Whenever I see ludicrous runway or editorial makeup looks, my heart beats faster. I wish that it was socially acceptable to wear beads glued to your cheekbones as a highlight or 20 different shades of day-glo on your lips. And my appreciation for artists who execute special effects makeup knows no bounds.
Of course it’s important to be able to make people look like flawless versions of themselves, but remember, it’s all face paint, just different shades. Painting creative looks is like making a living, breathing piece of art.
One of my favorite working-artist brands is Kryolan, who supported artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis in making her book, Art & Makeup. The book is full of looks based on artistic inspiration from every medium—from sculpture to opera. Everything is beautifully shot and products are listed, so aside from being an excellent coffee table art book, you can actually crack it open and attempt to create things yourself.
Here my 3 favorite looks from this great conversation starter...
This look is inspired by early film-star perfection. I love how the face is so harshly sculpted. Cheekbones are darkened with blush and bronzer while the same tones accent brow structure in an entirely serendipitous way, which are then framed by those Gibson arches.
This look is inspired by circus performances. I can’t get over the feather eyelashes! The composition of the image places the model in a dollhouse context, which is enhanced by the pale, clown-like base.
Rather than end the eye popping liner with black and white, the white lower lid fades back into the same pink as the lashes, completely enlarging the eyes into their own continent on the model’s face. Makes me want a pair of boa lashes!
Holy raver, Batwoman! Showing off texture is one of the most fun things that a MUA can do on set, and Nguyen-Grealis’ texture chops are sharp as a tack.
This eye look is at a glance prismatic and loud, but the longer you stare, the more purposeful it gets. You begin to notice the neon in the outer crease that mimics a cat-eye flick, the black shading an anti-highlight, and the purple in the corner a bright focal point no different from an inner corner highlight. This look is as chaotic as it is beautiful, and I am a bit obsessed with it.
These are just three of dozens of creative looks found in this awesome book. I will be making my way through it for inspiration for years to come, since it encompasses nearly every art and media trend in the last century or so. If artists like Lan Nguyen-Grealis and Pat McGrath continue to push three dimensional makeup as a thing, I will not be mad in the slightest.