Monday, April 14, 2008

Making More Faces

The entry I wrote yesterday about Lauren Luke/Panacea81's video blog made me even more nostalgic for the late, great Kevyn Aucoin, and in particular the looks from his books Making Faces and Face Forward. It's no secret that I loved reading those books, both for the fantastic makeup tips and the equally fantastic musings of the master himself, as he expounded at length on his philosophy about beauty and life and how makeup can really, truly, change one's life.

Like a good majority of us in the blogosphere, I never got to meet the man himself, but I was definitely reminded of something Kevyn once said when I wrote my recent blog tribute to Kevyn for No Book Left Behind: "Life is too short to spend hoping that the perfectly arched eyebrow or hottest new lip shade will mask an ugly heart." Kevyn's life was short, for sure, and if he had worked with some of the ugliest hearts in the celebrity universe, you can be sure you won't hear it straight from him, knowing that he has endured worse.

And if you had any doubts, here's a first-hand account from one of his collaborators during a photoshoot for Face Forward with Martha Stewart, which resulted in the photo on the right:

He picked up and it was Cher calling. When Martha realized who Kevyn was talking to, she snatched the phone from him and asked, 'Cher, should I trust this guy?' To which Cher replied: 'With your life.'

The Kevyn makeovers I enjoyed the most, in fact, were not the star-studded cameos in Making Faces and Face Forward, but the straightforward portraits of everyday women transformed with a flick of the brush. Those makeovers were the reason why I never let a January pass without a copy of Allure, and why I never wanted to miss a day of Oprah if he was the one doing the soccer-mom makeovers. He definitely had the special gift of letting one's inner light show, making anyone - and I mean anyone ("girl, boy, bakla, tomboy," as we say in Tagalog) - feel beautiful, loved, and valued.

No wonder, then, that I'd be so transfixed by Lauren's vlog makeovers. There's something about her that just reminds me a bit of Kevyn - not the exact makeup looks per se (though the "Michelangelo of Makeup" would most certainly approve of what his disciples have begotten) but the generosity and enthusiasm. that she has in sharing her looks. Not everyone has the courage and enthusiasm to go before the camera and say, "I'm not a professional, but I love makeup and I want to share that love with you." It's the very definition of generosity, if you ask me; nothing commercial, nothing desperate, only a kindred soul who's just willing to take the risk of putting her true self out there for all to see.

As I've said before, every single one of us who has ever followed the beauty and fashion industry - right down to us lowly bloggers - every one of us owes a huge debt to Kevyn Aucoin. Not all of us may have his talent with eyeliner, or own a single product from his line (though, if anyone else is reading this, I would kill for a pot of The Sensual Skin Enhancer), but his legacy truly does live on.

Pick up one of his books, if you haven't already (even the posthumous tribute A Beautiful Life has a few of his classic techniques), and prepare to be inspired.

1 comment:

Toya said...

Girl, you know I agree. I owe so much of my love of makeup to him and what he was able to do with a brush. I miss him and never even met him.