“Burning In This Love” Editorial Shoot- Liz Cusano

Its 1am, as your head hits the pillow and your eyes close, you experience a moment of pure genius. Colors that can’t be described are flowing in vibrant circles around a pure premise of something you can’t let go. So you jump out of bed, fumbling around in attempts to find a pen to jot down that thought. Without even knowing it, you’ve just created genius.

As a makeup artist, my highest levels of personal satisfaction have all been based around those moments in which I stand back to look at my canvas, and realize I just recreated that late night subconscious thought. This particular creation is one of those examples.

I attended the Glam Academy in hopes of embracing and expressing the creative inner being I had been suppressing the last few years. I could not have imagined how much it would have changed my life.

For our final shoot, Alexa gave us the opportunity to create an editorial look that would define our brand and personality, influenced by a fashion trend or genre. Using different mediums, breaking all the “rules” of traditional makeup artistry, and embracing what I defined as beautiful, came this masterpiece. The goal of editorial makeup is to sell a story, not a product or specific look. My look, “Burning In This Love” was a representation of Lust. Dressed as a seductively beautiful woman hides the devil, tempting you with her sharp curves, and soft lace.

My visual inspiration for this look, was Dolce and Gabbana’s- “Lace is the New Black” Ankle Boots. I tore it out of last month’s Vogue and tacked it to my bedroom wall- before I knew it, it had transformed into this mental vision.

1.) I began this look by prepping the skin with Makeup Forever HD Primer.
**Using a Primer is always a must. Makeup Forever’s HD Primer is a Demethicone based primer, filling in fines lines and wrinkles, making a seamless canvas.

2.) I built a base on each area I would later contour, in layers of gold and bronze representing the fire surrounding the devil. Using my fingers, and Benefit’s Cream Shadow in “Pot O Gold” and “Top Brass”, I covered her face, neck and arms
**It was extremely important to use a creaseless cream in this case, since there were so many areas a creasing shadow could have ruined the symmetry and softness of the contour base.
Why not a brush to apply?- The warmth of my fingers allowed the cream shadow to glide evenly on her skin

3.) On top of the cream shadow base, using a fan brush and small crease brush I contoured each area of depth to create sharp, well defined lines with loose powder. Visually it started to create a beautifully evil look- OCC Loose Shadow in “Hum” and “Dope”, and MAC “Melon” pigment.
**It was important to use a combo of cream and loose shadows. The loose powder adhered to the cream shadow base, allowing a precise, deep contour.
Why not bronzer?–The loose shadow powder is more pigmented than that of a bronzer, allowing me to create custom colors and depth intensities.

4.) I created a hard crease cut eye using a combination of a Black Cream Shadow- Makeup Forever’s “Aqua Black”, and Hwood Beauty’s “Matte Black”. Layering these two finishes created deeper depth. Going back in I sketched the defining line of the crease with a NYX Black Eye Crayon to create a leather look.
** Contouring the eyes was a huge factor in this look. I wanted to offset the softness of the lace, and the beauty of the gold with a hard, dark eye. Layering a powder shadow and a cream shadow will create a chalky effect. Be cautious when using a dark cream shadow- applying too much can cause build up, and take away from the depth.

5.) I used a deep gold shimmer loose shadow for the lid, and eye accent- OCC’s “Hum”.
** Shimmer finishes will absorb the light. By applying a shimmer as the base to the lace, and lid- it create added dimension.

6.) Applying Makeup Forever lashes to the top lashes, with an accent eye tattoo created added drama.

7.) To create a larger eye, I applied a thick cut lash further than the bottom natural lash line. I filled in the gap with a NYX Black Eye Crayon, and then re-contoured the outer edges of the eye with OCC’s “Hum” to create a soft edge.

8.) Very carefully, I cut out individual sections of a piece of lace fabric, and appliquéd them to the accent areas of one side of her body. On the opposite side of her body, in the same accented areas I contoured even heavier with a plum Benefit Cream Shadow “Fig”, topped off with Silver Swarovski crystal embellishments.

9.) Finishing off with a classic Black Lip using a combination of Makeup Forever Lipstick, and OCC Lip Tar to add dimension.

This look was all about precise contouring, combining different finishes, and creating depth in unexpected areas. There is hidden beauty in the combination of soft glitz, and dark edgy glam.

Embracing creativity in form of makeup artistry is my passion. When you add that to a talented team of hairstylists, a model who saw my vision, and a teacher/ photographer who understood my “genius moment” on that sleepless night a month prior- you get this masterpiece. Creations like this are the reason why I wanted to be a makeup artist. Mentors like Alexa are the reasons why I won’t ever let that dream go.

You can find more of my work on my website www.LusciousLashesCT.com and of course on facebook www.facebook.com/lusciouslashesct