Saturday 5th March 2016
Over the weekend I volunteered to design the makeup for St Christopher’s school mini production of the musical “Hair”. The show is set in the 1960’s and revolves around the “hippie” movement involved in protesting the Vietnam war and nuclear disarmament. The musical itself opened on Broadway in 1968 to rave reviews, being at the forefront of controversial musicals as the show includes, drug use, nudity and sexual scenes. What brings the musical to life is the bright colours and patterns we regularly associate with “hippie” culture. I tried to recreate this in my design, opting got paint wings below the eye that extended to the end of the eyebrow to signify the hippies alleged “free spirit” from the sociatal pressures of the time.
I initially planned to use corresponding colours like purple and pink, but thought it would be quite interesting to mix them up to suit each actors outfit, for example using blue and yellow with a white dress with blue trim.
Amelia (pictured above) played Sheila in Hair, a loving leader figure of the hippie tribe, determined to better things for women everywhere. I wanted the colour to reflect her personality (as well as her costume) using cool tones such as yellow and a teal blue, thoroughly blended together to create a bright and serene sense of calm about her. These colours contrasted wonderfully with the blossom pink blush, creating a soft rainbow of colour on her face. She too had the painted wings under the eyes, but the strokes curved into spirals to compliment her kinder and softer personality. The pink blush was applied to the apples of the cheeks in a circular motion and with a heavy hand to echo the beauty trends of the 60’s. Lips were kept bare as that was another feature of makeup design in the 60’s as well as the lack of sculpting on the cheeks.
Although not a named character Bella (pictured above) sung the famous song “Aquarius” at the beginning of the piece. The song encompasses the feeling of light and hope, at the forefront of the Hippie rebellion, and so I wanted to reflect the rebellious nature of the song in her makeup. I found that using face paint (in this case pink) as an eye base was super effective as I was working with cheap eyeshadows that would cling to her eyelids. This also made the eyeshadows easier to blend, which was advantages as I was working with four different shades of purple and pink. Even though sculpting the face wasn’t prominent in the 60’s and in the original shows makeup design (due to the “natural” theme in the show) I took the pink eyeshadow into the bridge of the nose to make her face a look a bit thinner and more angular. I added white dots in a swirly pattern over the face again to suggest the drug trips that these characters frequent throughout the show.
Overall I was very pleased with the colours and the the way all the eye makeup turned out. I struggled with the lines under the eyes as I was working with a thin eyeliner brush that proved too thin to create one smooth line under the eyes, which was my aim. However, I made the line as thick and as pigmented as I could, going over it repeatedly to achieve a “thicker” effect. Next time I try working with fuller lines I hope to acquire a thicker brush and a less watery face paint, as both proved difficult to master.
Thanks for reading,