"My passion for beauty and the creative process that make-up allows us to experiment with."
Can you tell us what makes you a good fit for this particular makeup artist position with the competition being so tough?
Nothing wrong with a little completion, its good! It keeps you on your game. Makes you want to stay up to date with the latest techniques, the latest trends and products. It drives you to be better, more creative, to grow at what you already love to do and that there, are the key components to why I’m a good fit for what I do.
Why did you choose this profession?
My passion for beauty and the creative process that make-up allows us to experiment with. It’s a form of art and I enjoy the one on one client relationships I get to build.
What are the biggest challenge makeup artists have to face?
From my experience, I would probably say the unrealistic form of beauty that a lot of my younger clients have. They often see a picture of a celebrity or model who has been “touched up’ in the editing process or at the doctor’s office, and want to look exactly like that! Most don’t understand that make-up is there to help enhance each individual’s natural beauty and not necessarily create a completely different one!
If a customer asks for a style that you are sure would not suit them, how do you convince the customer to go otherwise?
Tricky situation, first I try to find out why they have chosen this particular style, what about it appealed to them. Then I try to explain why that style works well for that particular “look” or facial structure and not so much on others. I then suggest something that will not only work for them but will come as close as possible to the idea of what they originally had. It’s important to have good communication and find a balance between what you know as a professional will look good on them and the customer’s expectation.
How do you prepare dry and oily skin for foundation makeup application?
As with anything, preparing a good foundation is the key to everything. I have oily skin and struggle to keep the balance between glowing and shining! So after cleansing thoroughly, tone with a product that contains witch-hazel or Salicylic acid which helps reduce oil production and tightens pores. Let it dry and then restore moisture with an oil free water based hydrating moisturizer. A lot of people get this wrong as they strip the skin completely of its natural oil and when foundation is applied, it looks rather dull and extremely dehydrated. Let it absorb completely before applying your primer. I particularly like Smashbox Photo Finish Pore-Minimizing Foundation Primer. It leaves a smooth and silky base and doesn’t feel heavy. I find liquid Foundation works best, also 2 important words are, oil free and long wear. Dry skin has it’s struggles too. Flaky skin and dry patches tend to allow make-up to crease into those dry patches and is a nightmare to smooth out. That’s why I often tell clients to do a gentle exfoliation prior to application, especially if they will be doing a photoshoot or have an event. So gentle cleanse and exfoliate. Apply a Moisturizing toner and let it dry, thereafter gently apply a moisturizing cream. Let it be completely absorbed into the skin. If the skin still lacks moisture, then lightly apply a small amount of serum to the skin or only on those very dry patches. Also allow it to be absorb completely by the skin before applying your primer. For dry dehydrated skin I like to use Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer. Again, liquid or cream foundations are best but this time, it must contain oil and will be easier to apply for dry skin.
Do you have any experience in cosmetic retails?
Not much, while I was studying I worked part time in the beauty and cosmetics department in a store. It definitely exposed me to many brands and products.
Tell us about your experience as a makeup artist?
From an early age I remember going through my mother’s make-up bag as many young girls do, trying on some of her bright red lipsticks and the brightest eyeshadows, it was the 80’s so the brighter the better. Later on I rapidly knew I wanted to have a career that involved a creative aspect to it. After completing a certified course in make-up which included theatrical make-up, I didn’t pursue it right away as such. Life happens and I limited myself to doing my own make-up as well as that of family, friends and co-workers. Slowly that circle grew bigger and my interest re-ignited and eventually I found myself involved in the industry once again, updating myself with techniques, styles and brands. Slowly building up my kit and my network, I now have a small studio where I not only do make-up, but photography as well. It was always a passionate hobby and although still a “novice”, the two seemed to naturally fit together. I love the creative process, the beauty and being involved in how it all comes together. Most of all, I love to see how happy my clients are and capturing that moment, look or feeling.
Name some you have covered?
Yes! I’ve done a few, mostly Photoshoots, weddings, Music Videos, Formal balls and Dances, Bridal/Fashion show, Red Carpet events and this year I also had the wonderful experience in doing Make-Up for some ladies who competed in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Classic South Africa.
What is the difference between applying makeup for a TV shoot and applying makeup for a live appearance party?
Well that really depends on the concept/look or the “character’ that person will be representing. A TV journalist will always have quite a bit of natural tones of make-up, that will look completely non-existent to the person watching TV, but will be quite obvious in person to the naked eye. The studio lighting washes away a lot of the make-up, hence them having to use a substantial amount. Make-up for a live performance will have to be a bit more exaggerated, even if you’re going for a “natural” look, in order that the facial features don’t get washed away and can stand out. In recent times, top brands have HD foundation which works really well for camera lighting but we cannot solely rely on the product itself, correct technique in application can make all the difference. The key point in any one of these looks, is to BLEND - no streaking or blotching! It needs to be flawless!
How often do you clean your makeup tools such as brushes and combs?
After each client! There’s no compromising there! Hygiene is fundamental! Thankfully there are disposable mascara wands, liquid eye-liner tips, lip brushes and beauty blenders that make life for all us make-up artists a little easier. Yes, it’s still an investment you continuously have to acquire but think about giving a bride pink eye on her wedding day, the cost will seem completely insignificant. Unfortunately, the other make-up brushes are not disposable and do need to be washed after each use. Thankfully over time I have been able to get several of the same of everything I use, which makes thing more consistent when applying make-up on more than one person at the same event. Also there are a lot of cleansing products that not only clean but are anti-bacterial and gentler on brushes, but like all tools in every trade they do take a lot of wear and tear and eventually need replacing. Therefore, it’s important to buy good quality brushes. They may be more expensive and it will take you longer to acquire them all but in the long run it is worth it!
How do you determine a client’s undertone before you decide what makeup technique to use?
That’s one of the basic 101 of make-up! The good old have a look at the veins on the back of the wrist. Blue/purple colour = a cool under tone. Green = warm under tone. Also looking at a client’s natural eye and hair colour helps too. It’s the first thing that pops when meet someone.
Do you have any tips you'd like to share?
If you love what you do then give it your all, believe in your work! Market yourself as a brand - social media being perfect for that. Build good relationships with you clients as well, they are key points of referral. Network with your peers and other professionals in the beauty/ film/photography industry. It opens many doors. Don’t be afraid of colour and to experiment with different techniques and looks. Its only Make-up, it washes off! Mix and match, try different brands, there are some really good products out there, you will often find that many make-up artists have several favourites in the make-up box, majority top brands and others that can be bought at your local pharmacy.
What is your most memorable experience so far?
I’ve had a few, I think just in general meeting so many different people from different industries of life that lead them there to that moment in time - my Make-up chair - whether it’s in my studio or another location. What counts for me, is the moment I prepare them for an important event, being part of “their” moment and being part of a team who involved in the process of a creative project.