Deep purple process

Finally getting to the how of Joyce’s Deep Purple shoot! 🙂

The inspiration for this shoot was the awesome wig I ordered from CosplayDNA (they supply synthetic wigs that can be heat-styled and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg – R160 for this particular wig).

Ok first up is the make-up:
White water-based face paint
Sleek palettes
Ralo purple pallet
MAC Visage Primer
MAC Oil control lotion
MAC Visage prep and prime eye shadow primer
Elizabeth Arden foundation
Essence smokey eye pencil
Essence Matt Bronzer
Essence Gel eyeliner – Midnight in Paris
Eyelure  Naturalites – lengthening


Since starting to use MAC’s oil control lotion and Visage Primer every morning for my own beauty routine, I do this as a MUST step to any make-up session. It really makes such a huge difference in how the foundation goes onto the skin.

This is the pic we used as inspiration (can’t remember where I downloaded it from, if it looks familiar please let me know so i can give due credit)

I started off by dabbing white waterbased face paint to form the basic mask shape around the eyes. The using the Ralo purple pallet I used the lightest shade and stippled it in getting gradually darker towards the eyes. Making use of different shades of purple gave the make-up great depth. I also used some of the purple from the Sleek Circus Pallet. Line the eyes with Essence gel eyeliner in Midnight in Paris and blend it in using the black shadow also from the Circus Palette. Finish off by curling the eyelashes, adding a coat of Mascara and to top it off some Lengthening Eyelure Naturalites. For her lips we used a nude shade of MAC lipstick Joyce had bought the previous weekend, if anyone really wants to know the shade, let me know and I’ll make a note of asking her.

Unedited pics of the finished make-up

Unedited pics of the finished make-up

The photography side:

Now this is where the real challenge came in: I was able to borrow two Canon 580EX Speedlights from a friend along with my 430EX. I was so excited. Here’s list of what I started with:

Canon 60D
2 x 580EX Speedlights
430EX Speedlight
Home-made beauty dish
Home-made speedlight honeycombs

(excuse the bad cellphone picture)

So I started off by setting my 430(right) and one of the 580’s(left) as rim lights. About 30degrees behind the model without any light modifiers. The other 580 I used as my mainlight, slightly to my right shining down on the model’s face with the beauty dish on it. Immediately I realised i had a BIG problem:

Namely that the two rim-lights were causing very nasty flares on the wig; understandable considdering it’s synthetic nature but nonetheless very annoying for how fake it was making it look. Then started the long process of trying to get rid/dim down these highlights.

Firstly I tried to lessen their effect by wrapping them in tracing paper and setting their power as low as I possibly could, pushing the main light to it’s highest setting and adjusting my exposure for this light so the rimlights will be sufficiently dimmed in comparison.

With the tracing paper wrapped around the rim-light flashes

Yeah, so we got a semi-satisfactory effect if not completely there yet.  But then a completely different gremlin rose it’s head – light kept bouncing off the backdrop creating a very distracting bright area just behind the model’s left shoulder:

Aaaargh!! The background glare of doom!

And to think I though I was smart by layering the organza over the purple backdrop to disguise how wrinkled it was. To try and get rid of this effect i tried anything I could think of, created barndoor-flaps out of old school writing pads, wrapped the sides of the flash in tracing paper. Eventually I resorted to adding my honeycombs, but not even that would get rid of that hotspot. Eventually just gave up and took down the organza layer.

As a last resort I decided to double-up the modifier effects: honeycombs with tracing paper wrap around their fronts which ultimately ended up giving me exactley the lighting I had been looking for on the wig. Eureka!!:

Finally success!!

Was so happy when I saw this! So now without any further delay here is the end products from this shoot ^_^


3 thoughts on “Deep purple process

  1. Tina says:

    Gorgeous stuff, I think the white is a bit distracting in some of them photos but in the first, 10th and 12th photo where it’s softer it’s absolutely striking!

    • Mareli Basson says:

      The white in the make-up? I have to agree, think I should’ve tried not to do it so evenly or rather, darkened the skin in comparison to really make it stand out, at the moment it just looks like a weird texture on the skin. Thanks so much for the comment! 🙂

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