Saturday, June 25, 2011

Makeup brushes you will love.

I just got back from the IMATS (International Makeup Artist Trade Show) in L.A.. It's packed with all sorts of wonderful makeup products, retailers and educators. I always pick up a few things at my favorite retailers like Naimies, Frends, Nigels and Alcone. You can get a good trade show price and save some money, see people and have fun. There are also a lot of companies selling brushes. But I pass right by them on my way to one very special brush maker. It's Hakuhodo. An amazing company with some of the greatest brushes I've ever used.

The Hakuhodo Company is located in Kumano Japan. A town renowned for having manufactured Japanese calligraphy brushes for about 200 years. Hakuhodo is one of 100 brush companies in Kumano that produce 80% of all the brushes made in Japan.
Each brush is hand made. The hairs are bundled in such a way as to create the desired shape so the tips of the hairs aren't cut. The natural tapering of each hair is maintained. Each type of brush is made with specific animal hairs to get the perfect desired effect from eye shadow application to shading. By the way, the company claims that they do not harm the animals to make the brushes.
They have different brush series from their highest end to their basic more reasonable priced brushes. You can go to their web site for details on the different types, prices and uses.
Today the brush addict (me) picked up 4 new Hakuhodo Brushes. I'm really excited and I want to tell you about them!
The 200 Series Powder Brush pointed. Pointed for precise application around the eyes and nose but really soft and loose for overall powdering.

The G Series Blush Brush L angled. Dense and soft at the same time. I'll be using it to shade and contour as well as for applying blush. Can't wait to try it.
The Kakuhodo Basic Series Highlight Brush round. I actually have a couple of these already and I love them. I do use it to highlight but I love it for all over base color on the eye lid and also for a medium density eye contour brush. I've even used it to powder around the nose and under the eyes. I really dig this brush, can you tell?
Last but not least I got the Kokutan Series Eye Shadow Brush T. It's pretty cool. It's round and pointed, soft and dense. Perfect for contouring the eye and for a smokey look. 

If you don't have any of Hakuhodo's brushes, treat yourself. They really are fantastic!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Makeup Macgyver. "Challenge One". What would you do?

Ok, Ask yourself "What would I do?"
The script calls for the bad guy to be dunked into a barrel of acid. The director asks that since the man is only in there briefly that his skin needs to be intact but bubbly when he surfaces. What would you do/use to create the bubbly sizzling effect on the actors skin?

This scenerio actually played out on a film we shot in Florida called Palmetto. I had the weekend to come up with a solution for the scene on monday. I went to a Target and grabbed everything I thought might fizz. I found various types of bubble bath but none did the trick. It would have looked great if my intention was for him to look clean.

Next I got it in my head that the fizz powder in Zotz candy would work. You know, the candy that supposedly killed Mikey from the Life commercials. I called a candy manufacturer in a nearby town (yes really) and the owner was nice enough to open the doors for me on a saturday. I quickly learned apon cracking open a Zotz that there is actually very little fizz powder in the candy. It would have taken a truck load to get the desired effect. As a side note I also tried Pop Rocks to no avail.
Zotz and Pop Rocks

I went to sleep on saturday night wondering what it would feel like to be fired when I told the director he wasn't going to get his sizzling skin. I woke up on Sunday morning with a song in my head.
"Plop plop fizz fizz. Oh what a relief it is!"
"Alka Seltzer!!!! Yes!!!" I thought. So i got a bunch of Alka Seltzer & ground it up in a mixer, spread a bunch of it over my arm as a test and poured water on it. There were bubbles. There was sizzle. It worked. I had a viable solution that I could show the director. I had Makeup MacGyvered it!
Ground up Alka Seltzer to create acid burn sizzle effect

Stand by for more Makeup MacGyver challenges....

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Terminator Salvation and Sunscreen. A match made in hell.

I wanted to talk about the importance of sun protection and I could go into the damage sun can cause but this blog is light and happy mostly & I don't want to get too intense. You know you need to wear sun screen and why. I was thinking about times on set when the elements were at their strongest and Terminator Salvation came to mind.
I thought it would be fun to show you some behind the scenes shots from that film. Mostly to show you how ridiculously hot and dusty it was and to drive home how important sun protection is. This shot is of some of the crew and cast on a typical day shooting in the desert in Albuquerque New Mexico!
Cast & Crew on set of Terminator Salvation




This next set of shots include one of me being dramatic. You can tell by my crazy outfit that the weather was shifting from storming to blazing hot. The other shots are of Christian Bale's first try on the MotoTerminator with McG the director looking on. It was easily 100 degrees in the shade that day. Plus some shots of my friends in the makeup and hair department on set. The skeleton is a grip who didn't listen to me and wear sunscreen.
Cast & Crew on set of Terminator Salvation
Ok, so you get it. It was hot as hell.  And we tried our best to protect ourselves with hats and sunglasses but we also used a lot of sun screen. The following are a few of my favorite sun protection products.

The first is Nuetrogena's Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sun Block. It works wonderfully under makeup. It's waterproof, sweatproof, non-comedogenic (won't clog pores) oil & paba free. It's really lightweight and has a non-shiny finish. Comes in a wide range of SPF's up to 100. 
Nuetrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sun Block
I also found a couple of really great powder sunscreens. I found them because I needed to solve a problem. When we shoot a day exterior scene we are outside for sometimes 12 hours. Sunscreen has to be re-applied every few hours to be at it's most effective. Well, you really can't put a cream sunscreen over makeup because it will mess it up. So I found a couple powder sunscreens I really like. 
Colorscience Sunforgettable is a weightless, fragrance free powder that is very water resistant. It comes in 3 colors. All clear, Perfectly Clear for light to med skin tones and Almost Clear for med to dark skin tones. They say it's best for the face and decollete. It comes in a variety of package styles and SPF's. 
I love that it comes in a trail size shaker container too because I put one in every actor bag to take to the set and it doesn't take up a lot of space.
ColorScience Sunforgettable
I'm also a big fan of Peter Thomas Roth's Instant Mineral SPF. It comes in a variety of SPF's. It has Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide for UVA/UVB protection. Vitamins A, C & E, anti-oxidants to protect against free radicals. Willow Bark extract, a natural source of salicylic acid to enhance cell turn over to improve the appearance of photo-aged skin. Corn starch & silica to absorb oil. It comes in one neutral transparent tone in a Brush on applicator package. 
Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF
Bottom line. Protect your skin. It only takes a minute and your future self will thank you! :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

QUICK TIP: Matte Bronzer

We used these two matte bronzers on almost everyone in "Wanderlust". I needed the characters to look naturally tan but most bronzers have mica in them which sparkles. Don't get me wrong, I love shimmer but its not always the right thing for the situation. The film hasn't come out yet but I'll post pictures as soon as it does. 
Tarte Park Avenue Princess. Matte waterproof mineral bronzing powder. 

Bronze Lights. Comes in 2 tones. Sunkissed matte and Suntan matte


Thursday, June 2, 2011

"What tattoo? I don't know what you're talking about."

I think tattoos are cool, artistic, fun and expressive. But they are a pain in the ass to cover.
Since tattoos have only been popular to the masses for the last 20 yrs or so most characters in film or television shows that takes place before that time have to be tattoo free. Even in shows or films set in modern time not all characters would wear tattoos. For instance if the character is a girl who grew up in a monastery the actress playing her can't have a dragon tattooed across her lower back. 

Even if you're not a makeup artist you may have to go on an interview or meet your guys parents and you might want to keep that tat under wraps (for now). 

I've found a combination of products and application techniques that cover tattoos well. This is one way. 

I start with DermaBlend Leg and Body Primer. Comes in light and tan. Apply a decent coat of it onto the tattoo using the stick foundation applicator. Blend the edges with a brush or your fingers. 
DermaBlend Leg and Body Primer

Next if the tattoo is black or blue I apply Kryolan DermaColor D30 (orange) sparingly to help color correct. Use the stipple technique* with your finger or a sponge.
Then I apply DermaColor Leg and Body Cover. It comes in 14 shades from Ivory to Dark. Sometimes it is helpful to use a couple of colors to get the exact shade you want. 
It's best to apply with the stipple technique* with a sponge or your fingers.
DermaBlend Leg and Body Cover
 Allow to dry 3 to 5 minutes before applying another coat if needed.                                                        
 Dry fully 5 to 10 minutes then add setting powder. 
DermaBlend Setting Powder

Ben Nye Final Seal
If you or the character is going to get wet, say in a rain storm, I suggest using a sealer. I like Ben Nye's Final Seal. It has a minty fragrance which I find odd but as long as you don't mistake it for mouth wash, it's a great sealer. 

*Stipple Technique. Apply product in an up/down motion