January is typically a slow month for make up work. Christmas and New Year celebrations are out of the way and people are making an effort to be healthy and wholesome. The glitter gets packed away again for several months and exercise videos (oops, I mean dvds -shows how long since I’ve bought one), gym memberships and skin reviving treatments are the only things we can justify forking out for. In filming also, I find January can be slow, although New Year’s resolutions can spur people on to finish that project previously started, or finally make that film they’ve always talked about.
I accept that January is slow and everyone is skint, but that also includes me and so I was very grateful to be offered a series of workshops at Notre Dame school, working with their year 5 production class. In this class the girls learn compulsory modules about theatre and film production – lighting, stage management, directing, producing etc. There is also an extra module to be decided by the teacher’s discretion – they chose make up. After discussing the required elements with the teaching staff, it was decided I would produce a series of workshops on old age make up – male and female. The basics are the same either way, wrinkles, saggy skin, sunken eyes and cheeks etc, but the personal touches are what create the character.
I took in quite a few wigs and hats to help with this, which resulted in quite a range of characters, male and female. There was a sweet headscarved, scone baking grandmother, a cantankerous moustachioed dart throwing old bloke, a few glamorous grannies and a couple of charming, old worldly chaps. I was surprised however, by the number of Pat Butcher/Peggy Mitchell-alikes that were created. Big blond hair, bright, shakily applied blue eyeshadow, wobbly eyeliner and lurid pink lips. These were my personal favourites – a chance to play with the sort of colour combinations that should never be seen together in public. Forget the natural wholesome January look, this year more is more!