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Old 21st August 2006   #1
HSG
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Five faces of beauty

"I have heard of your paintings well enough. God hath given you one face and you make yourselves another."
(Hamlet, III.i.144-46)
Hamlet's impatience with cosmetics is understandable enough, in a play that is concerned with the subversion of what is by what seems. Nevertheless, as the Dane's use of the term "paintings" suggests, there is a definite art to the use of makeup. Although this topic comes up rarely on our forum, cosmetics do provide another manner of accentuating timeless beauty, and every once in a while, it is worth paying tribute to this craft.

Doing so also gives us a welcome opportunity to acknowledge one of the behind-the-scenes artisans who create Torrid's widely-praised product images. As the company's official makeup artist, Ericka Ramirez has been working with Torrid's company photographer Michael Anthony for three years, and, in the photographer's own words, "She so rocks."

* * *

In an earlier post, we determined that the pink-themed "Spun Sugar" look constitutes the ideal adornment for the fair features of timeless femininity. This look has variously been adopted by models such as Charlotte Coyle, Kailee O'Sullivan, and Kate Dillon. But a true goddess has even more facets to her personality than a well-cut diamond, and she deserves a distinct look to express each of them.

In the following close-ups of Kelsey Olson (whose fair complexion and round facial features make her the ideal "canvas" to display the MUA's craft), we see how dramatically a change in makeup can alter an individual's aspect--so much so, that Miss Olson seems to become a completely different person in each image.

First, we see Kelsey in a radiant au naturel style. This is a first-thing-in-the-morning look, an "I just tumbled out of bed, and wow, I look good" visage. To the untrained (i.e., male) eye, it appears as if Kelsey is wearing no makeup at all, but this natural appearance is undoubtedly a carefully-created one. It perfectly suits the outfit that Kelsey is modelling in this case--a simple white camisole.

Click to view image source

(You may click on this and every image in the thread to view the Torrid source pages.)

Next, we see a "fun" style on Kelsey, something very close to "spun sugar." The candy-pink lipgloss harmonizes perfectly with her fair hair, dazzling skin tone, and baby-blue eyes, to create a youthful, almost girlish appearance. This is a fine choice for daytime activities--perhaps for a trip to the mall? Kelsey's winsome smile suits the look perfectly.

Click to view image source

Here is our favourite of the five looks in question--a more passionate, overtly alluring style. This would be an ideal choice for a more formal setting, an evening venue. It is also a terrific "date" look--especially for a more serious, second or third rendezvous. The velvety red lipstick is sure to ensnare any man's heart, and the similarly bold red top heightens the dramatic effect. Note also that the blush is similar to what one sees in "spun sugar" styles, but in this case, it is more pronounced, without being excessive. But what makes this look particularly effective is Kelsey's expression--one of her signature earnest gazes, filled with emotion and longing.

Click to view image source

If the second look might be dubbed "candy pink," this one is "cherry red." This style is more effective than the former when a goddess is interested in capturing male hearts. Note how much more mature she appears here than in the baby-pink, innocent look. And yet, this is still more of a daytime visage than the dramatic, velvety-red style, above. It is a fine first-date choice. As in the earlier images, this look is perfectly tailored to the fun-yet-sexy tube top that the model is wearing (one which suits her curvaceous figure especially well), and the absolutely stunning hairstyle, with golden tresses cascading over bare shoulders, completes the enticing effect.

Click to view larger

And finally, this look is just a tad more contemporary, but still pretty. Here, the model's skin tone is arrestingly rather than softly fair, and the lip colour is deliberately a shade away from natural. This turns down the model's allure-factor just a little, making it a likely choice for, say, a school setting, where male minds need to concentrate on factors other than the beauty of plus-size goddess. But Kelsey's captivating expression indicates how even in a casual mode, a princess can still turn on the charm, when she so desires.

Click to view image source

Five looks, five contexts, five personalities--all united by one factor: the model's astounding loveliness. It is a credit to the MUA, Ms. Ramirez, that she manages to achieve so many diverse looks with one "canvas." Her work with Kelsey further proves that plus-size models are just as effective--no, more effective--at promoting "beauty" (both in the sense of cosmetics, and in the broader meaning of the term) than their underweight rivals.

- Kelsey in an enticing dress--new at Torrid

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