From David Bowie and the New York Dolls to AFI and Green Day, make up has played a role in music. Whether being touted for blurring lines and rising up art or maligned for making image more important than music, it's inescapable. So, when Punknews Editor Rich Verducci was given the chance to review Johnny Concert Cosmetics, he jumped at the opportunity.

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Perhaps a little too excited…

I was more than a little excited to try out a range of make up products for a couple of reasons. One, I’ve always wondered the amount of time and effort it takes for some people to leave the house. Two, being fairly homely, I was excited to reach my full, fabulous potential. The fine people from Johnny Concert sent me a sample kit made up of their organic eyeliner pencil and three "mineral eye pigments" (Read as: "fancy eye shadow"), named "smash radio" (Read as: "black and sparkly"), "Erotomaniac" (Read as: "dark blue") and "screamo" (Read as: "sparkly red"). Getting over my disappointment in my apparent unworthiness to have them send me a sample of something called "Attention Whore," I soldiered on with the test.

As I had never applied make up myself (save the time I decided to use my mother’s make up as Indian "war paint" at age 7), I decided to enlist the help of a female assistant, who may also offer some additional insight into the pros and cons of the product. We began by establishing a base photograph of my untouched, homely self (also known as "pre-fabulous").


Yikes! So, we started with the organic eyeliner. While applying my assistant noted that it seemed rougher than most eyeliner, making it harder to apply. This may have been due to its organic nature. Overall, it was considered fairly mid-range.

Rough application establishes the eyeliner as a mid-range product.

The Road to Fabulous

Fast on my way to fabulous my assistant and I had to pause to make a decisions, do we do one color at a time or go for complete awesome and do all three at once? Overwhelmed at the opportunity to look my best, we decided for all three. Jittery with excitement we followed up our eyeliner with the darkest shade, smash radio. Despite seeming very dark in the container, it went on light and needed some heavy application to really sink in. According to my assistant, this is a good thing (well, if you don’t want to look like a whore).

Trying desperately to not look like a whore.

Erotomaniac was next, and at this point I really felt my inner diva coming out. Deciding it would be best for comparison, my assistant helps me pull a David Bowie, doing one eye very dark and another lighter. A "hooker with class" if you will.

A hooker with class

Overwhelmed by the moment, I took a second to update my myspace picture.

For the coup de grace we added the "screamo" in various levels on each eye. I actually felt it added a much needed break in the similarities between the "erotomaniac" and "smash radio." Here’s a shot of each eye.

Pushing Through the Pain

I felt this was probably as far as I could go towards being fabulous. However, knowing the Punknews readership, I felt like I must do more. Eyeliner and eye shadow has never really been in Punknews’ wheelhouse, so I decided to go for something our readers can appreciate and perhaps even employ in their own day to day.

We call this "the Franz"


For my overall view of makeup, I found that the time it took to do just my eyes was not worth the overall payoff. It took almost a half hour and the main difference was that my eyes looked like I had been on the bad end of an ass kicking. For the product I give Johnny Concert decent marks. Aside from the coarse eye liner pencil the colors were fairly well done and the pigment was not at all gritty. The $16 per color price tag may be a bit hard to swallow, when compared with Cover Girl products that offer multiple colors for a fraction of the cost. However, it's fairly comparable to higher end brands, such as Benefit, which is why this is likely a niche brand that is going for quality and uniqueness over simple economics.

All the products listed can be found here. Thanks for reading!

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