Every girl deserves a makeover from time to time. My last one was ages ago. I’d been itching to try a new look, so yesterday I made the short trip into San Francisco hoping to find inspiration.
I was almost ready to throw in the towel when a sign on a building caught my eye: Kryolan Professional Makeup. Curious as ever and not wanting to head home defeated, I decided to check it out.
Jake, the Kryolan showroom manager, gave me a tour of the place and described their products and services.
The company offers a full line of professional and consumer beauty products but specializes in theater makeup and makeup education. I was immediately drawn to their Aquacolor wet cake makeup — pans of highly pigmented, glycerin-based face and body makeup available in 250 different shades ($6 each).
Once I spotted their beautiful brushes (high quality, and generally more affordable than department store lines), body paints and, um, fake blood, I knew I was in for a different kind of makeover. Sign my booty up!
Dominic, Kryolan’s director of education, got me ready for my makeover, sitting me down beside a counter covered in Aquacolor pans. I told him to go nuts! I didn’t know what to expect, but I got a little suspicious when he glued a prosthetic cat nose to my face.
That’s when it dawned on me: homie was probably not going to do a simple smokey eye.
After all, Kryolan is known for extreme movie and theater makeup. You’ve probably seen their makeup at work in Hollywood films, and their credits include the makeup for The Chronicles of Narnia, Collateral and Pirates of the Caribbean.
With my new prosthetic cat nose in place, Dominic started layering different colors to develop the look. “The painting process is fun,” he said. “This is the most time consuming part of the whole process.”
The entire Karen-into-cat transformation took about 45 minutes, but here’s the condensed version…
Dominic really knows his stuff. While he can do dramatic transformations, turning girls into cats and whatnot, he spends most of his time teaching makeup application and working with makeup in a more traditional beauty sense.
There is quite a bit of method to the transformation madness.
Step by Step
- Dominic began by referring to a photograph of a cat to determine what shades to use.
- Next, he applied the prosthetic cat nose with adhesive (spirit gum) and used eyelash adhesive to smooth out the edges.
- Using a light color, Dominic covered my entire face to create a neutral canvas upon which to work.
- Then, he applied a yellow (slightly darker than the base color) to my cheeks and chin for contour.
- He outlined and filled in the shape of my new cat’s eyes with a dark brown using a fine-tip brush.
- To add contour to my forehead and to darken my lips, he used progressively darker colors as he went along.
- He used a fine-tip brush to paint my whiskers and fur.
- With progressively darker colors, Dominic smoothed out all the harsh edges and the outline of my face.
- To bring my hair into character, he teased it with a comb and hairspray and then applied two shades of spray-on hair color (a yellow and a brown) to create my feline mane.
- Finally, he used a fixing spray to set the makeup, ensuring it would last throughout the afternoon.
I was so pleased with the results!
Happy with my new makeover, it was time for lunch. I turned down several offers from Kryolan staff members for a plate of milk and some kibble and decided instead to fend for myself.
I ended up at a local bakery and learned that one can rather easily cruise the city made up like a cat in the middle of the day without being asked if you’re 1) starring in CATS or 2) just plain nuts.
If you’d like to learn how to do theatrical and extreme makeup, Kryolan offers a two-day theatrical makeup workshop for $490. For more information on classes and reservations, call (415) 863-9684.
Kryolan’s Two-Day Theatrical Makeup Workshop Includes…
- A continental breakfast
- Basic knowledge of theatrical makeup and how to transform an actor into a character
- A theatrical makeup kit (included in the cost of the class)
- Certificate of completion
Kryolan also publishes a 150-page Makeup Manual ($15), which gives a good overview of extreme makeup. It’s got lots of glossy pictures, too! Call 1-800-KRYOLAN for details.
More about Kryolan…
Founded in 1945, Kryolan has a presence in 80 countries and boasts more than 1,000 professional beauty products. They’re one of the world’s top sellers of makeup and special effects items for theater, film and television.
Papierstr. 10 D – 13409 Berlin
Telefon +49 30/499 892-0
Telefax +49 30/491 49 94
Kryolan UK Sales Office
22 Tavistock Street
London WC2E 7PY
Telephone +44 20/72 57 61 52
Telefax +44 20/73 79 34 10
132 Ninth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone (415) 863-9684
Fax (415) 863-9059
A big MEOW to all my ladies on this fabulous Saturday! Let me know what you’ve been up to today.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,