Men + Makeup

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Makeup Stats Part 1

Although our findings did not yield quantifiable, hard data on the amount of makeup utilized by David Bowie or Boy George, we were able to use the available data to identify some key insights about their makeup usage. Many of David Bowie's signature makeup looks were created by Pierre La Roche, who was influenced by Arab women in Algiers to apply heavy eye makeup to Bowie, although he sparingly used heavy base powers, which he felt made Bowie's face look soft. Bowie's favorite products and techniques included "multiuse, neon-bright colored powders," black or blue mascara, kohl eye shadow, traditional rice powder as a foundation (inspired by Kabuki theater) or another "pure white" base, and pearlized gloss in tan or pink shades for his lips. Boy George has identified Max Factor as a favorite makeup brand, and according to his own tutorial on creating his iconic Karma Chameleon look, he relied on "wild" contouring, curled eyelashes, winged eyeliner, and glitter. Below you will find a discussion of our methodology, to better understand why the information you requested is unavailable, as well as an overview of our findings.

METHODOLOGY

In order to gain a broad understanding of the makeup habits of David Bowie and Boy George, as well as any potential information about David Bowie sharing makeup with Iman (his wife and a famous model), my colleagues I researched this topic using reputable media sources and entertainment articles, attempting (when possible) to identify and gather information from original sources. However, our preliminary findings indicated there are three limitations to our research, which are discussed below.

First, we identified no quantifiable information on the quantities of makeup used to create David Bowie's various personas. In the absence of this information, we expanded the scope of our research to locate interviews given by Bowie and/or his makeup artists that might provide more general insights on his makeup usage. While this approach yielded some key findings on his makeup usage, it is noted that many of Bowie's makeup artists predeceased him, and older interviews with these artists are currently available only as paid content.

Second, we did not locate any archived records of Mirabelle magazine, nor did we identify any original articles quoting Bowie's contributions to Mirabelle. While we did identify some limited and general discussion of his "diary" entries for Mirabelle in reputable publications, our research indicates that the only full reproductions of his contributions are available on fan sites, most notably David Bowie Wonder World. As you specified that you did not want information from blogs or fan sites, we have excluded these findings from our project.

Finally, a typical Wonder request primarily relies on information published within the preceding 24 months. However, since you requested information about makeup usage in the 1970s and 1980s, many of the publications identified were published outside Wonder's typical time frame. However, as this information most readily provides the insights you have requested, we have elected to include it for this project.

DAVID BOWIE

Makeup Usage

Although David Bowie applied his own makeup early in his career, his most famous makeup looks were created by professional makeup artists, most notably Pierre La Roche (sometimes spelled "LaRoche"), a makeup artist who began working for Bowie after La Roche found his makeup gig with Elizabeth Arden too conservative. Raised in Algiers, La Roche was influenced by Arab makeup styles, which included heavy application of kohl, an eye shadow. La Roche's heavy application of eye makeup is most notable in Bowie's Ziggy Stardust persona, which also included an "astral sphere" on Bowie's forehead. La Roche later created the lightning bolt design on Bowie's face for the album cover of "Aladdin Sine." Of Bowie, La Roche commented that despite Bowie having the "perfect face for makeup," he used caution in the application of strong, heavy base powder, as these products made Bowie's face appear soft. La Roche worked with Bowie throughout the 1970s and was responsible for the majority of his most famous stage personas.

Dick Smith, the makeup artist whose prosthetic devices and makeup effects aged David Bowie 150 years for the movie, "The Hunger," created "seven foam-latex mummy suits" along with assorted make-up effects. According to Smith, his makeup effects for Bowie were the first use of Smith's revolutionary PAX makeup, which is an even mixture of adhesive and opaque acrylic paint.

According to a 1973 interview with David Bowie himself referenced by Vogue (which is unfortunately not available as original content), Bowie was highly conscious of the makeup products he applied to his face. He utilized "multiuse, neon-bright colored powders" purchased in Italy for eye shadows, although he never disclosed the name of the store. He used black or blue mascara, "cakey" mascara, and smudged kohl near the roots of his eyelashes. He often shaved his eyebrows to provide a larger canvas for makeup creations on his face. Bowie was influenced by Japanese Kabuki theater, using traditional rice powder for foundation on his face or another iridescent base in "pure white." He preferred a "ruby-red" shade for blush, and the gold pigment used to create the "iconic circle above his brows" was from Germany. His preferred skin care routine included Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream. He utilized a pearlized gloss in tan and/or pink shades on his lips, although on stage, these products appeared a whitish silver color.

Mirabelle

According to Bowie biographer, Nicholas Pegg, the teenage magazine, Mirabelle, published 94 installments of Bowie's weekly "diary," ending in May 1975. Bowie's "diary" entries were characterized by "the tone of wide-eyed innocence, the profusion of exclamation marks, and the painstaking catalogue of Angela Bowie's social engagements." In 1998, David Bowie admitted he did not actually write the "diary" entries in Mirabelle, which were composed by his publicist, Cherry Vanilla. As previously discussed, we did not identify any original sources for Bowie's publications in Mirabelle that do not derive from fan sites.

David Bowie and Iman

Our findings did not produce any information on David Bowie sharing cosmetics with his wife, Iman, who is also a model and makeup entrepreneur. We believe there are two likely explanations for this lack of information. First, David Bowie wore very little makeup, if any, off-stage. He did not use any foundation products but opted for "a light natural moisturizer with rice powder dusted on top," which he believed highlighted his naturally fair complexion. Second, and related to the first, Iman was an innovator in developing makeup products that "are designed for African American, Asian, Latina and multi-cultural women with skin tones in a myriad of shades." As a result, makeup that flattered their respective complexions may not have been compatible, resulting in Iman and Bowie possibly not sharing makeup products.

BOY GEORGE

According to Boy George, his official makeup policy is, "Just put more on!" He has indicated that, "Make-up for me is my mask, my protection." According to his comments on the subject, Boy George applied his own makeup throughout his career, often without the benefit of brushes or other professional products. In many cases, he applied his makeup with his own hands. He has identified Max Factor as one of his favorite makeup brands. According to his own tutorial, in order to recreate his Karma Chameleon style, Boy George considers eyebrow makeup the key to creating a look, and he relied on "Liz Taylor/Cleopatra" winged eyeliner to complete his persona. He believes it is necessary to curl the eyelashes to "open up the eyes." He considers color to be key to his look, and he prefers "wildness" for contouring, including the direct application of glitter.

CONCLUSION

In summary, while we did not identify any quantifiable, hard data regarding makeup usage by David Bowie and Boy George, we have located key insights about their preferences, favorite products, and overall approaches to makeup design. We did not identify any publicly available original sources for Mirabelle that are not published by fan sites or blogs, and we did not locate any information that suggests that David Bowie and Iman shared makeup products.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Makeup Stats Part 2

Tim Curry's "slathered-on" makeup for Dr. Frank N Furter in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" was originally designed by David Bowie's makeup artist, Pierre la Roche, based on Alice Cooper's stage persona in 1973. Mr. la Roche spent four hours on Mr. Curry's makeup during production, resulting in Curry's frustration and decision to begin applying his own makeup. Glitter was a significant component of Mr. Curry's makeup. John Boehner faced ongoing speculation regarding his use of bronzer and/or other tanning products during his career, including a public poll survey in 2010 that rated voters' response to his tan. However, his official response is that his complexion is "100 percent natural," and he has indicated, "I've never been in a tanning bed or used a tanning product." While we could not identify any direct sources of information about Brian Williams' use of mascara, we did learn that his makeup artist on NBC Nightly News used contouring and brightening products to address the asymmetry of Mr. Williams's face.

METHODOLOGY

In order to identify statistics on makeup usage by Tim Curry, John Boehner, and Brian Williams, my colleagues and I attempted to locate data published by reputable sources, rather than relying on fan websites or blogs. We focused on identifying three statistics regarding Tim Curry's use of makeup (during production of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" or in his personal life), one statistic regarding the use of bronzer by John Boehner, and one statistic associated with mascara usage by journalist, Brian Williams.

Although a typical Wonder request contains sources published within the previous two years, it is noted that "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" was released in 1975, and many publications on the movie were published in the time frame following its controversial release. Similarly, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, was primarily active on the American political scene from 1991 to 2015, and many publications on Mr. Boehner pertain to this period. As a result, some sources cited for this brief are outside the typical time frame for a Wonder project, but we believe the information provided about each individual remains relevant. Additionally, it is noted that there are very few definitive, quantifiable statistics on makeup usage by Tim Curry, John Boehner, and Brian Williams, although all relevant information identified by reputable sources has been included here for your review.

TIM CURRY

Tim Curry's makeup artist during production of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" was Pierre La Roche, best known at the time for his contributions to David Bowie's legendary Ziggy Stardust persona and Aladdin Sine album cover. Mr. Curry describes Mr. la Roche's artistic approach to Dr. Frank N Furter's makeup as "a very kind of high fashion version," and noted that Mr. la Roche was the makeup artist for the entire cast of the film. In fact, the "slathered-on" makeup look designed by Mr. La Roche for Dr. Frank N Furter was actually based on Alice Cooper's stage makeup in 1973, which featured heavy, black eye makeup. Mr. la Roche's efforts to transform Tim Curry into Dr. Frank N Furter took as long as four hours, a process which so frustrated Mr. Curry that he began applying his own makeup during production of the film. Glitter was a key component of Mr. Curry's makeup in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," and not only did the character wear more glitter than any other, but the application of such large quantities of glitter during the show's theatrical run resulted in skin irritation for Mr. Curry that was significant enough to delay a performance. While Mr. Curry later played other characters famous for their makeup and costume design, such as Darkness in "Legend" and Pennywise in "IT," subsequent interviews with Mr. Curry after the release of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" indicate he was deeply embarrassed by the negative critical reaction to the film, and his career was derailed for many years due to his typecasting as Dr. Frank N Furter. Mr. Curry has given limited interviews about the movie in the last 40 years, and no interviews were identified with Mr. la Roche that would provide additional information on Mr. Curry's makeup in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

JOHN Boehner

John Boehner, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, confronted a significant amount of speculation about his use of tanning beds, self-tanner, and/or bronzer during the height of his political career. In 2010, Public Policy Polling released a survey which reported that 8 percent of respondents had a favorable view of his tan, while 27 percent viewed his complexion unfavorably. Nearly one third of voters reported that Mr. Boehner "spends too much time on his tan," while 14 percent believed he spent "about the right amount of time." Only 4 percent of viewers believed Mr. Boehner should become more tan, whether by use of tanning beds, self-tanning products, and/or bronzer. Mr Boehner reported to The Wall Street Journal in 2010 that his complexion is "100 percent natural," which he later reiterated in an interview with ABC News. Mr. Boehner's official statement on the topic of bronzer is that, "I've never been in a tanning bed or used a tanning product."

brian williams

Despite exhaustively researching media sources and entertainment articles on the use of mascara by Brian Williams, the former anchor of NBC Nightly News, we identified no specific information that detailed Mr. Williams's use of mascara. However, we did learn that Mr. Williams's makeup artist at NBC Nightly News, Andrew Sotomayor, has discussed some techniques utilized to correct the on-air appearance of Mr. Williams's asymetrical nose, noting that, "Brian Williams has an asymmetrical nose, and is one of the most handsome men on television." According to Mr. Sotomayor, he used contouring and brightener products to provide balance for Mr. Williams's face. Additionally, Mr. Sotomayor has identified Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara and Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer as some of his favorite mascara products, so it is reasonable to assume that if Mr. Williams used mascara, Mr. Sotomayor may have applied these products.

conclusion

In summary, our findings revealed that Tim Curry's "high fashion" and "slathered-on" makeup in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" was created by Pierre la Roche, a former makeup artist to David Bowie. Mr. Curry eventually applied his own makeup, due to frustration over Mr. la Roche spending four hours on the task, and glitter was a key component of Mr. Curry's makeup. Despite allegations that John Boehner uses bronzer, his official response is that his complexion is "100 percent natural," and he has indicated, "I've never been in a tanning bed or used a tanning product." While we could not identify any direct sources of information about Brian Williams's use of mascara, we did learn that contouring and brightening products have been used to address the asymmetry of Mr. Williams's face.
Sources
Sources