Friday, November 26, 2010

NAIT's Next Top Model

Hi guys,

I just got the video from one of my Make up gigs as an Eveline Charles Academy Make Up Artist.
I will publish the video of the winner, Laura -also my model :) as soon as it is released.
Here it is:

Enjoy and be Fabulous...


Personal beauty, Makeup, fashion trends, style & glamour like celebrities.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Make-Up *A Freelance Business

The Make-up course has come to an end, now you are a certified Make-up Artist (MUA), have a basic kit and are super excited to get where to go from here?
I remember how hard it was to get started, especially when I didn't know anyone in the business. Here are a few words of advice on the next step from someone who has "been there, done that."

At the beginning of any Make-up artist career, building a Portfolio is a necessity; there are a lot of photographers and models who are willing to shoot with new make-up artists, and will provide images (most of the time digital photos) in exchange for make-up services.
Model Mayhem is a nice networking website for Beauty professionals, to find people in your area. Try to have a diversified portfolio, some Beauty Make-up, some Fantasy and some Bridal at least (even if not a "real" bride).

Invest in Business cards, most on-line office supply stores will offer a package of 250/500 cards for less than $50.

Be professional, introduce yourself properly, do not lie about your capabilities - always better to underpromise and overdeliver!!

Give out a business card when networking and take the other person's business card (if applicable).
Follow up on encounters with an email and respond to every email promptly.
Volunteer on fashion shows productions and photoshoots, even as an assistant, it's a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Networking is the biggest skill and asset in this business! You are a NOBODY until professionals know you exist!

Look your best at all times, no one will hire someone who looks like hell.

When on a job site, be polite, patient and pleasant. Listen to what the client wants. Never, ever, ever gossip or criticize products or the work of another artist with a client. Keep the conversation light hearted and simple. Talk about them, not just yourself. Compliment the client on one of their features (but be honest), sometimes it's their skin or their eyelashes; just don't overdo it!

Record all the purchases and earnings or designate a bank account for the Make-up jobs, as a freelance make-up artist it is important to declare all your earnings and expenditures.

Another advice is keep learning! Find make-up publications to stay up to date, whether be library books, magazines, websites, youtube videos etc.

Take pictures of every make-up you do (get permission first of course), and double check on a job with people in charge before you publish any image -some magazine shoots, movies and commercials will not allow images getting published before the product or production is released.
Taking pictures on a film set without permission could get you fired on the spot (even if it's of a rainbow in the sky). Before and After pictures are great for the portfolio.

Another great place to get started in a Make-up career is through a Hair Salon. Bring the resume and portfolio (no matter how small) and meet with the owner/manager.

Read the previous Blogs on how to build a Make-up kit *Brushes and *Cosmetics for more information on the topic.

Good Luck with everything and don't ever give up!

Be Fabulous,


Personal beauty, Makeup, fashion trends, style & glamour like celebrities.

Make-Up Kit * Cosmetics

Now that you have read "Make-up Kit * Brushes", and know which basic tools to purchase, let's talk about Make-up!!!

The Make-up case to choose is only a personal preference, I started with a small metal case, then moved on to a large and now carry a really large case with wheels (it is actually a Scrapbooking case I purchased at a local art supply store, was a fraction of the price of a make-up case and it's fabulous!!!). Regardless of the choice of make-up case, make sure it's always super clean and organized, nothing turns off a client more than a dirty case!

A lot of make-up artist I know swear on Primers, I have used almost all of the popular primers out there, but honestly, I don't find a need for them (at least not for a make-up that doesn't need longevity). It is a good idea to invest in one or two of the best ones to even out really bad complexions. I like to use the Smashbox primers or the Make Up Forever HD primers, the clear and the colored ones. Sometimes a peach colored matte primer is all a model needs!!!
I like the Smashbox primer for lids and lips (dual stick), works great and you have two in one!

Foundation is a product I would never buy cheap! As the base for everything and the first layer of cosmetic to touch the client skin, I want the best of the best!
I have a lot of foundations but always tend to use the Make Up Forever HD foundations. They are a bit of an investment but the super pigmented formulation needs only a few drops for complete coverage. This foundation dries matte, so I often mix it with liquid shimmers to get more of a dewy look.
If less coverage is needed, I go to my trusted tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier, love love love the oil-free formula!
For my air-brush I like Dinair and Temptu foundations. I was once adviced by a very inexperienced make-up retailer to use regular liquid foundation in my air-brush...what a mistake that was!!
Since these products can be costly, don't go off and buy one in every color; all you need is 4 or 5 of them, ranging from the lightest to the darkest, have a medium one for olive tones (yellow base) and have the darkest be one cool (for blue-black) and one more like chocolate milk for warmer skin tones; spend some time in learning how to mix the foundations to achieve the custom colors. After all these years I still don't buy a foundation line in every color, and I have never encountered a problem!

Concealer and camouflage are a crucial part of the kit as well. If possible buy a palette of concealers (or wheels), which will provide a lot of choices. I like Ben Nye concealer wheel, even though I often use the wheel for camouflage (given the density of the product). Laura Mercier has great concealer/camouflage duos, which come with a setting powder as well (fantastic product!). Just like for the foundation, invest in 3 or 4 tones of concealers, from light to dark.

A word on Correctors, first find out how to use them, then purchase some! I had green corrector in my kit for years before I found the courage to use it...I just didn't want to turn anyone into the Hulk! Correctors are fantastic products, and when used well, they can make a huge difference. Make Up Forever has amazing palettes for correctors.

Setting Powders, are used to set the liquid and cream base products (foundations, concealers, camouflage). I like MAC's mineralized skin powders, also Ben Nye for a more intense job on a stage production, like a musical.

Rouges/Blush can change the feel of the make-up, there are amazing colors out there, and it's up to the make-up artist to decide how many to have. I have some spluges from NARS (my favorite is "orgasm"), and from Stila, MAC etc.
The best way to start is to buy a delicate rose, a hot pink, a peach and a maroon color.

Bronzers are also a great purchase. Buy a matte bronzer so it can serve as a contour powder and blush base. I love the ones carried by Benefit, MAC, and NARS.

Shimmers are also important, Benefit has some great liquid ones (Moon Beam and High Beam) relatively inexpensive and easy to mix with foundations. As for powders I go to my goldish colored blush from NARS ("Albatross"), almost invisible to the naked eye, but gives amazing cheekbones in photographs. *I put the powder shimmer on with a fan brush*

Eyeshadows...well, go crazy!!! Just kidding!
Try to find a palette with most colors to start off. Be sure to check that it has both shimmer and matte eyeshadows. Don't buy super cheap or the color pay off will be horrible, buy a mid-range palette. Tarte has some nice ones as well as Too Faced and NYX. Then, as the time progresses and the jobs start to pay I recommend putting together personalized palettes. MAC and Make Up Forever are some of my go to companies for my custom eyeshadow palettes. I have a neutral one for Bridal Make-up, Crazy pinks and purples, blues and greens for Fashion and Fantasy, as well as a sparkles one!
I also recommend the 12 color Cream eyeshadow palette from Make Up Forever, later on in your career, for Fashion and Fantasy make-ups (which includes metallic colors).

Eyeliners, are a personal preference. I use gel liner from MAC to line the lashes, I love how precise and mess free it is (apply with a synthetic angle brush), Kohl pencils (Stila and Estee Lauder) for the waterline and liquid liner occasionally for fantasy makeup (MAC). These products last a long time, so go ahead and buy few but good ones.

Mascara, I personally buy cheap!! The life span of a mascara is 3 months, so I go through a lot of them, and I find that the formulation of store brand mascaras, like L'Oreal, Maybelline, Rimmel is just as good as the big cosmetic companies products (if not better). My favorite (and has been for years) is "Double Extend" from L'Oreal. Have a regular and waterproof formula to choose from, as well as a lengthening and a volumizing formula, according to what the client needs. Use waterproof only when necessary (like Bridal make-up), because the product is drying and will damage lashes in the long run.

Lipstick is also a cheap product I buy, mostly because I have had better results from Rimmel and Revlon than from the bigger companies. I like Make Up Forever and MAC for Fashion colors (Black, Purple etc.)

Lipglosses are just as important as lipsticks, if not more! Find a nice non-stick/non-smelly formula and buy a pink, a peach and a wine color gloss; if you want to push it a step further buy a gold a hot pink and a red one too. NARS has some of the best formulas available, as well as MAC, with a fantastic selection of colors. Start with NYX lipglosses if on a budget, they are great!

False Lashes are often necessary in most make-ups. I buy Ardell, they are not expensive and have the thinnest base. Have some shorter ones and individual clusters (for Street make-up & Bridal), medium length for Fashion make-up and some crazy long ones for Fantasy make-up. Buy the appropriate lashes when you get booked for a job, so you won't have to invest too much up front.
*Remember that lashes need to be charged extra on a make-up job - it is common to charge double the amount of the cost of the lashes- of course the client gets to keep the lashes! *
My go to false lashes glue is DUO in dark. Only need one tube (will last a long time).
Lashes are so easy to apply, but require a lot of practice (do practice on other people, False lashes application on oneself is different than application on others...just like mascara application!).

Remember, don't go spend thousand of dollars in make-up all at once to stock up your kit. If registered for a Make-up course, wait until you begin the course, as most schools provide you with a basic kit.
Same goes for more experienced make-up artist being booked for a film or theatre production, as most productions offer a budget for supplies. Ask the cosmetic supply store if they offer a pro or student discount, most of them do, but need to apply early in advance before going shopping. Most companies also offer a student kit at a discount price, but proof of student registration is needed.

Let your Make-up kit grow with time and experience.
Best of luck.

Be Fabulous,


Personal beauty, Makeup, fashion trends, style & glamour like celebrities.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Make-Up Kit * Brushes

Make-up Brushes
I have received an interesting amount of emails regarding my Make-up kit: what's in it? in what make-up is worth investing a lot of money? on which Make-up products can I save money? How do I get started?
Since this is a very large topic, I will write a few articles on the subject. Starting with this one.
Here is what I recommend to my Make-up students:

First of all, you are only as good as your tools! Having said that, don't rush over to the most expensive Make-up store and spend a fortune on a set of make-up brushes!!
I have brushes from all make-up companies and art supply stores! True that a "full set" looks pretty and professional, but not all of the big make-up companies have the best of everything! M.A.C. has great brushes, but I don't love all of them, same with Smashbox etc.
Make sure to know the use of the make-up brush you are purchasing first, and ask yourself: will I use it often, or is it a splurge?
I have done full make-up with a total of 5 brushes in the past, given it took a lot of cleaning...but it's doable!
So if you are just getting started make sure to invest in these basic brushes:

1. A big fluffy Powder Brush. Natural bristles. Make sure the brush is soft and the bristles don't come off easily (or you will constantly pick them off the client's face!). Test the handle, so it doesn't fall off on the first tug! Use the brush to powder the face for a flawless look.

2. A Blush Brush. Smaller than the powder brush, is used to apply blush. Natural soft bristles.

3. A Contour Brush. A natural bristle brush, cut at an angle. Will contour cheek bones, temple bones etc.

4. A Large Eyeshadow Brush. A flat rounded edges brush, which will apply a lot of eyeshadow in a short period of time. Use the brush to apply base color eyeshadow all over the lid.

5. A Smaller Eyeshadow Brush. Will deliver more eyeshadow with precision and allow for smaller details.

6. A Domed Eyeshadow Brush. Used for blending the colors together, or "smoke" the eyeshadows.

7. An Angle Brush. A small synthetic hair brush used to line the eyes with a liquid, gel or cream eyeliner. Also used for filling in brows and other small details. I have 6 or 7 in my kit (different sizes and density), couldn't work without them!!

8. A Concealer Brush. Also a synthetic bristle brush which will deliver a creamy concealer just where need it. Go small in size rather than large for precision (invest in a large one later on for creamy contouring and highlighting).

These are my recommendations in essentials for a brush set! Every other make-up brush to purchase is for preference or specific products application.
I lost count on how many brushes I have with me now, but I have purchased them throughout the years, so be patient and don't go drop all your money in every brush produced until you will have a use for them!

A few pro tips:

Art supply stores have a range of inexpensive synthetic brushes. That's where I load up on small angle brushes!!

Use a ring of colorful Nail polish to "mark" all your brushes; that way there won't be any brushes going missing when working with other Make-up artists. Especially useful during a make-up course, where all the brushes and products given to the students look the same!

If planning to take a Make-up course, wait before purchasing a set of make-up brushes, as the school might provide a set.

Other tools needed:

An Eyelash Curler. Yes, even if personally not using one; a lot of clients will need a good curling! I don't spend a lot of money on a curler, just make sure feels comfortable and has replaceable plastic cushions where the lashes are curled.

Small pointy scissors. Used to cut false eyelashes for sizing, cut eyebrows for grooming etc. The uses are countless; I once lent my scissors to a hairdresser for cutting bangs to a precise angle!

Tweezers. A metallic set, that can be easily sanitized. Perfect for grooming eyebrows and other stray hairs and also for holding on to the false lashes.

Lots of disposable Mascara wands (in different sizes). Never, ever, ever use the Mascara wand that goes back in the container, unless you are planning to give the whole mascara to the client to keep.
Disposable wands are used to keep the mascara free of contaminants and avoid spreading of infections. By the way, don't double dip the disposable wands, use one for each eye!!!
Remember the life span of Mascara is about 3 months, once starts changing consistency and odor, toss it out!!!

Disposable Foundation Sponges. I personally like applying foundation with a brush, but I still have sponges to blend to perfection.

If you don't have a lipstick brush (synthetic bristles brush, also available in art supply stores), then purchase a few disposable ones.

A palette knife (also available in art supply stores), or orange wood sticks. Use the knife to scoop products from the containers like stick foundations & concealers, lipsticks, gel & cream eyeliners...anything creamy really. Never, ever, ever dip a brush or fingers into the creamy products or they will be contaminated!

Cotton Pads. Used to clean, tone and moisturize faces.

Small Towels. I have 3 black ones with me all the time. Use one to set on the Make-up table, so all products and brushes won't get contaminated. The second one, put around the client's neck (if no smock is available), and the third towel, hang on the Make-up belt to clean the brushes.

Plenty of brush cleaner, hand sanitizers and baby wipes. The more the merrier!!! You can never be too clean and the clients love seeing how careful you are!!! Always sanitize and cleanse hands and brushes between clients (yes, even if the clients are related!!!), no excuses! Clients will gladly wait for brush cleaning time!

Have a good set of hypoallergenic Cleanser, Toner and Moisturizer. I always cleanse the face, even if the client is make-up free, makes a huge difference!

These are some of my 101 basic needs for a Starter Make-up kit. Read Make-Up Kit *Cosmetics for more info on basic products for your kit.
Best of luck.

Be Fabulous,


Personal beauty, Makeup, fashion trends, style & glamour like celebrities.