Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Eye is the Jewel of the Body

Photo Copyright 20th Century Fox
Henry David Thoreau has been quoted as saying "The eye is the jewel of the body".  "The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul", is what Ralph Waldo Emerson has to say about the human eyes. Being an artist, I have always been had a passion for drawing and painting eyes and even on my own eyes.

My love of cosmetics began at a young age, I think some of my influence came from movies.  I remember the summer of 1963 when the movie "Cleopatra" was released with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  I was eleven at the time and loved buying "movie magazines" at the drug store.  My cousin and I loved looking at them and believed every single word we read.  I was so enthralled with the photos of Elizabeth Taylor and her Cleopatra painted eyes.  I would try to copy the look on my own eleven year old eyes and any other willing victim, namely my cousin who also enjoyed the movie magazines and those glamourous pictures. We "borrowed" her older sister's cosmetics for the Cleopatra look.

One thing I desperately wanted was some eyeshadow.  My Aunt Clara told me she had some to give me.  My aunt lived upstairs over their grocery business and I remember the day my mom drove me to get my eyeshadow.  I ran up the stairs and she gave me a little gold decorative case with a hinged lid, inside was the most vivid blue eyeshadow in the form of heavy paste. Yes, I was too young to wear makeup but what fun I had at home playing "dress up." I would remind my aunt in later years of how happy it made me when she gave me the eyeshadow.  Sometimes it is the small gestures that are important, especially to an eleven year who had a great yearning for some eyeshadow!

Recently I saw the movie, "A Single Man."  The film was fashion designer Tom Ford's directing debut.  The period of the movie was the early 1960s and I loved the styles and fashions in this movie. Tom Ford was actually criticized for making scenes "too beautiful".  My favorite scene I have posted below, Julianne Moore is getting ready for the evening and I liked the creative closeup shots of her applying her eyeliner. The scene quickly changes to the dance scene.  Even more, I love her and Colin Firth's silly dancing to "Green Onions" by Booker T & the MGs.

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