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July 31 2014

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Face Painting: Fun Or Faux Pas?

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After we posted Little Boots’ comments on the wrongs of summer festival beauty, i.e., using the frequently muddy music extravaganzas as an excuse to “go all tribal,” this picture of Drew Barrymore enjoying sets by Bon Iver, Yeasayer, and MGMT at Bonnaroo surfaced like clockwork. An actual conversation about the beauty guidelines for face painting followed shortly thereafter between me and a fashion editor friend, who surmised that only certain celebs, namely Drew, Zooey Deschanel, and Kirsten Dunst, could pull off the look without looking “played,” as she put it. I felt the need to add Bat for Lashes, a.k.a. Natasha Khan, to the list since she has inspired many a festivalgoer to experiment with the full potential of eye shadows and lipsticks. Thoughts on playing Picasso with your face?

Photo: From left, Gary Miller / Wire Image; Shirlaine Forrest / Wire Image

USER COMMENTS Comments

Comments

  1. FrancoiseZooey says:

    I would think a music festival is the perfect place to have fun with one’s look. Where else could someone who isn’t a musician get away with it?

  2. erica123b says:

    For some reason Drew definitely pulls it off better than they guys and gals I’ve seen at festivals. Her pastel/metallic color combo is PERFECT.

  3. NotMod says:

    Perfect!

    One crazy thing I hope to see more and more and more…in all the right places, whichever those might be. And try out for myself too, at some point. Yeah!

  4. flightofthedreamer says:

    I agree NotMod!!!! Super fun, Super cute, and oh-so daring!

  5. Falena says:

    Generally, I think it’s difficult to borrow a makeup/costume element from a culture considered to be “exotic”, without coming off as ignorant or patronizing. Silly Americans playing dress-up, right? But these girls seem to make face-painting more their own and less “Cowboys and Indians” by taking it a bit out of the context of its origins. Metallics, pastels and neon colours, not necessarily mimicking of any vast tribal generalization, but a more individual beauty expression expanded beyond the confines of the eyelids seems pretty harmless to me.

    But Drew Barrymore’s vertical yellow feather starts to enroach on that Halloweenish vibe, easily capable of morphing into something irritating if not offensive.

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