Going back to (Old)School

Joe Blasco, Ben Nye, Visiora, Kryolan and Mehron: these are the brands that take me back to the early nineties, when I started out as a film and television makeup artist. Just like me, they're still around. And although most of the makeup artists who are my peers in this millenium, are M.A.C. babies, I still feel that if you don't know those four brands, then you really don't know makeup. Snobbery or it what you will.
Screenface in the UK sells these for GBP29,95. Add on taxes and delivery, it can be costly.  But for years this was the makeup to be found in every makeup trailer... when budget allows, still is.

Don't misunderstand: I adore some of the newer kids on the block, and some of them have been around for quite some time. M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown are perfectly positioned for the HD revolution. But it really didn't start there. Before HD we had Digicam, and Beta, and oh can you remember film???!! I've been through all of it, and as much as the newer HD formats play into my makeup philosophy of less is more, I miss the artisan feel of oldschool make-up application.
Kim Kardashian's dad sent her to a Joe Blasco makeup course when she was 14. Clever dad! 

So I'm on a mission to find some updated versions of oldschool practices. Here are some of my favourites:

Greasepaint: We still use it today, in its much reformed formulations. Sadly, it is known primarily for it's durability in the domain of clowns. Available in a wide variety of colours, greasepaint is a favourite option for body painting. Who am I kidding....I'm not really that in love with this oily foundation, but it is great for those glossy, sweaty, greasy make-up looks that might work in some edgy editorial.

The Pan-cake: Pan-cake makeup is as oldschool as it gets in my world. Developed by Max Factor in the 30s, pan-cake (Panchromatic makeup) became an industry favourite embraced by the stars and studio makeup departments. But things could have looked a lot different had Elizabeth Arden's Nuchromatic make-up won more support. This lack of support led to Ms Arden shutting down her Stage and Screen division. But don't feel too bad for her... she's still a household name! What I loved about the pan-cake makeup that I used, primarily from Kryolan, was the gorgeous sheer quality that it had. And I loved the application with a damp sea sponge. Nowadays we have some phenomenal duo-fibre brushes that blend to perfection; my favourite being the bronzing gel brush from Sensai. But old-school sea sponges will always have a place in my heart.
Here are a few modern day "pan-cakes" I'd like to revisit: Max Factor has one that looks divine, but is it in SA? It would be nice to revisit Kryolan and Mehron to see their latest versions of good old pan-cake. I read some rave reviews for Mehron's Starblend, which I'm certain I could obtain through local distributors. Try Stage Creations and Masque in Cape Town. If they don't have you can ask them to order.

The Block Mascara: Yes, this was how we did it. I still think this was the most hygienic way. I could clean and sterilize both the brush and product, and would not have to contaminate the planet with tons of spoolies! I'd love to go back to this...if only it wore as well and as long, and as waterproof as my Sensai mascaras.
I think out of all this would be the product I long for most. Oh and the lash brush that came with it; yes, that I miss.
Kryolan's block what I yearn for.
This could be a very long post... but let's save some for later, shall we?!?  As much as make-up products are vital to my trade, it is the range of skill that I possess that defines my artistry. So, even though products get better, faster and easier to use, my history of experience puts me in a position to work fearlessly and explore the depth and breadth of my own creativity. And. as with all modern programs, I'm always ready for the next update!

No comments: