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
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