Sunday, June 29, 2014

Graphic Violet & Yellow Makeup

This post is a fun, celebratory look because of two milestones I've hit with my little blog: I now have my own domain name, and my last post pushed me past 5,000 pageviews! I'm so grateful anyone who's taken a look at my experiments here, and especially to my friends and family who've been so supportive. This has become such an important creative outlet for me, driving me to dream and push my limits.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Experiment of the Month: Mark Rothko-Inspired Makeup

Before that day in the MoMA in 2011, I had seen images of Mark Rothko's work in textbooks or online and was underwhelmed. But on that trip to their Abstract Expressionist exhibition, I saw Rothkos physically before me for the first time and was mesmerized. Rothko himself wrote about the importance of the size of his work, saying "I want [the paintings] to be very intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience, to look upon an experience as a stereopticon view or with a reducing glass. However, you paint the lager picture, you are in it. It isn’t something you command."And to stand before his work truly is to experience the painting, a point that is nicely illustrated further in this short essay.

Mark Rothko, No. 16, 1960. Oil on canvas.
Photo source:
Aside from the huge benefit of seeing Rothko's work in person, I also gained a much better understanding of his craft from quotations of his on the MoMA's wall panels. One of them brought a lump to my throat: "Often, towards nightfall, there's a feeling in the air of mystery, threat, frustration—all of these at once. I would like my paintings to have the qualities of such moments." Suddenly the colorful blocks of color that seemed so arbitrary in my art history textbooks enveloped me with memories of my childhood, of dancing in my grandmother's yard and catching fireflies at dusk; of sitting with my body half freezing and half warmed by a bonfire at summer camp; of leaning out of my bedroom window at night and wondering about the life I would lead. A bolt of emotion hit me. Somehow the artist himself giving me permission to feel the mood of his work rather than trying reason the logical explanation for it opened a new world for me. And I've been a Rothko-lover ever since.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Smokey 60's Eyes

A few weeks ago I posted a mini-homage to Katharine Ross' style in The Graduate. I mentioned that I'd love to do a look inspired by her flawless 60's makeup, and I wasn't kidding! There's a quality about the glamour of the 60's that makes it my favorite period of makeup to wear. It's way less stuffy and more liberated than the highly polished, untouchable perfection of 50's makeup, yet infinitely more wearable and universally flattering than the glittery disco looks of the 70's. The 60's dramatically sexy eyes paired with a low-maintenance face & lip are also a huge bonus for me; despite my love for a gorgeous red or burgundy lip, anyone who's tried to make it through the day with one know what a pain it can be to manage. I could go on forever, but you get the point: I love 60's makeup.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mermaid Eyes

A friend of mine recently gave me a stunning iridescent shadow from MAC's Alluring Aquatic Collection. It's their Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Zestful, which looks almost cream-colored in low light but when the sun hits it, a gorgeous green sheen emerges. When I first saw it, I thought, "This is the product a mermaid would choose if she visited a MAC store," and I've been dreaming of this look ever since.