The Face as a Form of Therapy
From our discussion below, discover how dressing up like a vampire can offer cosmetic inspiration, hear why Gogo likes her looks to be a somewhat "horrifyingmonstrosity"— and you should too— and what she makes of the relationship between a makeup artist and model.
Can you remember a time when you first discovered makeup?
I have memories of seeing makeup in my mother's bathroom in my childhood home. She had a vanity area designated by the sink that was always tidy and featured the most beautiful perfume bottle, which I later learned was actually just a special receptacle that held her actual perfume bottle inside. Her makeup was neatly organized on the counter. At the time, my mom never really wore a lot of eye makeup, but I remember her putting on liquid foundation, blush as contour, black mascara and really beautiful dark reds, browns and nudes on her lips before going to work or events. There was something mesmerizing for me about how it would slowly change her look, but also how it changed her attitude and behavior. I could tell the way she applied it made her feel more confident and that was really cool to me.
Have you always been interested in makeup?
I've been interested in it since the first time I can remember wearing it which was I think at 7 years old on Halloween when I got to dress up like a vampire complete with fangs and a face full of whatever 90s version of ceruse white face paint there was available. I remember the intoxicating feeling of being transformed into someone or something unrecognizable to me, imbued with an exciting new power having morphed and concealed my features in a way I had never experienced before. I remember also feeling really disappointed upon realizing that this was only culturally appropriate one time a year for someone who looked like me.
How does makeup play into your everyday life?
It's usually the first thing I do after showering before leaving the house and is something that I use to prepare myself for coming in contact with the outside world. It gives me a way to feel in control of how my face appears to onlookers. Some days I don't wear makeup until after I get home and I kind of use it as a form of therapy. I think touching my face and making it appear totally different really does something for my mental health.
What do you wish to show with your looks?
It depends on the context. Sometimes I'm just messing around and don't necessarily have any more intention than experimenting with shapes and colors on my face or whoever's face I'm working on. Other times, especially with other people, my intentions are more focused on what makes them feel more comfortable. I like making people feel good with my makeup, and since everyone is different, good can also look really different from one person to the next. On myself, I often find myself trying on looks ranging anywhere from hot with a twist to horrifyingmonstrosity.
How would you describe your makeup looks?
Is "eclectic" okay? I hear that word a lot, but I think it applies. I don't like following just one look or method of application. I like looking at what I have in front of me, whether it be a mirror or another person and figuring out what kinds of cool shit I can do to them to change their appearance. I also like "spunky."
Do you think that makeup is an extension of someone or do you think it’s more intrinsic?
I think for some people makeup is an extension of themselves. Some people can't function without makeup on or feel naked without it, and I totally understand that. I don't necessarily see the two existing in opposition to one another; someone's desire to always have makeup on their face can be an essential component to their identity and personality. I think this can also be subject to change, and a person's relationship with makeup can look different over the course of a lifetime.
What do you think about the relationship between a makeup artist and a model? I’m sure there needs to be a certain amount of trust there, could you discuss this a bit?
I think about this a lot before someone asks me if I would do their makeup. I think it's another thing that differs from one individual to another. Some people are really particular about how they look and don't like to stray too far from the look they expect for themselves, others already have an idea of how my makeup will probably make them feel and put their trust in my hands. Personally, I fit more into the latter perspective especially in professional settings where artists are specifically chosen for the job but also at home with friends. I feel pretty self conscious about my own skills with makeup and get really worried about people's expectations with what I'm able to do for them, but don't personally feel uncomfortable putting that trust into someone else' hands.