Thursday, December 25, 2014

Joseph Harwood's Makeup Crash Course

Joseph Harwood is a very respected makeup artist who resides in the UK. He's best known from his makeup tutorials on YouTube as well as his collaboration channel called Perfect Androgyny. Joseph has worked with a variety of drag queens from the hit TV show, Rupaul's Drag Race, and recently launched his very own website. For more information on Joseph, please check out his social media at the bottom of this article as well as his brand new website. 


My theory with eye makeup is to focus on enhancing the natural shape, colour and intensity of the eye area. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, let's make them really stand out. What I try and achieve is actually about creating contrast, either with light and shade or with colours opposite on the colour wheel, but then from that understanding we can take it a step further and there are some easy ways of doing that. 

If we take blue eyes, the opposite colour to a blue on the colour spectrum would be the secondary colour orange, however a highly saturated blue in true contrast would be an unsaturated orange. If the iris is composed of a variety of colour shades and we want to enhance the illusion of green and create more of an aqua eye, we can actually use tools as guides to find the most complimentary colour. Computers I think are a really obvious help because using software like photoshop or more simple editing programs tend to have a palette of colours. We then find the colours we want to achieve on their spectrum and use the program to invert that, which showcases what would make the maximum impact. That is the easiest way of finding the most contrasting shades, and once you've learnt the basics it's easy to apply to all colours. With brown eyes, we're looking at a tertiary colour that's unsaturated and can be more dark in shade, so what do we do to enhance that colour? We pick the colour undertone within that brown and we can invert it. Browns are really fun because you can really bring out the intensity and dimensions by experimenting with different colours in the same way.

Once we've intensified the colour, I think it's always great to elongate and enlarge the natural shapes of the eye. Mascara is an absolute must and I tend to stick with a black mascara as a rule, then if we want to create further contrast we can use coloured mascaras on top in layers to further create a contrast. Longer lashes really do enlarge the eyes so finding mascaras that really define the lashes is the easiest way to do that. Defining the tideline under the lashes really intensifies the shape, and using lighter shades on the waterline help create more of an awake look as they extend the height of the eye. 

One factor I work on is to try and create symmetry as much as possible in the face and I think it's more obvious in the eye area. An easy way to help this is to use the shadows we've chosen in the shadow of the socket, and then matching that up on the opposite eye, while creating a shape with the lash line. Looking at our faces in a mirror reflection and then using again a computer program like a webcam, we can compare and contrast from side to side and change the positions of all these shadows. If we want to take that further we can use eyeliner to actually hide the shape, we can create the illusion of thicker lashes, extend the width of the eye, and even change the angle of the eye. It's always fun to add more of an effect to the eye area with liners and we can use contrasting shades in this area to enhance it further. Have fun with eye makeup, it washes off so try and see what works for you.


Contouring and highlighting is an essential part of makeup but how far you want to take it is really up to you. The skin isn't one colour, especially with deeper skin tones so my advice is to create a base that brings out the beauty of the face, and apply contour where it would have a positive effect. I look at colour correction with this to some degree, applying a bright white under the eyes isn't going to make your eye area look as clean as if you used a colour that countered the blue of the undereyes, and using a base in areas around the chin that matches your skin, isn't going to be as clean looking if you are covering a beard or any discolouration, it will look greyer. So you have to take everything into account and work with what you have, you need to use the right colours accordingly.

I am a huge fan of the doll creating Noel Cruz who repaints celebrity dolls, for my aesthetic I like painting my own makeup in the same way, I don't think there is a rule for where the contours should be however mimicking the natural shadows of the face works quite nicely. I prefer using less saturated contours as we get paler, greys and muted beiges work better than terracottas. Deeper skintones can definitely carry more colour however. 

I focus on symmetry in the same way I would in the eye area so using a webcam tool and comparing a mirror to a true reflection would be a great way of seeing what might work for a particular face. I like extending the undereye right up against the nose contour to create a more central nose shape and that's my signature way of doing it.


My tips for lips is to start off with an exfoliant product to remove all dead skin, I love a chemical exfoliator from Aveda and it just removes all the dry skin. Then keep them super hydrated with a good skincare routine. One tip I've found is lip plumpers bring an allergic reaction to the lip area and somehow this seems to prevent them from chapping so much in the wintry months, then I apply lip moisturizers to keep them in check.

I really love working with nudes and beiges in the lip areas that mimic natural colouring, but lips are the most exciting part of the face and you can play them up in anyway you like. I think certain colours work better on different skin undertones, if we look at the colour wheel it's best to avoid using products that would create a huge contrast with yellow as this won't neccesarily bring the most out of your teeth, but just have fun with it. I love hugely saturated colours on darker skintones and I tend to work more with liners than lipsticks.


I probably have a little bit of a different view point on blending because I use makeup in the same way I paint which is a little bit more expressionist. I just want to hit the points that look right to me and my style is a little bit more smudgey, I prefer to blend with the creamier products or a kohl, and set with colour as opposed to use the powders to create more of an airbrush like finish.

My tips for blending in the eye is to make sure the surface of the eyelid is free of oils so we can start off with some loose powder or even an eyeshadow primer. Then I think it always works better to start with paler colours and then lay them down where you need them, using a clean brush to blend out. If you want to achieve a more seamless finish then you can use face powders in conjunction with your eyeshadows to really soften the edges.

When it comes to blending the contours of the face, use the warmth of your fingers to blend creams out. I think a damp blending sponge get's a flawless finish with a variety of products. If you want a more seamless blend, don't contour with creams, start off with a base colour and a highlight and then apply contours with darker powders once it's set. Always set the base before you go in with powders also as it will grab to areas.


My tips with wigs is to get full lace wigs, I prefer human hair as I wear them more as a substitute to hair extensions and I remove all the lace. I always use a water soluble glue to apply them to the hairline now, I tried latex and spirt gum and they didn't really wear well on the hair line so I've made my own glue now which works better and dissolves when you wash it. Always air dry wigs because they don't have the natural protection of your scalps oils, and try not to overwash and over style them. I am still learning about wigs as I've always had long hair, but I've learned to add concealer into the hairline and use tools and products specific for hair extensions. If you are more into drag styles of wigs, synthetic hair is more robust and they're much more affordable.

For more details of my work please check out my information in the links below.

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