Movie Magic…Not So Much!

December, 18, 2014

After posting yesterday’s Guerlain makeup video, I received a lot of messages asking how I came up with the concept and put it together. The time is right to answer those questions since this is Travel Thursday, Guerlain has a romantic French history, and we’re in a magical season. If you haven’t seen my video yet, here it is.

The moment the amazing markup artist, Marcus Monson, showed me the Petrouchka Palette, I was taken with how the packaging looked like a Christmas gift. I grew up dancing in Kent Stowell’s Nutcracker with Pacific Northwest Ballet. My favorite scene was when the Christmas tree grew so big that the dancers looked like toys. That was my inspiration. I wanted the Palette to look like a giant package set off by tiny ballet dancers.


But I couldn’t construct two-story replicas of the cosmetics, set them on a stage and bring in a ballet company:) So I shot the Palette on my coffee table. Then I hung some green paper in my living room, strapped on my decade-old pointe shoes and cloned footage of myself dancing in front of it.

To make the products and me look like we were onstage, I laid shiny black material under the makeup, and left enough room on the coffee table to drop in my clones when I imported the image into Final Cut. To make the coffee table look like a cove, I kept unrolling the material and raised it up behind the products. The sunlight above and to the sides of the backdrop gave the products their highlights. To keep them in place, I used clay. Since I only own one Palette, I took two pictures, one with it open and the other with it closed, and then combined them into one image. I added the snow at the end with Apple’s Motion by going to Particle Emitters.

Guerlain A

Now for the romantic history behind these products… The House of Guerlain began in early 19th-Century France and quickly rose to fame. Chemist Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain was a great perfumer who built a house of beauty sought after by high society.


Queen Victoria, Queen Isabella of Spain and Tsar Alexander III were devoted customers.

Queen Victoria

Today, Guerlain is still an adored luxury line featuring makeup, fragrance, and skincare.

Guerlain B



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