Interview: Christiana Key

0 Posted by On October 4, 2013 In Interviews, Music

Christiana Key

An inspiration to me over the years I have known her, Christiana Key is nothing short of a renaissance woman (I say this a bit tongue-in-cheek as she literally incorporates renaissance flair into her appearance, but I also mean it in the colloquial sense). From writing and performing violin pieces for bands like Cult of Youth and Zola Jesus to designing clothing and herbal oils, while also acting and drawing as well as studying literature and the occult–she is seemingly unstoppable. In her current project Delphic Oracle, she is a one-woman wall of sound, creating live layers of music and vocals whilst wearing self-made couture costumes, each of which she has turned into a limited edition doll (for sale at select shows). Below she shares with us the secrets of her bewitching and sultry look…

What made you start wearing eyeliner?

My grandmother worked for Olan Mills and Mary Kay, so she was doing my nails and makeup for photo shoots by the time I was 4…? 5? I started wearing it “for real” when I was about 12, but I always broke into her makeup closet (yes she had a walk-in closet of makeup and beauty products) and spent hours in front of the bathroom mirror on my step stool drawing things on my face.

Do you always wear a cat eye or do you experiment with other styles?

I started with eyeliner pencils then graduated to wet/dry cake liner applied with a brush, then liquid eyeliner pens, back to brush and gel pigment, and now I’m back to square one. I was doing the “cat-eye” when it first became popular (what, three years ago?), but now I’m moving on to a more smudged, grungy goth, heroine-chic look. Top and bottom. And ever so smudged.

What is your favorite brand?

I buy designer for face and eyes, but I go really cheap for eyeliner. However, there isn’t a single eyeshadow or liner product on the market that would work if I didn’t use Urban Decay’s eyeshadow primer. I really, truly, honest-to-goodness don’t know how I lived my life without it. I have very oily skin and anything I put on my eyes would get stuck in the crease within two hours.

I like Sephora’s brand of gel pigments, because they never seem to dry out. For pencils, I go Covergirl eyeliner pencil with smudger all the way. I learned to wait at least a year after purchasing it to use it, so whenever I start a new pencil, I make sure to buy another one to use when the current one is gone. The texture gets grainy and not as smooth and “oily” as when it’s fresh, so it’s easier to intentionally smudge and won’t get stuck in the eyelid fold throughout the day. MAC is also good, but almost too good. It goes on thick and it’s hard to take off if I mess up.
 

I’m MOVING ON to a more SMUDGED, grungy goth, HEROIN-CHIC look.

 

What else do you use to complete your look?

As mentioned, I couldn’t live without Urban Decay’s eyeshadow primer. I couldn’t (wouldn’t!) wear makeup without it. For eyeshadow, my favorite and most versatile palette is Kat Von D’s True Romance eyeshadow palette in “Ludwig”. And even though it doesn’t last me very long, I like Sephora’s retractable and waterproof eyebrow pencil in “Rich Chestnut” because of the angled brush on the other side for brushing and blending the pigment, and also, between T-zone oils and summer perspiration, this tends to stay put and not clump inside my hair follicles.

For a warm daytime look, I use Makeup Forever’s eyeshadow in “Matte Beige Camel – 76″ with Stila’s Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in “Lionfish”, and apply the brown matte pigment in Kat von D’s palette with a Sephora lip liner brush.

For a cooler or more serious daytime look, I use Nars’ eyeshadow in “Cairo” and apply that under my lower lashes with an angled eyeshadow brush. I use the black pigment from Kat von D’s palette to line my upper lid for a sultry, barely-there line.

For evening, I sometimes mix the the bronze/brown eyeshadow in Kat von D’s palette and apply that all over the lid, with a hint of brown shading in the crease. Usually, though, I just apply the Covergirl pencil from my inner eye and getting a thicker line towards the outside edge, then lining my inner lower lid and dotting between the lashes. I either use the smudger on the other end of the stick, or, if the smudger is on its way out, the pointed Q-tips you can get from the pharmacy.

I always use a lash curler (20 seconds each eye) and just recently started using Dior “Iconic Overcurl” mascara. It’s drying up pretty fast, but the brush and the actual mascara work really well to deposit just the right amount product on each last, from root to tip.

I sometimes wear false lashes, and my favorites (for a dramatic look) are Makeup Forever’s “Karen,” “Renee” and “Floriane” and (for a daytime look) I buy cheap ones from Beauty Supply stores and cut them to half-lashes. Duo waterproof eyelash glue. No Exception. (Except when I can’t find it, I use Elmer’s glue, but I’m sure that’s a terrible and dangerous idea, so don’t try it.)

 

Delphic Oracle – Death Dreams

 

Any tips for putting it on and taking it off?

Start off light! You won’t mess up and have to start all over and if you’re pressed for time, a little bit of eyeliner is better than nothing!

To take it off, I use a foaming, creamy cleanser at night, followed by Ivory soap ONLY on my eyes, if needed. Ivory soap will seriously STRIP the skin of healthy oils, so I use it only when I’ve got some stubborn product on (like Duo’s waterproof eyelash glue). Definitely put on some heavy eye cream after that.

I also brush my eyebrows (and the space between) with my toothbrush and toothpaste while I’m brushing my teeth. It really gets all Sephora’s waterproof eyebrow liner out so it doesn’t clog my pores!

Favorite eyeliner icons?

Siouxsie Sioux and Diamanda Galas.

 
Christiana Key
Photos by Silke Schlotz

 

Christiana’s Look

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Follow Christiana @christianakey

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