#8 Makeup Test

16/5/12 – Appropriation of Jose Pulido’s Mexican skull prints.

Makeup and Photography by Charlotte Pridding

Original print by Jose Pulido

I do have an original copy of Jose Pulido’s print that is usually placed on my bedside table. The print features a Mexican skull that is dressed in a cap and gown, which has provided inspiration for the style of the makeup. I received the print last year as a gift from my parents as part of my graduation, which has become a source of creativity within the project.

I decided to replicate Pulido’s print through the application of makeup and face paint. To begin with I used a layer of foundation and setting powder with a thing layer of face paint of the top. The makeup and the face paint looks pale to begin with although the colour does fade after the next hour or two, which is why I am considering to use primer for the need trial.

The white base is quite difficult to achieve and it is challenging to create an even complexion. A sponge or a compact powder is useful for the base of the makeup, which will eliminate any uneven brush strokes or textures. The setting powder was beginning to crumble and I decided to use a layer of face paint, which allowed the powder to set onto the face.

I used an eye liner and black face paint for the design, which was applied with a very thin paint brush. I do struggle to paint onto my cheeks and the skin causes the design to stretch. It is much easier to paint onto the forehead and the chin where the skin stretched over the skull.

In comparison to the last makeup test, the black and white definitely has more of an impact compared to the colourful representations of the Mexican sugar skulls. I was pleased with the results although there are some areas that do need retouching with a hint of black face paint. The makeup trial invites me to question why the black and white makeup triggers a response compared to colour? The black and white makeup immediately contrasts with the base colour, which creates a very bold or striking composition.

Does the black and white makeup resemble the image of the skull through the shape or the colour? The style that I have replicated is not dark nor sinister, although the experiment does identify how colour can impact my perception. It is challenging to recognise my facial features through the black eyeliner or eye shadow in comparison to the primary and the pastel colours that I have used in the previous experimentations.

Does the colour of the makeup impact my own interpretations of the skull? It’s strange because I’ve always been attracted to the colour, the shape and the style of the Mexican sugar skulls, which have definitely influenced my own perceptions of death. For some reason I am attracted to the black and white makeup compared to the pastel or primary colours that I have already used.

Never-less I have enjoyed creating colourful or illustrative depiction’s of the Mexican sugar skulls through the makeup and the face paint. I remember feeling quite shocked or overwhelmed with the results from the black and white makeup. I suppose it all depends on the shape, the colour and the style of the makeup as well as my own emotions during that particular time.


I’m not to sure why I am attracted to the black white makeup more than the colour, although it must depend on the style or the design. I must admit that the black and white is quite dark or sinister compared to the colour, which may provide the reason why I respond to the black and white. This particular style is not morbid or grotesque, which may indicate that the lighting, the angle of the camera and the outfits may intensify the makeup.

The light was quite dark, which did cause the photographs to appear quite blurry, although I did find at least three photographs that were high in quality. I am interested in my own responses to the makeup and I intend to practise with different styles or representations.


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