For this week’s Friday Feature I took a little bit of a note from last week’s Friday Feature, “One Song, Three Styles,” except I wanted to be a little more general about it. This is actually a concept that I came up with several years ago but never actually had a place like this blog to showcase it. The inspiration for this blog comes from an album that was released back in 2002 with a concept that had never really been done before, and hasn’t really been done since, that I always thought was one of the coolest, most interesting things one could do with an album. The album I am talking about is “Up” by Shania Twain. Back in my teen years, I was a huge fan of Shania Twain and was greatly anticipating the release of this album when it came out. I was particularly excited when I heard what she was doing with the album. After the success of two different platforms of her previous album, “Come On Over,” which was released in both a standard Country version and a re-mixed Pop version called the International version, she decided to go ahead and package “Up” as a double disc including both a Green disc Country version and a Red disc Pop version of the album. To mix it up even more, though, when you purchased the album it also included a CD-Rom weblink to download a third version of the album, known as the Blue disc World version. Each disc included the same 19 songs, in the same order without deviations but completely remixed to suit the genre of each disc. Like I said, I thought this was an absolutely brilliant concept for an album.
As far as the album itself, I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is the best collection of songs and definitely not my favorite of Shania’s albums. However, it is really fascinating how there are songs on the record that I didn’t necessarily like on one version but found really enjoyable on another. So, while I may not be completely enamored with each individual version of the album, I can say that I actually really enjoy every song on the album in one of it’s versions. The concept I came up with for this blog was to do a look to represent each of the genres that she does for this album. Based on the fact that each disc is a different color, I had initially intended to do the look for each genre in the color of the disc but I found with each look that I didn’t really feel like the color worked well into it. So, that part of the concept was abandoned. However, I do feel like I did find a way to represent all three genres of the album, Country, Pop and World.
My favorite tracks from the Green disc, Country version of “Up,” are definitely the title track, “Up,” “Forever and For Always,” “Nah,” “Thank You Baby (For Making Someday Come So Soon,)” “I Ain’t Goin’ Down” and “In My Car (I’ll Be The Driver.)” I actually really like all 3 version of each of these tracks but they all feel like genuine country songs and work the best in that form, in my opinion. There are definitely other songs on the Country version of the album that kind of come across as if they were written specifically for one of the other genres and just remixed to fit into the country style, giving them a little bit of an off sound in this form. I think that may be the issue with each album as a whole, in fact. In any sense, I do feel like Shania Twain is a country singer, more than anything else, and is at her best when she is keeping it pure country.
For my Country look, I took inspiration from the younger generation of girls in the South. I thought a lot about girls that I have known over the years in my times living in and visiting the southern regions of the country, as well as looking at the younger generation of Country singers, particularly Taylor Swift and, one of my favorites, Country/Pop singer-songwriter Jessie James. What I came up with, in considering the more modern, youthful Country style, was that the younger Country look is definitely one that is more natural, fresh-faced and neutral, with shine added in a few key places. To begin this look, I wanted to go with a slightly more sheer, natural looking foundation, so I actually mixed a bit of CoverGirl CG Aqua Smoothers tinted moisturizer in light-medium with my Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Natural Beige to give it a more sheer look and add a bit of luminosity to the skin. I also used MAC Pro Longwear concealer under the eyes and around the nose, and followed that up with a light dusting of Maybelline Shine Free Oil Control Loose Powder in Light to set the base. I then dusted Tarte Park Avenue Princess Mineral Bronzer all over the cheekbones and forehead, as well as down the nose and chin. For my eyebrows I used the shade Buck from the Urban Decay Naked Palette to fill and shape them a bit and the gel end of the Revlon Brow Fantasy set in Brunette to set them into place. On the eyes, I also used Buck lightly through the crease to add shape, and a simple mix of Sin and Virgin, also from the Naked Palette, dusted all over the lid to add a light, natural looking shimmer. I then used a small amount of Tarte emphasEYES Aqua Gel Liner in Black just along the very outer corner of the upper and lower lashlines, then smudged out to blend and spread it out a bit more. I also used my very favorite mascara of all-time, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes on both the upper and lower lashes. The last step of this look was just a simple lip gloss on the lips, Tarte Vitamin Infused Lipgloss in Serenity, which is a gorgeous, more natural-looking bubblegum pink. I felt that this look was a great representation of a youthful, modern country look.
On the Red disc Pop version of the album, my favorite tracks are “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing,” “(Wanna Get To Know You) That Good,” “Waiter, Bring Me Water,” “What A Way To Wanna Be,” “When You Kiss Me” and, my favorite Shania Twain track of all-time, “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” These songs all come across beautifully in the pop form, more so than in the Country or World versions. In particular, “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” seems like such a genuine pop song, it almost comes across as ingenuine in the other forms, (although it is really fun on the World disc, as well.) Like I said, Shania always seems at her best in Country form but she also has done a lot of really great stuff in the genre of Pop, like her previous tracks, “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman,” or the track that she and her then-husband Mutt Lange wrote for Britney Spears, “Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know.” She has a versatile enough voice and writing style that she can straddle that line between Pop and Country pretty effortlessly.
For my Pop look I took most of my inspiration from Pop videos of the early 2000s. In fact, the main inspiration for this look was actually Shania’s own video for “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” I also took some inspiration from Britney Spears’ video for the song “Stronger.” The looks in these two videos were quite similar, so I felt that something inspired by those would be a great way to represent Pop music. To begin this look, I used Revlon ColorStay Foundation in Natural Beige, Clinique Quick Correct Concealer and a dusting of Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder. in Natural Beige. I very lightly contoured my face using the contour and more golden colored highlight shades from the Sedona Lace Contour & Blush Palette, as well as using the soft pink blush shade lightly on the apples of the cheeks. All I did to the eyebrows for this look was run some of the Revlon Brow Fantasy Brow Gel in Brunette through the brows to hold the shape and add a slight touch of color. On the eyes, I blended a lighter blue shade, Chill from the Stila Travel Palette Make An Impression In Moscow, into the crease area, followed by a darker blue shade, Pacific from the Stila Backstage Beauty eyeshadow palette, all over the lower lid and blend out from the out corner and very low along the outer corners of the lower lash line. Then, smudged and blended really well all along the upper and lower lash lines, I used the shade Nocturnal from the Tarte for True Blood palette. I also went pretty heavy with the Tarte emphasEYES Aqua Gel Liner on the waterline for this look and topped it off with Lights, Camera, Lashes again! The last step for this look was the lips. In both Shania and Britney’s videos that inspired the look, they had very nude lips in a paler pink sort of shade. Since paler pink shades don’t work out as well for me, I opted instead to go with the L’oreal Infallible Le Rouge longwear lip color in Opulent Organza. This is more of a peachy brownish nude shade that I felt worked better for my skin tone. Overall, I felt like this all made for a great Pop star style look.
My favorite tracks from the Blue disc World version of the album are all songs that felt a little more weird and out of place on the other two versions of the album, including “Juanita,” “C’est La Vie,” “Ka Ching,” and “I’m Not In The Mood (To Say No.)” There are also a few other tracks that worked in other versions but that I felt really worked out the best in their World versions, like “She’s Not Just A Pretty Face,” and “I’m Jealous.” The one thing I would like to say about the World version of this album is that, while it is called World, it really only seems to take inspiration from one particular part of the world – the Middle East/India. It would have been more accurate to refer to this as the Bollywood version or something along those lines. Either way, it is a very fun, unusual take on Shania’s sound.
For my World look I took inspiration from the image of a modern Indian bride. I found a few images of Indian weddings and was very inspired by some of the bright reds that are used, as well as metallic shades on the eyes with sharp, darker crease lines. Once again, this look began with Revlon ColorStay Foundation in Natural Beige, Clinique Quick Correct Concealer and Maybelline Shine Free Oil Control Loose Powder. As a blush, I actually used MAC eyeshadow in Passionate blended below the the cheekbone, in the normal contour area and blended upwards and onto the apple of the cheeks. For the lips, I used Prestige Cosmetics Lipliner in Plum just around the edges of the lips and L’oreal Infallible Le Rouge Longwear lip color in Ravishing Red to match the red/purple tone of the cheek. For the brows I simply filled and defined them with Stila eyeshadow in Nanda Devi. On the eyes I used all Urban Decay eyeshadows, starting with Maui Wowie (a very pale gold shade with chunky gold glitter,) all over the lid, a bit of Chopper, (a more orange/copper shade with chunky copper glitter,) blended inward from the outer corner of the eye and Smog, (a shimmery dark brown/bronze shade,) in a sharp line from the outer corner of the eye and into the crease, as well as smudged along the lower lash line. I accented this all with a thick, winged line of L’oreal HiP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in Black on the upper lash line and Tarte emphasEYES Aqua Gel Liner in Black along the lower lash line and plenty of Lights, Camera, Lashes for an over-the-top, dramatic Bollywood/Indian inspired look!
Like I discussed previously, as far as the album goes, I think the different genres work best with different songs but the album as a whole in each individual style don’t really work the best. That is kind of how I feel about each of these looks, as well. Each one would really work in it’s own setting, with a different style of outfit and accessories, etc. but they couldn’t really be mixed and matched or anything without becoming a little bit of a mess.
As an added bonus for this post, I got a little experimental at work on the day that I did the “World” look. It was kind of a slow day and I got pretty bored during the day. I happened to have my Tarte emphasEYES Aqua Gel Eyeliner with me and, being in the Halloween spirit here lately, I decided to get a little experimental with makeup. I started off working with the makeup I already had on and took the eyeliner I had on and began working on extending the lines. From there it kind of took off on it’s own and developed into a whole design. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of it throughout the process since I was at work and cameras are not permitted on the production floor. Still, it was kind of fun by the time I got to the end of the process.