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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.