All posts tagged insects

Face Off Season 8 Episode 7: Queens of the Insect World

Published February 26, 2015 by vfdpixie

With 10 artists left, this week they went straight into a Foundation Challenge that would grant the winner immunity.  At the lab, McKenzie had some elaborate and crazy hats for them to choose from.  They had to create a character inspired by the hat and their guest judge was Lois Burrell, who had filled in for Ve last season.  She wore a cute hat herself, and told them that a hat compliments the makeup as well as the character.  She would be looking for technique, skill and most of all, a clean makeup.

The artists all did a great job, but the winner was Emily who chose a large jewelled hat that looked like an art deco chandelier.  Her character was an asymmetrical goddess that had a dark and light side.  Lois liked the huge amount of work and colour transition, and thought that Emily understood colour, form and shape.

For the Spotlight Challenge, they headed out to the Canyon Ranch where shows like The Office and True Blood were filmed.  This was a unique challenge:  the artists had to create an insect queen and her companion BUT their lab was the outdoors.  Working in teams of two, they had to choose a vibrantly coloured insect and their staged habitat, and create their characters outside.  Oh, and the other catch was to do this with nude male and female models because it was a body painting challenge.  Yikes!!  I personally have never done body painting in my makeup artist career, the closest being bronzing a bikini model before a photo shoot, so I felt for the artists, who had also never done body painting either.  I have friends who do it and it does not look easy.  The mentor for this challenge was season 2’s Nix Herrera, who is a body painting expert.  His advice was to use the whole body as a canvas, and have fun with colours.  The judges would be relying on photos of these creations for the reveal stage, so a lot was riding on proper positioning of the models. They paired up and hoped for the best!

Stephanie and Darla picked the Jewel Beetle.  Their initial concept was to create an insect queen and use the male model as a burnt log.  Coach Laura had to help them with this concept because the camouflage makeup ended up being really difficult.  They went with the male model as the queen’s wings, positioning him behind her.  Darla painted the wings and Nix advised her to make the makeup pop with iridescent powders.  They worried that the male wasn’t showing enough and the rush for time.  The final makeup was problematic.  I thought the posing of the female model was not flattering but the colours were nice.  Ve thought the models breasts were too front and center, and it made the character look too human.  She also thought the wings looked like they were coming out of the model’s neck instead of her back.  Glenn thought the wing paint was superb, but they all thought the second model wasn’t used enough.  They ended up safe.

Logan and Julian created their own version of a Cuckoo Wasp.  Logan was especially freaked out because of the body painting, but soldiered on.  They decided to use the male model as the thorax of the wasp, placing the models butt to butt after Laura recommends that they think out the concept.  Nix told them to create more depth, and their final makeup was really cool!  The judges thought it was a clever use of the second model, and liked all the iridescence and highlights that created a false light source.  Neville thought they made smart, unconventional  choices with the use of the models.   They were in the top looks.

Kelly and Ben worked on the European Hornet.  Kelly wanted to do similar positioning of models, with the male as the thorax, but Ben had other ideas.  He wanted to do a camouflage makeup that would blend the male model into the landscape.  Coach Anthony was concerned this was a boring makeup and told them to change it up to create more interest.  Nix told Ben to be aware of the sunlight as the positioning would change the colours.  The end result was “eh” for me.  The judges thought the camo makeup was successful but didn’t compliment the overall makeup or concept, and the female looked like she had an animal muzzle instead of an insect look.  The artists admitted to not working that well together, and the judges agreed and felt it showed in the final looks.  They were in the bottom.

Adam and Rob worked on the Lady Bug.  They wanted to mimic Adam and God from the Sistine Chapel, with the queen Lady Bug reaching to the male model who was a larvae.  Nix liked the concept but told them to create more depth and make it look less busy.  Rob and Adam switch off so Rob finished the queen’s face, and Coach Rayce told them to add highlight to the larvae, but their final look was not that great.  I thought the queen’s face was too dark, and the judges had no idea what the male model was.  They felt the queen wasn’t elegant, and looked more like a cross between the Cowardly Lion and a Kabuki makeup.  They too were in the bottom.

Emily and Jamie got the Honey Bee.  They made a queen bee and her amorous drone, going for a more abstract look.  Emily wanted to create a honeycomb pattern on the queen for interest and was willing to take the risk.  The judges liked all the details in the makeup, and the honeycomb pattern worked because they noticed and liked that too.  Ve thought the queen’s makeup was one of the best beauty makeups on the show.  Their graphic design and beautiful composition of the photo, along with the lover back story got them a place in top looks.

The winning team was Logan and Julian.  The positioning of the models was difficult to pull off but they did it, and the winner was Logan because the queen really stood out.  Rob went home because he didn’t have a standout contribution this time around.  He was surprised but felt his family would be proud of him anyway.

Team Rayce has 2 artists left!  So far, Team Laura is doing the best, but we shall see…

Face Off Season 4 Episode 6: Bug Spray Not Included

Published February 20, 2013 by vfdpixie

This week on Face Off brings us two challenges with “Bugging Out“.  The first was of course, the Foundation Challenge that would award the winner immunity plus a makeup case filled with Makeup Forever products.  Quite the haul, I’d say, since constantly replenishing your kit is a drain on the finances. Their guest judge was Lihja Stewart, head makeup artist for Makeup Forever.  The remaining artists had to reinvent an iconic female storybook character and make them bad girls.  Bo Peep (Meagan), Miss Muffet (Wayne), Red Riding Hood (Eric F.), Belle (Eric Z.), Rapunzel (House), Gretel (Kris), Cinderella (Anthony), Sleeping Beauty (Alam), and Snow White (Autumn) all got worked over with burns, aging and gruesome transformations.  The standouts for me were Wayne who created a Miss Muffet who transformed into a spider, and Eric F who made Red Riding Hood into a werewolf.  Lihja chose Eric F.’s werewolf Red Riding Hood as the winner and the gang move on to the Spotlight Challenge.

For the elimination, each contestant chose from brightly coloured abstract photos that were actually microscopic close-ups of insects.  They were to create human/insect hybrid characters using the photos as inspiration.  This challenge seemed to be a game changer.  Anthony could not wrap his head around a concept for his ant character.  He admitted to being stumped and I wondered if he was burning out due to the pressure of staying on top.  Eric F. seemed to breeze along with his Desert Wolf Spider design, and I’m sure it helped that he had immunity, although I don’t think he needed it as his design was once more creepy and creative.  Eric Z. created a real blood sucking mosquito, Wayne chose a firefly and House a honey bee; Autumn worked on a beetle and Meagan created a moth hybrid.  Throughout the series, Michael Westmore has been a fantastic mentor and his advice has been dead on.  Alam wanted to blend a multicoloured palette for her grasshopper and Michael pegged the difficulty with the design being too busy right away.  His sharp eye also caught Kris’s great detail with his butterfly.

It seemed like the artists were really scrambling this episode, bogged down with little technical details that they may have approached with more enthusiasm at the beginning of the competition.  The judges were a bit tougher this time around, and I agreed with them because at this point of the game, the gang really needs to start taking stock of technique and paying heed to past mistakes.  The judges loved the colourful butterfly Kris created because he really showed his skill with sculpting and use of the picture he chose.  They also raved about Wayne’s firefly, with his creative use of a light-up tail, mouth movement and great silhouette.  Autumn and Eric Z. also did well, as the judges praised her sculpting and his design.  Unfortunately, Anthony was raked over the coals for his slap-dash antenna and paint job, sculpting and design.  He had predicted his place in the bottom, and he was right.  Meagan and Alam also got called out on their confusing makeups and bad paint jobs.  I believe Ve called Meagan’s paint job ” psychedelic vomit”.  Ouch!!  There was also a Face Off first as the winner would have been Wayne, however he forgot his picture back at the studio, and did not use the colour scheme in his paint job.  According to the judges, his execution of the challenge was therefore incomplete.  As a result, Kris won with his cohesive butterfly, which was my favourite.  Sadly, we had to see Alam pack her kit and head home.  I really liked her!!  I’m glad she got this far and I predict  her disposition and quirkiness will serve her well in the future.

Just want to say a quick thank you to all who have been reading these updates!  Please leave a comment with your thoughts on the contestants and the show!

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