For about a year I’ve been a part of a lovely facebook community of Faux Queens and last week, the fabulous Holy McGrail challenged everyone to do their best impression of her brilliant signature makeup.

What started as a camp drag look quickly morphed into Happy Halloween ala Miyazaki. The paint has a mind of its own. Here’s what I came up with:








I did it. I finally bit the bullet and upgraded my camera and lighting set up. Armed with the deposit from my last apartment in San Francisco, as well as birthday money, a week ago I became the proud owner of a Canon 70D and an 18″ Diva Ring Light.

I was also able to, for the first time, film the whole process. Get ready for more videos over on the YouTube Channel very very soon.



swirl makeup


Swirl costume makeup


swirly makeup


Photography: Nadya Lev. Model: Wenchi. Wardrobe: Mother of London. Post Production: Marina Dean Francis.

Sometimes, late at night in West Oakland, magic happens.

But first, let’s rewind to 2007, the year I graduated from high school and discovered Coilhouse Magazine: A Love Letter to Alternative Culture, soon to be the first blog I ever loved. Covering everything from Neil Degrasse Tyson, to Prince Poppycock, to The Cyborg Manifesto, it was through Coilhouse that I discovered a whole community of people who were nerdy feminist meme-obsessed weirdos like me, but who also loved fashion, art, and a certain bizarre dark fashion aesthetic. When the first issue went to print I bought it, then the second, the third, I couldn’t get enough. I had found them. My people.

What blew me away more than anything was the founders. Zoetica Ebb, Nadya Lev, and Meredith Yayanos were something I’d never encountered before: Badass smart women with brightly colored hair who were making cool art and being %100 themselves. As the years went on I ravenously consumed everything they posted. I bought an “Inform Inspire Infect” hoody, and for a time wore it almost daily. At last I’d found some fashion icons, photographers, and creators who were making the art I’d dreamed about.

Fast forward to 2013, Coilhouse has been shut down for over a year, and I’m at the Lost Horizon Night Market in Oakland. As my de facto date chats up a journalist friend about computer security, I’m left holding a bag of popcorn and facing a familiar looking lady with blue and purple hair, who introduces herself to me as Nadya. And after a moment I realize, yeah, that’s Nadya Lev. FANGIRL CITY. We chat for a bit, I tell her how much I loved Coilhouse, and give her one of my shitty, home-made business cards, “If you ever need a makeup artist, let me know…” I figured it would get lost like business cards do. I was wrong. A month ago I met Wenchi, Nadya, and a fantastic Mother of London neck piece at Nadya’s studio and here is what we did (one more, NSFW after the jump):

harlequinade_01   harlequinade13 (more…)