Getting Creative: Fantasy Self-Portrait & Makeup

Getting Creative: Fantasy Self-Portrait & Makeup | Life of Dahlia

One of my other loves other than makeup that is, is photography and I particularly love taking self-portraits. Self-portraits give me a chance to express myself creatively in a different way, I can create anything my heart desires.

Remember that expression ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ well I’ve always loved storytelling and I like to think of my self-portaits as a chance to tell a story or just create something beautiful. It has been a while since I have created anything like this but yesterday I felt in the mood to do something creative so I decided to create a self-portrait.

Photography has been a love and hobby of mine for a very long time, one of my dreams has always been to mix my love of makeup, fantasy and photography together to create something magical. I like to create art that has painterly aspects to it, growing up I either wanted to be an artist or writer well I can’t paint to save my life and I’m haven’t accompished writing novels yet but you never know one day.. anyway I love to create art that has similar vibes to paintings and I can do that through makeup and post processing.

Getting Creative: Fantasy Self-Portrait & Makeup | Life of Dahlia
Red Deer by Erin Applebee

I haven’t created any self-portraits in a long time because I just had no inspiration or I did and didn’t know what to do with it. You know when you have way to many ideas in your head and its hard to just focus on one, that kind of thing. I stopped creating around the time that I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and I was just feeling tired and like my brain couldn’t formulate ideas into something that I could work with. I still feel that way and that’s why I haven’t done any in so long because I haven’t had the energy to do it.

Getting Creative: Fantasy Self-Portrait & Makeup | Life of Dahlia
Red Deer by Erin Applebee

The way I create my self-portraits is often very time consuming, coming up with ideas, putting together an outfit, doing makeup and that’s all before I take a picture. From there I will set up my background, lights, camera, etc, then start taking pictures. I usually take quite a few with posing and then If I want to composite I will take some of my dress or skirt in various movements on a slow shutter to composite in later.

Then I have to edit it all together which can take anywhere from an hour to several. You can see why its been a while it takes up alot of time.

Getting Creative: Fantasy Self-Portrait & Makeup | Life of Dahlia
Red Deer by Erin Applebee

Anyway, yesterday I actually had a stroke of inspiration and decided to sit down do my makeup and set up to take some photos for the image I had in my mind.

My Concept For This Picture.

My concept for this self-portrait was a darker version of a previous artwork ‘The Painted Lady‘ that I had done a couple of years ago but also mixed with the concept of one of my very first self-portraits ‘Strangeness & Charm‘.

The Story Teller Collection – The Painted Lady

The Painted Lady by Erin Applebee | butterflies by &

Strangness & Charm

Strangeness and Charm by Erin Applebee

This was one of my very first self-portraits so its not great but I wanted to share it anyway, I wanted to take some of my original ideas and turn them into something new.

Both of these portraits were created in the same year so you can definatly see the progress I made with ‘Strangeness & Charm’ being very early in the year and ‘The Painted Lady’ I created towards the middle to the end of that year.


Here are some photos of the makeup I did for this image, I was really inspired by Kimberley Margarita‘s makeup looks, I really love the way she uses colour, I find her work really inspiring she is incredibly talented and I love her aesthetic.

I wanted to grunge mine up a bit because I like that painterly look and because my makeup skills aren’t anywhere nearly as good as hers.

Makeup Details

Base: White Cream Paint set with a translucent powder

Contour & Eyes: Morphe 35B eyeshadow palette

Eyes: Specter from the Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow palette

Liner: Schwing Black Liquid Liner by The Balm

Lashes: BYS Cosmetics

Brows: Burgundy Gel Liner from Inglot

Highlight: Pink Duo-chrome Highlighter

Lips: NYX Liquid Suede in Cherry Skies

Image Editing Details

I used Adobe Lightroom CC & Photoshop CC to edit my image.

I used the Topaz Labs Glow, Impressions & Texture Effects Photoshop Plugin’s to create a glowy painterly look.

For colour I used a combination of Photoshop Curves & Actions (Midsummer’s Dream & Twilight) by Fine Art Actions.

I may add some smoke action in the bottom of this image but for now I really love the way it looks. It was nice to spend my day doing this and it reminds me of why I love it so much, I love telling stories and doing that in a visual way like this.

What is your favourite way to be creative? let me know I always love seeing how other people love to express their creative side.

Until next time, I hope you have a lovely day.

Disclaimer โ€“ This post is not sponsored and doesnโ€™t contain any affiliate links, links included are for reference only in case your interest in checking out anything mentioned in this post. Read full Disclaimer here.

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