Friday, January 30, 2015

1984 Symbolism Makeup

Everyone has to write book reports in school and analyze characters, themes, motifs, etc. But since when does a book report evolve into a makeup look? I originally created this design for a school project to display my knowledge and understanding of the classic novel 1984 by George Orwell. I got so into the project I decided to do a blog post on it as well. 

I’ll quickly explain the symbolism behind each component of the look (you don’t really need to have read the novel to understand the symbolism), then have a thorough tutorial of how you can recreate this look, you know for a causal night out. lol jk but hey it would turn some heads.

Multicolored Side: The right multicolored side represents life in the country Oceania before Big Brother (the power behind the totalitarian government) rose to power. People were free to live their lives as they chose. They could be creative and form their own thoughts and feelings on issues. They controlled their future and could make it whatever they wanted. Also, Big Brother tries to diminish human emotions, this crazy mix of bright colors symbolizes the many emotions humans could experience freely without fear of being caught by the government for doing something that’s just part of our nature. 

Gray Side: The left gray side symbolizes life in Oceania after Big Brother came to power. Life has become very mundane and boring. Freedom of thought is completely gone, there’s no creativity or originality. People are told how to act and think. They can’t express themselves. The gray also represents the lack of emotion in people under Big Brother’s totalitarian rule. The large gray section in this piece of work is similar to the large void in people’s lives which in a previous time would be filled with love and affection for their families and friends, but is currently occupied by a devotion to Big Brother. 

Rat Scratches: The symbolic meaning to the rat scratches is based on the main character, Winston’s, theory of physical pain. Winston believes that physical pain is the worst thing that could ever happen to a person, and when you’re experiencing physical pain you can’t ever wish for it to be increased. The scratches also represent the agony and misery Winston went through after being arrested. When Winston is in prison, he’s threatened to be attacked by huge hungry rats. The rats never reach Winston, they don’t do any significant damage. They only scratch the surface, they won’t leave any scars. This is similar to Winston’s passion for rebellion. He couldn’t make a difference, or any real impact on Big Brother. After spending time in prison, any feelings of rebellion were completely beaten out of Winston, as if the feelings were never there in the first place. 

Black Crack: The large black crack on the left side represents the break between the different social classes, the inner and outer parties and the proles. The inner party is the controlling power behind the government. The outer party is comprised of citizens that work for the government and follow orders blindly. The proles make up 85% of the population, they’re the lowest class. The government doesn’t monitor them as closely as it does the inner and outer parties, the proles don’t even realize they’re being oppressed. The inner and outer parties live completely different lives compared to the proles. I chose black for this component instead of gray to symbolize that there are no “gray areas” in the social classes, they are clearly defined. 

Gray Eye: The right gray tired-looking eye represents Winston. This component of the look symbolizes Winston’s experience and wisdom. Winston is older and remembers a past time, before Big Brother came to power. He has done a lot in his life and throughout the novel he recalls various points in history where things were different from the present day. It’s these seemingly unimportant flashbacks that help fuel Winston’s passion for rebellion. 

Purple Eye: The left purple eye represents Winston’s love interest, Julia. This eye is very open and alert, it appears friendly and curious, just like Julia. In contrast to Winston who has a very deep-rooted desire to take down Big Brother, Julia just wants to live as she pleases. When Winston tries to talk to Julia about rebellion she is very uninterested. She (just like the purple eye) would prefer to gaze out the window at some flowers on the sidewalk, than plan to overthrow a totalitarian government system. 

Duct Tape: The red duct tape with “Newspeak” written across it symbolizes the new language in Oceania. It was placed over the mouth to represent how Big Brother forbids freedom of speech. In the novel Big Brother is in the process of instilling “Newspeak” a new, shortened and edited version of English. This new language makes it impossible to rebel against the government, by eliminating all words that express feelings of rebellion. The citizens of Oceania can’t speak freely; they can’t verbally communicate original thoughts and ideas to others. The duct tape serves as a literal representation of the filtered language people have to speak. 

I know that was insanely long! The actual report was longer, this is the edited version…you’re welcome. Now that you understand what all the abstract objects and designs mean, let’s get into actually doing the makeup. 

How-to Recreate 


Apply the 'Simple Light Moisturizer' all over face and neck 
Blend Revlon Colorstay Foundation all over the face and neck with a beautyblender. I suggest using a color a few shades lighter than your normal foundation. The lighter the base, the brighter the colors. Ivory is my normal shade and since there’s nothing lighter than that, I just used that one. 

Right Eye 

Apply Urban Decay original primer potion all over the eye. 
Brush a generous amount of Urban Decay Eyeshadow in “Sin” all over the lid, from browbone to lash line.
Use Urban Decay “Polyster Bride” as a highlight on the browbone. 
Apply Urban Decay “Ransom” on the entire lid, but not going into the crease or outer corner. 
Using NYX Liquid Black Liner draw a very thin line on the upper lash line
With the Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil in Black Velvet, line the lower lash line, not too thick just to add some color
*Remember this is just the right eye, so when applying the fake lashes only apply them to the right eye, not both* I used Such a tease “So Seductive” false lashes
Using Urban Decay Perversion mascara, apply a generous amount to the top and bottom lashes. You can brush the mascara right over the false lashes. 

All these sparkly shadows and dark liners, may cause some fallout. If that’s the case, use the beauty blender to swipe it away and then blend out a small dab of Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in the shade ‘fair'

Left Eye

I wanted this eye to look old, tired, and sunken in.
This is a somewhat juvenile technique but it worked and turned out the way I wanted, plus it was relatively simple compared to the rest of the look. 

Using a black (Primetime) and grey (Smoke) creme eyeshadow from the Ulta brand Holiday 2013 Beauty Box in Red, I mixed them together and using my finger blended them all over the top lid, from lash line to browbone. I also applied the mixture very thickly on the lower lash line to create the appearance of dark circles under the eye. 

Rat Scratches 

(Confession Time: I texted my two best friends about 50 pictures of my various attempts, all followed by some version of these questions ‘Does it look like I was attacked by a crazy squirrel?’ ‘Do these look real?’ ‘If I walked into the house and showed you this would you be concerned?’ ‘Ok does it look real now?’)

Depending on how advanced you are in special effects makeup, you can make these as elaborate or simple as you want. This is how I attempted it, I’m sure there’s a lot of other ways to create this kind of look, but if it’s your first time (like me) I suggest using normal makeup products (lipgloss, lip liner, eyeshadow, etc.) before getting into the more intense products, like liquid latex. 

I drew straight lines in different directions in a small section of my left check with the Ulta contour lip liner in Sugar Raisin. 
Then I used a toothpick dabbed in Smashbox lip enhancing gloss in Ruby and applied that over the lip liner. 

Large Crack

First I primed the area with Avon Eyeshadow primer 
Using Ulta eyeliner in Black, I drew the crack and slightly smudged it with a qui-tip 
Then mixing two normal Ulta shadows from the same gift set as before (Beauty Box in Red) 
Black-Blackout and Grey-Lock and Key, with a small eyeshadow brush lightly dust this combination over the crack. It’s ok if it goes a little outside of the lines, but you don’t want it to get too wide.

Left Side of Face 

This colorful mosaic side was honestly a last-minute addition. I’m so thankful this idea came to me, the look wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic without it. 

This entire section was done using the Urban Decay Electric Palette. This was the first time I used this palette, and I just jumped right into it. Even though the colors look intimidating, they’re super easy to work with. 

I used only used 6 colors of the 10 in the palette
-Gonzo (turquoise)
-Slowburn (bright red-orange)
-Savage (hot pink)
-Urban (bright purple)
-Freak (neon green)
-Thrash (yellow) 

Right Side of Face 

This dreary, gray side started as just a gray patch surrounding the large crack. However after I completed the right colorful mosaic side, I extended the gray section to make them symmetrical. 

This entire side was completed with a mixture of the same shadows used for the Large Crack, 
Ulta holiday 2013 Beauty Box in Red Black- Blackout and Grey- Lock&Key. I took a bronzer brush and dusted this mixture all over my face and neck.

I had so much fun creating this look. I got to play with makeup for a school project, seriously what could be better?! This look also taught me that you can find inspiration for makeup and fashion designs from literally anywhere. I never would have thought a book about a dystopian, government-controlled future could inspire me to create such a dramatic, intense design.