May has been bonkers, guys!
I covered The Makeup Show NYC the first weekend of May, and as always, it was packed with educational opportunities, brands to discover and LOTS of awesome shopping. But of course it’s almost Memorial Day and I’m finally getting around to my usual show recaps today!
So where to start…hmmm….I decided to break up my approach, because I typically throw it all into one post and it’s humongous. So how about a quick-hit list of the top things I heard from sessions I attended? This year I sought out education not just for blog and freelance fodder, but to soak it in as an aspiring makeup artist!
The first session I sat in on was with Romero Jennings, Director of Makeup Artistry at MAC Cosmetics:
Romero’s keynote was titled, “A Career in Makeup,” and he went through some of the awesome moments in his career, showing us creative and innovative work that he has done. Here are some soundbites from that session:
- “Be honest with yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses.”
- “Innovation is really important for us as a group.”
- “Have range.”
- “Social media is the new portfolio…You have to treat it that way.”
- “Embrace change.”
- “Grow the thing you’re really good at, but challenge yourself to do what you don’t like.”
- “It’s really important as an artist to continue to grow.”
- “Hard work pays off.”
I attended Kevin James Bennett’s feature presentation, “Makeup Kit Breakdown,” to truly learn not just what a makeup artist might carry in their kit, but to understand what products and types of taskers artists rely on.
KJB didn’t disappoint – he’s hilarious, and I learned quite a bit about having a “tight kit.” Some takeaways:
- Keep it really simple. It’s easy to over pack your kit, but you don’t have to.
- Consider the ingredients of your products – are you using wax-based? Oil-based? Cream-based? Are you being consistent across the board? Research and learn about ingredients and formulations and make a conscious decision about what you want to carry in your kit.
- Always prep your client’s skin – even if they say they didn’t put anything on their face, cleanse and prep it!
- He recommended great palettes for artists to keep on hand – like a color correcting palette and palette you can use to adjust the shade of foundation you’re working with.
- Carry 100% pure silicone – it’s a great oil-absorbing agent and is a great primer. If you buff it onto skin before applying foundation you won’t need an oil control product.
- “Creating the most beautiful, believable skin is the ultimate goal of every pro makeup artist.”
- Keep the conversation to a minimum while you’re working – it’s all about making the client feel and look good.
- Carry cleansing wipes, not makeup remover wipes
- Carry bronzer, highlighter/illuminator
- Loose powder is better for setting, pressed is better for touch-ups
- Keep matte neutral shadows and saturated brights in your kit.
- Always carry clear mascara
I also attended The Makeup Show Town Hall with Kevin James Bennett, Madison Mallardi, Renny Vasquez, Tracy Murphy and Lori Taylor Davis (listed in order left to right in photo):
The Town Hall was a very open and frank discussion about the industry. Moderator James Vincent asked questions and the panelists answered. He started with, “What makes someone a professional makeup artist?”
- Kevin answered, “it has to be your job, you have to apply makeup to other people.”
- Renny said a pro is someone who “can provide service to a wide variety of people.”
Other general advice for the makeup artist or aspiring makeup artist coming from this town hall?:
- Think of yourself as a small business
- You don’t need to go to school to become a makeup artist but learn technique, put the time in to get yourself educated and assist other makeup artists you admire.
- You can only learn by doing.
- There is no “Fake it til you make it” in makeup artistry
- “This is hard, it’s a job,” Kevin said.
- Be humble.
- In response to a question about what pros want to see from beauty influencers, the artists suggested that we be genuine/authentic, and disclose when we have gotten paid for something or received product
There was a lot more education than I could attend, but I hope you enjoyed these insights from the sessions I was able to make! Is there anything here that resonates with you? I feel that sometimes the tips that are given to the artists attending this pro show are so applicable to all of us. Like knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and learning proper technique. I’d love to hear your thoughts!