CAMERAskin pt1. Creating A Natural Commercial Look.
Can I do my own makeup? I’m not sure about the whole Mac thing ‘cause don’t they only do drag queens?
—Actor after learning one of my makeup artists spent several years @ Mac
Who knows why salespeople at Sephora and Mac live by “more is less” looking like fugitives from a Jackson Pollack murder. On the contrary, the legions of MUA’s I encounter during Fashion Week, and the two I work with, Marialena Gimapino and Tara Zielenski, look like people. They will not scare you. And they know things. They know a lot about how makeup and skin work with lighting and the camera. The first time I heard Pat McGrath say “new skin”, I was like “Silence of the Lambs!”. But that’s a good & precise way to think. I now think of makeup as “Camera Skin”.
Actors want realism, a natural look. My routine and more challenging task is conveying that what reads as natural in person, may not translate as flatteringly on film unless precisely defined. Subtle pigment changes you’ve never noticed may take on the appearance of a vintage relief map, every hair flying away will be noted as an infidel!
Maggie is a perfect example of my point, she’s absolutely typical. In person you’d agree she’s not just pretty, but very pretty. You would not notice heavier pigmentation around her eyes or “combination skin”. That’s not very apparent in person in room light. We’ll put Tara on the case and get Maggie ready for the camera to create an effortless-looking natural look. And you’ll learn, even with significant problems, “more” is not the answer, it’s using the right tools.
Stay tuned to this series and watch Tara Zielenski, one of the two superbly talented makeup artists I work with, create an elevated, natural look that works commercially.