The Nakeds – Sliver

Ultima ll’s “The Nakeds” is noted as one of the most groundbreaking color collections in cosmetics history, due to its inclusion of a full range of skin tones and the shades that naturally complement them.  Designed by Kevyn Aucoin in the 80’s, it’s also been credited with influencing many of the makeup lines that followed in the 90’s and who expanded further on this color concept.

The Nakeds- Sliver was a promotional item given as a gift with purchase and is only the size of a credit card.  It holds a small amount of four shades from the collection:

  • Lipchrome #4
  • Cheek Color #5
  • Eyecolor #3
  • Eyecolor #5

The Sliver also has a sponge tip applicator tucked neatly into a slot in the card and a mirror for on-the-go touch ups.  I found this adorable gem tucked away in my mother’s vanity and you can imagine how my heart fluttered upon seeing it.  Still untouched and unused,  it waited ever so patiently for me to find it, take it away and make it part of my treasured archives.

Livin’ Thing

The Electric Light Orchestra was famous during the 70’s and 80’s and was very a unique band.  They created a new sound all their own by combining the grandness of the cello and multi-vocal harmonies with contemporary themes and lyrics.  I recently stumbled onto this 1977 performance of “Livin’ Thing” from the American Music Awards and fell instantly in love with the rainbow triangle stage as well as each members’ colorful outfits.  I also love the way the camera moves, making use of the different stripes and angles in the background. In fact, I think I’ve been hypnotized.

Makeup Flower

One of my favorite things about beauty stories in magazines is the images of  slices, smears, drips and blobs of the makeup shades that are often included in the spread.  I love seeing the all various textures before my eyes, beckoning me to reach out and touch them.  And when a magical glimmer of sparkle shines through, it’s just like heaven.

“Makeup Flower” made using MAC Paint Sticks, Kryolan SupraColor UV Cream and glitter.


Issey Miyake

I’m in the process of writing a research paper on Issey Miyake and so excited that my first stop for information is my very own library and a book by Mark Holborn on this innovative designer.   The bright colors and the blurred focus of this photo make it my favorite of the of the “Flying Saucer” dress from the Spring/Summer 1994 collection.   In its unworn state, it looked somewhat like a flattened lantern and artfully fit over the body like a slinky.

1922 Kodachrome Film Test

It’s been about 6 months since my last post because lots of new and exciting things have taken hold of my free (aka Blog) time. One of them being the pursuit of a marketing degree to balance my creative side with some official business chops. As you can imagine, school in addition to being a makeup artist doesn’t leave a lot extra hours in the day, but I had to make some time this morning for this video from Kodak. It’s as screen test for Kodachrome film shot in 1922. After only seeing moving images from this era in black and white, this color footage is pure magic! 

It seems the film itself didn’t actually capture the colors at the time of shooting, but was a complex process to achieve the lovely color palette we see here.  To read more fascinating and detailed information about this video, check out Kodak’s blog post.

Mily Makeup Simply Liners

If you’ve ever been late to a party because you were trying to get that edgy graphic eyeliner perfect, give Mily Makeup‘s Simply Liners a try.  They’re made from a flexible tape that easily bends to the eye shape and they’re also reusable so you can play with placement to get the exact look you want.  Not shown here is the all black set, but- no surprise- I’m partial to this brightly colored collection.

Fashion Illustration In New York

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from “marisaland” as, in addition to my makeup and color work, I also have design and research projects so it’s been a bit hectic. However, I recently picked up an out-of-print copy of “Fashion Illustration in New York” by Pater Sato from 1985 and I immediately had to share.  I’ve always had a passion for this art form and this collection, from a time when illustrations were used in advertising just as much as models, is a true gem.  The image above by Mats Gustavson is one of my favorites, not only because I’m fond of red and purple as a color combination, but the black background has me totally captivated.  Of course, being the makeup junkie I am, I’m also completely smitten with these colorful beauty illustrations.

artist credits from top:  1, 2 &3 by David Croland, 4 & 5 by  Mats Gustavson

Beauty Flash

It seems zombies are everywhere- in movies, prime time television and sometimes caught walking around in the streets.   They’re even invading my dreams except for there, they look like this 1992 photo taken by makeup artist Stephane Marais, included in his book, “Beauty Flash”.  Made from a compilation of Polaroids he took while at work, it features his fabulous and “over the top” makeup designs and it’s chock full of 90’s Super Models!  This is one of my favorites though, because not only am I a big fan of Kristin McMenamy, but I think she is the perfect choice to pull off such an eery, but yet beautiful look.

Nude Cheeks

We hear about nude lips all the time, but not much attention is given to the nude cheek.  Perhaps that’s because it’s not as dramatic as the former, however having the right shade of nude for the effect you’re after is something that makeup artists deal with constantly.   Sometimes nude can be a more of blush so having some sun or pink is desired.  Other times its purpose is solely to contour the face and create shadow and for this, shades of taupe or brown (depending on the skin tone) are needed.   However, in all the conversations I’ve had with other artists about this topic, we seem to agree that the elusive “perfect nude” would have a little bit of everything, while not leaning too much towards any one of them in  particular.   Sounds like a challenge for me to make one- and I’ll take it!   Stay tuned…

Some of my favorites from my kit



Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup

I just placed an order for the most fabulous book!  “Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup” by Gabriela Hernandez is not only filled with photographs of famous starlets in glamorous looks, but also includes images of vintage cosmetics and the color palettes that were popular by era.  Ms. Hernandez is a makeup artist and cosmetics historian who did lots of research for her own makeup line called Besame Cosmetics,  which was inspired by vintage products from the 40’s, and now she is sharing it with all of us.   Thank you Gabriela!