Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Aztec Beauty: Creating the Look

Hello lovely's! So, this is the equivalent of a behind the scene's video that I would've made for YouTube. But first, a quick little update into "Audfaced News" in general. I haven't been able to post videos for awhile but trust me when I say ... I have spent the past 3 weeks of August filming at least 3 videos a week or more and the past 5-7 months planning every single video I've put together this summer. Gah!

SO :) I am excited for Halloween because for once I'm ready (in terms of what I've filmed already) so from this point on, it's just a matter of how fast and efficiently I can edit them and release them week by week in October. It's a lot of work but, I've really put all my money, time and effort literally into these projects of mine. I didn't have any time for them during school because all my focus was on my zombie film and school and now ... all my focus was on this :) I'm about to start an intense semester at my first year in art school but, it's a huge deal to me to at least have all my tutorials filmed and cozy on my small hard drive. That means, no more lugging around heavy backdrops, costumes, messy shedding wigs, multiple contact lenses, no more trial makeup at 2 AM in the morning, showers in the middle of the day to get of all the heavy makeup I filmed in a tutorial, taking off my nail polish & reapplying a different color at 12 AM to match it for tomorrow's tutorial nor washing all my makeup brushes every single night that I film something *deep breaths* Okay ... I love making makeup videos, no doubt about that or I wouldn't work so hard but ... me cramming the filming of over 10 videos into 2.5 weeks in my dwindling last days of summer has gotten a bit tiring ^^;; And I'm just a little ready for some relaxation and to not have to rush to film in good lighting and carrying around all that baggage. It's a lot easier to sit in sweatpants, no makeup and just ... edit ... with a nice cup of thai iced tea :) Ah, post production. Blissful, but still demanding in it's own way.

Now ... onto my Aztec look!

Here's how the collaboration came about -- originally, I had intended to make a colorful "Pride Inspired" look because the San Francisco Pride Festival was around the corner and I thought it'd be super cool to do a really wild, rainbow look to support genderless love. I asked Klaire if she'd like to make a Pride Inspired look with me and unfortunately, she was too busy to create another look at that time. And you know Klaire -- her work ethic is constant and very serious! I don't know how she does it but she manages to crank out videos at a steady pace, and immensely quality videos in all types of areas. Anyway, as an alternative she offered me to do a collaboration with an Aztec Inspired look. At first I was a bit stubbed on what to do but I knew I definitely would take any chance to work alongside her --- I had been watching her videos before I even had a channel of my own! So, a bit sheepish, I asked her what kind of look she was really going for so that we could maybe match at least a little because all I could think of at the time was throwing a feather headdress on and war paint. (That's still close to what I ended up doing heh...) She sent me the concept sketch of her look -- it was simple and elegant and it took a steady hand to create.

I definitely didn't want to rip off her look, but seeing what she was going for somehow gave me an idea of the direction I wanted to go for.

So, I started reading up on the Aztecs. I scavenged Google and Bing for any kinds of pictures, typing in all kinds of different keywords. I read wikipedia pages about the Aztecs and a ton of other random websites.

At the time that I made this, I was working as a costume character at a theme park for my summer job. What I would do is print all my favorite reference/inspiration pictures out on paper, put it in a folder with some blank sheets of white paper & take it to work. We had some down time at my job (in between shows/walk-arounds) so ... I would sit backstage with colored pencils and a pen and I'd stare at my inspiration pictures then draw a concept sketch.

Here are some of the Aztec inspiration pictures:

Notice the lines? :)

Okay ... this man is beautiful.

LOL I would LOVE to do a photoshoot of this look ... but i wonder how heavy that thing is.

Notice the face paint!

Very vivid colors -- notice how yellow, red and green are very commonly used colors.

Hmm and some people thought I glued waay too many things to my face with the feathers and pendants and lines ... now, can you see why I did that? x) If all things in the world were reasonably obtainable, I would have LOVED to have a giant feather headdress with a skull in the top center but ... honestly I DID (i did) check on Ebay and those things cost $100 and over hahaha ... and as awesome as that'd be ... I don't know what uses I'd be able to find for it after filming this. So, I glued feathers ... to my face.

Here's another large amount of my inspiration. Asahi (aka Manwomanfilm on YouTube) is one of my most favorite makeup gurus and one of my especially adored videos of hers is her "Makeup Ethnic" look. I love the music, the presenetation and especially how she accessorized. Can you tell I pulled a lot of inspiration from her? She's a lot neater than me hahaha :) I'm an explosion of stuff when I accessorize but she does it so gracefully and makes it look so easy!

Anyway, here's the exact concept sketch I came up with:

Of course, not all things turn out as planned in art pieces, ever, so you can probably spot a few things that didn't end up happening. I actually never got the chance to do a trial session for this look, so when I filmed it, it was the first time I was applying this makeup. The green triangles and line art was definitely messier than I had intended. I know that's one of my weak spots -- I don't have a steady hand and when it comes to drawing on my face, I usually have some trouble and it's even harder while trying to see what you're doing through a camera screen.

The day of filming I couldn't find any of my feathers that I had used from my Lady Rufio look so I ended up ripping and cutting off some pieces from large feather things I bought from Michael's and one fell off a feather-masquerade mask that I had lying around my room. Oh and a peacock feather ... it was also from a giant Peacock Feather Stem from Michael's ... or maybe it was from one of my earrings that broke. It was a mess. I really wonder where my packet of feathers went ...  ANYWAY. If there's one thing a lot of people probably don't see in my videos, it's how chaotic and messy I am when I set up. I try to be neat but ... it's always chaotic. Always. I intend to work on that as I grow ... You should see my bathroom/room after I film a look. Stuff if everywhere! Then afterwards I have to wash my face, take off all the accessories, take down the backdrop, fold it, put it back where I got it, put all my makeup items back, change into normal clothes, write down all the materials I used then plug my camera into my laptop and import the files into iMovie. Then later at night, if I'm being good and productive, I wash my all the brushes that I used & set them out to dry.

As you can see it was also supposed to be a very symmetrical look, but ... I ended up going asymmetrical due to the amount of feathers I had, and I realized that if I glued feathers on both sides, it'd completely defeat the purpose of all the eyeshadow I had applied prior.

Anyway, finding music online for the video was a bit difficult, especially when you start off by not knowing a single name of a song or artist that fits what you're going for. But somehow, I end up finding something ... and that song was named after the Babylonians. Not very Aztec-like but ... I think the song works if you don't go hunting for the song name (A number of people went hunting for the song name.)

I don't think it's one of my best pieces of work, but I'm really just happy I was able to do another culture-inspired makeup look with some educational backing AND collaborate with, goodness, one of my most favorite makeup gurus, Klaire de Lys.

So ... that's how this video came about :) I'll finish it off with some final pictures of my look and one of Klaire's. Enjoy!

PS - The vase is from my mom's living room display ... she asked me why I was running around with it later in the day :P

Completed Pictures of Klaire & Me

"Aztec Beauty" by Audfaced

"Aztec Beauty" by Audfaced

"Aztec Queen" by Klaire de Lys
Watch my completed video here:


My-My said...

You incorporated all the important details perfectly, and executed the work wonderfully. Lucky Lucky Lucky! you got to collaborate with Klaire. Though you and Klaire have a different approach to the look, there's definite representation of whose work is whose. Like Tim Burton, you'll always know which are his movies. Your style will be known throughout youtube ;P. I find it respectful that you can work with others and still stick to your guns. You are a true artist. Keep up the amazing work. Can't wait to see more posts.

Math Resources said...

Lovely pictures and awesome photography.

Miss Dillinger said...

I loved this tutorial <3

Winter said...

I love all of your makeup tutorials, they are so detailed and amazing. I hope I can do makeup as well as you one day!
Thank you for being awesome!

Sharon said...

Wow that is gorgeous! you have really good makeup and photography skills!
i loved all your inspiration pictures too

Anonymous said...

girl your azteca thing is so sexy,...just wish you knew about the cultura to really represent. You did a really good job though and I'm curious about what youre doing now.