When Tal Peleg was 11 she was obsessed with Klingons. Yes, Star Trek’s Klingons. She didn’t want to be one, or dress up like them, instead she wanted to replicate their faces with makeup.
“This alien had lines on the nose, and I tried to create it with wax that my mother's friend gave me. It wasn't a great success!” Peleg said.
More than a decade later, Peleg is still experimenting with makeup, but now it’s professional. She is a makeup artist and her work continues to experiment with boundaries.
The Little Prince. Anne Frank writing in her diary. Cinderella brushing her hair. A reindeer winking in the early evening light. These are images you'd see framed on someone's wall, or on the cover of a book or Christmas card. But for Peleg, the eyelid is her canvas and the only limit to the designs is her imagination. And she has a big one.
Peleg, born in Israel, first became interested in makeup when she was a little girl playing “photoshoots” with her sister and experimenting with makeup. Her love of drama led her to take up acting classes, but she soon realized she loved the preparation for the stage—the makeup—more than acting.
Her passionate for both design and makeup led Peleg to study at both a beauty school and a school of visual communication. Now she melds both talents in her work.
“I see makeup as a form of art. Ordinary, wearable makeup is nice, but I wanted to push the limits between art/illustration and makeup. I was bored with ordinary canvases and papers, so I turned the eyelid into my canvas.”
Peleg is inspired by fairy tales. Her work features numerous nods to popular culture, from Cinderella to Disney’s Frozen. She plans to do Rapunzel soon.
She creates art. It’s makeup and it’s beautiful, but it’s not for everyday use.
“It's not wearable makeup and it's not supposed to be something to walk around with,” she said.
And she’s not immune to controversy, like her Anne Frank eyeshadow look.
“I didn't plan to make this Anne Frank 'look,' it just happened,“ she wrote on Facebook. “I wasn't even sure if I should post it, wondering if people would think this is a weird inspiration. But I did, because I think there are some things that should be honored and remembered not only in memorial days… and makeup is my own way of doing so."
So how can we copy her work at home?
“I use ordinary eyeshadows, loose pigments, eyeliners, aqua-colors… most of the times I mix and play with textures, like mixing loose eyeshadow with water or gel for example," she said. "I use a magnifying mirror so I can see everything very clear and can be precise with all the tiny details. Really precise brushes are a must. I buy many of my brushes at art supply stores, as to make these miniature illustrations I need the thinnest brushes possible.”