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Merry Christmas to all the Cher fans out there!!! Here is a sneak peek behind the scenes of one of my favorite makeup jobs EVER!!! Recently I had the chance to get hired to transform two amazing men into the beloved duo of Sonny and Cher for an annual Christmas Card photo, using my experience and talents as a makeup artist and former female impersonator myself.
Michael and Jack live in a beautiful home in Los Angeles, and have been married for more than 25 years!!! Just the chance to be around such warm, compassionate and loving gay men was a treat for me- but the opportunity to paint Michael up as one of my icons CHER and Jack as SONNY was a dream come true!
The inspiration for the look was classic 70’s Sonny and Cher Variety hour. We even had video clips playing on the laptop as I performed my magic. Personally I remember Cher in the 70’s for 4 distinct physical features- 1. her perfectly groomed and thin eyebrows 2. her St. Tropez tan 3. her amazing false lashes that resembled the legs of a spider 4. & her long jet black, silky straight hair.
It all started with my secret weapon of drag- Elmer’s Disappearing Purple Glue Stick! I use a spatula to shave off a generous amount of glue stick from the tube and smear it directly from the spatula onto the hair of the eyebrows. I repeat this process a few times on each side and use the spatula to press down the glue into the hair without ever touching the brow area with my fingers, which would make a sticky mess. While the glue is drying, I use a full coverage makeup like Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation all over the entire face, except for the eyes and brows. On the eyes and brows I use a waterproof eyeshadow base like M.A.C. Paint Pot in Nubile, these are rich in pigment, waterproof and adhere very quickly to the skin and on top of the glue stick covered brows. After the face is completely painted over, I use a generous amount of Make Up For Ever Super Matte loose powder in #20 with a powder puff to create a flawless satin finish.
I loved creating the deep crease and large lid area of Cher on Michael. She has a large space between her brow and her crease as well as from her crease to her lash line, otherwise known as the eyelid. They are almost the same width in proportion to one another and must be defined as such if you are replicating her look on anyone in your chair. I used approximately 5 matte eye shadow colors all from Make Up For Ever because the density of their pigments are the best, they are extremely long lasting, and most importantly they photograph true to color. I have been using MUFE eye shadows as a staple in my kit for a dozen years. The main Cher colors used here are #28, #3, #95, #76, and #4- these are also kit essential colors for anyone looking to add 5 MUFE shades to their everyday matte eyeshadow collection. When working on a drag client, where heavy foundations and powders have been utilized to cover up any masculine features, I like to use Make Up For Ever for the brows because they squeeze out of a tube like a concealer and are completely waterproof. I use three different brushes to perfect the brow, a Fine Eyelining Brush by Senna, and a Double Ended Brow Brush Senna to fill in thickness and create the effect of real hair. The lashes are two pairs that I had in my beauty closet glued together with Ardell LashGrip in dark tone, always use the glue that dries black!!! One pair of lashes, the “spider legs” I actually found during Halloween a few years ago and have been anticipating their use up until now.
For contouring Michael’s cheek to resemble the high cheekbones of Cher, I used a new item in my kit that I take everywhere! It is the Three Custom Color Specialists Medium-Dark Concealer Trio and it is perfect for creating shading and contouring of the cheek, nose, temples, chin, etc. The three shades are everything I need for any complexion. If you use it on moist skin, it blends effortlessly. I prefer to layer creams under and over powders so I have to use a combination of sponge and buffing brushes to achieve a more blended overall appearance, but the layering keeps the makeup on longer so that’s my secret. On Michael’s body parts that showed in the final Xmas card image, I chose to use L’oreal True Match Foundation in C7 Nut Brown mixed with a Mineral Illuminating Tint by Youngblood.
Cher’s lips are fuller than the average male, so I overlined Michael’s upper and lower lip lines with Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip in 4C. The pencils are waterproof, have incredible coverage and don’t bleed or feather once applied. I popped a bit of Make Up For Ever White Flash Color Stick onto the center of his bottom lip to overly accentuate the fullness and finished the blending out with Senna Duo in Pink Mink.
Michael (Cher) brought the wig, but it had a blunt bang which reminded me of Cher circa 1965, not 1970. I had to work some Eufora Fixation Styling Wax into the front part to separate it and set it with Eufora Firm Mist to smooth each side down to blend into the length, giving the wig the illusion of having all one length from root to end. Adhering Jack’s Sonny Bono moustache and sideburns was easy with spirit gum, but trimming the two pieces to fit his face was a little harder, but I believe I did a great job. His Sonny wig also needed some scissor shearing to take it from Scooby Doo’s VELMA to SONNY! lol
I hope you enjoy the behind the scenes pics from my Holiday 2011 Christmas Holiday Glamapalooza!!! Michael and Jack have been dream clients, from the moment I talked with them on the phone, to the moment I walked out their front door when Michael was back in his sweatshirt and flannels about to watch some football on the couch- in FULL CHER FACE cause it was too pretty to take off!!! hahaha These men have found the charm, compassion, and beauty within THEIR souls, and THAT’s what my blog is all about. Happy Holidays
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