Jun 25, 2012

WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT


There has been a major focus on health lately with Vogue's new health initiative and the Olympics just around the corner. I've long had an interest in all things health, body and beauty related. My first taste of beauty in book form came with Marie Claire's Hair and Make-up book. It was the late nineties to early norties, I was teenage-bound and completely taken with the possibilities that make-up and maintenance afforded. The transformation process fascinated me.

I guess all little girls have similar memories of their first experience of beauty and what being a woman was all about watching their mothers get ready to go out. There wasn't anything more exciting than witnessing the preparations for a special occasion, step by step. I remember the steam from the shower would pour out of the bathroom and mix with the room temperature air and I'd watch her wrap up her hair in a towel so it sat twisted on top. She'd be walking around in a fluster and I'd follow her feet, darting between rooms. The chosen outfits were laid out on the bed and in need of last minute editing. 

With shaved legs, exfoliated, cleansed and moisturised skin, the make-up drawer would stay open as she'd dig around trying to find specific products. Applying the base with her fingers, it was sealed with a dusting of loose powder, she'd stand with her face close to the mirror, swiftly drawing her eye-liner on with a crayon. Adding two layers of black mascara with her mouth and eyes held widely open. She would look down at me, smile knowingly and continue. The eye-shadow was minimal usually just to define the lid. The blush came next, sweeping and generous, using her hands to make it more natural afterwards. Lip liner, she told me, was very important because it meant you could then just fill in the lines with lipstick. And voilĂ  all done, or at least the make-up was.
My mother would then get dressed so it wouldn't ruin her hair later. Sitting on the bed, her best adviser, I would give my opinion and make sure she looked good. And finally the blow dryer came out with a rounded brush and hair spray to set, followed by perfume for the wrists and neck. When all the preparations were done I'd follow her downstairs, taking note of the sound of her high heels on the floor. 

I would love to get my hands on Vogue's body and beauty book '77 and Scavullo on Beauty '76. Reading how past generations of women maintained and enhanced their health and looks is such an insight. Scavullo suggests 'Beauty must begin with self-confidence that builds up to an attitude of total self-respect...it's not letting any of your strengths go to waste. It's getting in touch with the positive power within you and using it to create a sense of yourself that allows you to care for yourself and others in the most affirmative way...'


The Beauty Investigator 



Jun 18, 2012

BIND


It's supposed to be summer but it's not hot yet. The weather is always talked about but I would say Swedes have become accustomed to being disappointed. I'm not quite there yet and it's still a surprise when seasons don't act accordingly. From next weekend after Midsommar, the days are going to gradually get shorter and darker. And it feels like the summer hasn't even begun. There's still time for it to come good but the chance of an absent summer has people fleeing for sun.

For a while now I've been thinking about the things that bind us together. The things that make us human. A shared experience is something that does that. And I think collective hardship is a big one. When we collectively feel like we're suffering it bonds us. Things can become so desperate and sad that it becomes funny. Our own lonesome situations can cross that line between down-and-out and deliriously-clear-headed when shared. If you can find the stupidity in the desperation. Just when you think you might be alone in your woes, you find you're one of many feeling and thinking a similar thing. Living in the same world with the same realities. And there's nothing more to say or do about it, when you're doing what you have to do. It is the way it is- ridiculous. Money is just money. It comes and it goes. When the sun hits your face, things will look up- you will look up.


Numero Magazine



Jun 13, 2012

MAKING UP



There's a lot to be said about taste. It's an institution. Let it play out. Babbling scatterbrain. Sprawling mess. Hours to fill with nothing to do but twiddle your thumbs. A popcorn dinner. Is that butter on top? The answer isn't always a pretty one. We're all about health now. And Vogue ask, does health mean swim suits? If it's all been done before then let's do it again. There's something wrong with that image. What made the front page- anything substantial? We must be subscribers. It's just prose, not poetry. It's all temporary and sad, as in aging ballerina sad. It's in motion. The excess of 90's runway. It's in the bag. But there's no such thing as perfection. It's the price you pay for a refuge to flee. Such surprising tenderness. Someone somewhere has already heard this.

Smudged lipstick interferes with your look. I live in a dream when I make up. I really take my time. Don't frown, you'll get wrinkles. And what's to say I don't want my wrinkles. No one will have them like I have them. I represent the individual. She cut her teeth on those roles. So egger to become something. Just don't expect anything from anyone ok. You'll be better off. Soap and water. Let's just hope for the best, shall we. That should be enough. Distil what's put before you. What do you make of this, pop culture historian? I like a good product, I like a good everything. Put them to market. What's in your fridge? A meat pack, Giselle's behind and Chanel codes, but they're all scrambled. Pity. Pack it up and move it out. Back in the day, back when people were interested in what they were doing. In a cultural climate more conducive to creation. They say we're young and we don't know. Let's test that theory.


Into The Gloss
The Beauty Investigator
'I Got You Babe' Sonny & Cher





Jun 9, 2012

HEY, SISTER



It's been a near century. My time piece is lost. Where have you been? Making art no doubt, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Making a life in the metropolitan. And making movement in its tension. Darling, you've got a ring now. A love with a promise. A promise without a ring is still a promise. But a ring is a diamond. A ring is a band of gold. What's felt is known, it can be seen and held. We're yet to meet. But you're hand is heavy now, weighted by it's scribing. There's nothing left to translate. Come August and you can bet I'll be there to see it. You're best plan yet.

It's construction is not so complicated. Come as you are, it comes from the gut. You and me we're going to have fun. Little Bellbird. So elegant and brave. From the same place, put in different terrain. Surrounded by other sights and exposed to different realities. Just close enough to be far. It seemed a right scandal to be separated. A complete riot. But girls, they will always dress up. They'll find a way. Not in your interest but for theirs.


Vogue circa 1970
Christy Turlington by Ellen von Unwerth as Jean Seberg
Helmut Newton 





Jun 6, 2012

ACIDIC


That's what happens when you get old and ugly. You buy your own birthday cake. Yes, but you're not ugly. You're my modern day Jerry Hall, Michelle Phillips, my Kate Moss, Christy Turlington and my Charlotte Rampling. My Marianne Faithful, Claudia Schiffer, Jane Birkin and my Miss Pamela. British, French and or German, take your pick. A timeless watch with an acidic tongue. You can't lie, too honest for your own good. You don't smoke, you can't drink though you try. And you do stupid things. You're not entirely functional but then everybody wants a certain love.

All legs, hair and furrowed brows. Salt of the earth, you like jewels. Full of contradiction. There's much to say and with so few words to draw from. Though you're never without thought. Skin of jasmine and musk. I don't attempt to own you, you can't be attained. You need free reign. Sail on silver girl. You're all growed up, so do a self portrait, Veruschka style. Painted in your suit across desert plains. Africa will never bore you. Some new things for your fiction. Brief elaborations laced in references. A candid moment with the girl next door.


'Going Home' Leonard Cohen
Self Service
Vogue 1977