Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pirate Makeup?

Oh, good grief! I can't believe I'm doing a makeup blog entry!


Well, don't expect me to write some air-headed stuff like every other word about something I like or enjoy and call it AMAZING, or "AAAAAA-MAAAY-ZIIIING", because I don't DO that. I also won't be calling any hue, shade, or tint of colored pigments as "SOOOOOOO Pretty" either.

So, if I'm speaking (or typing rather) outside of your lexicon... well... I'm not really sorry, but I do somewhat feel sorry that you might be unable to comprehend me....

(Did that just sort of come out like I was calling makeup fanatics idiots??? Sorry, it's just that they sort of come off that way... frequently... no offense... but, um... I gotta break it to ya... well, many folks jump to those conclusions... ..um... so, I'm just saying... if you're accustomed to the "usual" makeup blogs, and this one might be a bit difficult to understand... well, I don't talk the way they do [makeup vloggers & bloggers], and I also don't write blogs the way they do either... so... um... yeah, I got a different vocabulary other than "amazing" and "So pretty", or calling all colors as "shades" when they might be actually "hues" or "tints" and not always "shades"... because I studied actual arts, sciences, and actual "color theory" other than JUST a color wheel. )

So, if you're not entirely hating my guts by now, and thinking I'm a total arrogant jerk, let's move on, shall we?

Of all the blogs I've ever written, this one is the MOST poplar. It's also one of my newest.

The last 1/2 of this year, I've been getting comments about how I inspire folks, and they mean my Pirate character, and what I'm doing with it.  I was inspired to do it because of my friend Pirate Pebbs.

But, I've been getting comments on FB & Tumblr about it. (I usually get that about my art for many years, or when I was New Age it was about that stuff, or some folks like stuff I wrote in geeky places about science or Philosophy, others about politics... but I kinda don't get those kinds of comments anymore... *shrugs*) But, I'm sure you're not as interested in any of that... you're most likely here because of: Makeup. Right?

So, that's what I get asked about lately... (of course men ask me other things, the pervy kinds of questions, unless they're trannies)

I get asked about where I learned makeup.

I gotta be honest... I'm NOT a makeup artist. I don't even think I'm that great, and I'm still learning... Yet, somehow, folks look at my makeup and sware I'm great. I have no idea what that means.

I'm just a regular visual artist with a degree in computer animation. I personally judge myself as being pretty bad at makeup, so when folks beg me to do their makeup, I cringe.
Trust me, you DON'T want me to do your makeup. The image in my mind is that scene in the beginning of a Jacky Chan film called "Gorgeous" in which Shuqi's character does her neighbor's makeup based on a magazine, and it's AWFUL. 

But, since I get this question frequently this year, I will tell you what my biggest influences are, where I started, etc. You'll be surprised & shocked.

To start with:

I had my own makeup since I was a child in the 1980s. Even tho' my mother & father were more religious back then, they were very socially liberal in New Jersey. The culture back then had many folks very Proud of their body, their appearance, and since my grandmother's mother was a scandalous flapper in the UK, and my mother grew up in the 60s & 70s which was incredibly sexy (and she was also a gogo-dancer), so she open to females being decorated and "pretty" as well as showing skin, and wearing makeup; it was normal that all the adults (women) I knew when I was little also wore makeup. In fact, everyone used to give me their unwanted makeup, so I had 2 shoeboxes full of makeup when I was little, my mother wore makeup every day, and it was normal for me to get makeup as a Christmas present.

It wasn't until the 5th grade that I realized not everyone in the USA was allowed to wear makeup as a child. 

Also, the word "sexy" when I was growing up didn't necessarily have a sexual meaning. My father called anything he liked a lot "sexy" whether it was cars, music, new shoes, or whatever. All the adults I knew talked like that in the 80s. And, that was "normal" in NJ & Eastern PA.

But, when all of the farmlands & forests began being turning into housing developments, and shopping centers, whole new groups of folks came moving into NJ from out of State. So, whole other kinds of folks & opinions came with them. One of these ideas was that somehow being a little girl and having makeup was somehow bad.  I didn't understand because I went to church, and no one said that there when I was growing up.

I had SO much makeup that I just didn't feel like wearing it. I was just bored with it. But, 1 day in the Playground I heard some girls talking about someone wearing makeup, and this girl was acting all bent out of shape about it. So, I asked her about it:
I don't get it. What's so wrong about makeup? Don't you have any makeup? You mean you've never worn makeup before? This gets this girl and her close friends upset.

They had these ideas that somehow you weren't supposed to wear makeup if you were under 13. I thought that was the silliest thing I'd EVER heard! I'd even had Barbie Dolls that CAME with makeup! My Aunts, my Mother, and my Grandmothers would give me makeup, my mother's friends, my neighbors, my father's friends, and we'd even get together and make each other "pretty". And, everyone was happy about this! So, this idea that somehow wearing makeup, let alone even HAVING makeup was somehow a BAD thing made NO SENSE to me. NONE. I'd always assumed that EVERY girl had makeup, like shoes, dresses, and perfumes!

Well.... that's when the trouble started. These girls didn't believe me that I had makeup, that I was allowed to wear it, and had a fit when they found out I even had high heeled shoes (low for a 5th grader mind you) , and even perfume. So, she dared me to wear them.

I didn't understand what the big deal was. She said if I was really was allowed to do that, then I MUST do it the next day. The whole thing sounded silly to me.

But, I did. The very next day, I figured I'd wear a dress, because if I was gonna wear shoes with heels, and also makeup, and perfume, that I should do wear a dress or a skirt. Which is exactly what I did.

So, I showed up at school in a dress, with heels on, makeup, and perfume. This girl was shocked. And, so were her friends. It was this strange kind of attention also.... but, it wasn't as tho' I'd NEVER worn makeup or perfume to school, before. Last Century it was traditional to go to school, on the very first day dressed up like it was Sunday school, wearing pantyhose, pumps, some jewelry, etc. So, I always wore perfume, and some kind of makeup, which my mom helped me with.

Naturally, she (the indignant girl) was mad. She spat off these comments about my parents, and thought I'd get in trouble with the teacher, or the school.... but, that NEVER happened. In fact, every teacher I passed would say to me: You look very pretty today.

See? The world never ended. No one was in trouble, and I'm NOT a bad Person, and neither were my parents... Then, throughout the day, every girl wanted to trade shoes with me. Can I try your shoes? Can we switch shoes for a little while? Including THAT girl's friends!

I got annoyed, because once I let 1 person trade, then another one did, then they ALL did!
It turns out that nearly ALL girls want to look, feel, and BE pretty, even if it's once in a while. It's JUST our nature. (and, hey, if you're NOT into that, I hear ya there too, because I generally don't even wear makeup, but I STILL like beautiful things... Heck! I'm an artist!)

Well, THAT girl wanted to wear my shoes too! YES! She did! All her friends asked me, so she begged me too, with her buddies all around her.... so, since, back then I was a Christian, I let her... unfortunately, the whole thing got way out of hand, and I wanted to wear my shoes, and not keep getting annoyed to trade shoes...

Also, by the end of the day, other girls, including the butchy girls, and tom-boys, told me that they secretly had makeup too, that they had Barbie dolls that came with makeup, but never real makeup, or that they had stolen makeup from their moms before. Others told me that had a real lipstick, or a real blush, but nothing else... all the girls I knew that grew up locally, like I did, tended to have some makeup items, where as the folks that lived in the NEWLY built development neighborhood houses generally didn't. Ironically, I also noticed a trend when they got older, the girls that weren't allowed to where makeup, nor have makeup as a child, were CRAZY about makeup when they got older, and became overly sexualized as a teen, where as those of us that were born locally were more natural as a teen, and generally only wore makeup for certain occasions, even tho' we could do so whenever we wanted.

Needless to say, by the end of 5th grade, many girls began having an interest in makeup, but since that whole day was so weirdly uncomfortable, and the attention I got felt SO weird, I never wore makeup to school again, and almost NEVER wore my heels to school either, until the end of the year when almost EVERYONE did. Also, THOSE GIRLS BECAME my enemies, and I became an outcast... but, by 6th grade (which is Middle school) nearly everyone wore makeup, and had a Purse, and wore heels.

So, that was my VERY first encounter with this idea that somehow makeup was some kind of bad thing. I find it to be nothing of the sort. It's just stuff you put on your face, or your body. Often to feel cosmetically better looking, or even ugly looking if you like.

I also noticed that day, when everyone asked me about makeup in the Playground, that the boys had several comments to say about how it wasn't fair that girls could be pretty, get extra shoes, wear makeup, and had flying skirts when they twirled around.

So, boys want to be pretty too? Huh? (Turns out, YES, boys sometimes want to be pretty too, because they also like beautiful things, like beautiful girls.)

[For the record, I'm not all for little children being in beauty Pageants against their will by stage moms, I don;t do that either... and yeah... one COULD make the case that those kids ARE way OVER SEXUALIZED. I'm just explaining my own experiences growing up.] 

My first influences learning about makeup were my mother & my Aunt Debbie. I also LOVED Miss Piggy the Muppet in the 80s! Seriously! So, when I was little, all of my crayon coloring books had girls with purple or blue eyeshadow... like a diner waitress! LOL!

But, by the 90s, I hated that.... I almost NEVER where those colors today...

My Biggest Influences: The 1990s

Well... sometime by the early-mid 1990s I was into Oranges & browns (for eyes) because of believe it or not: Hip Hop.

Didn't see that comin', did ya?

Seriously, tho'! Black women! MTV, that stuff...

Janet Jackson, TLC, La Bouche, C+C Music Factory, Brandy, and also sitcoms, and a mix of ethnnic celebrities, as well as STAR TREK TNG.

Yeah, I'm not a big time Hip Hop person now, it's different that the old stuff... but, they WERE incredibly gorgeous women. Another one was Lucy Lawless' character Xena: warrior princess.

That was pretty much HOW I did my makeup for a long time. The light smokey eye. That sorta stuff...

But, I got more & more into techno, which was European... and to this day, my biggest influences are the European makeup styles, especially from the 1990s. MOST notably THE SINGLE most influential inspiration on me was the Rave princess Blümchen (Jasmin Wagner). I LOVED many of her makeup styles. (Jasmin is German, and even tho' a name like Jasmin Wagner is super German, she's half Croatian.) 

She's very good at stage makeup, but also makeup for TV VS. Makeup for a photoshoot.

The ones I use based on her are a number of styles she tried during the period when she did the single "ich bin wieder hier". 
(BTW: Yes, I DO have this single Maxi CD)

There's several variations on how she does her makeup... and I'm sure I could go on and on... but, I think that's enough...

The other large influence on my Makeup for my charter was the Bellydance Superstars when I took up dance in the previous decade big-time.

Wearing Makeup in General?

I generally DON'T wear makeup. Often times, most makeup bothers my skin, and I have allergic reactions to some kinds of makeup. The worst brand I've found is L'Oreal. Since 1999 I've Vrobably wasted up to a $1,000 on their products. They have great packaging and clever ad campaigns to trick you into buying their Products, but there's ALWAYS some catch. Their so-called natural mineral products always DRY OUT my skin, their eyeliners give me bad allergic reactions in my eyes, and make it look wrinkled, and their anti-aging face cremes, lotions, and serums are often GLOSSY which extenuate wrinkles, Plus they tend to have spf, which DRIES glossy, and you should NEVER wear anti-aging ANYTHING and THEN go into the sun, especially if it have Vitamin A retinal! also, NEVER use ANY sunblock if it has vitamin A or anti aging ANYTHING, you will get cancer.

Another big reason I stayed away from using makeup everyday was it can age your face faster. the particles in powders get wedged into your skin, and fine lines, and cause them to get wider, larger, longer, and deeper. They also can cause skin rashes, and breakouts. And, the parabin anti-fungal compounds cause breast cancer tumors.

So, for years I would stick to doing what my mother did: I use moisturizers, and I'm TOTALLY OK with what my face looks like naturally.  I've even gone on dates with guys without wearing makeup. I like stuff for my face that is nutritious for my face/skin. So, usually, it's anti-aging, antoxidents, serums, alphahydroxy, exfoliating, and stuff like that...which is why I now tend to go with mineral makeups which don't bother me (unless they are by L'Oreal which DOES).

Now, I mostly would've stayed away from makeup, but when you're doing video, or photography, or public speaking, you will NEED to wear makeup. Otherwise, you will look sickly, untidy, or tired.

Anyways, I most likely wouldn't have cared much for makeup generally.

But, I lost a whole bag of makeup that I'd collected since the 90s after a trip to do some Photography in Philadelphia (traveling from Boston), and my rug floors got torn up for cheap Chinese wood floors, during Mercury retrograde. Somehow, my makeup vanished, which was strange because I still managed to find my shimmer, and my earrings,which were together with the makeup...just don;t know where the bag went with all the makeup.

That's what started me into exploring more makeup. When you don't have it, you want it. Strange, huh?

I know I already blogged this story....

But, let me take you through a story of influences on the makeup I've used for a number of photoshoots, and show you where I learned it from.

Let's start with ANSUYA:

Ansuya is a lovely, sweet lady, that is incredibly talented at dancing, acting, decorating, teaching, yoga, and a long list of who knows what else.

She produced a film in her home to inspire and empower women with her special sort of world view. In that film she also includes a makeup tutorial using very simple techniques, and she even uses basic common makeup you can find in any drugstore.

What's great about this video was I REALLY connected with it. I'm NOT always so girly, but something about Bellydance REALLY makes me connect with that femininity within me.

This video ALSO made me push myself outside of my comfort zone for what I would, and wouldn't do with makeup.

That's where THIS photo came from:

Pyrate Costume 01 by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART

Pyrate Hat Port 01 by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART

Pyrate Costume Profile by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART

Pyrate Hat Oct Self Portrait by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART

Pyrate Costume 02 by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART

So, if you were interested in how I did these looks, It's based on Ansuya's video. But, I used basic pink/purple eye pallets at the drugstore by Maybelline or Cover-girl and physician's Formula.

This is basically what I used for the look:

Then there is 1 of my dance teachers Zoe Jakes (also from the Bellydance Superstars).

There's too much to say about her, really.... She's overflowing with being creative, and she's hilarious in person. 

She's experimented with several styles of makeup as well as Jasmin Wagner, often very Europrean looking rather than Arabian looking, which is what I love about it. Ironically, BOTH she & Jasmin are younger than I am, which shows you can learn from, and be inspired by, anyone no matter what age.

Zoe has a DVD in which she includes a makeup tutorial on her stage makeup, which she bases much of the techniques on her tranny friends, and a long time of experiences on stage.

So, of course, that's what I started to play & experiment more with from about 2011.

Here's what I came up with for Comic Con 2012 in Philly.

I used lots of Maybelline products for these looks, like their professional New York brands of eyeshadows called "Eyestudio".

Comic Con 2012 Thurs Pyrate Costume by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART

Comic Con 2012 Friday Costume by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART

I have so many of them that I depotted them from their packaging, and placed them in a custom pallet with my Covergirl & Milani eyeshadows. (I think I might have some L'Oreal in there too, even tho' I hate them.)

In case you were wondering... YES, it's true. Even tho' I HATE the color pink, for makeup, I'm rather INSANE for buying eye makeup & powders with LOTS of pink in them, as well as red, and odd colors of magenta or orange. I also have no idea why, but pink packaging will also attract my attention, and sway me to be more likely to purchase it for makeup items if they are pink. I also don't have ENOUGH pinks. Weird, huh? But, I will NEVER make my hair that color, EVER! And, I won't wear pink clothes! So, don't ask!

After Comic Con 2012, I got some more high end makeup, which I frequently use, including primers, and eyeshadows.

My 2 favorite high end brands are "Too Faced" and "Urban Decay". But, I do have 1 blush by MAC, and I also ordered an expensive imported blush from the UK called "pop beauty". "Sephora" is also good. But, I NEVER buy high end lipstick. It just seems too expensive. *shrugs*.

You don't really need expensive high end makeup, but if you could afford it, especially for doing stage makeup, it would be a good investment. Just get a good eyeshadow primer, especially the Urban Decay primer potion. Covergirl has some good primers also, but they don't last as long as Urban Decay. Urban Decay is just the best one.

Also, moisturize your face, or your skin will crease & wrinkle, and you will look aged.

That's it for high end brands. I don't have much of them... they're expensive.

I do use makeup brushes, but I purchased most of mine at CVS, Target, or WAL-MART or stuff on sale after Christmas in the mall. They work great!
And, I'm not spending $40-85 just for a makeup brush!

The ONLY way I would EVER spend giant dollars for a brush would be for oil painting fine art (or acrylic) made of sable fur/hair, because they just work better when Painting on canvases. And, I already have some of those...

But, what I've shown here isn't even HALF of all the makeup I have.  Dance, Pirates, and Karaoke made me do it!!!!

As far as any actual tutorials... I don't have any that I've ever made....

I've considered starting a YouTube channel for my character, but no decision yet...

Good grief, that sounds like so much work!

I'm sure by now, you might've been expecting something in the way of some tutorials for makeup, in the way of a video or something...

Well, I haven't produced any... I did, however, make a video years back poking fun at makeup, which I can't show due to legal issues.

There's plenty of tutorials on YouTube if you search them, tho'. 

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