin and generally in a big round arch, though sometimes straight or in a more elfin shape up towards the temples. Of course a lot of people wore their natural eyebrows as well, particularly girls and young women with a more "sporty" look. But the typical glamorous film star look in the 30s were to shave or pluck off your natural eyebrows completely and pencil them back in higher than natural. I didn't properly cover or shave off my eyebrows, I just drew in new ones on top with dark brown eyebrow pencil, so it looks quite weird. Apart from drawing in the arch above my natural one, I also prolonged both ends of the eyebrows downwards for almost a semi-circle shape.

Eyes: They really liked glossy eyelids in the 30s and used vaseline either on its own or mixed with some eyeshadow in a neutral shade like brown. I mixed vaseline with golden-green shimmer eyeshadow, but I think I got both the hue and the proportions wrong compared to the reference picture. I should have used more vaseline and less eyeshadow, and I should have picked a less green colour. I think a gold or bronze with just a subtle undertone of olive, khaki, beige or even dove grey would be a closer match. Also, I should have blended the eyeshadow and not applied it all the way up to the painted-on eyebrows, but I did it in order to cover up my real eyebrows a bit.
I then applied black pencil eyeliner quite thickly and not too neatly all around my eyes and smudged/blended it a bit, and finished by packing on mascara on both my upper and my lower lashes. I think the general messiness of the eye makeup is quite true of the 30s, when most makeup came in stick or cake form and was applied with the fingers. Precision tools like brushes weren't really invented yet, or if they were, only professional makeup artists used them.

Lips: Using a pink lip liner, I slightly overdrew my upper lip, rounding my cupid's bow outwards and drawing in the upper lip slightly fuller all the way to the corners or the mouth. I then filled it in with Nyx "Euro trash", a toned-down warm pink, almost a neutral. Not all 30s lips were dark and dramatic!

lördag, juni 21

The 40s: Maria Montez

 Face: Since Maria Montez's skin is warm-toned and not too pale, I used my CC cream from Lumene instead of my usual cool-toned fair foundation to even out the skintone. I have the "light" colour (there are only two to choose from), which is sort of beige and darker than my natural skintone, but works for summer. (Though the colours are so washed out in the bright daylight that my skin looks completely white anyway!) I use it because I bought it and because it has sunscreen, but the texture is really too dry and cakey and emphasises the fine lines in my face. I'd hoped it would be more moisturising and suit my dry skin better. Perhaps I should try their BB cream instead, but there the "light" colour is a way too dark brownish pink that would look like fake tan on me.

Blusher: I applied a coral red blusher (from Sleek's "Lace" trio) on a large area of my cheeks, almost all the way down to the jawline and further in towards the nose than I would normally do. Blusher wasn't really used to sculpt the face in the 40s but just to give a wash of colour more like a natural blush.

Lips: I used lipliner to draw slightly outside the lines, mainly to rounden my angular cupid's bow and then filled in the lips with "Cardinal" from Nivea. I don't think Nivea makes makeup anymore but it's just another neutral bright red, a little less warm-toned and tomato-red than the one Maria Montez wears.

Eyebrows: I would have to shave off my brows and draw them back in much higher to get the same shape as Maria Montez! Instead, I just slightly exaggerated and rounded the arch and added that little upwards wing toward the temples. This particular brow shape had its own name  - the "Mandarine Brow".

Eyes: The eyeshadow is really minimal, the only thing I could detect in the reference picture was a fake globe line drawn in very high, starting close to the inner end of the eyebrows, in a neutral shade. I imitated this and also used a nude matte shadow to even out the skintone and cover the veins on my eyelids. Maria Montez is obviously wearing fake lashes both above and below her eyes, but I just curled my lashes and put on some black mascara. Since my lashes are very blond and sparse, I also used a felt-tipped black eyeliner to draw a very fine line as close to the roots of the lashes as I could, in order to emulate that well-defined lashline you get when you wear a strip of fake lashes. In retrospect, I think the line under my eyes was a bit much.

Despite actually using it for this look, I don't think black eyeliner belongs in a typical 40s makeup. I've seen far too many "40s" makeups that were really 50s makeups with winged black eyeliner! Even in the 50s, they more often used dark brown or grey pencil than pitch-black liquid eyeliner. You sometimes see genuine 40s makeups where there's an eyeliner line on top of the lashes, but that's never black, always some softer colour like bronze or taupe and probably done with eyeshadow. The thin black line you can quite often detect in 40s pictures is probably just the base of the false lashes, or retouch. Unlike in the reference picture below, the lower lid and lashline is most often left completely bare. In fact, for a more ordinary or everyday 40s look the best thing is to not use any eye makeup at all. Yes, I know, it might feel weird in this day and age when mascara is the default for even a "natural" "un-made-up" look, but in the 40s lipstick was the default makeup item. The best and easiest 40s look is this: do your hair and put on some lipstick and perhaps a bit of powder - done! If you want to use mascara, avoid volume mascara at all costs since glamorous 40s lashes were long but never very thick.

fredag, maj 2

The 50s: Revlon ad

The typical 50s makeup with winged black eyeliner and red lips has become such a pinup/burlesque staple that I wanted to do something a little different. I found a 1956 Revlon ad with a rather unusual dramatic eye makeup. Instead of the iconic black eyeliner and a very light (white or a pastel hue like blue or violet) eyeshadow, here's a 50s makeup using black eyeshadow.
Face: I applied my fairest foundation, aiming for porcelain-perfect. However, my skin is really angry right now - I blame pollen, or maybe it's the spring sun - so I wasn't able to completely cover up the redness and rashes. I also painted a large beauty spot next to my right eye using black eyeliner pencil. (I think it's maybe an actual mole on the model in my reference picture but it looks very chic either way!)
Blusher: It's a bit hard to tell from the original picture if and how blusher is applied since the lighting is kind of rosy-warm, but based on other pictures of 50s makeup I decided to apply a sheer wash of pink blusher on a wide area in front of my ears, all the way from the jaw up to the temples, and in to about halfway to the nose. I used Sleek's "Flamingo", a cerise pink colour that looks really intense but that's not too pigmented so it's quite easy to blend and build up gradually.
Eyebrows: The eyebrows in the reference picture are black or almost black but I thought my ordinary brown eyebrow pencil was dramatic enough. The eyebrow shape is a little unusual for the 50s - this was when more angular eyebrows really became the fashion after the rounded eyebrows of the 30s and 40s. These are rounded, but thick and dramatic like typical 50s eyebrows. I rounded my naturally angular eyebrows by drawing slightly outside their actual shape. I then filled them in completely with eyebrow pencil, not drawing little fake hairs or leaving any space between strokes like you would for a softer, more natural look. These brows really made me feel like a drag queen (in a good way, of course)!
Eyes: First of all I used a black eyeliner pencil along my lashline, just to make sure there wouldn't be any gap with skin showing between the lashes and eyeshadow. Then on to the eyeshadow. It might actually be black eyeliner applied all over the lid, but I used a black eyeshadow that I applied wet for maximum coverage. I applied it on the area up to the crease in my eyelids and tried to get it as crisp as possible with no blending. The eyeshadow I used happened to have silver glitter in it but I think any matte or shimmery black eyeshadow would work, just as long as it's completely opaque. I also applied an off-white eyeshadow on the rest of my lids all the way up to my eyebrows just to keep the black eyeshadow from smudging. If your eyelids are not oily or baggy like mine you or if you're using some kind of setting product you might skip this step. I curled my lashes and put on quite a lot of mascara. I also put mascara on my lower lashes but I think I might have overdone it compared to the original look - it's not necessary if your lashes are naturally dark.
Lips: The lipstick I used is YSL Les Mats 202 "Rose Crazy", a lovely rose colour in between red and pink (it also has a delicious rose scent - I normally don't approve of scented lipstick but this is so yummy). As usual, it looks too red in the photo.


måndag, april 21

The 60s: Marilyn Monroe


For my 60s look I picked Marilyn Monroe in the film "Something's Gotta Give". I haven't seen it, but the colours are so beautiful in the stills. It's Monroe's iconic look, but perhaps a bit softened compared to the 50s, and with orange/coral lips instead of red/pink. I was in a hurry going out and only had time to take a few quick photos at arm's length, no really good ones, so sorry about that. If you want to do a more advanced Monroe makeup with lots of sculpting, here's a great video tutorial by Lisa Eldridge.
Face: Apparently, Monroe achieved her almost glow-in-the-dark pale skin by applying a thick layer of vaseline with white powder sort of floating on top of it. Don't ask me how exactly she achieved this - I tried it on a different occasion and the vaseline sheen really emphasised the unevenness of my skin. I then had to pack on so much powder to combat the greasiness that it caked and emphasised the fine lines even more. I suppose it might work if you have perfectly smooth but dry skin, but if you already have smooth skin why bother covering it? I'll experiment som more though, since I like the idea of a "dewy" look that's not based on shimmer products that look awful in daylight.
For the photo above, I just used my palest foundation though. I sculpted my face a little bit, adding shadows under the cheekbones, along the hairline in the forehead and all the way under the jawline, and some highlighter on top of the cheekbones, on the jawbone, on the upper lip and on the T-zone.
Blusher: The blusher I used was the orange one from Sleek's "Lace" trio, which I applied quite generously both under and on top of my cheekbones. I then added a little bit of the shimmery blusher from the same trio along the cheekbones.
Eyebrows: I used a brown pencil to fill in my eyebrows, but not too sharply. Most brown or blond eyebrow pencils are way too reddish, but I have a great grey-brown one from Lumene which looks much more natural. If you have dark brows I don't think you need to paint them at all for this look. One thing you could do which I didn't do is to alter their shape slightly and paint points of the archs further out towards the temples to give the illusion of a wider forehead and a more heart-shaped face.
Eyes: The eyelids are divided into two zones along the globeline, which is drawn in a slightly "sad" shape, that is, with the highest point above the inner half of the eye instead of in the middle. The area above this line is filled in with nude/coral eyeshadow, blended towards the eyebrows and leaving a little space just underneath the eyebrows for highlighter. The lids all the way up to the globeline are covered with matte white eyeshadow.
The black eyeliner has that iconic cat's eye shape with a quite long and curved wing. I used pencil but liquid eyeliner would work just as well. There's an additional eyeliner line underneath the eyes, a little softer so this one has to be pencil. This line starts a little way from the corner of the eye and doesn't connect to the one on the upper lid. An important trick to the Monroe makeup is to draw a sort of wing shape under the eyes too, going down and out from the lashline to mimic the shadow of heavy lashes. Speaking of heavy lashes, a set of really long and thick fake eyelashes would be necessary to complete the Monroe look, but I just curled mine and put on black mascara.
Lips: Monroe's lips were never a simple red but always sculpted using several different products. In a simplied version of this I used a red-orange lip pencil to draw my lips slightly fuller and rounder than they naturally are, and then a lighter orange lipstick inside the line. I think it's really difficult to get away with darker lip liner as it tends to look clownish and too obviously "made up". Monroe's lips never looked like this, in fact, they tend to look more like they only have lipstick on the outer half of them while the inner half is left bare with only clear gloss. You can see this if you look closely at her mouth in the films! It might be interesting to experiment with a Monroe-inspired ombre lip using 2-3 hues of lipstick instead of the simplified  lip liner plus lipstick version I did here.
The lipstick I used is Face Stockholm "Unexpected", which I thought would work since it's a little lighter than most orange lipsticks with almost a hint of pastel. (I've inherited an old coral-orange Shantung lipstick that my grandma used to wear in the 60s and the colour of Unexpected is very close.) It's still too neon and not pastel enough though. A less red and more yellow orange like Lime Crime "My Beautiful Rocket" might be a better match but probably still too neon. I think maybe a muted, earthy coral/orange would work best for this look, something like Nyx "Strawberry Daiquiri" perhaps?


måndag, april 14

The 70s: Klaus Nomi

For the 70s (actually late 70s - early 80s) I picked the iconic look of Klaus Nomi. I was surprised at how much this makeup style altered my face, compared to the previous ones! I find it flattering, in an unearthly sort of way.
Face: The face could be completely whitened using stage makeup, but I just put on a thick layer of my fairest foundation. I didn't bother with the hair, but I did alter the hairline using eye pencil, something I learnt I should have done for the Takarazuka makeup as well!
Eyebrows: For the proper Nomi look, the eyebrows should be shaved off or professionally covered. I just put some foundation and concealer on top of my blond brows. I then used black pencil to paint on tiny little elfish or insect-like brows, following the outer contour of my natural ones from the root of the nose upwards.
Eyes: Nomi's signature eye makeup is a very extreme version of the globeline shadow, using black eyeshadow (sometimes a bit of red as well I think). Don't blend to much - it's supposed to be crisp and contrast-y. At first I didn't have anything on my lids except foundation, but as the black eyeshadow smudged I used some white eyeshadow to counter it. I then used some of the same black eyeshadow underneath my eyes along the lower lashline and black eyeliner on the waterline all around the eyes. Don't use any eyeliner on the outside of the upper lashes as that will give a completely different look!
A little mascara to darken the lashes, not lengthen or thicken them, but I think that might have been a mistake. I'm not sure Nomi wears any mascara actually. Don't if you have naturally dark and thick lashes - it's important that the eyes are not framed along the upper lid as that will not give the right round-eyed look.
Lips: The Cupid's bow is exaggerated into sharp points and the lower lip drawn just slightly more square than natural. The lipstick I used is Illamasqua "Pristine", which is probably the best black lipstick on the market, completely matte and dry with enough coverage and staying power for such an extreme colour.

måndag, april 7

The 80s: Nina Hagen

The 80s in my makeup history series is represented by the one and only Nina Hagen, who wore lots of different interesting makeups but usually some version of extreme, elfish winged eyeliner and dark lipstick used to alter the lip shape. A good thing about this makeup is that it's not supposed to be neat! I'm not a very neat person and don't have the patience for perfect precision makeup.
Face: Hagen looks quite pale and probably used lots of light powder, so I did too. For a more extreme version, white face paint might be used.
Blusher: The hot pink or fuchsia blusher is applied in fierce streaks on top of the cheekbones and deliberately not blended. The shape is supposed to be almost rectangular, as though you applied the blusher with a wide paintbrush. I used Sleek "Flamingo".
Eyebrows: The eyebrows are fun! They're filled in with black pencil, not too neatly, and then an additional wing almost like a smudge or streak is added. Looks pretty animalic to me.
Eyes: A pink eyeshadow is applied quite thinly, not as thickly as the blusher. I think it's supposed to go all the way up to the eyebrows but I missed that and only painted my lids. It then goes straight through the eyebrows in a line up towards the temples, all the way to the hairline. The angle should probably match the angle of the blusher, which mine doesn't quite.
Around the eyes I used wet black eyeshadow, but an ordinary eyeliner pencil woul work used as well. Just paint it on quite thickly all the way round the eyes and then do a prolonged, exaggerated cat's eye up past the eyebrows actually (mine is too short). I then used black eyeliner pencil on my waterline to really frame the eyes and get that fierce look, and black mascara (without using a curler).
Lips: The Cupid's bow is obviously exaggerated quite a bit, while the upper lip is painted slightly thinner than it is towards the corners of the mouth. The purple lipstick I used was Wet N Wild "Ravin Raisin", a matte, with some of the metallic Nyx "Orpheus" on top for shine.
Right, the only thing remaining is to dye the hair hot pink, and add a picture of the gorgeous Hagen herself.