Friday, August 26, 2011

Interview: Red Herring

Red Herring is quite possibly the coolest girl I've had the pleasure to meet since I started this website.  Not only is she a super hot burlesque dancer in Toronto, we share a lot of "geeky" interests, too.  Her latest project is Babes In Space, a Star Trek vs. Star Wars themed burlesque show dance-off.  This year she's producing and performing for the Star Wars team!  If you're in or near Toronto (I wish I was!), go get your tickets!  They're going fast!  Red Herring can also be found making hilarious YouTube videos, posting fascinating articles for her #CryptozoologyThursdays via Twitter, and sharing lots of useful/interesting burlesque related anecdotes on her blog.  She's everywhere!

I came across this quote on her blog and couldn't agree more:
"I believe it was Kitten De Ville who said that burlesque dancers are to women what rockstars are to men. Girls look up to them, find them awesome, raw, empowering, and leave a (good) show with a feeling of 'I could totally do that! I want to do that!' and then they throw up some horns and headbang on the way home."

Her being a gorgeous burlesque dancer and me being a huge burlesque fangirl, I was dying to ask Red Herring all about her makeup, performance and otherwise.  She's got some incredible tips!  And did I mention she's hilarious?  Read on for the most entertaining beauty interview ever!

At what age did you first start wearing makeup?
I first started wearing makeup when I was probably nine or ten. I was in productions back then (dance, theatre) so it was a necessary introduction. Of course, bright red lipstick wasn't the staple it is for me now when I was ten years old unless I was on stage.

How did you learn to apply it?
I wore it offstage too, and learned how to apply it from the people around me in theatre. Luckily I had those around to show me the difference between stage and day makeup!

What products were your favorite back then?
I was an artsy child, and there was this line of flavoured and brightly coloured lipsticks that I thought were awesome. I used to wear dark purple all the time. Goth phase forever! I can't remember the brand, and it's not like I was making out with anyone to take advantage of the flavour, but I wish they still made flavoured lipsticks!

What are your current favorites?
I buy my stage/photoshoot foundation from MAC...and half my lipstick. I adore their lipglasses like no other. I'm a fan of MAC eyeshadows but tend to shop Coastal Scents for their colour palettes, worship drugstore mascara (Rimmel's Sexy Curves and Covergirl Lashblast), and go for OPI polish (or the super-cheap quick-dry type because I'm impatient). Everyday foundation is usually drugstore Maybelline Dream Liquid mousse (fingers!) with a MAC Studio Fix powder to set it. I don't need the coverage of my stage foundation for my office job!

What is your usual makeup routine? How does it change from everyday to performing?
On a typical day, I blearily stumble to my makeup desk and moisturize and prime. Foundation, concealer, blush and bronzer. I then spend about five minutes yawning if it's a weekday, or five minutes with tea if it's a weekend. Weekday calls for a neutral eyeshadow with black liner (always black liner. I use a cake and a paintbrush most times, or Gosh), mascara, lipgloss and boom, gone. Weekend usually calls for much more colour. I love Coastal Scents and their 88 palettes, so I'll play around with whatever I feel like and work off of what I'm wearing.

For stage it's a similar routine with a heavier hand...but longer.

My foundation for stage and photoshoots is MAC's Studio Fix fluid with a brush, and their powder to set. This is followed by contouring and highlighting (cheek hollows, under the bottom lip, and sides of nose for contour, under eyes and cheekbones for highlight) and a blush applied with stage lights in mind.

Eyes get primed and coloured into whatever look suits my performance, with contrasting colours. I put a lot of emphasis on my eyes for stage. I always line with my brush, apply the false lashes (sometimes two or three pairs, sometimes bottom lashes), swear when they're crooked, and re-line when the glue is dry. Glitter is a necessary evil, and I tend to use cheap glitter (though I would love to grab some MAC glitters...) and make sure it sticks by dabbing body lotion on the eyelid, then patting the glitter on with a brush.

Lips get slightly over-lined for emphasis, filled, and then red (or other suitable glitter) gets patted on top. Glitter is liberally applied over the body with lotion to adhere it. Boobs are contoured (ALWAYS contour the boobs!). Glitter is once more liberally applied.

Please note that my cats tend to help me with every step of this process. They believe they are very important and talented.

What product could you never live without, and what will you never try again?

It's a tie between eyeliner and mascara. When pushed...probably eyeliner. I would never give up my black eyeliner.

As for never try again? I have an aversion to cream-cake foundations from drugstores (not to cream-cakes. I love cream-cakes. My thighs do not). They don't sit well on my skin, look cakey, and feel...bleh.

Got a special tip or trick you'd like to share?
Contour your boobs!  Put on your Special Bra of the night, look in the mirror, and shade either side of your cleavage, with a highlight right down the centre. Picture how boobs tend to get photoshopped in magazines.

For girls that are lacking a bit up top, or boys who want to do drag, this step is So. Valuable. It creates the illusion of depth and shadow. Check out petrilude's video on YouTube for a more detailed explanation.  Also, YouTube is a goldmine. Petrilude and xsparkage taught me 80% of what I know. You can learn anything on YouTube.

How do you take care of your skin?
ALWAYS remove your makeup before you go to bed. I don't care if you spent four hours hula-hooping with circus freaks after a two hour show, in no AC, and you're tired and dead on your feet at 5am. Roll your damn face off on a babywipe! I always have babywipes for lazy-removal. Show makeup, even normal makeup, will wreak all sorts of chaotic havoc on your skin if you sleep in it.

On showless nights, I usually use Babyface by Lush, smear it around (it will take off EVERYTHING), and then wipe it off with warm water. Moisturize and boom.

Who are your beauty inspirations?
For stage? Drag queens and wild parrots mixed with the demure classic beauty of someone like Dita von Teese. I know that makes it hard to picture! That's why my closet is a mess!


  1. wow, so cool, I gotta check this girl out. I love her boob contouring trick

  2. I love burlesque. So classy! And of course I totAlly admire their confidence and beauty! I feel the same way about many drag queens!

  3. Thank you for this interview, Laura! I had a great time answering your questions <3