Schwarze Linien

Make-up Look Book: the importance of preparation

Today I made a video of drawing a black line on my face, with my eyes closed. You can watch it below and let me know your thoughts. In the meantime, I want to tell you, not about the video itself, but what it made me think of. Namely, the importance of preparation. 

A reminder to take it slow 

When I started creating make-up related content in 2017, I had a very different way of going about it. I didn’t really plan anything. As soon as I had an idea, I would sit down and do it. This allowed me to have a constant stream of output, but a lot of it was unusable. Not because the idea itself was bad (sometimes they were), but because it was not thought out properly. I made errors that could easily have been avoided, and it caused me quite a bit of stress. I would start out, feeling motivated, and end up incredibly frustrated. 
And it’s happened to me, not only with makeup, but other creative things, such as graphic design, painting and writing. To give you an accurate depiction of how dramatic this felt, imagine a child angrily tearing up their drawing, because they picked the wrong color crayon. That was me. And I didn’t really learn from it until recently. Which is  why I want to put it out there and maybe help someone else. So, if you, who is reading this, have a project coming up – this is a reminder to take a breath and take it slow. 

What working with closed eyes teaches you

This video, as I mentioned, is an example of the changes I’ve made towards taking more time to prepare. Because what could be more pressing to eliminate errors beforehand, than doing something with your eyes closed? And only being able to do it once. The latter was due to the fact, that I painted my face white and removing the lines would not be possible without destroying the rest. So, to give you a perspective on how much preparation helped in this case, I will list all the mistakes I managed to avoid because of it: 

1. A bad result, due to lack of practice.  To ensure the result was decent, I choreographed my hand movements. This was essentially me weirdly waving my hands about in front of my face, but it helped. I still couldn’t know for certain what it would look like, but practicing the motions at least gave me a feel for it. It also kept me from awkwardly pausing and thinking about what to do next while filming. 

2. Covering my face with my hand. Once I got the choreography down, I filmed it without any make-up on. This made me realize that I had to change the way I was holding the pencil, so that you could actually see what I was doing. 

3. Using the wrong materials. This is something that has been a major problem of mine. Not only with make-up, but also painting. I can’t tell you how many times I spent hours on a painting and fucked it up because I was too lazy to pick the right paper. I know, I feel silly even mentioning this but it’s the truth. For the video, I carefully tested different colors and made sure to pick out the best possible combination. 

4. Working with the wrong mindset. I am someone that get’s very excited, but also very nervous. Neither is a good mindset for working, at least not for me. Sometimes this anxiety will even result in some sort of „well I am going to sabotage myself“ attitude. I have found that it helps to take some extra time to get myself ready mentally — even when on a job. Nothing get’s done quicker or better when you are stressing out (trust me, I’ve tried), so take a moment to collect yourself and relax. 

So, this is it. I hope you can take something from this. Also, make sure to remember, that making mistakes, even when prepared, is a good thing, as long as you learn from them. If you have any further thoughts of questions, make sure to comment them underneath this post.


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Make-up Lookbook: Warpaint and Cigarettes

Introducing the golden rule: it’s not procrastinating if you are getting inspired. 

I wish to create original work. Painting a face in a way that hasnt been done before, is something I aspire to do as an artist. That being said, 50% of achieving my goal, is gathering inspiration from other works of art. This involves browsing through pinterest, looking at magazines, watching movies and admiring the work of other makeup artists. And while some of it admittedly borders on procrastination (spending an hour on Instagram probably didnt make me a better artist), I like to think that consciously collecting inspiration is something worth doing every day. Becoming aware of what works and what doesnt work, what is beautiful to you and what is not, is an immense help when realizing your own projects. So even when an idea pops up seemingly out of nowhere, I am aware that it will be influenced by images I have consciously and subconsciously memorized. The look Im going to talk about in this article is a good example for said process. It can be hard to pin point the source of an idea; what influences led to it. With this look, I can actually remember where I drew inspiration from. One being a movie, the other a movement and the third, a trip to the hardware store. So if youre interested in how those things correlate and learning more about how I design a look, keep on reading.

Inspiration No.1:  tough girl hair

I based my concept on the idea of doing a face tattoo, using the first letter of my logo. I would like to tell you that there was some grand artistic expression behind this decision. In fact, it was me going „yeah, this would probably look cool.“

Once I painted the tattoo on, it made me feel different. If you are an avid makeup fan, you have probably experienced this. How makeup can help change your mood going from anxious to powerful. In my case, the little W on my cheek made me feel tough. Like lighting up a cigarette and blowing smoke into an old lady’s face. If youve ever seen Girl Interrupted, youll probably remember a scene where Angelina Jolie does exactly that. Angelina, to me, is the epitome of the tough girl. So when it came to deciding on what to do with my hair, I looked to her for inspiration. And found it, in the (gorgeous) shape of Lara Croft. Yes, those movies might not be great, but those two strands of hair certainly are. They are such an incredibly simple, yet iconic part of her characters appearance, that you can almost forget how oddly present they are. Seriously, google Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider and those two gelled together strands suddenly become very noticeable.
For my look, I wanted to play up the weird constructiveness of the strands. So instead of having them falling naturally into my face, I actively placed them on it, bending them into shape.

Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider

Inspiration No.2: punk eye make-up

The eye makeup of this look is inspired by the punk scene of the 1970s. The makeup among members of the movement was bold, dark, with sharp angles and an almost tribal feel to it. It was opposing the general fashion of light pastel colors, that were softly blended onto the eyelids. Nowadays the extreme full cat eye is something you can find in editorials with an edgy feel to it. Its a look that has become so common in fashion, you almost forget where it originally came from. In my case, I wanted the eyes to look strong and dramatic, but not overpowering, since the W was supposed to remain the focus point of the whole design.

Punks black and white photo

Inspiration No.3: more garden gloves equal more cigarettes

 To explain this inspiration, which is also the most subliminal of the three, Ill tell you a story: Before doing makeup, I wanted to be a director for the theater. As you can tell, it didnt work out. I realized quickly that, while I enjoy plays, I enjoy going home afterwards and forgetting about them even more. Anyway, back in the day, while working as directors assistant, me and the director went to a hardware store to get supplies for a play. He stopped, as we were walking past a hanger full of garden gloves. They were displayed in a way so that 20 pairs of them were coming down from a hanger in 2 rows, slightly overlapping. He said: If you just take one pair, it doesnt look like anything. But if you have 20, or even a 100 of them, and you turn them into a dress or a wallpaper, they can become art. And that this is true, for any object. I think about this often when doing makeup or adding props. And its a good explanation for why several cigarettes, are more interesting than just one. Because we have all seen pictures of people smoking and it doesnt get anyone excited anymore, except cancer cells.

To sum it up as creative advice: if you want to make something more interesting, you dont always have to use or do something completely different. Often, paying attention to the details and tweaking whats already there is way more effective. Consider adding more and/or taking away, to make whatever visual thing it is you are working on more exciting.

Warpaint and Cigarettes

Frau rauchend

Makeup face tattoo detail

Frau mit Zigaretten und Make-up

 

 


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Red Line Make-up

Make-up Lookbook: Red Line

Graphic Make-up and my Love-Hate Relationship with it 

Graphic Make-up is something I have a love hate relationship with. We’ll get to the love part, but I’ll tell you about the hate first:  this make-up look has become overused. Most make-up artists have one or several of these looks in their portfolio (as do I) and they seem to be the go-to in editorials, that want to give off an avantgarde/modern/minimalistic vibe. They are easy, almost anyone can do them. And it’s a bit like that one piece of ikea furniture that everyone and their  mother uses to make their home look more industrial. It works, but it’s kinda boring when you realise it. 

However, that being said, there are things I love about it. I too find make-up like this to be versatile and  beautiful. Beautiful, because strong, colored lines make me think of abstract art – put them on a face, and it changes ones perception, away from this person is pretty to this persons face is a piece of art itself .  Which, in my opinion, is the ultimate thing make-up can do and what I aim to do with it. 

The late benefits of studying graphic design and how I messed up this look anyway

During this shoot, I also had a throwback  to  my very first composition lesson in art shool.  We were given the assignment to draw various dots on a series of square panels. The aim of the exercise was to explore the relationship between the dots, aswell as the effects of their placement on the surface. It made us realise, that there are almost infinite possibilities for doing this, that can evoke different emotions and associations. Graphic make-up is sort of the same way – you are doing a compositon, but instead of a flat piece of paper, you are using a threedimensional surface. To make this work, you have to consider the lines themself, aswell as the features of the person you are working with. It’s an interesting process and I have to admit, not as much of an easy one as I thought. 

Which brings me to the two problems I ran into with this make-up: The first one being the placement of the line along my jaw. On my first try, I painted it a few centimeters above what you can see in the photos. By doing that I basically killed my jawline. And since the light set up  wouldn’t allow for shadows to help shape my face in that area, I needed the make-up to work in my favor. So I took the color off and replaced it a few centimeters lower, this time following the shape of my jaw from my chin to my ear. To summarize this as a learning experience: think and think again before you paint, or you might end up looking like a blob fish. 

The second mistake I made was how I painted the line. Having done lots of pencil drawings in my life, I am used to working in very fine, small lines and connecting them. This way of scribbling might look good when doing a sketch on a piece of paper, but it looked messy on my face, like I had too much coffee (which I did).  Fortunately, it was easy to fix. I took a bigger brush and just went over what I had already painted, this time in one, uninterrupted motion. Which, by the way, always makes me imagine myself as an ancient master of japanese calligraphy.  

The Red Line Make-up 

Red Line Make-up

Red Line 2

Red Line Make-up 3


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