Modern Indonesian Makeup Masterpieces
For makeup artists, every face is a blank canvas just waiting to be turned into a bewitching masterpiece.
Local makeup maestros were recently given the rare chance to display some of their master works at a show titled “Make a Beautiful Life,” hosted by Rembaka to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
Rembaka is an Indonesian company best known for its LT Pro professional makeup line and La Tulipe cosmetics.
Yohanes S. Suladji, a company manager, said he was impressed by the makeup artists’ creative use of Rembaka products in the show.
“We invited them to create something both highly artistic and beautiful using our cosmetics,” he said.
“They are all very creative.”
Held in the grand ballroom of Jakarta’s Hotel Mulia Senayan on Feb. 14, the show was divided into four categories: Modification, Fancy and Body Painting, Avant Garde and International Brides.
Each makeup artist was invited to present one unique creation using Rembaka’s Spring/Summer line onstage during the show.
The core colors of this season’s LT Pro professional line are matte orange, polished red, shiny gold and purple. Meanwhile, La Tulipe has more playful, vibrant hues on offer, such as lime green, cyan, yellow and coral red.
The influence of makeup traditions from across the archipelago was seen throughout the show, starting with an opening dance performance that combined contemporary choreography with traditional dances from Java, Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumatra and Papua.
Tienuk Riefki, a makeup artist from Yogyakarta, presented simple and elegant evening makeup inspired by the beauty of the princesses of Yogyakarta’s traditional palace in the first category, Modification.
“I combined the colors of gold, orange and brown for the eye-shadow and baby-pink hues for the blush and lipstick,” she said.
The result was a stately feminine look that recalled the grace of a Javanese princess.
Jakarta-based artist Novi Arimuko looked to Bali to inspire her creation, drawing on the island’s traditional bridal makeup.
“Bali is always full of colors,” she said. ‘’I blended the colors of pink, fuchsia and orange in my makeup palette to create a fresh natural look.”
For the Fancy and Body Painting category, Jakarta’s Chenny Han presented an almost nude model covered in bright green and shiny gold body paint.
Golden-hued roots and branches were intertwined with the model’s limbs.
“I was inspired by the movies “Avatar” and “Burlesque,” Chenny said. “In those movies, the women appear feminine, yet they’re very strong and resilient.”
She added it took three hours to spray the model’s entire body with liquid foundation to create a smooth, unblemished physique.
“It’s as if she’s wearing a body stocking,” Chenny said.
Artist Michael Zimbalist introduced an element of fantasy with his creation, “Transformer.”
Dressed in a snakeskin-print dress, his model sported a bouffant Medusa-like hairdo above her pale white complexion and blood-red lipstick.
“I imagined my model to be a snake morphing into a woman, but with the transformation only half-complete,” he said. “So, she’s half snake and half woman.”
Artists were invited to use their imagination in creating more unusual and innovative looks in the Avant Garde category.
Semarang makeup artist Ave Sanjaya presented a glamorous evening look with his creation “Queen of the Day.”
Ave highlighted the model’s regal gaze with pale pink and fuchsia eye-shadow and golden glitter.
Silver eye-shadow spread from the outer eyelids to the temples in place of eyebrows.
“I’ve covered [the model’s] eyebrows with LT Pro foundation, so that she appears to have no eyebrows at all,” he said. “It’s a new, happening trend in France and Italy.”
Jakarta’s Philip Kwok showcased a standout creation inspired by the recent eruption of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta.
“I was saddened by the volcano eruption,” Philip said. “The disaster took many lives and for weeks the city and its surroundings were covered in thick ash.”
His model wore her long hair loose, as if she were in mourning. Her dark hair was crowned by a headpiece resembling the iconic Borobudur temple, while her eyebrows were shaved and replaced with images of solid, gray rock. Dark brown eye-shadow and lipstick recalled the harrowing atmosphere of the recent natural disaster.
Representing the hope that dawned after the eruption, male and female dancers, dressed as cupids in immaculate white outfits and fluffy wings, danced onstage before the backdrop parted to reveal five beautiful brides standing beneath blooming cherry blossom trees.
More brides were on show in the International Bride category.
Jakarta-based makeup artist Wawa Sugimurwati presented classic bridal makeup inspired by Italian brides.
“I used blue eye shadow combined with pink blush and fuchsia lipstick,” she said.
“They’re all of one tone to create the romantic and elegant look of [traditional] Italian brides.”
Jakarta artist Sugimartono looked further east for his bridal presentation, offering his own interpretation of the modern Chinese bride.
Dressed in a sheer white cheongsam (traditional Chinese dress), the model’s soft white complexion was adorned with pale blue eye-shadow, baby-pink blush and golden-red lipstick.
“We shouldn’t try to change or disguise the shape of Asian eyes,” he said. “That’s why I didn’t use dark eye-shadow to make them appear larger — I wanted to highlight their unique shape with pale blue eye-shadow and thick eyelashes.”
“Basically, a bride doesn’t need too much makeup,” he added. “The happiness will show on her face and make her look beautiful on that special day. Makeup only helps to bring that out.”
Beauty, it seems, is perhaps not skin-deep after all.