Monday, 1 March 2010

Death's head makeup

I recall in an interview the British pop star Boy George said he wore extreme makeup to boost his confidence. Born into a fiercely heterosexual working-class family, young George's father was remarkably tolerant of his son's appearance, simply saying that the lad should be allowed to dress as he pleased...as long as he didn't mind getting beaten up.

I definitely agree with George's assertion that extreme makeup bestows confidence. This is no doubt why the Native Americans, Celts, Maori to name but a few sport outlandish paint and tattoos. I suspect that onlookers think that if someone can be bold enough to wear warpaint, they are probably not going to run from a fight. I would like to think perhaps the drivers who saw me on Saturday in East London had the same reaction. They left me alone anyway.

Below are shots from my first and second attempts at death's head makeup. On the first occasion (the lower image, with the flowers) I used only water-based paints and found it very difficult to achieve a solid white. You can see the feathered brush marks as I built up the layers (which is not an unattractive feature, I think). The second attempt used cake-makeup for the white, which went on much better. However, I found the gems I tried to add would not stick as the surface is oily. Also I think the lack of eyebrows in the later version dehumanize me even more. I begin by sketching out the design in eyeliner, then fill in the white areas. I then paint in the black, which is water-based makeup with fixative so it holds for longer. I paint my lips entirely white then carefully paint the black lines to form the divisions between the teeth. I basically try to avoid painting white over black. The process takes about an hour and needs a very steady hand.

Oh, in case you were wondering, I was going to a Japanese Gothic-Lolita party (via a house party whose patrons were remarkably polite about my face) in the second instance. The first was the British Museum's Day of the Dead event where we fitted in so well the performers asked us to join in. Awesome.


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1 comment:

  1. It is a new fashion in many places around Europe, I think that Boy George cannot say anything about it because he is so strange!Cool stuff you got 22dd!!

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