When I create Beauty images, I think like an artist --- my major was in Design, and my minor was in Art. The face is my canvas; I start by applying foundation, because there may be shadows or imperfections that will show up in the photos or in the video. It’s very important to make the skin look flawless and natural.
There are certainly times when a makeup artist is called on to apply more extreme forms of makeup, but my expertise is Beauty, mostly Natural Beauty. I look to bring forth the positives, and downplay the negatives.
When I apply makeup on a woman, I focus on the most sensual parts of her face --- the eyes, the lips, and the eyebrows. My style is to draw a pouting mouth, which looks sensual and youthful. As for the eyes, I like to emphasize their beauty, but not overpower them with too much eye shadow. And the eyebrows should be an uplifting expression of who the woman is. I believe it’s possible to do an eye lift just by redesigning her eyebrows and still have them look natural (unless the intent is otherwise).
I came up with the "Smoky Eye" look when I was hired to fly to New York and produce a look for CeCe Winans, the Grammy® Award winning gospel singer. CeCe was performing in a music video with Whitney Houston, for a song from the soundtrack of the film "Waiting to Exhale." The director asked for 3 different looks: a natural look; a pretty look; and a glamorous look. The Smoky Eye was my glamorous look, which won compliments from the director. As far as I know, the term “Smoky eye” had never been mentioned before, until I created it.
I’m fortunate to have worked with major fashion magazines, so I know the difference between stage makeup, film makeup and fashion makeup. Many other makeup artists only know how to do stage makeup, but I know how to do all those different looks, which gives me an advantage.
The photo above (blonde, upsweep, white gloves, jewelry) is glamorous. It would work very well for jewelry or cosmetics. I styled the model in a fuchsia/pink look. It all came out in the jewelry and the lips. I did re-draw her lips. I like full lips, they make a woman look sensual, sexy, youthful. Regardless of age, you always have to draw up, not down. The face looks flawless, but not overly made up. I added lashes and drew her eyebrows, but there’s still a natural touch that says glamorous beauty. I would say high glamor, high style.
When I do hair shots for a product, I want to make a statement, not just a commercial shot. The hair should be healthy, shiny, and have movement. The lips are kissable, full, sensual. And she’s loving the way her hair and her lips look. It looks as though all the girl had to do, is put on a cool lipstick and look fabulous. But the shape of the lips is always important.
I like this hair shot, because I believe it says a lot without saying too much. It’s editorial, contemporary. A woman always want to feel that her hair has a flow. There’s nothing artificial about this. I put a fan on the model, and I had the model move her hair every which way, so that it was interesting even if it wasn’t perfect. To me this shot is natural and it stands on its own merits.
A tribute to Classic Hollywood. I absolutely love this look. It’s timeless. This woman’s photo will never grow old. I drew inspiration from the likes of Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, and Lauren Bacall.
For the photo on the left, I wanted an exotic, beautiful image, to make a statement with a single piece of jewelry in a chic, bohemian style. The model on the right is French actress Claire Dodin. I created a look that was elegant and royal, which could double as a jewelry ad or a beauty ad.
The artist Fei is into sensuality and beauty. I wanted the photo to tell the story of who she is as an artist. Her color ranges are very rich, very sensual, very thoughtful. She lives her art, she represents her art. Her paintings reflect her inner, sensual being.
On this model I drew powerful lips, and drew attention to her beautiful eye color. I then cropped the photo as tight as I could, so that the hat is still there but the attention is on this woman and on her beauty.
For this Ethiopian model, Feben Yohannes, I wanted to play up her exotic features in a contemporary way, so I did smoky eyes and earthy makeup.