Mime makeup in progress

Mime makeup in progress
Potatojunkie / CC BY-NC-ND

In its basic form I’m sure the idea of mimes has existed since ancient times, an iconic silent performer who says a lot about the human condition. In modern form, mimes have narrowed down to a very specific performance style and a recognisable look. Love them or hate them, mimes have a very strong, distinct look which is contributed to in no small part by the accents of red they include in their elaborate make-up, a spot here, a tear there, a pair of red lips.

Once the make-up and costume is completely applied, the mime is nearly anonymous by design, an every-person, so it’s interesting to see this shot of the transformation from human being to performing symbol in this shot. The girl with the red lips and the mostly done mime make-up is touching up her dark eye lining, and you know she’s preparing to become the creature she is to be.

Kissing red lips framed in long red hair

Kissing red lips framed in long red hair
.f@rfie. / CC BY-NC-ND

There are a hundred theories about the reasons behind the attraction we feel as animal and intelligent being towards a pair of flushed, shapely lips on a face. The evolutionary psychologists point towards sexual symbolism, and psychological analysts would talk of the phase of oral fixation and the like. Regardless of the reasoning behind it, we remain very attracted and subdued and excited by a pair of red lips framed in a head of healthy hair.

As selfies of lips and hair and warmly lit skin goes, this is quite a great example. A very simple image, but the focus is one the lips and it doesn’t matter that the rest of the face is off the frame. The harsh lighting frames all of it perfectly, streaming through long hair and tantalisingly open mouth makes this perfectly sensual. Rarely do you come across photographs that, while raw, are so evocative.

Red-wigged girl eating a strawberry

Red wig wearing girl eating a strawberry
chris.chabot / CC BY-NC

Red wigs have always reminded of clowns and red noses and large shoes, but wigs have had more than entertainment value in the past, from ceremony to uniform. With the birth of Japanese anime and its propensity for colourfully-haired characters, bright coloured wigs and hair became the staple of comic cons and the cosplay circuit. That aesthetic has slowly creeped into fashion, fantasy and all manner of popular culture.

It’s now easy to get your hand on brightly coloured wigs in most costume stores and even red hair dyes and the like in even regular cosmetic stores. Makes it easier for someone to make the striking visual connection between model, make-up and prop as in this stark shot of a model wearing a red-wig, eating a large red strawberry.

Kiss Me Red

Bloodied Readhead Mime
cc licensed flickr photo shared by poolski

A hint of red lipstick on a pair of beautiful lips. A strong light that casts soft shadows on the face, and makes the skin glow. I believe in the world of computer graphics they call it Sub Surface Scattering. I call it beatiful. Sometimes it’s nice to see a detail like this almost without context or environment. It reminds us of how much we stop seeing out of habit.