15 Lessons & Terms to Know to Survive as a Makeup Artist
Fasten your seat belts as I take you on the cosmetic express of lessons learned and terms to know to have a smooth flight into artistry success. It’s a wild adventure but traveled the right way can be one exciting career.
- Roots to Boots: You are your own walking billboard of advertisement. You should look the part. From the roots of your beautiful balayage to tips of your heels, your look should flow and be consistent. Some artists will disagree, but I have proven it to get me clients, evenstopped on the street and asked for my business card. Your look is usually how you are remembered so make it a good memory. No one wants to be the homely girl in kicks and messy bun in fashion and beauty.
- Pacey! Pacey!: adjective: fast-moving, quick, lively: translation: Move your ass! This is a fast pasted business that calls for detail, like up in their business, right in their face work. You must move along whether you are on set, in a department store or busting out a bride. Move quickly but calmly to not add panic to the situation or your client.
- Warm and Cool Tones: You need to know these and be able to identify them easily. When matching foundation or choosing a lip color these play a big part. Choosing the wrong tone can make your model look tired or washed out. An easy trick to determine is to look at the veins on the inner wrist. If the veins are blue-cool tones, more greenish- warm tones. Warm tones usually look better in gold jewelry, cool in silver or platinum.
- Natural: Not a foreign term you say?… Well, it could be. Make sure you understand your client’s definition of natural. For example, my natural is a full face of makeup but softer neutral colors and the “I just threw myself together in 5 minutes,” yet I used 12 products. Their definition of natural maybe a tinted moisturizer, gloss and a few swipes of mascara. Ask the right questions to get to know their daily routine. If a stage setting, know your lights and what you need to use to optimize the look you are going for.
- Décolletage: This is the part that runs from your neck down to your chest. Many are clueless about it’s name or the importance it can play. Make sure skin care is taken all the way down to here or if your model has a low cut outfit make sure to bronze, moisturize or what is needed to continue the look and not leave it to have the appearance of a floating head. When pulling the décolletage into the look it appears complete.
- Baking: No Martha we are not talking about whipping up a batch of cookies. We are talking about the latest viral makeup trend of covering under eyes with multiple layers of translucent powder and letting it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before dusting it off. This leaves the skin looking airbrushed and brightened.
- Beat your face: They say beauty is a pain but have no fear, this is not. This technique involves a sponge, most communally a beauty blender, and working the foundation into the skin by “beating the face” using a stippling motion taping it into the skin repeatedly leaving the complexion looking great from all angles.
- Contour: Kim K West and the Kardashian/Jenner Clan put this in the spotlight recently, but this technique started as far back as the silver screens. The woman on tv would have to work with only being seen in black and white on tv and would sculpt their faces by contouring. I like to call it my “skinny blush” because done correctly it is a miracle diet that can give you the appearance of sliming features in seconds. Amen!
- Strobing: This is the complete opposite of contouring. Contouring uses a darker color to hollow features making them recess. Strobing is similar to highlighting areas to make them pop forward. Highlighting is used with contouring, as strobing stands alone without the contour. Think heavy light to the cheekbones and halo area of the face.
- Holographic: A lot of recent hype about holographic products. Think rainbow, unicorn, fairy glow all in one to visualize this look. Strobing 90’s highlights, shadows, lip glass to nails are all part of many collocations that have been popular with festival goers and beauty bloggers and picked up by some of the most popular lines.
- Tight line: To line the inner wet line of the lower and upper lashes. This a gamechanger for many! It can take the eyes to a whole new level of drama or to simply thickening the lash line. The trick is to use a soft waterproof liner and then get your client to look the opposite way of where you are lining to avoid poking them in the eye.
- Giving me life! This may be a term overused or your phrase of the month. This is great, for it has a good meaning! Just make sure you explain this if you are using it and your client looks confused or laughing awkwardly. We are artists and some more extra than others but enthusiasm is nothing to downplay so have fun and let it.
- Clientele: It is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of a makeup job but remember, you are running a business and most likely your own. If you don’t clientele you will most likely not have consistent gigs. Keep in touch with your clients, build a database, stay connected through social media, ask for referrals or be talking about other ideas to have you back or book you on other shoots. This is a huge key to success and has kept me some of my best clients for many of years leading to great opportunities.
- Ring Light: The holy beam of bliss lighting that selfiedreams are made of! This gem is a great piece to invest in. Good lighting is one of the hardest things to come buy when doing makeup. A ring light solves this problem for a lit application.
- Yasssssss!: Last but not least. The term we all hope to hear our client shout at the end of the completed look. The pay off that your client is happy and feeling like her best self is what we do it all for. The head is held higher and an extra confidence boost from feeling beautiful!
Banner Image: Avedon Fashion