Category Makeup

“We fixed the glitch. So he won’t be receiving a paycheck anymore. So it’ll just work itself out naturally.”

Earlier this year, I aided with some makeup and SFX work on a project that I couldn’t really talk about. Now I can: that project was Glitch, and they’ve just released their pilot episode to the general public–they should be releasing new episodes biweekly. I was not involved with the pilot at all, but some sort of Mellzah Dildarian credit should pop up in future episodes…so there’s my immortality, eh? I may also be visible as an extra in a scene or two, but hopefully not, because I am the worst actress in the history of acting–my tongue is jammed too firmly in my cheek to ever be anything other than embarrassing to watch. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, apply makeup…or something.

Aside from helping to fund the city of Seattle by receiving multiple parking tickets while on the job (How do you block an unmarked crosswalk? IT’S UNMARKED! Next you’ll be telling me I didn’t stop for the invisible stop sign!), I helped get the actors camera-beautiful and aided where I could around set. Some days, I was powdering noses. Other days, I was creating wicked-awesome scars and helping to transform (young and beautiful) Brian Sutherland into a variety of different old men. I even did a bit of wig-styling, from which the wig will surely never recover! And I’m not the only one who thought I did a good job! From the desk of the director, Tyler J. Hill: “Mellzah Dildarian needs also to be thanked, for her help with the makeup, who brought some FX wizardry into the mix and pulled some stuff off that had worried me until she arrived. But also, Mellzah was just there, so much, giving her time and energy and helping out wherever she could.” I’M A WIZARD, HARRY!

I had tons of fun working on the show, I met a lot of really incredible people, and I feel really fortunate to have been looped in on the project. I hope that it gets picked up for a second season, selfishly, to give me more work, but unselfishly because everyone worked really hard and I think it’s going to be a fun show–I’ve never seen a script so I have no idea how the whole thing is going to turn out…I’ll be finding out along with you! So far it seems to be a great big love letter to nerd culture, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

While we wait to learn the fate of Glitch, Samus, and Wyatt, I have a few behind the scenes photos and a video of makeup that I worked on that I can post. Enjoy!

This year’s Halloween costume: The Gunstringer

I found myself seriously charmed by The Gunstringer right around the time I was deciding what my Halloween costume would be this year, and it immediately became the forerunner, handily beating the competitors: Oompa Loompa, She-Hulk, and Sexy Phlegm Ball.

I made the poncho, gloves, hat bullets, holsters, and horse prop, as well as painting bones onto a leotard so I could pretend my body was skeletal and painting some plastic guns to look more realistic. I’m wearing it now, stuffing my face with mini-twix, and justifying the whole thing by telling myself I’m nothing but skin and bones. Out of all of it, the gloves gave me the most trouble. So much, in fact, that I may never make a pair of gloves ever again. Or at least not until sometime next year.

The makeup took about two hours to apply, from covering my eyebrows until finishing touches. It took nearly as long to remove, and I’m still finding occasional blue spots along my hairline or in a hidden cranny in my ears. If I was going to wear the costume again, I’d consider making prosthetics for the cheekbones, jawline, and forehead to make the skull more pronounced.

This year marks my first time doing something I thought I’d never, ever do: wear a couple’s costume, which on the scale of Big Deals is somewhere right around acquiring a mortgage. We might as well buy burial plots together now or get his and hers face tattoos.

Jason attended as my power-up: El Taco Diablo.

Our costumes were a hit even with people who hadn’t seen the source material, and they didn’t much impede us when it came to eating, drinking, or getting busy…dancing.

“Ever since I became a movie star I’ve been miserable. I had to get up at five a.m. just for makeup. I like the way the blush brings out my cheekbones, but it’s not worth it!”

On Saturday morning, we hopped back on the subway toward Hollywood Blvd to have lunch at Mel’s Diner and check out the Hollywood Museum, located in the historic Max Factor building: four floors packed full of Hollywood memorabilia. The ground floor was right up my alley and nearly bored Jason to death, as it was almost solely about makeup. They highlighted the differences between makeup applied for black and white films versus technicolor, how Max Factor’s innovations revolutionized makeup for film, and how it was eventually introduced for sale to the public as it was being stolen off of the sets by everyone. Max Factor’s “pan-cake” makeup was essentially a heavy foundation which, unlike the existing panchromatic makeup, did not reflect surrounding colors. Before the development of pan-cake, actors looked so bad in color that many refused to act in color films.

…the things women do to be beautiful.

Celebrities loved Max Factor’s makeup so much that they were more than willing to be featured in advertisements for the product. Today, you’d have to pay out the nose to get a celebrity to endorse your product! Celebrities no longer fall over themselves to advertise Max Factor makeup: After Max Factor Jr died, the company went public and then was merged with Norton Simon. Quality went down the tubes, it was turned into a drugstore line, which sold so poorly that it is now no longer even sold in the United States. However, the Factors are still involved in makeup–it’s not widely known, but Max Factor’s great grandsons are the founders of Smashbox, a higher-end makeup line.

Makeup displays were set up in four different rooms: one for blondes, one for brunettes, one for brownettes, and one for redheads. I’d never heard the term “brownette” before, but it does seem to fill in the spectrum nicely for women who have neither blonde nor dark brown/black hair. The redhead room was painted a pale green, and Max Factor felt that if your skin looked healthy and natural in this room, your tonality was right to become a redhead, which is how he decided that the color would work for Lucille Ball. I now know that redheadedness would not look natural on me, as the room gave my skin a sickly tint.

Mine would undoubtedly read “She’s a jerk!”

The blonde room was, of course, filled with Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, from some of her personal makeup, to outfits she wore, to some manner of prescription drug bottle. And then there was this: an unlabeled clump of dark blonde/light brown hair emerging from a box. There were quite a few things like this throughout the museum–just there, with no explanation. Was it Marilyn Monroe’s hair? Was it collected from her brush? Yanked from her head by the paparazzi? Was it wig hair? What is it doing there?

Also on the first floor: Marilyn Monroe’s limousine, the eiffel tower prop from Moulin Rouge, and a number of creepy bunny heads on legs from Along Came Polly.

The basement floor, a former speakeasy, was dedicated to horror and sci-fi memorabilia: in addition to props and costumes, they recreated the prison walkway from Silence of the Lambs. They had some of my personal favorites–one of Elvira’s costumes, a cryptkeeper puppet, and an entire Stargate costume display. I was sorely tempted to try and take Ra’s costume, as it would be much easier than trying to make one of my own for a future Halloween (of course, then I’d need the body of a twelve year old boy, so it’s probably for the best that I wasn’t able to get at it, rather than bellow in hippo-like dispair as I tried to cram myself into the original), and while I was at it, stick my face in Daniel Jackson’s pants since James Spader’s butt was in there for a time. (Was that too far? That was too far, I’m sorry.)

The third floor was also right up my alley, as it was a tribute to Lucille Ball, from her early days in Hollywood through the height of her career, up until her death. They had costumes, outfits worn to events, awards, jewelry, film clips, and more. She is one of my all-time favorite actresses–I watched reruns of “I Love Lucy” incessantly as a child, and I still love them as an adult. She was fierce, and brave, and funny, and an incredible role model for women, and it was very moving for me to be surrounded by evidence of her legacy. The fourth floor was more of a mishmash–a lot of random things from random celebrities and movies: the dog in a cast from There’s Something About Mary, Elvis Presley’s tattered robe (which they claimed came complete with peanut butter stains, though I could find evidence of no such stain, so it I suspect it was just sensationalism–like The King would have wasted any peanut butter on his robe!), Pee Wee Herman’s bicycle, some costumes from Moulin Rouge, and a small display on Michael Jackson, featuring even more random unexplained hair with a lifecast of his face. Two of the pieces appear to be wigs, but there’s a long ponytail that could have formerly belonged to Jackson? Maybe?

I like that they assumed that their visitors wouldn’t know the meaning of the word “scandal”.

We ended up spending several hours at the museum, seeing everything there was to see. However, we still had time to visit the Fredericks of Hollywood IN Hollywood (because, c’mon, who doesn’t love trashy lingerie?), meet another crazy on the subway, head back to the hotel, AND go swimming before it was time to head to Universal Studios.

Makeup as an Assault Weapon

MAC is collaborating with noted photographer and artist, Cindy Sherman, who does a lot of self-photography, acting as photographer, makeup artist, hairstylist, and model. The promo images reflect that; they could be portfolio pieces. Unfortunately, they don’t make me want to buy makeup.

Their sole purpose seems to be to give me nightmares.

Me, and now, you. You’re welcome.

Furthermore, I thought her work was intended to reflect on what society expects of women–makeup and aesthetic surgeries and so on and are intended to be garish and unsettling–so why is she collaborating with a makeup company to sell products to women who feel pressured to conform to society’s beauty ideals? Or maybe that’s the reason the promo pictures are so off-putting and she’s having one over on MAC?

Ho’n’Go Some Mo’

When I mocked press-on eyeshadow three years ago, I had no idea that it would stick around and that other companies would follow suit. I mean, really. Press-on zebra stripes? How many occasions does one have to wear such a thing? “Let’s see, today I have to go to the gym, the grocery store to pick up some asparagus, deposit this check at the bank…I’m thinking camouflage eyeshadow. Yeah, it’s definitely a camo kind of day. Let’s reserve leopard print for the office.”

But follow suit they have, as now with a little extra money and no sense whatsoever, you can purchase temporary lip tattoos.

Yes, you too can now let total strangers know that you shouldn’t be allowed to handle money, and from a distance, perhaps even project the appearance of late-stage oral disease. Or maybe even up close, as we all know how temporary tattoos flake and peel, and who DOESN’T want a potential lover to think of leprosy when looking at their lips? Oh, BABY.

But then again, since I have a history of being wrong about these sort of things, I’d like to present you with my brand new line of cheek tattoos, Cheeky Monkey:

Clownin’ Around

Love that Lurch!

MeeeYOW, Baby

Chillin With My Tribe

Dolla Dolla Bill, Y’all

The Beast Within

I’m Dating a Sparkly Vampire

Only fifteen bucks for a three-pack, and I’ll throw in a photo of a kitten wearing a hat for free. Place your orders now!

It’s so sparkly I’m gonna die!

Sometime in March, Jason revealed that he’d purchased my birthday present “months ago”, in an obvious attempt to torture me with anticipation. Trust me, this sort of thing works on me in spades. And lo, I writhed. But instead of just agonizing, I spent a solid month making guesses. Not necessarily serious guesses because I have a feeling he would not lie to me and say I’d gotten it wrong if I’d guessed it right and I’d feel badly to spoil his surprise, but guesses nonetheless. We were checking out at Fry’s electronics when I said “I know–you got me a unicorn, right?” and his answer changed from “Nope!” to “I…uh, will neither confirm nor deny” and I knew I was onto something. I needled him relentlessly. “You got me a unicorn stand mixer? Where it dips its magic horn into the dough and twirls it into bread?” “…Do those exist?” “God, I hope so.”

So, I wasn’t right about the unicorn stand mixer, but I was right about the unicorn. He got me Clarins 230 for my birthday, a long-discontinued nail polish also known as Unicorn Pee for both its rarity and overall magic sparkly qualities. Supposedly the multichrome pigment used to make it doesn’t exist anymore and can’t be recreated, which makes it highly sought-after and not something I figured I would ever own, because hell, even when I was gainfully employed I was not about to drop that kind of change on a nail polish.

I was so excited when I saw the bottle that I did a little dance and maybe had a little tinkle in my pants. I had offhandedly mentioned the existence of Unicorn Pee forever ago and he searched the internet until he found me a bottle. I wore it this entire week, and every time I looked at my nails, I was reminded of how much I am loved.

In sunlight, the glitter looks like dancing burning embers on the nails. In artificial light, the green flash becomes more apparent. This is over two coats of BUTTER London HRH, a red-toned medium purple with blue and red shimmer.

It was Santarchy, I tell you!

Two Saturdays ago, I convinced my friends to join me in the booze-riddled, fur-covered, red tidal wave nightmare known as Santacon. Last year, I went by myself and had a smashing time. I also had a fantastic time this year, but it suffered a little from lack of organization, and the weather also blew, which made hanging outside the bars socializing with strangers, caroling, elf-tossing, etc, less appealing. If spending all day in a velvet suit with itchy fur is uncomfortable, spending all day in a sodden velvet suit is exponentially worse. Last year as a single Santa, it was easy for me to squeeze into the bars and do my thing–when you have to find spots for 4-6 other people, it gets a little more difficult. I’m not complaining, merely explaining why we ended up breaking off from the Santa horde and forging our own path, filled with slapfights and pizza slices the size of a toddler and handsy elves and shoving plastic penguins down strangers’ pants. Emily took some funny videos, but sadly, I cannot figure how to get those from facebook to embed here.

Everyone met at the Fremont Troll, where one of the organizers reminded everyone of the Four Fucks of Santacon: Santa does not fuck with cops, Santa does not fuck with children, Santa does not fuck with security, and Santa does not fuck with Santa (unless it’s consensual). After the Four Fucks were established, everyone made their way to the first bar, the Dubliner. Already, there were far too many Santas for everyone to get inside, so we hung around outside, passing out gifts, receiving condoms and pornography and swigs from random flasks and party invitations and clove cigarette drags and awkward kisses, all while dancing to such fine tunes as “Baby Got Back” by the inimitable Sir Mix-a-Lot.


Here comes a santa, there goes a santa, yet another santa