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Movies for sure. All the old 80’s cult classics that were either fantasy or post apocalyptic, or even high fashion inspired. My mother also loved makeup so I often rummaged through her drawer and loved playing with bright blue and pink iridescent pigments, blue mascara and such. Further, when I started working in the theater in high school and started studying contouring and highlighting, I loved the dichotomy of transformation in a beauty sense and a character sense.
I studied painting and drawing my entire life, so my approach to textures, blending, color blocking, color theory all are anchored from a fine art point of view. It sometimes is apparent in my to approach makeup. Colors, layers, composition, and negative space are really important to me, in addition to my inspiration from film, the “mood” of my makeup is also equally important to me and usually tells a story.
The best advantage to using airbrush depends on what formula you use and for what genre you are using it for. As for beauty, I have always been a big fan of the silicone-based make up like Temptu's SB formula. It mimics skin in such a way that you can barely tell anyone is wearing foundation yet creates beautiful highlighting and contouring with ease in a way that doesn't look overworked. Not to mention that it is water resistant and flexible so will not crack or run under alternative environmental conditions. As for body painting it helps me to do things precisely and much faster. Highlighting and contouring faux fabric or objects that I've created as an illusion on the skin is so effortless with airbrush because of the gradient quality it gives with such ease. It takes a lot of practice to hold your hands still and create strokes that's look clean but it's just like riding a bike you just need to do it over and over again until you get it.
Patience! And the word “layering” should be marked on your brain in order to achieve optimum results.
It’s a collaborative team effort with the designer. I try to go into the mind of the designer and see what their creative “story” is, and where their inspiration comes from. The look should exemplify that story, and translate that mood, such that the onlooker is getting drawn in and not just focusing on the makeup, the hair, or even the clothes.
Every Time I am asked this question, I say the same thing: personally I do not consciously follow trends. I think every person’s personality is unique and the makeup they wear exemplifies that. For some that is fresh skin, with very little bright color. For some that is a bold lip and clean eye. For some that is a natural full brow. When I try to guess what’s coming down the pike, I am aware of what is dated, but try not to look at what’s “hot”... as I try to allow my creativity to come from a pure space. As the late, great Alexander Mc Queen said “I never look at other people’s work. My mind has to be completely focused on my own illusions.
Keep pushing yourself out of your own box. The moment your work starts to get stale, have an “opposite day” and explore something new.