It is impossible to say exactly when make-up was first invented, but history tells us that the Egyptians first began using it in 5000 B.C. The Romans used it over 2000 years ago, and they are said to have brought it back to Japan, where it has been used for quite some time. The visual of the Egyptians, with the distinctive way that they painted the eyes, has been recreated in modern times, both for film and fashion. The Geisha girl kabuki face is also familiar, and has endured, cropping up in fashion and music videos for decades, even finding a fan in pop icon Madonna, who adopted the look during her Ray of Light period, and employing it in her photo shoots, while adopting the Geisha clothing for her "Nothing Really Matters" video.
Make-up as we know it today, finds much of it's roots in Max Factor, who is considered the father of it's creation. He first started selling his homemade rouges and creams at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, but it wasn't until 1914 that he decided to follow his dreams and create make-up for actors in movies, which differed from its theatrical counterpart by not caking or cracking. There would be various events in between, but it was in the 1920's that his make-up was introduced to the public, with the promise that any girl could look like a movie-star, simply by using Max Factor. His contribution is immortalized in L.A. - the Max Factor museum on Hollywood Blvd.
While the traditional use of make-up is to enhance beauty, it can be used to create illusion, or transform. This level of creativity finds uses in movie special effects, as well as those artists who have transformed one face into that of a famous actor or actress. The industry itself has grown into a beauty empire that spans a multitude of brands, even going green with the advent of mineral make-up.
Like an artist with a paintbrush, make-up can be a tool of expression, and the face becomes a canvas with which that vision comes to life. Steven D. Hill is a master of the brush, and does not confine its use to the standard necessary for a typical photo-shoot. While he can certainly create whatever is necessary, he can also re-imagine the application until he has a unique finished product.
©2009 - Sean Dibble