What was the first item of makeup that you remember seeing as a child?
My parents sold Amway for a while. I’m pretty sure it was one of those self-same dinged up eyeshadow duos that got handed down to me years later. Ick.
Who did you admire as someone that you thought was a role model for beauty?
I had the classic obsession with the silver screen beauties. Theda Bara, Clara Bow, in totally different ways. Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo, Madonna in a tuxedo jacket and fishnets. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Liza Minelli in Cabaret. Elizabeth Taylor in everything.
When were you allowed to purchase or apply your own makeup?
Mum let me have a pink lipstick when I was fourteen, but the parents held out firmly until sixteen for real makeup. At which point I ran out and bought a red lipstick, black eyeliner, and red nail polish. Because what’s the point of finally doing makeup only to be low key?
What is the worst beauty product that you’ve used and hated with the heat of a thousand suns?
Probably that black eyeliner. It hurt to apply! Until I discovered softer eye pencils, I used to totally skip liner and just mess around with shadow.
What is your makeup manifesto?
I think that no one should feel that they need to wear makeup to look acceptable. Humans are diversely beautiful, both on the surface and in character. However, I feel strongly that adorning oneself with colour is a practice as old as the first handful of bright ochre or red berries that someone painted themself with. Exploring that art is powerful, and also often a lot of fun. The human face and body is the most amazing three dimensional canvas, and the mix of art and play, archetype and sensuality around self-adornment really captures my interest.
I think there’s a red lipstick out there for everyone who wants one.
What is the one product that, if you could, you would build a replicator to reproduce it and never run the risk of it leaving your beauty stash or being discontinued?
Hah! It was already discontinued. I would build a time machine and protect Urban Decay Lip Gunk in Gash from being discontinued. It was my perfect gothy red lip gloss.
Why begin a beauty blog?
It makes me sad when I hear women say, “Oh, I never learned how to be a girl.” As if the practice of wearing makeup artfully had to be learned by the Suzuki system, and missing out as a child/teen meant never learning now. Makeup art is like anything else – it takes practice and play to get good. There’s no big secret. I want to unlock some of the little secrets for people who want to learn with me.Tweet