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01 June 2008

faux naturel

My friend Nicola has an upcoming photo shoot, and since I won't be available to do the makeup, I agreed to give her a lesson in the basics of natural-looking makeup for photography.

Makeup for real life and makeup for photography are two entirely different things. For this reason, I often have to warn my photography subjects that I they may look at the makeup job I have done on them and wonder why they look like women of the night. Likewise, I usually have to headlock male subjects into letting me apply translucent powder (and sometimes bronzer) to their precious, manly faces.

The reason makeup photography is different comes down to one factor: light. When allowed to reflect off an oily face, light will play ugly tricks with a person's appearance. On the other hand, if makeup is applied with light(ing) in mind, light will bounce off the highlights and be absorbed into the dark parts, creating a beautiful, sculpted appearance.

So, when models wonder why I'm tracing brown powder down their sides of their noses or applying a shimmery highlighter to their chins, the answer is lighting.

Nicola (who, late twenties and had barely worn a touch of makeup in her in entire life until I got my hands on her) effectively did her own makeup in these photos, under my annoyingly careful instruction. Though it may look like she is makeup-free (see photos below), she is actually wearing mineral powder foundation, a flesh-toned blush, 3 colours of eye shadow, and mascara. Also, I taught her the age-old trick of pinched cheeks and bitten lips that hussies and belles alike have been doing for centuries. All of these items and techniques, used in moderation, create the perfect fauxnaturel look, as I call it.

The more I use mineral foundation, the more obsessed I become, and the less likely I will be to go back to the liquid stuff. Here is Nicola's natural look:
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When I saw the new cover of Vanity Fair, I couldn't help but notice Nicola's resemblance to Angelina Jolie.
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Jolie's makeup look, however, is lipticked, big hair'd, boobed (and photoshopped) far beyond the faux naturel level. Though, I have to say, if I had lips, hair or boobs like hers, I'd be working them to the high heavens too!

1 comment:

Mark P said...

I'd say Nicola's got a Rita Wilson-meets-Mrs. Ari-from-Entourage thing goin' on