for Frida

My first real taste of Mexico came when I was about 5 years old and our neighbor’s relative came to visit us from Puebla.  She brought me a sugar skull from the Dia De Muertos celebrations.  It was bright white and painted with flowery purple embellishments.  Despite my youthful sweet tooth, I was much more interested in preserving it as long as possible until it finally crumbled to pieces.  This gift was the beginning of my curiosity and appreciation of the way their culture of honors and celebrates the dead.

I remember the first time that I saw the Frida Kahlo art book that my dad had just purchased, and I explored it with a childlike curiosity wondering about the colorful woman with the exaggerated unibrow and her intense and emotional portraiture.  It was not a beauty that I was able to fully understand at such a young age, but I know the images certainly left an impression on me as they were quite unlike anything else I had ever seen.  Over time, my emotional response and appreciation for her colorful embellishments of her tragic life flourished, and I often revisited that book through the years. I eventually made a pilgrimage to her home, La Casa Azul, in Mexico City.  It was a journey devoted through and through to her lush, bold color palette, and I was inspired to wear the most colorful clothes I could find.  I wore a bold rust and teal dress with a petticoat to her house and bought bright scarves from the store there.  Me and my best friend delighted in posing in our very Frida-esque ensembles in her garden.

Taking these two great inspirations and combining them, I decided to celebrate Frida’s colorful symbolism and passionate lifestyle by dressing as her in sugar skull style with petal flourishes and bones bursting into bloom.

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zombify

Something I’ve been slowly getting really interested in is experimenting with makeup in more extreme ways.  This experimentation started to gain some depth last Halloween when I was using every chance I could get to try something outside of the norm.  This zombie look was for a zombie walk where a very large group of people get together and walk in a big zombie mob through the city.  It’s a fantastic idea and I was looking forward to doing my own take on zombification.  The creepy part was when the group disbanded and I ended up with my friend also in zombie makeup in the middle of the city.  Suddenly, outside of the group and by ourselves, we were a bit more conspicuous.  A few people seriously thought we’d just wandered off from an accident.  That might have been the most amusing part of the day.

For my makeup, I wanted to go for more of a freshly dead zombie with lots of crusty blood and sunken in features.  I ended up seeing my existing makeup differently.  I purchased some Ben Nye white cake makeup and the monster palette for the base, but I used a lot of matte eyeshadows, random eye pencils, and lots of various everyday makeup I have accumulated to flesh out the look.  I dusted off this really old Alice costume from American McGee’s Alice video game that I’ve had probably for about 10 years and added it into the mix.  It was somewhat convenient since I’d already put some blood stains on it years ago.

For the record, I wasn’t laying on anyone’s grave.  Those were oddly positioned on an elevated platform that happened to be the perfect height for a background.

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lacquer & watercolor: cattitude and chopsticking

Another color I have always really liked is OPI’s Chopsticking to  my Story from their spring 2010 Hong Kong collection.  It’s a bold rusty orange that treads the line between being richly saturated and somehow subdued enough to be warm and sophisticated and not overly vivid like orange has a tendency to be.  I feel a broad spectrum of colors from this shade and felt as if it is able to leak rusty brown that fades into yellow hues onto the paper.

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lacquer & watercolor: angora muse

In the process of trying to come with some new ideas for my site header, I was experimenting with the idea of combining my love of nail lacquer and watercolor.  I was considering using the polish itself to paint with and combine the viscous shiny lacquer with the thin translucencies of watercolor, but I ended up simply being inspired by the color of the polish itself and wanted to express the color through a mix of watercolor drips.

This left me with a combination of polish swatches and paint to share with you.  I selected a few of my more favorite cream finishes from my collection that I thought went well together.

First is Barielle’s Aura Angora from their 2010 fall The Style in Argyle collection.  It’s a golden mustard with hints of burnt rusty brown to it.  It’s one of those colors I don’t think is explored enough in the nail polish world.  I find a great brown-toned muted yellow like this can be very chic while being subdued and neutral.  I’d happily pair this color with many other colors which is why I chose it for this exercise.

It’s a shame that my fingers are showing up so pink as this color works well with my light olive coloring, but I think I was pressing my finger too hard against the paper to take a picture.  Oops.  Also, this polish is fully glossy despite the illusion of a matte tip.  That’s just an interesting side effect of reflecting the very textured matte paper.

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coral & turquoise

I realize crackle polishes have long since snuck their way back into popularity and are already wiggling their way out for new trends, so we’re not going to discuss how old these pictures are.  On the other hand, I’m always going to love this color combination and these pictures may revitalize my joy in creating crackle color combos.

One of the few crackle polishes I broke down and purchased was China Glaze’s Crushed Candy.  I figured a pale turquoise blue color would look interesting with a variety of colors.  It is subdued enough that it will pair well with other soft colors or more happily pop with bright or darker colors.

The first time I wore it, I paired it over OPI’s Color So Hot it Berns, a bright warm one-coater red that reminds me of the color of certain coral.  I’ve always loved a pale, turquoise-tinged blue with a bright orange-toned red since they are both bright but in different ways so that they highlight each other.  When I was making jewelry more frequently, I often gravitated to turquoise with coral or amber, and that’s what came to mind when I decided to match these colors up in the way of nail polish.  The crackle did its thing perfectly, and I ended up really enjoying the accents of chartreuse and ruddy brownish red of the plants I happened to find outside.  I was additionally amused by the similar naturally cracked pattern of the reddish leaves as well.

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Femme Couture Lip Luster in Angel Kisses Swatches & Thoughts

I picked up Femme Couture Lip Luster in Angel Kisses on clearance and Sally’s about a month ago for $3.99 and it seems that this as well as other colors in the line are still available online here and in some store locations.  What was interesting enough for me to pick this up is that it’s a flakie lip gloss, and who doesn’t enjoy looking at flakies?

Yet, flakies on lips?  Does that read as well as on nails?

Angel Kisses is 0.11 oz of clear gloss base full of glitter and sprinkled with flakies with a brush wand applicator.

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