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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Slightly Hyperventillating

We just got this auction catalog in the mail.
I really don't collect things, but if I did, I'd (try to) own some of these incredible photographs:

Norma Shearer

Clara Bow
(okay, now I am crying a little bit)


(I'm just putting it out there, but my birthday is in November.)

I have to stop looking at these photos now. I'm getting all shaky.


PS. One of my favorite things to do is study the makeup of these gorgeous women. It's fun to recreate the styles and see how you do. You might just wake up one morning and decide you want Clara Bow's lips or Joan Crawford's smoky eyes. (I do.)

Another good resource for experimenting and learning more about makeup artistry are the books of the late, great Kevyn Aucoin. His books, especially Making Faces and Face Forward, are wonderful for reference.


UPDATE, 6:18p.m.: When makeup artists get bored and inspired, and we have no one to practice on except for ourselves.


Relyn July 5, 2008 at 4:44 PM  

Oh my! But, how would you pick? They are all so amazing. I guess I would be able to narrow it down to Carole Lombard or Joan Crawford. I love that picture of Joan because I don't usually find her attractive. Here she is flat out beautiful. I love the glam of it all. Which one would you choose?

tangobaby July 5, 2008 at 5:13 PM  

I would have to own ALL of them, silly girl! These were just my first picks.

If I'm going to daydream, I'm going to do it BIG.


I agree with you about the Joan Crawford. I thought this photo was exceptional. It's the only one where her makeup is like this.

Anonymous July 5, 2008 at 5:52 PM  

Being as that I have Bette Davis/Joan Crawford eyes, I'd love to try that make up some day.

And Norma Shearer's hair in the first photo. If it comes back curly.

Then I'm going to have you take glamorous black and white photos of me :-)

tangobaby July 5, 2008 at 6:20 PM  

Let's do it! I'm worthless with hair but I'm sure I can pull off that great makeup. I'm ready when you are!


I got so crazy after looking at these photos that I just relandscaped my eyebrows and did my makeup all fancy and took some photos of my eye (that seems to be all I'm good for) while waiting for The Boy to quit working for the day.

I put everything in black & white and pretended I was George Hurrell Jr.

See what you think.


La Tanguera July 5, 2008 at 9:28 PM  

Dear TB-

Please tell me your secret: How do you do this?????

You have the most amazing eye. All your photos --yours or others'--are always impeccable in taste, and so beautiful, and sophisticated.

Thanks. Seriously.


Christina July 6, 2008 at 10:39 AM  

Kevin Aucoin was one in a gazillion! I will cherish his books and the memory of his talents. When he was on Oprah I was in the city that day, just hoping...

He was the best!

julochka July 6, 2008 at 1:09 PM  

those are indeed magical photographs. i never thought about actually doing their makeup. ok, that's not true, i went through a marilyn period in the early 90s, but really..why aren't there photographs like that anymore? bring back the old cameras, i say!!!

paris parfait July 7, 2008 at 1:07 AM  

Yes, Kevyn Aucoin was a genius. Such astonishing photographs. They remind me that even those who aren't necessarily conventionally beautiful can become dazzling with the aid of hair and makeup! :) xoxox

tangobaby July 7, 2008 at 10:35 AM  

Hi La Tanguera,

Thank you so much for the gushing praise. I should probably tell you that most photos are "happy accidents." It's really hard for me to tell what will turn out to be good and what won't, but I can say that having a computer to play with the photos makes a big difference.

I take all the photos in color, but then some look really great in black and white instead.

I will have to say that I know a lot more about makeup than I do about photography!


Hi Christina,

Kevyn was so talented, but he also seemed like such a wonderful guy. I've been lucky to work with some very talented makeup artists who taught me a lot and it's the one's who are the best that are also the most generous.

At least he left volumes of work behind for us to enjoy and learn from.

Hi julochka,

I think those silver gelatin prints (which seem to age so gracefully) have a deeper quality to them than the digital photos we see today. I don't know enough about photography to explain that well, but obviously those camera and the process of development created a certain feel for things we can't do now with more modern technology.

There is a richness to them that is very beautiful.

Hi paris parfait,

Everyone is beautiful, in their own way. I just think Kevyn had a way of demonstrating that to a large number of people through his art. He made makeup artistry something to admire and he also made it very real.