My top pick for another makeup influence has to be Lita Ford (shown in photo with Ozzy Osbourne, circa 1989). Makeup by this point wasn’t all heavy on the glam like it began with Cindy Lauper back in 1983. Everything by the late 80s beginning around 1989 was starting to spell the end to a fascinating era. The likes of Marilyn Manson weren’t gracing the covers of Metal Edge yet. In fact, nobody had heard of him unless you dig further back and watch an episode of The Wonder Years. He played “Paul” on the show.
Metal Edge was one of the last print rock/heavy metal magazines that struggled to hang on before everything moved into the paperless internet age. I believe RIP magazine was the first to fade away and Guitar Pix (?), circa 1989 was one of those flash-in-the-pan rock magazines that I never seen surface anywhere, not even on the internet. The Grunge movement would kill off the rock world as I knew it. Heavy metal had already bitten the dust as far back as 1987-88.
By 1993 everything got “weird” in way of popular music is how I described it back then. Music was making the transition into the digitally re-mastered and compressed age. The likes of Columbia House offered gimmicks like pick out so many xxx amount of CD’s for a penny. Often times my CDs never arrived, and when they did (the shipping took about two months), then the sound quality was very poor. I just couldn’t see where the fascination was with CD’s. In my eyes they’re great for music preservation and little else. The compact disc never flew with me anyways. I was strictly an LP, cassette tape, and 8 track cartridge tape gal myself.
My makeup and hairstyle didn’t change for the remainder of the 90’s. I wasn’t dying my hair so it wasn’t chemically compromised (nor thin because of it). I did tease my hair big and called it ‘ratting’ my hair. But even that didn’t last long since I cut out more tangles than I could count back then.
My makeup remained consistent: black eyeliner, blue eye shadow, light shade of foundation/ powder compact, light shade of pink lipstick throughout the early 90s. And Wet n’ Wild metallic blue fingernail polish. Somewhere there’s a picture of Lita Ford sporting metallic blue nail polish in one of my heavy metal magazines. Then by the last half of the 90s my fashion completely changed. I went through a Goth faze and dyed my beautiful hair black, and for a while, dyed my bangs Manic Panic Vampire Red. I never gave it one thought about all the damage I was doing to my hair. My Goth makeup was very poser-ish, at best. I say poser because I was. Since I never adopted the ‘depressed’/ morbid mindset that the previous Goth subculture might have had, I clearly didn’t fit in with the Goth subculture of the mid/ late 90s, that’s for sure.
At first I used sunscreen as my liquid foundation since I wasn’t aware that Manic Panic also made Goth makeup as well. I used “No-AD” sunblock since it was fairly inexpensive at the time. Then I would dust my face, ears, neck and any exposed skin with baby powder (to achieve the pale complexion). For the black lipstick I easily found some in a nail polish combo pack around Halloween and stocked up on that. The lipstick/ nail polish combos were very low quality, but they’d do in a pinch, especially on a budget. And my eyes weren’t made up to be spooky. I didn’t go all intricate with my eye makeup. I used a very dark maroon-colored eye shadow, and colored my lids with a black eye brow pencil. For a while I did experiment using other colors, but they didn’t look right. So, that was my Goth makeup until I could save up the money to invest in some Manic Panic makeup. And before I knew it I had quite a collection of Manic Panic lipsticks, nail polishes, foundation (some even a light purple almost lilac shade), and white face setting powder that comes in a compact with a sponge and mirror. For a while I also bought some LuLu Goth makeup– I wish I could remember the internet company I ordered it from, but its been many years and don’t know if they’re still in business or not. But they had some good quality makeup and their eye shadows were intense and long-lasting. A little bit went a long way and the colors were very intense.
When I was going through my Goth faze I listened to The Cure and heard about a very unusual group the Astrovamps completely by happenstance. I seen the group in some random magazine offering a mail offer freebie CD sampler in 2002/2003. Well, the cd came busted in pieces and therefore, seldom ever sent off for Cd offers.
I didn’t like any of the new music coming out around the late 90s nor did I keep up on any of the music news beyond 1991 which was my cut off point. When I first heard Grunge I was like, “What’s this ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit?’ Isn’t Teen Spirit a name of a deodorant?”
I tried to force myself to listen to Nirvana, but what I didn’t like about it was all this inner rage, depressing, mumbling undertones, oh and grumbling and sometimes shouting lyrics from other newer bands got on my nerves as well. I happy returned to my roots which has been classic rock/hard rock/ heavy metal with a little bit of speed/thrash metal thrown in the mix.
What’s so jaw-dropping about open flannel shirts, baggy pants and disheveled appearances? I thought to myself when the Grunge trend began taking off. And where’s the glam makeup bands? They all disappeared overnight it seemed like. There would be mentions, a few editorials about the veterans of heavy metal and rock in the music magazines, but not much by 1993-95.
I believe I only bought one issue of Metal Edge in the late 90s, but even that went downhill when Gerri Miller (exclusive editor) left and some unknown guy took over and ran the magazine into the ground. Gerri Miller kept Metal Edge clean and it was a very popular music magazine with kids and teenagers alike.
Fast forward to 1994. The hair band police cave in. Well, okay, not entirely. Compromises were made regarding what bands we could have (without the albums first being confiscated and automatically trashed. As a unanimous decision, we instituted ‘family meetings’. If there was ever an album that contained questionable lyrics/album cover artwork, instead of the hair band police automatically tossing said album in the trash, we’d listen it and decide. I’d come home with some controversial bands my parents loathed. And most of the albums I found for $1 at a hole-in-the-wall second hand store, thrift stores that sold cassette tapes for 25 cents in 1993 and a majority of my LP’s I spent $5 each on.
Some of the bands I did bring home had surprisingly made Tipper Gore’s “filthy fifteen list” years earlier. Did I intentionally set out to find these groups? You bet, once I found Tipper’s filthy fifteen list and it wasn’t easy to find in the pre-internet era. I had to do three years of research to find it and spoke with people who knew more about it than I did and kindly pointed me in the right direction.
For those who don’t know who Tipper Gore is other than former senator Al Gore’s wife, she started the Washington Wives who instituted the Parental Advisory– Explicit lyrics ‘Tipper Stickers’ tacked on every album of nearly every rap, rock, heavy metal, folk artist. They also liked to dictate to 80’s parents what the youth won’t listen to. This started around 1985. It also served to help and harm record sales. Help because all the controversy surrounding Tipper’s filthy fifteen list made some of us kids want to see these groups in concert. We lived in some exciting and serious times. The country was still largely conservative and very strict. The ‘Tipper Sticker’ did some harm because a lot of the record buying public were under eighteen and if our parents told us ‘NO!’ we had to listen.
I wanted to hear Ozzy Osbourne again and the wait to do so was well worth it by 1993. I was like a kid turned loose in a candy store. I bought nearly all of Ozzy’s solo albums on used LP and half-priced $5 cassette tapes. By 1993 standards MTV was branching out into liquid television, Beavis and Butthead, some MTV news, new Grunge videos, but all the glitz and glamour of MTV’s heyday went by the wayside beginning around 1986. It was too bad too because I liked seeing J.J. Jackson and Martha Quinn. Those were my favorites out of all the five video jocks. There was also Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, and Alan Hunter. Therefore, hearing and seeing rock stars wasn’t easy as watching Youtube.
The early 80s brought us music videos to go with the hit songs we were hearing on the radio. The internet wasn’t thought of yet. A computer as we knew it still took up massive wall space and crunched numbers. The newest classroom computer to be introduced was an Apple II. It crunched numbers on a black screen with green font and floppy copy paper disks were a nightmare to load correctly without ruining them.
When MTV first debuted on cable Aug. 1, 1981 it created a firestorm and not in the good way from religious leaders. They felt MTV was a new tool by the devil to brainwash the 80s youth. Similar echos from the past were said when Jazz was first pressed onto cylinder records and 78s. And I’m sure same went for Elvis Presley when he appeared on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time shaking his hips back in the fifties. And each generation to come afterwards had their upheavals and revolutions.
I wanted to know why my dad once listened to Black Sabbath and why did they appeal to him when he was a teenager. I wouldn’t settle for just a cassette tape. I’d be tickled pink to find an 8 track tape or on LP (old school ‘vinyl’ for you 180 gram 33” hipsters). But back in these days we didn’t have to run out and purchase expensive turntables just to play all these new re-issued LP’s that are heavier than their lighter weight inferior plastic 33 1/3″ cousins. We had cheaply produced records to keep up with demand back the 80s and despite what a young twenty-something will smugly say about the older LP’s being very poor in way of sound, aren’t listening to an old LP correctly. Yes, old LP’s will have scratches, warping, popping, cracking, skipping. That was the allure to my ears. It wasn’t how they sound to me twenty years down the road. I listen to them and tell myself, “Wow, my LPs stood the test of time! Woohoo!” 🙂
I do remember reading about the LA Glam/Sleaze music scene from the L.A. Sunset strip in 1989 and it was a literal overnight thing. A few of the new upstart bands being cranked out by 1989-90 were LA Guns, XYZ, Trixter, Faster Pussycat, etc. Their images were very cookie cutter, almost carbon copies of each other. Their music was nearly identical in some cases, but it wasn’t violent as to what I hear pouring out of the radio nowadays whenever I enter a store.
Years pass and I was working extremely late one night on my autobiography and hit a portion I wasn’t ready to face emotionally so, I quit and searched eBay for authentic 80’s black jelly bracelets, necklaces, earrings and happened upon some vintage 80s music magazines (most I remembered my older sister and I bought brand new when they hit newsstands) and decided to put together the perfect gift since I couldn’t build a time machine. I bought two of each vintage magazine same back issues. (One for myself and the other for my sister).
Lita Ford’s mother I believe was “Ask Mama Ford” and she was an advice columnist for Metal Edge. Dear Mama Ford was like ‘Dear Abby’, and someone that teenagers could write to anonymously and Mama Ford would respond with her advice. I did not know how many teenagers in my generation had serious troubles and stress going on until I read a few shocking letters printed in the likes of Metal Edge magazine, and looking back it pales in comparison to all the shocking news I read about nowadays online that makes the headlines on a daily basis. That’s when I shut off the computer and go do something else.
Please stay tuned. I will also being doing a blog feature on the vintage music magazines I had while growing up and a follow up nail polish review blog. Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, and commenting. I truly appreciate it. 🙂