Archive | October, 2013

Halloween!

30 Oct

So, it’s pretty much every makeup artists’ favourite time of year – Halloween! I’m back in London and very happy about that.

I thought I better get this post started now as I’m sure there is going to be a lot going on from now onwards. Its going to be a week filled with fun, friends, work and plenty of makeup.

Lets start with this awesome video by Happy Slap Boutique, based on one of our Boomtown Characters. Tickets for Boomtown go on sale tomorrow, don’t miss out!

WEDNESDAY

I’m just off to meet Grace in Brixton for a video she’s working on – more on that later.

I’ve noticed a few MUAs doing the 31 days of Halloween, based on films. I totally missed this and am gutted as I need the practice – I’ll be doing it next year for sure. All is not lost however, next month I’ll just do my own version; 30 days of Sci-Fi maybe? Perhaps I can come back to the horror in a few months.

Okay so I’m back from Brixton now… the place we went was beautiful, it was called Cafe Cairo and it was FILLED with treasures! It was lovely, I’d love to go when it’s actually open and have some food there. The band (named Teddy) were lovely and oddly familiar (although I’m not sure why anything is “oddly” anymore) – I think theres some festival meetings gone on somewhere. I did some nail based assistance but I can tell you no more. Music video out december – I’ll add the link up on my wordpress.

Cafe Cairo Shoot

Cafe Cairo Shoot

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Cafe Cairo Shoot

Cafe Cairo Shoot

check them out here: http://www.cafecairo.co.uk/visit-us.html

I was going to enjoy the delights of London tonight, however, seen as we got back late and it’s reading week (so I’m actually meant to be home doing work instead of in London), I thought it best I get on with some uni work – so responsible.

Plus I’m out tonight with friends for Halloween fun in Camden tomorrow night…

THURSDAY

Today is Halloween!!

I had two makeup jobs today, number one was working for Henry’s in Green Park, making up the bar staff for their shift. This was a pretty easy job, general skulls, zombies and pretty witches with webs on their cheeks. It was quite nice being in Henrys again, it felt quite at home – I used to work for TCG in Leeds, working at Squares and Henrys quite a bit.

Job number two was for Civilised Mess, working for Cirque Le Soir – though it was prep work so I didn’t need to go into the club. Instead we worked at Lizzie’s new lovely house in Dalston with some tasty food. We applied prosthetics and painted up Lizzie and Gemma for the doll act. Grace gave me loads of tips to improve my application which was really helpful as we haven’t had chance to do much of this at uni yet (NB. slapping prosthetics covered in medical grade glue onto someone’s bum cheek is certainly funny but not really the right way).

The makeup took about 4 hours in total so we didn’t get home till 11pm. I was meant to go out to an event but it was sold out (and I ended up working longer). Having got home and finally accessed the laptop i realised I had to make the decision to stay in so I can get to work tomorrow! It’s okay, I’ll celebrate halloween tomorrow night. If I don’t have more work.

Makeup: Victoria Stansfield

Makeup: Victoria Stansfield

Dollys

Dollys
Makeup: Victoria Stansfield & Grace McComisky

Screen shot 2013-11-01 at 09.17.41

Halloween gash!
Makeup: Grace McComisky

Screen shot 2013-11-01 at 09.17.37

Post-act
Makeup: Victoria Stansfield & Grace McComisky

Oh and by the way I have seen some pretty AMAZING videos by my fellow friends and colleagues at Happy Slap Boutique and Civilised Mess today! Very inspiration and coming to you very soon!

FRIDAY

Friday’s job didn’t start until 5pm, so I spent the majority of the day doing essay work. I would have liked to have done some postiche but I didn’t have any netting! When the time to leave rolled around, I set off to meet Grace in Maida Vale to paint up six guys going to Pacha. They offered us Gin and tickets to go with them but there was barely time to stop with the amount of painting needed to be done. We did some quick skeleton/muscle paintings with lots of cuts and slashes and they set off to their night.

The boys before they went out.

The boys before they went out.

Finished!

Finished!

Finished!

Finished!

Following a week of work, i finally went off to have some fun of my own with the lovely Lizzy Bee, going to a party at a warehouse space in Hackney Wick. We walked home the morning after to Homerton and spent the saturday carving some pumpkins.

Our creation.

Our creation.

SATURDAY

Having caught up with a little sleep I rushed back to Wood Green to pick up my kit, then onward to Oxford Circus to work for Cirque Le Soir, making up their performers for the night. Cirque Le Soir is a luxury basement club, with only one room but it’s really winding and oddly shaped so makes for a good space.There is also loads of nooks and crannies for performers to set up, scaring anyone that dares to come round their corner. They have other exclusive venues in Shanghai and Dubai, hosting a range of acts that bring something different to the clubbing scene and and attracting celebrities such as Leonardo Di Caprio, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Usher and many more.

My talented friend Steph (Aurora Starr) working at Cirque Le Soir Dubai

My talented friend Steph (Aurora Starr) working at Cirque Le Soir Dubai.
http://shanghai.talkmagazines.cn

Check the club out here:

http://cirquelesoir.com/

I worked with two other makeup artists creating a range of ripper victims, slashed up girls, zombies and beauty makeups. All the performers were really lovely, I’d like to work with them again. I would have liked to have stayed longer and check out more of the night but I really was too shattered to do anything except sleep.

Zombie!

Zombie!

I finished work around 00.15 and managed to catch the last tube back home to Wood Green, filled out my invoices and then crashed.

SUNDAY

Sunday is home time. Having part-recovered from the previous few nights adventures and realising I’ve barely eaten with all thats been going on, it’s time to go home and get ready for uni tomorrow.

I think this halloween has gone brilliantly and I definitely made the right choice to come down to London for it. I’ve also decided I want to live in Hackney when I move down here. I like the area and feel at home; I seem to spend most of my time around there! Unless i get into uni, then I’ll have to be close to that!

Goodbye London, goodbye halloween. I’ll be back at the end of november to go see Circus of Horrors!

Teaching Makeup

29 Oct

Recently I have found myself teaching lots of people bits of makeup; be it people who are generally interested in doing makeup, do face painting at events, or performers seeking to improve their act.

Initially, I was cautious of sharing, cautious of adding competition to an already saturated industry. However, I quickly came to realise that what ever you want from the world, is what you should be giving yourself – why stifle happiness, progress and art when you can help spread it! I think having positive faith in the world and the depth of people is important, in fact it’s a view that is vital to my mental well being. Look after the world and it will look after you.

So, recently I’ve been teaching both John Godbolt and Sophia Weatley (Bella Trix) some performance makeup, so they can do it themselves when on the job. The simplest of tips can make something so much better! In return I’ve been receiving stilt and hoops lessons – and I am improving for sure, it’s exciting stuff! I’ll be posting videos up as soon as I can get something good (or at least entertaining) sorted.

Here are Jon’s makeup efforts from last week’s lesson:

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Makeup by John Godbolt

Makeup by John Godbolt

Makeup by John Godbolt

If anyone ever wants help with something they enjoy doing, please just get in touch and I will be more than happy to help. I have found Facebook is a great way to ask for/give advice!

Anyway. I think all I’m trying to say with this one is don’t keep your knowledge all locked up and to yourself. Spread it around as someone did for you and you’re sure to find yourself and your world much richer for it.

Cirque Du Soleil – Alegria

27 Oct

I can’t believe I forgot to write about Cirque Du Soleil.

Managing to get a ticket for £30 thanks to John Godbolt, on 23/10/13 I went to see the most beautiful mind-blowing circus!

We ate in town then met friends for a couple of drinks while we waited for the enormous queue to go down. This is the first time I’d been to the Leeds arena since it opened in July this year. The outside of the building is pretty cool with its changing lights, though it’s light green-blue paint job leaves much to be desired. Inside feels quite like a warehouse – which I like, though I wonder if any of the rooms I didn’t see were plush in contrast.

The set up of the room we entered for a performance felt instantly like a bigtop space (although missing some colour in the decor obviously…) The set for the performers was beautiful though, with 4 exit/entrances, a sloping platform, secret trampolines, fire lit bandstand and projection lit surfaces.

The first half was fantastic, and I’ve got to say they had the funniest clowns I’ve ever seen, the one with orange hair had me in stitches. I won’t spoil any punchlines for you – all I’ll say is I never expect clowns to make me laugh but these guys were great.

During the interval we went to the merch shop, I was pretty disappointed with the designs, none really suited me so I saved some dollar. Although I did pick up a program as it was full of amazing costume and makeup inspiration.

I loved every single one of the performances, my favourite being the double contortion act, trampolinists and beam acrobats. After a couple of weeks of feeling lost, this certainly gave me the inspiration and kick that I needed. I would recommend seeing this show to anyone!

The Leeds Community Clothes Exchange

26 Oct

I love Leeds for many reasons, one being the masses of community spirit. It’s like living in a huge village, you always know someone who knows someone and there’s always someone there for you.

So, part of this lovely little world is the Leeds Community Clothes Exchange, run by volunteers and funded by a tiny £3 entry price per swopper; it’s the perfect solution to any wardrobe crisis, with loads of quality items being swopped at each event.

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Find them on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/LeedsCommunityClothesExchange

The exchange has been going for over five years now, starting off in a small venue in Hyde Park, it has now moved down the road to the Woodhouse Community centre, which has oodles of room for all the items, plus space for stalls, tearooms, changing rooms and more!

This event is perfect for so many reasons, it’s an oppertunity to meet people in the community and have a chat, its a place to find other creative people looking for thrifty fashion picks, its a way to quench that shopoholic thirst without breaking the bank. It’s an avenue in which to show and collect artistic skills in the community. They even have a quickly growing men’s section. To be honest there is not much more you could ask for and it has considerable potential behind it too.

Opening Time!

Opening time!

I haven’t had chance to go these previous couple of years, however, since the venue change my friend Clare Edwards has been offering me a place doing makeup and I’ve only just had time to help out in this very busy year! I really appreciated being there and being a part of it, I like being able to give something back to a community that supports me. I painted a few halloween inspired faces but mainly chatted to people, I think after a couple more appearances people will be more open to interacting with the subject and look forward to it.

Quick Half Skeleton Face

Quick half skeleton face

I have new ideas for next time and hope to speak to many individuals; I love to find out what people really think about their own makeup, others makeup and the makeup industry as a whole. I would really like to use this opportunity to bring to light the issue of Facebook censorship of the human body in art – more on that in a later post.

The Clothes Exchange is very addictive, i found myself eyeing up peoples’ selections and itching to run out and check everything every ten minutes. With new arrivals being added to the rails constantly it’s hard not to feel the need to stay until you’ve checked everything out!

I found myself a nice new dress too which is awesome!

Please excuse the emulsion splatters mirror.

Please excuse the paint splattered mirror.

I’m really looking forward to the next exchange and hope to be an active part of it! Much love to everyone there!
Find out when the next event is by simply joining the Facebook group!

https://www.facebook.com/LeedsCommunityClothesExchange

SFX: Sculpting

18 Oct

So it seems I have finally become a responsible adult.

Friday night, 10.30pm and Eve and I are sat in our newly forming studio, working.

Yes thats right, working.

Friday night.

Friday night.

Having sacrificed CircSoc as I practiced hoop earlier, I decided sculpting would a better use of my time as I need it for Monday.  For my prosthetic influence, I decided to look at fauns, leading on from my previous SFX work in Year One, Semester Two; which finally circled around Baphomet.

Having researched other fauns in film (such as Fauno/Pan’s Labyrinth and Mr. Tumnus/Chronicles of Narnia) and studying the heads of real goats, I decided to created a stylised faun, taking features I spotted in the imagery and producing them in my own way in the clay – focussing on what I was enjoying doing rather than being picky about exact details. As this is my first time sculpting, therefore I see it as more of an opportunity to understand how clay works, rather than the time to worry about specific looks.

Working hard!

Working hard!

Here are a few realisations (that could be helpful to beginners) I had whilst sculpting these first couple of session:

  • My house is very cold. So initially heating clay in a bowl within a bowl of hot water, I begun to place the clay onto the face and push into a general shape. After finding it difficult to continue to mold the clay on my near to freezing house, I sought help from the experts, asking my friend Shaune Harrison; who kindly reminded me of the obvious solution: Hairdryer. Oops.
  • I found the hairdryer very useful, though I need to buy a cheaper one to save me destroying my expensive hairdressing dryer. I found if useful to hold the hairdryer in my left hand and sculpt right my right hand – also stopping me from applying pressure on the mold/cast accidentally
  • I had a mini epiphany, thinking; if only I had a heated rounded tool for these edges… answer: keep metal tools in hot water (and then dry off) before working into the clay. Boom.
  • Leaning to see an image pretty much 90′ out of my line of sight when seated is not fun, or comfortable. I borrowed an easel from Eve as it made it vastly easier to see my work. It also made me feel much more like a professional artist which is always fun.
  • I have realised, that like drawing, sculpting is best done in bursts – it’s easy to get bogged down in clay, rather than seeing the bigger pictures. When i come back to my sculpt I can always instantly see things that need changing.
  • I have realised it is very hard to stop sculpting once you start.

The sculpt so far is very basic, with very hard shapes. I need to add softness, finer details and textures. I have also decided for my final piece I will create another set of horns to add to the overall look and make the look more specific to the faun character.

Session 1&2 of sculpting

Session 1&2 of sculpting

Session 1&2 of sculpting

Session 1&2 of sculpting

Now it’s time to write stories for all my makeup pieces. Tomorrow I shall be taking my template of John so I can start creating my English Moustache for my assessment on Tuesday. I’ll be posting on my progress tomorrow!

Eve doing loads of work.

Eve doing loads of work.

SFX: Postiche practice.

15 Oct

Yesterday I spent a good 2-3 hours doing knotting practice, I moved on to experimenting with different ways of knotting and using yak hair as opposed to human hair. The yak hair was more wiry and brittle but looked much more effective as facial hair (and would probably work well for a merkin if you fancied one…).

Working hard!

Working hard!

Range of hair & techniques

Range of hair & tecniques

 

So now I can move onto my final piece for task one of postiche – which I intend to apply on to my willing volunteer (John Godbolt) next week.

I have three main tasks to complete for next week:

  1. John’s Moustache for Media
  2. Complete Sculpt for SFX
  3. SFX Essay

Let the work commence!

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In other news, next week I am going to see Circque Du Soleil for their production of Alegria! I am very excited. I’ve also been combing the pages of the Alhambra and Grand programmes, searching for more theatrical and musical performances to see with friends. I’m going to see Circus of Horrors in London at the Lyric Theatre with Tash Hobbs next month!

A week or so after leaving my second job and I’ve started my circus training. People say I do a lot of things (usually with a slightly negative air) but I see it more as using my time well. Why sit around watching TV when you can be doing something much more exciting. Plus all the activities I do have four interlinking common goals: French, Piano, Circus Performance and Hair & Makeup Artistry – it’s not so confusing when you look at it that way.

SFX: Postiche

9 Oct

It is great having a housemate who starts at the same uni at the same time. After a team breakfast, Eve and I rolled out of the house and slept our way to uni on the bus. Something tells me I should be using this time better, maybe I should charge my nexus once in a while…

First up we had SFX, today we started our postiche work! Postiche is the addition of extra hair to the body – this could be wigs, moustaches, body hair or even ear hair.

To start with this was incredibly difficult, however, by the end of the lesson I had got the hang of it. I can get very obsessive and addicted to processes (although easily distracted) so whilst a monotonous and complex task, I can already tell this is something which will absorb me for hours on end when we come to working on patterns.

Part of our project in this section is to create a moustached character based on 20th century fashions. I should be getting to work on this next week. Ok, so the basic method…

CREATING A FACIAL PATTERN

You will need…

  • Cling Film
  • Permenant Marker
  • Selotape
  • Your Model
  1. The first thing we need to do is wrap the face in cling film. We then cover the desired area in Selotape, extending the edges around the face for placement security.
  2. Next we create our reference points, in this test run we will mark on the nostrils and lips.
  3. Lastly, we draw on our pattern! This can then be covered with more tape to protect it from rubbing off. We can now remove our pattern from the face and cut it out.
    My glamourous assistant Fee.

    My glamourous assistant Fee.

     

The finished piece - I haven't cut out the pattern as we won't be using this for our final piece (this is just a demo)

The finished piece – I haven’t cut out the pattern as we won’t be using this for our final piece (this is just a demo)

CREATING KNOTTING

Okay so today we didn’t go as far as starting our facial pieces. Much more research and practice is needed! However we did get down how to start the knotting process.

You will need…

  • Wood Block
  • Black Card
  • Textiles Hammer
  • Selotape
  • Wood Pins
  • Human Hair (roots and tips in order)
  • Lace (Fronting Lace)
  • Fish Hook Knotting Needle
  1. Take a wood black and tape a piece of black card to it. We do this so we can see the blonde-red hair we will be using more clearly.

    Woodblock + backing.

    Woodblock + backing.

  2. Next take a piece of lace and using a small textiles hammer, hammer the woodpins onto the block, working 0.5cm from the lace and working around the edge to ensure no pulling I the fabric. Make sure the fabric is places horizontally or vertically to deter the weft from stretching. Hammer the pins flat to the board to stop the lace from sliding off.
    The pins on the left are too far apart and messy. The pins on the left are correct!

    The pins on the left are too far apart and messy. The pins on the right are correct!

    This is a frequent and slightly irritating situation.

    This is a frequent and slightly irritating situation.

  3. Here comes the tricky part. Take 3-8 pieces of hair from the hair organiser (I can’t remember the name of this – update later), make a loop at the root. Use the brutal object below to pull the loop under just one section of lace and then slip the loop into the crook of the needle. Keep the tension.
    Medieval looking hair organiser.

    Medieval looking hair organiser.

    Fish hook needle.

    Fish hook needle.

  4. Next, wrap the hair in the non dominant (non needle holding) hand from front to back around the needle, turning the needle anticlockwise as you do this. Hood the new loop into the end of the hook and pull through the initial loop, held in the crook of the needle. Sound simple enough? If you would like more information on this please message me for help! I might even make a video of how to do this next week.
Finally - knots!

Finally – knots!

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After a short while it becomes easier and neater, it’s good to experiment with speeds of working, techniques and amount of hair used.

Next up we had our PDP lesson. Nothing to write home (or to the internet) about.

Thats it for uni this week! Tomorrow sees circus training, french lessons, essay writing and researching for my prosthetic piece!

Adios!