Japan

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Face Off Season 6 Episode 8: Japan and Anime Selfies!

Published March 7, 2014 by vfdpixie

So the remaining artists headed off to Japan!!   Although Niko would have liked to travelled with the freshly eliminated Cat, he, along with the other artists, was jazzed to be making the trip, and he wanted to make her proud.  What a lucky bunch!  I can only dream of travelling there, mostly due to the fact that I hate flying and that trip would be way too long for this pixie!

Like a movie montage, the gang visited the sites.  From the famous Tsuji Fish Market, to Shibuya Crossing and the Rikugien Gardens, they were all overwhelmed, inspired and profoundly grateful for the experience.

They ended up at Shomyoji Temple, which represents the ‘land of perfect bliss’, to get their next Foundation Challenge.  McKenzie met them with Kazuhiro Tsuji, who is seen as one of the world’s best makeup and FX artist.  With films like M.I.B., The Grinch, Looper and 2 Oscar nominations under his belt, the artists were really excited to see him there.  He introduced their Oni-masked models and the immunity challenge which called for them to create their own original take on Oni: hideous Japanese demons with ogre or troll like qualities and multiple fingers or eyes.  He wanted them to be aware of the fear that they instilled, especially of death, and to put the Japanese culture into the makeup.

Kazu judged the creations, choosing Daran and Corrine as his favourites.  Daran won immunity because Kazu liked that his design was different from the others but still had the essence of, and looked like, an Oni.  Right after his win, the Spotlight Challenge was revealed, and it was a cool one!  McKenzie pointed out how Tokyo had a great impact on pop culture, from The Matrix, to Kill Bill and Pacific Rim, all of which tapped into the anime phenomenon.  The gang had to create a hyper-stylized anime character of their own, but it must also be an alter ego to their personalities.  That meant finding something unique about themselves and incorporating it into their makeups.  They got to go to the Akihabara District, which was anime central!  Colours and cartoons everywhere, the artists ended up at a cosplay café called @home café where with the guidance of anime artist extraordinaire Hidetaka Tenjin, the created their characters.  Still on an inspirational high, the gang headed back to L.A. so they could get to work.

On Elimination Day, Kazu joined them as a guest judge.  I just want to point out that we share the same birthday, and are both makeup artists (I’m retired though).  This makes me very happy, but I digress…

Graham created a mad scientist/plant monster.  He had a lot of painting to do and had a mini collision with Chloe on application day which left her with a bloody mouth.  Aside from that, Graham plugged away.  I didn’t like this character at all.  I thought it was weird, and didn’t look like anime.  The judges like the hair, but felt that the forms were lost in all the blended colours.  They also thought the eyes were weird, and didn’t understand the plant arm.  Ve thought it looked like a reject from Poison Ivy’s lab.  He was in the bottom looks.

Rashaad made a Robin Hood character.  His makeup was complete, and the judges admired all the fabrication and work he put in.  This look kept him safe yet again.  I really want to see this guy win a challenge, just to say he won!  Jeez!

Chloe created a soul sucking anime gal named Soul-stice, because Chloe was born on the summer solstice.  Despite her literal run-in with Graham, her makeup was cute and looked very anime, but the judges didn’t like the eyes.  What they did like was the paint job, which she wasn’t thrilled about during her creation process.  She too was safe.

Daran’s makeup was very cool.  He incorporated his love of freedom into a koi fish design.  It was a graceful piece full of movement, with 2 koi fish swimming around a fish-like face.  The judges were impressed by all the details like the “gorgeous” fish scaling, and the nasal openings of the face as eye holes for the model to see.  They felt he made good use of animal forms which are prevalent in anime, and Kazu felt the design was different from the others and had a good sense of proportion.  He was in the top looks.

George, oh George!  He has always wanted to fly, so he created a Superman type character.  He struggled with his design, and had lots to do on the character’s suit.  He knew had run out of time and that the overall look was sloppy.  The judges like the sculpt of the face and head, but felt the whole thing was, yes, sloppy.  Kazu said it was cheesy, and they thought he made some horrible decisions along with the sub-par execution.  I think he is a talented artist, but this was a real stinker.  He was in bottom looks.

Corrine loved Halloween, so her character had a cute witch look who was the giver of tricks and treats.  She was concerned that Chloe’s design was too close to hers, so she went for a really good design to differentiate herself.  I thought the mouth was weird, but overall it was cute.  The judges loved it.  They thought it captured the essence of anime, with a delicate sculpt around the eyes.  Kazu thought it was the most anime proportion-wise.   She was in top looks.

Tyler did a kooky version of himself.  He felt he was always in overdrive, so he created a many armed cartoon Tyler.  He cast his own arms to create the extra appendages which was cool.  The judges felt it looked like “Waldo on L.S.D.”, and admired the vacuformed hair.  This fun design kept him safe for another week.

The two bottom looks really threw the judges off.  They all felt that George and Graham were both better than what they had created.  It was a difficult decision, but they chose Graham to go home.  They didn’t see the anime inspiration in his makeup, and the execution was way off.

Out of the top looks, they thought Corrine did an excellent job and made a “quintessentially anime” character.  They thought Daran did a beautiful paint job and a bizarrely beautiful creation.  Daran was the winner of this challenge!  They had no idea where the idea came from, but felt it was an “outrageously great” makeup.

Before the show ended, the judges decided to use the special immunity option for the first time on the show.  Because Graham showed such promise and that he could have made it to the finale, they let him back on the show!  This second chance fueled him to push on and do much better in the future.  I’m glad because I like him.  He has a good attitude and great ideas.  Glad he is back for more!

Face Off: Season 6 Episode 7: Wonderous Wizards

Published February 27, 2014 by vfdpixie

The 3 remaining women, Corrine, Cat and Chloe, talked about their standing in the competition.  Cat wanted a female finale winner, and Chloe did too, in fact, her competitive streak came out and revealed that she really wanted the win.

For the Spotlight Challenge, the gang went to The Magic Castle-an exclusive members only, world-famous magic club in Hollywood that has hosted famous magicians for 50 years.  Their challenge was to create an original wizard inspired by a selection of wands  that McKenzie presented to them on the main stage of the Magic Castle.

Corrine picked a tribal wand.  She designed a tribal dark shaman witch doctor and once again went for a minimal makeup.  She knew that her paint job had to be great, or else she would be slayed by the judges.  Luckily for her, she did just that.  They liked how simple, clean and asymmetrical the shaman’s Peruvian styled skull was.  Ve loved the paint job that looked like mud, and they all thought it was a perfect interpretation of her wand.  She was in top looks.

Tyler chose a tree branch wand.  He was really psyched to do this makeup.  I love that nerdy Tyler!  He created a wizard that protects the forest.  When Mr. Westmore did his rounds, he cautioned Tyler about his design looking too human.  Taking that cue, he smoked through the challenge and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I loved this makeup, and so did the judges.  It looked like a living tree.  They liked the transition of charred to burned wood, and thought it was well designed and tremendously successful.  They said the character had an unorthodox chin and mouth that worked.  His “potent” and graceful wizard put Tyler in the top looks.

Niko had a futuristic wand.  He went for a robot wizard but had trouble with his design and struggled with his ideas.  Mr. Westmore told him to be careful of the design looking too Neanderthal.  He advised him to square off the sculpture.  Niko ended up changing the design, but was short on time.  During last looks, he had problems gluing the final details to the makeup, ending up with a lopsided looking design.  The judges called it “a wreck”, and unbearable to look at.  They felt his skill set was stretched and he didn’t have proper knowledge of the subject matter.  Glenn also pointed out that in order to do a successful metal design, it either has to be super smooth or textured.  Niko was in the bottom looks.

George got a mechanical wand.  He designed a wizard who was possessed by, and became, his wand.  The only blip for him was when his model ended up being allergic to the glue he was using, but always being prepared, he had another face appliance and changed the glue.  I loved this design.  It looked like a bronzed statue with a futuristic, steam punk/art deco look.  Neville thought the ridges on the cowl just “felt right”, and they loved what they called a sophisticated concept and design.  Ve thought the paint job was stunning, focusing on the transition  from metal to flesh tone.  George was in top looks.

Cat chose a floral vine wand and decided on a forest wizard as well.  She focused on the flower aspect.  Mr. Westmore told her to avoid using vines and fruit to sculpt the nose, but she kept that idea.  She also fabricated a giant flower for the character’s back, and used an orange colour scheme.  I did not like the almost matte orange paint job.  Neither did the judges.  Glenn loved the flower petals on her back, but that was it.  Ve thought it looked like a refugee from a craft store, and Neville thought her face looked diseased, and the sculpt detracted from the beauty of her face.  I guess it pays to listen to a Westmore because Cat ended up in bottom looks.

Rashaad got a spiky wand and decided to go more minimal.  He knew he had to focus on the details, but unfortunately, the details were negative.  This was definitely not his best work.  His seams were showing all over the makeup, and the judges noticed.  His spiky, horned face wizard didn’t quite work for them, but they did appreciate that he tried to cover the seams with his paint job.  Lucky for him, he was safe this week.

Daran had a wand with an eye in the centre.  He wanted to use the wand as the wizard’s eye and created a really cool design.  This wizard had a mystical looking mask, creepy face and hands, and the judges liked it enough to keep him safe as well.

Chloe’s wand had a crystal and lots of filigree on it.  She made the filigree the focal point of the makeup, but didn’t realize how much work that involved.  She was not happy with her design, and had to scale back on the detail in order to finish.  The judges weren’t thrilled with the end result.  They liked the overall concept but thought it was heavy-handed.  They wanted to see filigree detail on the model’s forehead to compliment the chin, and they also felt she took the wrong element of the wand to focus on.  She was in the bottom looks.

Graham picked a skeleton wand.  He created a wizard that kept himself alive by collecting skulls and went for a voodoo look.  Mr. Westmore liked his design and had never seen piercings on the lip like that before, which the judges also noticed and loved.  They also liked the character’s teeth.  That kept him safe.

Out of the top looks, George won.  The judges thought his design transcended the challenge and left them in awe.  Going home this episode was Cat.  They thought her wizard was too artsy/crafty and disliked her conceptual choices.  The judges did say she was a great makeup artist, and advised her to focus on her designs more.  She was glad that it was her going home and not her boyfriend Niko, who was very upset by her elimination, but Cat left feeling inspired.  As an interesting twist to the end of the show, McKenzie came backstage to let the contestants know they were going to…Japan!!!  How freaking exciting is that?  What an incredible surprise, and I am looking forward to see what Japan has in store for them!!

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