17/7/12 – DIY Black and White Sugar Skull with Makeup
I have used at least three to four eyeliner in the past month for these particular experimentations. I decided to buy more makeup from the chemist and I do find the eye liners must easier to use compared to the original eye pencils, which need to be sharpened every few minutes. The eye pencil does tend to crumble especially on top of the setting powder, although the eye liner is efficient for the basic outline of the skull.
The eye liner also has the tendency to crumble slightly, although the eye liners are easier to use compared to the pencils. I’m still trying to create a white base, although the powder does tend to fade away after a certain period of time. I do have good quality foundation for the photo shoot although there is only a small amount of it, which I wouldn’t want to use just for the experiments. I bought a cheaper foundation, although the setting powder doesn’t quite work with the colour that I have chosen.
I also applied black eye shadow in the eye sockets and I applied a layer of black lipstick around the edges. The lipstick actually sticks the eyebrows, which is quite efficient and the lipstick actually smudges into the eye shadow, which also creates an interesting texture. The lipstick also causes the makeup to set and I’m actually surprised how efficient one cheap lipstick can be. I also used the black eye shadow to add tone and depth to the base of the makeup with a small brush.
I used a white liquid eye shadow and a normally white shadow for the teeth, which are quite elongated for some odd reason. I quickly created a design this morning and I always tend to create the Mexican sugar skulls through the black and white makeup. I suppose I’ve had more experience with the black and white makeup compared to the primary or the pastel colours that I have also used for recent experimentations.
I did take the photographs in the morning and afternoon, although the light did provide a radiant glow to the style of the makeup. The mornings and the evenings appear to be the best time to take photographs, although I must admit that anything after 4 or 5pm in the afternoon becomes quite dark for the photographs.
Today I began to question why there are so many different artists who have explored the Mexican sugar skulls through the application of makeup and face paint. According to Margo De Mello, face painting is a popular activity within the Day of the Dead celebration, which eliminates the border between life and death. Does face paint create a mask, which establishes a closer connection to death?
I’m not entirely sure at this particular stage of the project, although I do not necessarily think about death when I have the makeup on my face. All I see is an image or a representations of a skull, that replicates current trends or styles within the consumer culture. The makeup does provide an insight for my own skull or bodily being and it becomes quite a strange feeling when I am trying to replicate a skull that I cannot see in real life.
For me, replicating the Mexican sugar skulls portrays my fascination for the Mexican Day of the Dead culture that I did even know about until last year. The black and white makeup may initiate the strong composition between life and death, although the makeup immediately gravitates my attention to the shape or the colour of the skull that I have appropriated. Would my observations exemplify how the Mexican sugar skulls have been transformed into a popular icon or trend?