Saturday, May 5, 2012

Primpin' Ain't Easy

Just a heads up that I'm blogging more frequently over at Primpin' Ain't Easy it's still got the beauty awesomeness, product recs and behind the scenes stuff- just a bit more of my personal life and style as well.

Come by and check it out.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Find Me Elsewhere...

I've had a relationship with Eliza Magazine for years now. If you are interested in reading some of my Spring Product Recommendations, feel free to head over to the Eliza Magazine blog:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recent Adventures

This post is more or less a photo dump from some of my recent shoots and things that have fallen through the cracks throughout the year.

On set for a WD40 Commercial, Starbucks protein pack in tow. I love crafty, but therein lies the problem, I try my best to keep the snacking down to a minimum on set.

Feet on set, super in love with these Jeffrey Campbell Supernova boots.

Shooting with Alex Prager for her new series "Compulsion". Just loved the floral arrangements at the location.

It's always an adventure when I'm shooting with Ms. Prager.

Foam Magazine Editorial in Palm Springs. More to come when it's released!

Silly goose Savannah, such a sweetheart. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Building A Better Bridal Kit

It might come as a surprise to some, but I actually enjoy participating in the wedding industry. It kind of feels like a way for me, as a reluctant romantic, to explore my technique in a way that rounds me out as an artist. Typically, I am the magic fairy godmother that is making people beautiful- listening to their ideas and just giving them an experience that many of my other clients have on a regular basis. These are not jaded teenagers being styled, or actors or musicians- these are just regular people who want to feel fancy and have the anxiety of their appearance eased by having a professional on site.

I'm a well-rounded and good artist, I'm also a single ladybird who is completely self-reliant with a nest, bills and two scruffy dogs that require food and shelter and a lovely black Accord that is finally at that stage where the little expensive things are starting to go wrong. I do not have agency representation and I make my living solely from being a make-up artist- which means, as much as I'd love to only do commercial print, I don't have the regular client base that the major agencies have. I have a wonderful clientele that I love to pieces, but as a freelancer I need to have a financial future that is a stable one- which means I still work with the general public on a regular basis. Don't be fooled by message boards and artist networking sites- I'm giving it to you real and without pontification. Making a living as an artist is a hustle and it's hard work.

My advice for artists dealing with the bridal market:
  • It's a business, treat it that way. Keep track of your money, keep contracts, network, etc. 
  • Study the industry: Read the blogs, get involved, meet vendors, find out trends
  • Charge correctly: please, don't do weddings on the cheap. I'm not saying charge a million dollars or not take a client's situation into account, but you can't make a living doing weddings for $100. 
Anyhow, now that we've got the serious stuff out of the way... onto the fun stuff! For artists that are building a kit or are interested in the bridal market, I recommend investing in products that are tried and true and have a history of success.

As far as foundations go I tend to favor Make Up For Ever Face & Body (Mat Velvet + is slowly becoming a favorite for a fuller coverage) for a hand application and for airbrushing, I'm an Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics girl all the way. Water based airbrush make-up has somehow gotten a bad reputation for not being stable, but the truth is- if the skin is prepped and primed correctly and the product is applied correctly at the right PSI, it's going to last. I prefer the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics foundation because it gives me longevity and a beautiful finish- I haven't had an unhappy bride yet. If I have a client that insists on a silicone based airbrush foundation, I just thin out my Make Up For Ever with 246 fluid and voila. What I love about Make Up For Ever Face & Body and Mat Velvet + is that they are both waterproof formulas because of the volatile silicone oils that keep them emulsified until applied to the skin. I also use Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix at the end of every application to give a last minute refresh and extra staying power to the entire application.

I am a big fan of loose setting powders- whether I want a dewy finish or a matte one, I will always give a dust of powder. Earlier this past year at a trade show, I worked a press event with Royal & Langnickel brushes and as gratis CoverFX gifted me a generous bag of goodies, one of those goodies was the SettingFX translucent powder. It's a water resistant powder that gives a radiant finish- now be aware it DOES have mica in it, so you need to work with it carefully but in my experience it doesn't "flash" weird.
It's no secret to those who read my blog that I'm obsessed with the Kevyn Aucoin blushes, they are beautiful and worth every stinkin' penny. If you get a chance to catch the Kevyn Aucoin beauty booth at a trade show, you can usually find them for a really good price sans packaging. I'm also in love with MAC Sculpting Powder and Nars Casino Bronzer for definition and contouring. 

 The two biggest concerns that any bride will have are going to be that their lipstick stays on and that their eye make-up doesn't run. I combat these in a simple way- I always use waterproof cream liners and mascaras and long wearing lip color. Typically, most brides will bring their own lip color- in the case that they don't, I like to use long wearing liquid lipsticks. My two favorites are the Sephora Cream Lip Stain and Stila Long Wearing Liquid Lip Color. To seal the eye make-up application, I use a sponge to gently apply Cinema Secrets Liner Sealer. 

I hope these recommendations help you guys create a great kit! As always, please give them a try for yourself and don't just take my word for it- we artists all have different techniques, so what works for me, might not work for you. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Home of a Make-up Artist

I got into a weird mood the other day and just decided to clear out my make-up closet, and inventory everything. It's such an important process, it's really easy to just let a storage area go and that's just a bad time- product goes bad, you end up with multiples of the same items, stuff gets crushed or you just cant find what you are looking for in a crunch. It just helps to know EVERYTHING that I have. I try to go through my stuff at least twice a year and edit it down, donate or give away the stuff that I know I'll never use or that would benefit somebody else a lot more than me- so, that being said, it wasn't TOO bad- just a mess. I cleaned all of my brushes and freshly marked them, I realized that I haven't marked any brushes in YEARS and things just go missing way too easily- they are just easier to recover if they are clearly "dipped".  I use nail polish to dip mine, a coat of turquoise, a coat of glitter polish (because I'm girly like that) and then a clear coat to seal it in.
Dipped brushes.
 Make-up artists can never really keep what they do a secret, at my house at any given time there is always something make-up related happening or lying around. I recently pulled out my copy of Kevyn Aucoin's Face Forward and Paul Starr's On Beauty to have on my coffee table. As I was looking through the pages of Face Forward it dawned on me just how important Mr. Aucoin's books were to the artist community. Before I even fathomed that a person could make a living doing make-up, my friends and I would just sit down and dissect every look in Making Faces and The Art of Make-up and just gather everything we could from each others' make-up boxes to recreate the looks. I can't even fathom how many other artists' passion for the craft was sparked by his books. For me, my love of make-up started in theater with that little standard issue Ben Nye starter box and I loved it so much that some of my teachers gave me leftovers from the production, so I've always had a fairly large collection. In the 5th grade, Mrs. Sommers taught me how to do a couple latex/tissue FX and in 8th grade when we cleaned out the "drama closet" I scored all of the extra make-up that had been left behind as payment for my services. I scored similar when I was in high school cleaning out the costume closet, however at Elsinore High some of the old stuff was 1970's Max Factor grease paint tubes, so there wasn't a whole lot I could snag. My Dad used to bring me home eyeshadows and nail polishes when he'd find them on clearance. In high school I discovered Pic-N-Save and figured out that I could buy a TON of make-up for super cheap. My collection continued to grow. Eventually, in college it led to me discovering higher end make-up lines, fashion, and an entire online community of people who loved make-up as much as I did, I actually met quite a few people who are also now making their mark into the profession.  I can't believe that my parents were surprised that I chose a career in make-up artistry... but I suppose that's not exactly the direction people expect a person to go after they graduate with a Bachelor's in History & Political Science.

Coffee table.
 So to all of the educators who wrote the books, gave me the spare Ben Nye kits, let me clean out the drama closets in exchange for 5 year old Clinique shadows and taught me how to create wounds, thank you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Work Updates

The past month has been a busy one. I've been relishing my spare time like no other.  Here are some photos of jobs I've worked the past few weeks.
When there just HAPPENS to be a camel on location, a picture is necessary.

I swear, this camel was up to something.  

Ms. Hagendorf hosting the black carpet for Myspace Music at the VMA's- Hair & Make-up by me

Look at that skin!

Shooting a press kit for The Dahls with Tyler Parker. 

Here's a sneak peak of the shoot. Make-up only by me.

Ah, yes, the studio warehouse floor of Naimie's. I know thee well. Bobby Pins by the pound and every product a person could think of.

A bag full of wigs on set with Alex Prager.

Ginger-me in one of Alex's wigs.

Such a hot day to be chic in a long black dress and docs, but the photos are going to be so cool. I'm so excited for her next art series.

Assisting my BFF Chris Guerra on a commercial. Coolest crimson ghost mural on the wall.

Feet on set. Chucks, Vans and Sandals

Crazy camera aparatus

I've discovered my love for Rockaholic (TIGI) smoothing cream. I did hair for a couple of tween/kids fashion shows at the D23 Convention.

Things that are necessary after working with kids in a high stress environment for hours.

Having a total fan moment with the new OPI Muppets collection.

Taking a picture with the poster, like the big ol' nerd I am.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers

I've had the opportunity to work with the Peppers a few times in the past couple months. For their featured Hoppus On Music episode, Fuse Presents Red Hot Chili Peppers Live at the Roxy and On The Record: Red Hot Chili Peppers. Here's a couple behind the scenes shots of those escapades.

The elusive crew pass, I'm not going to lie, no matter how many of these passes I collect- I still get stoked every time I get a new one. One of these days, I'll post a picture of the huge box I have full of them. They are the best keepsakes of the best gigs.

Huge billboard on the side of the Roxy.

I fell in love with the belt wall in the headliner dressing room.


Surprisingly this was my first time at the Roxy.

Setting up the stage. My day started at 7am in a cushy hotel room, the crew dudes started at the same time and their work did not end till hours after the show.

My view- keeping an eye on talent and walking backwards simultaneously is a gift.

Juliya's mean shoe game.

When they started loading in the crowd and my day was ending.

On The Record: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Fancy Rug.

Fancy chandelier.
Fancy location, does not always equal fancy station set up.

I do Mark's show when we film on the West Coast, here's a clip from Chad & Flea's interview on Hoppus On Music. 
Most of the time when I'm working with dudes, the product usage is very minimal. Here are some of my male grooming essentials that I couldn't live without. 
Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets

I can't tell you how many of my clients have walked away with this in their pockets. But it really is my favorite and the price point is very affordable, so it's worth it to pick up a few for the kit and let clients who love it walk away with it.

This is my favorite liquid foundation for men and women- it's perfect for spot coverage, to add a bit of color and it never looks like make-up, just skin and when you are working with dudes, it's essential.

Cover FX Matte FX powder is a newer addition to my kit, but it's perfect for touch-ups that are time sensitive and when you've only got 10 seconds to get somebody camera ready.

OCC Skin: Primer is the male host's BFF.