Every summer, I get busy working weddings and prepping women for various soirées! It’s usually then that I’m working on a whole bridal party either by myself or in collaboration with another artist OR I’m asked for my availability to do makeovers for a special event - anywhere from birthdays and baptisms to car shows and arena events .
While it’s flattering to know that people trust my work (or even seem to at the get-go), it’s not always the case when we actually get together.
I'm confident when I say I’m pretty good at what I do - not in a cocky sense but that I’ve done this long enough that I'm comfortable getting in someone’s face and working with their features, sometimes changing/revising colors or products as we go further into the makeup application. Transformations can be subtle or dramatic.
JUST A FEW OF MY TRANSFORMATIONS...
How can you and your artist get the most out of the experience?
When I get to talking about potential looks with a client (especially if they don't usually wear makeup), I often hear, "Just do what you want...I trust you." Not only will these uttered words put me under some amount of pressure, it could also make or break a booking and I'll tell you why...
What I think looks good on you doesn't necessarily mean you'll like it.
I will admit, I still occasionally make this mistake and just "give it a go." Most of the time, I'll get a positive response (luckily) and, other times, I'll get a "WTF" look and I immediately know.
I consider myself pretty good at reading people by the expression on their face or by hearing the tone in their voice. When I can sense a bit of anxiety, I‘ll do my best to work with someone in achieving an acceptable look based on their preferences...well, if time permits. I only say this because it depends on whether I have a time limit (i.e. bridal party makeup when I need to get someone in and out my chair at a certain time to start on the next gal).
So here is my solution...if you have either worked with me or want to work with me, you'll find that I will ask to see inspiration photos of what you'd like. This, in combination with talking about what you do for makeup on a regular basis, will help me out a TON. A lot of the time, I'll get people requesting a "natural look." This is subjective....what I think is "natural" may not be what my client envisions.
This is why trials are important for brides-to-be. Even if it's a regular makeup session...just allotting extra time to make room for makeup revisions will be beneficial for you especially if you're just not sure about a look. Sometimes I'll even go as far as book or offer a 2nd session to show a client I can do better...but I leave it up to them to decide.
Ensure that your surroundings are comfortable.
Some artists who might read this statement may disagree because we sometimes work in tight spaces and will have to work with what we've got. However, if you want to make the most out of your makeover, make sure that you're comfortable.
When I have people come to me, I try and keep the room bright and at a comfortable temperature; I ensure that my client has room to move; I'll offer a drink so they're hydrated; and I'll keep some background music on and try to keep the appointment casual yet professional.
When I do travel to my client, however, there should be a space where there's ample room to set up and work from my kit. This space provides your artist with enough room to lay out what is needed and not constantly go in and out of their kit. A medium-sized table by a window or room with lots of natural light is sufficient. In the event this can't be provided, I'd bring a portable light and a makeup chair (similar to a director's chair). Some come with a small table attached to it, which, is even better!
Can I transform you into your fave celebrity?
I've gotten requests to transform a person into one of the Kardashians, J-Lo, Lily Galichi, etc. There's nothing wrong with that...I can do looks inspired by your fave celeb but I cannot change your features without you looking too cakey. There have been people I've worked on that want to look EXACTLY like these famous folk. It must be understood that people have different features and the more you work against them for the sake of trying to look like Kim or Mariah. the more it won't feel right.
I can do these looks to an extent but I'm not a miracle worker. This is work best reserved for a plastic surgeon or when you have hours to sit getting your makeup done by someone who specializes in this type of artistry. Yes, you'll find YouTUBE videos of these artists who transform themselves into different people...but, what most don't realize is, these transformations take an extensive amount of time, and the artists are extremely made over (HELLO 20 lbs of makeup)!! Great for the stage or some photo op, but not necessarily a good look in person.
If you have a resemblance to a famous person, great! If not, you will be sorely disappointed. My time is precious and I am, frankly, not the artist you need.
Before you nitpick, WAIT until your artist is finished.
I'm sometimes asked by a client if they can have a mirror to see what I'm doing. That's fine but (yes, there is another but) it's not always productive, especially for your artist. Seeing an incomplete face will be jarring to look at especially when you're up close seeing every single pore and what you may see as imperfections. More often times than not, I will be asked to put more product on a specific spot or to change how I do something to mimic what they would do.
Think of it this way...when an artist is halfway done with a painting, it will look a little blah and, maybe even look like a hot mess. However, once a piece is finished, it's somehow perfect. All the colors and textures that needed to be added have made their way into the final phase and completes the overall look. Same applies to makeup. For example, seeing bold brows with no mascara or eye shadow can look scary.
Also, keep in mind that when you put a mirror inches from your face, anything on your face will seem more emphasized. Most people will not be thatclose to you and, honestly, won't notice what you're seeing. Heck, if your significant other comes in for a kiss, chances are they won't be looking at your pores either!
Wait until your artist is finished before you make an assessment. Making your artist "correct" at every phase will not only add unnecessary time to your appointment, but will make you BOTH uneasy and doubtful.
Not only is it good to communicate with your artists, it's okay to voice your concerns. Don't worry, we won't be offended (as long as you're polite) and we understand that you each have your preferences. If you're afraid to say anything, you'll only regret it. So, yes, please...SAY SOMETHING! : )
With everything that’s been said, an inspiration photo is key along with an explanation of your regular makeup routine as it’ll help you and your artist both narrow colors and styles down!
I was inspired to write this piece because of a few unlucky experiences I've had recently as well as over the years (yes, I have them too!) and I wanted to shed a little light on what goes or what might be said during appointments.
If you’re working with a good artist and they genuinely try their best to make their clients happy, then it’s a good sign! When makeup applications turn out kind of “meh" or even "blech"... good artists will try to pinpoint what needs improvement, move forward, and strive to do better the next time around.