Fanciforia Foxglove may be adorned with diamantes, feathers and lashes, but she still doesn’t throw her creator, Bailey McCormack, into the shade.
Bailey and her alter ego have been cutting a swathe through the Wellington burlesque/pinup/vintage scene for five years, and she will be one of 10 finalists in Miss Pinup New Zealand at The Very Vintage Day Out in Auckland this month.
With a background in theatre, it’s no surprise Bailey has ended up on the stage. Early on, she was cast as a burlesque character, so she took lessons for research purposes and ended up being booked for several burlesque performances. Her interest grew and Fanciforia Foxglove came to life.
Bailey uses her theatre skills on stage, but admits the aesthetic is a huge part of burlesque performance.
“There’s a lot that goes into getting ready for a show, but it’s not a chore for me,” she says. “There’s setting your hair the night before, and the level of make-up is almost at circus clown — false lashes, contouring, sometimes blocking out your eyebrows and drawing them on higher, glitter lips, pasties…
“You take the audience to a fantasy land where more is more, and everything is extravagant.”
She maintains a strong element of vintage/pin-up in her look, even at her Wellington City Council day job.
Bailey’s daily beauty routine incorporates some drama from the stage, but in a more relaxed way. She contours, but just a little; she wears eyeshadow, but a natural shade; she wears mascara on her top lashes, but keeps it simple under her eyes. Although she strives to wear less foundation during the day, swapping to a BB cream or mineral powder to compensate for wearing heavy stage make-up, she insists on three essential products for her day-to-day pin-up look: red lipstick, liquid eyeliner and something to create strong brows.
A make-up enthusiast, her current favourites include Australis Velourlips, a cream that dries matte, and the bold lip shades from Lime Crime. “Matte is really good — unless you’re on stage and need to throw glitter on top!”
Another favourite is Bésame, a brand that creates reproductions of classic make-up from the 1920s to the 1950s — she owns a Bésame lipstick called Red Hot Red, based on Marilyn Monroe’s favourite shade.
Bailey uses an original pin-curl method for her bleached blonde ‘Marilyn’ hair, avoiding hot rollers if possible. She has perfected vintage looks, mastering pin curls, victory rolls and the tricky styles in between. In keeping with her authentic streak, Bailey skips bronzers and tanning to play up her naturally pale skin.
Despite the mass of make-up Bailey applies for her shows, she doesn’t use a seriously heavy-duty formula to remove it. Her attitude is that less is more. Using oil to remove oil, she chooses an Antipodes cream cleanser or simple rosehip oil. “Because I have so much grease on my face all time, I like to keep my skincare super-natural,” she says.
Even Fanciforia Foxglove needs some down time.