Pirate Makeup Look & Narrative

At Sea

There are some days when I feel I am mad. She will drain me until my bones ache. I  collapse, as though every bone is broken. She does not give me rest. Not a moment’s peace, she is forever the voice in my head. When she lets up I don’t feel relief, but anguish. It could be months before she calls to me again. Her curves, her temperament, her strength tortures us all.

There was once another, a woman whom I loved. She brought me sunshine. Her loveliness warmed my heart. I would sit at her tavern each night, hoping she could see there was once good in me. I dreamt of rescuing her, we could settle somewhere, grounded. But it was not to be. Her love was fleeting. Two like souls; a quiet life would have left us hungry.


Her icy kisses have me marked, skin scarred. She is relentless, suffocating at times, but similarly unmoved. Yet still I cannot keep away. One day she will be rid of me. Until then, I am forever hers. I am the fool that tried to tame her, but is now bewitched by her spirit.

Whenever I do a vintage or historic makeup look, I try to create a character in my mind. For this particular look, I didn’t think so much about pirate life and all the folklore and mystery that it entails, but rather, a life at sea. Popular culture characterizes pirates from centuries gone by as the somewhat lovable and amusing bad guys. Like Captain Hook or Jack Sparrow, they have this charming quality even though we know them to be thieves.

What I wanted to convey in this look was a story of a pirate who, while may have won many battles, was forever tormented by his unconventional life at sea. Whenever I am fortunate enough to go to the beach, there is nothing quite like the smell of the ocean air. Like pirate folklore, it is alluring. The sea’s undertow can literally pull you in, and yet, even with such force, I don’t need to succumb to it. I will willingly just walk right in.

With the sea as my inspiration for this look, I tried to incorporate the colour blue into the pirate’s makeup, without it seeming too obvious. I decided to apply navy blue eye shadow on the upper eyelids, along with a light dusting of black and gold glitter. The blue was applied messily so that it would look uneven, as though the sea was perhaps taking over.

I also wanted to emphasize the hardships of a life at sea. I accentuated the shadows on my model’s face using a mixture of bronzer and brown eye shadow. I also applied mixtures of coppers, blacks and a bit more blue to the lower lid, so that he would look fatigued. Red eyeliner was added to the lower waterline to add a dramatic effect to the look. For the lips, I applied heavy mixtures of taupe and beige eye shadows with a matte lipstick to make the lips look pale and slightly dry, as though he were dehydrated.

Stories of pirates always infer a life of lust and riches. There are stories of treasure maps, buried gold, or drunken nights of endless buffets and rum. When I thought about this character, I thought perhaps the treasure in his life was the sea; abundant and vast, but impossible to control.

A special thanks to my model, Rod, who brought this look to life and who is so inspiring and supportive.  


Adding to My Makeup Collection

I like to have at least one day throughout the week where I don’t follow a schedule, where I won’t look at my to-do list or my calendar.  One day for me to relax and unwind. While I try not to plan these days, they are very routine, which suits me just fine.

The day will start with yoga, followed by homemade breakfast and a hot cup of coffee. In between loads of laundry, I try to get all my meal planning done and get back from the grocery store before noon so that I can have an afternoon of relaxation.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, I decided to treat myself to a few things at the drugstore. I love experimenting with new makeup products or purchasing favorite items so that I can re-stock my makeup collection.

I started with picking up a couple of essential items that I use on a regular basis that I  had run out of. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm is a favorite of mine and I love the Vanilla Bean flavour. I also picked up some new makeup remover pads. Lastly, I picked up a new sheet mask by Garnier to add to my inventory. I like to treat myself to a face mask once a week or so. I went for a purifying mask, which I thought would be helpful for my complexion during the summer months. Between sunscreen applications and humid weather, my skin is oilier at this time of year.

For new makeup products, I always like to stroll through the cosmetics aisle in search of products that I can incorporate into either a vintage inspired look or historic character makeup. The first item I picked up was a cream blush in the shade Sparkling Coral by Marcelle. I have used their cream blushes before. I find they have a good amount of pigment, but I do find they work best if you build the product through applying light layers onto the skin. When I saw this shade I immediately thought of Grace Kelly. Many of her 1950s looks included soft pinks and coral shades of rouge and lipstick.

The last thing I bought was a liquid eyeshadow by Pixi by Petra. When testing out the eye shadow, I was positively surprised at how glittery the product was. I picked up the shade SunRay, expecting a warm gold colour, however, the tint of the glitter is a cool toned shade, with lots of silver and gold blended together. I can think of a lot of vintage eras where this product could work well. The two that immediately come to mind are obviously the 1970s and 1990s, but I think for this product I will definitely go back further to earlier centuries, perhaps the medieval era or the renaissance period.

My days off don’t usually include a mini shopping spree at the drugstore, but I think it’s important to treat yourself once in a while on the weekends. Taking time out to meal plan, enjoy an afternoon or test out new makeup looks are things I truly appreciate on the weekends. It helps me feel rested, restored and inspired for the new week!