Saturday, February 28, 2009

Airbrush Love Part I

As some of you may know, I'm an airbrush makeup artist and instructor with Kett Cosmetics. I was first introduced to Kett through word-of-mouth, since both myself and makeup artist/creator Sheila McKenna had mutual acquaintances. Sheila was a trainer for M.A.C. and I also worked for the company, so when I got wind that she was creating her own airbrush line, I was impressed and inspired. Years later, I am thrilled to say that I work with Kett's exclusive team of airbrush artists and educators.

Given the advanced state of our technology, airbrushing makeup has emerged as a superior technique for high definition and digital mediums. It allows you to apply sheer veils of coverage to the skin, building diffused opacity where needed, with precision and efficiency. Because you can use the same product to both even out skin tone and conceal imperfections, the color match is perfect and texture is minimized. Airbrushing is especially amazing for any type of camouflaging since you are not actually touching the skin, putting the time-consuming method of stippling concealer out of business. I officially became a fan when I began airbrushing my own face every day and achieved the most flawless finish ever. 

Not only is the technique relevant for creating beautiful, high def-friendly skin, but it's fantastic for adding subtle to dramatic contouring, special effects and crisp designs to your makeup in minutes. As you can see from these images, I was able to accomplish both natural beauty and avante-garde looks. Based on color theory, Kett's Hydro (water-based) and HydroProof (waterproof) foundations feature a full range of skin-tone shades, the primary colors, black and white. Kett's diverse line of products are used by the industry's leading makeup artists on countless film, television, theatre and photo productions worldwide. 

While airbrushing largely remains a professional method, I wouldn't be surprised if it catches on with all makeup-lovers sometime in the future. For now, non-pro's can get the HD-finish alternative with Kett's Hydro and Fixx Creme, which can also be applied with a brush, sponge or fingertips. To my industry peers, I strongly encourage you to experiment with this invaluable tool, it's guaranteed to take your artistry to the next level. Comprehensive classes are currently offered in Ketts' New York Studio twice a month and worldwide by special arrangement. 

Stay tuned for more on airbrushing!

For more information, please visit www.kettcosmetics .com

Photos by Wendy Hope

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grande Masquerade

Wishin' I was in Trinidad, Brazil, Venice or New Orleans for Carnival right about now, but my lovely friend Erin brought the Mardi Gras flavor to Brooklyn! She graciously provided us with these gorgeous feather masks and multiple beaded necklaces upon entering the celebration. We were also treated to "category 5" Hurricanes, spicy vegan gumbo and sweet praline candy. A delicious evening of decadence and beauty...

Just A Peek

...of the hydrating skincare video and print spec I just shot with my girl, photog/director Wendy Hope! I'm so excited about moving into the world of motion with Wendy and our dope camera operator, Chris Raymond. The fabulous effects of water flying through the air looks amazing in both mediums!

Maintaining flawless skin under the elements of water, suds and glycerin was a makeup challenge but airbrushing with Kett's HydroProof foundation made it achievable. Our model was a perfect casting- Christina Ionno from Trump was gorgeous, moved like a pro and was a total sweetheart from beginning to end of a long, wet day! Thanks again, girl.

Stay tuned for more ;)

Total Inspiration

Speaking of balloons, check out this kick-ass video shot by fashion photographer Greg Kadel. The ridiculously cool makeup is by none other than Kabuki, who is best known for his avante garde makeup "creations". Much props to the team, the concept and execution is simply awesome!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Red Balloon

For some reason, I had never seen this brilliant 1956 short film ...until tonite! If you're late on this one like me, it's a magical tale of a young by who finds a single red balloon that seems to follow him all thru the streets of Paris. Using very little dialogue, the film coveys a sweet and meaningful message in a simple, yet genius way. The muted, urban environment provides the perfect backdrop to the shiny, red balloon...a visual masterpiece. A must-see for all ages and if you have Netflix, you can even watch the newly-restored, crisp version, instantly! Here's a clip...

Institute of Dress

One of my recent projects was doing makeup for the fall collection of an emerging fashion line, Institute of Dress. Designed by the duo Abby Lutz and Rachel Ancliffe, I of D presents pieces that are both beautifully tailored and perfectly draped, incorporating fine silk, wool, lace and hand-dyed fabrics. Not only do they look fabulous on models, they are designed to complement the female body from size 0 to 14. (I can personally attest to the amazing fit over my curves ;) The line was just awarded first place for women's ready-to-wear by the 2008 International Design Awards, a competition featuring visionary concepts in fashion, interiors, graphics and products. Represented by the prestigious Showroom Seven, Institute of Dress is poised to become a wardrobe staple of fashionistas worldwide.

The fall '09 looks were shot by photographer Shane Canyon Walsh in an artist's studio in the infamous graffiti building, 5 Pointz. Backlit with natural daylight, Shane created a wonderful glow around our model, Emily, and I loved the way it reflected the highlights on her face. We decided to pair her luminous skin with a smoldering eyeshadow in deep purple, black and gold. Emily's strawberry blond hair was wrapped in an off-set, organic bun by hairstylist Jamal Hodges. The images are being used for the designer's website and printed promotional materials.

All the best, I of D, looking forward to working with you again soon!

More information:

Just Classic

Twinkle by Wenlan opted out of the tents at Bryant Park this season, instead showing her Fall '09 collection at Classic Car Club in Manhattan. When you are a member of the elite club, you have access to a fleet of classic and racing "hot wheels". Twinkle used the 10,000 square ft. Soho gallery, including a few of the vintage cars to help create her 50's inspired scene. The show featured lots of super-cute dresses, chunky knits and one of my favorite makeup looks.

The makeup was keyed by Gregory Arlt for M.A.C., who is also responsible for Dita Von Teese's flawless face! I LOVE that, and he was very cool to work with. The inspiration for the makeup was "a young girl working at the drive-in" and Gregory explained it as "Dita-Lite" , a softer, younger version of the burlesque queen's classic look. The black winged eyeliner, flushed pink cheek and bright red lip looked amazing on the model's fresh faces.

A perfect blend of old and new!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mama Africa

This season of New York Fashion Week, I worked with M.A.C. on makeup for the Arise magazine African Collective show. The show launched the global fashion and culture magazine and showcased the looks of four designers; Xuly Bet, Stoned Cherry, MOMO and Tiffany Amber. The collective represented some of Africa's top designers and models, as well as the most notable African-American, Caribbean, Asian and European models in fashion. I thought it was a great reflection of the international beauty and diversity that is finally getting some well-deserved attention.

Upon arriving to the tents, I was thrilled to see the group of gorgeous models showing up for Arise's show. There were several of my favorite faces like Alek Wek, Liya Kabede and Oluchi, plus a bevy of stunning brown skinned women and one man (The Man ;) Tyson Beckford! The makeup was very natural and minimal; the look highlighted their rich skin tones, striking features and of course, the colorful clothing. Quite a dazzling display already, the backstage area burst into excitement when none other than Grace Jones strutted through! It was a treat to see this 60 year old ICON/goddess up close, her skin and body are really, really amazing, not to mention the energy she exudes. Grace walked for designer Xuly Bet, who also paid homage to our new Prez, with Barack emblazoned t-shirt dresses. (Stay tuned for a future post on Grace- I have to!)

Fashion, culture and beauty at its' finest! Enjoy! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On Location: Italy

Just a taste of the rich beauty of my motherland! Can't wait to go back for more! Que bella!!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Fabulous Tamara de Lempicka

My last entry felt incomplete with without talking about the first image, happily found outside an art supply shop in Milan, Italy. It's a reproduction of one of my favorite artists', 1920's and 30's painter, Tamara de Lempicka. Born in Poland, Tamara later created her legacy throughout Europe, Milan and Paris. Her brave, distinctive artistic style was often commissioned by aristocrats, duccesses and the haute bourgeois. Both a workaholic and a party girl, Lempicka hung out in the artsy bohemian circle, openly indulging in the freedom of the Roaring 20's. (woohoo!)

The subjects of her paintings were most often independent, strong, free-spirited, sensual women. Their uninhibited, cool glamour was surely a reflection of Tamara's lifestyle and ideals. She painted many of her muses complete with gorgeous makeup, perfectly coiffed hair and flowing goddess gowns. Ahhh, the makeup! Gotta love the pencil-thin, stylized brows, smoldering eyes and red-stained pout, with a "soft cubism"/Lempicka flair. I absolutely love these works...apparently I'm in good company, Madonna is a huge collector of TdL's art and has used her pieces in several of her music videos and tour sets!  I hope to have a few of my very own someday!

Above: Irene and Her Sisters, Ragazze, Autoportrait (a self portrait), Portrait de Madame P, The Green Turban.