Category Archives: Practice and Events

First day at Mika’s

So I was right about the course being aimed mostly at doing your own make-up but luckily the woman taking the course knows what she’s talking about!  Also, I’m actually her only student on a Wednesday which means she was able to personalise what she was teaching me. I told her how this is my first proper step to becoming a MUA and she was really helpful, giving me tips on how to adapt things for others and we had some spare time at the end of the class so she let me go over what she’d taught me on her :-) which was brave ;-). She’s been in the MUA business for about 10 years and has worked freelance on photo shoots and tv commercials and things like that, but now mostly does bridal make-up and teaching.

Yesterdays lesson was about doing natural make-up and the next two lessons will be on more of an evening look and colour theory.  It’s amazing how much make-up goes into creating the “natural” look :-)

Today is International Women’s Day!

Today is IWD and as my tribute to women everywhere I’ve put together some quotes from some of the most famous women in the world, and some unknowns. Enjoy, and be inspired!

Audrey Hepburn – For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

Coco Chanel – Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.

Whoopi Goldberg – Normal is in the eye of the beholder.

Eleanor Roosevelt - Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.

Marilyn Monroe – I want to grow old without facelifts… I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I’ve made. Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you’d never complete your life, would you? You’d never wholly know you.

Mother Teresa – Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.

Oprah Winfrey – Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.

Dianne Feinstein, politician – [on women's role in government] Toughness doesn’t have to come in a pinstripe suit.

Mother Teresa – It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.

Coco Chanel – A fashion that does not reach the streets is not a fashion.

Miss Piggy – Never eat more than you can lift.

Katherine Hepburn – If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun!

Gilda Radner – I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn’t itch!

Charlotte Whitton – Whatever women do, they must do it twice as well as men to be “half as good”. Luckily, this is not difficult.

Author Unknown – The Three Wise Women
Three wise women would have…
Asked directions,
Arrived on time,
Helped deliver the baby,
Cleaned the stable,
Made a casserole,
Brought practical gifts,
And there would be peace on Earth.

MAC and London Fashion Week

The MAC PRO Team of makeup artists from around the world have been creating, executing and polishing make-up looks that are appearing on fashion runways in major cities worldwide this February and March.

At the London Fashion Week A/W 2010 (February 19th – 24th) shows MAC has been working with the likes of Christopher Kane, Pringle of Scotland, Peter Pilotto, Jonathan Saunders, Vivienne Westwood Red Label, Emilio de la Morena, Charles Anastase, Maria Grachvogel, Richard Nicoll, Louise Gray to name but a few, plus the new designers showing as part of OnIOff Presents.

In addition to London,MAC PRO make-up artists will be working in New York, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks as well as burgeoning Fashion Weeks in Athens, South Africa, Sydney, Sao Paulo and more.

International Makeup Artist Trade Show 2010 (IMATS)

I wasn’t able to attend the show, but I’ve heard great things and watched some of the videos poeple have kindly placed on sites such as YouTube. I hope that no matter where I am next year I am able to attend my nearest show, as they are held worldwide :-)

The International Make-up Artist Trade Show 2010 was held on 30th and 31st of January. It held 2 student competitions (open to students from a recognised make-up school and those who completed the course within 12 months of the show). The beauty/fantasy competition was based on Alice in Wonderland, and the prosthetics competition was based on Grimms Fairytales with the students works shown on the catwalks later in the day.

There was a make-up museum with works from top professionals in the make-up field, rare photos and movie memorabilia and was under the direction of Cliff Wallace, who runs Creative Effects in the United Kingdom who create prosthetic make-up, creatures, likeness heads and more for film, television and promotions. Cliff has worked on many movies including Aliens, 28 Days later, Blood Diamond and Mission: Impossible.

There were make-up stalls, exhibitions and demonstrations. Key speakers included Alex Box (a high-profile make-up artist and cofounder of the cosmetics line Illamasqua who has been featured in W, Dazed & Confused and international issues of Vogue . She has also created looks for fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, McQ, Peter Jensen and Gareth Pugh. Recently she launched a book, Alex Box, in collaboration with photographer Rankin), Vargas ( an internationally acclaimed body-paint artist and photographer with work showcased at the White House and is part of a permanent art collection in New Jersey. He created the artwork for the Body Painted Pin-Ups 2008, and recently completed a worldwide project with Miss Brazil that was released in 2009.  He is now working on two movies and has been invited to work with Sports Illustrated ) and many more! had their own stall and were  surrounded  by people such as Ruby Hammer (of Ruby & Millie!), Eve Pearl (of Eve Pearl Cosmetics and a celebrity make-up artist!) and folk like you and me looking to learn more about  Safe Beauty. Jackie Tyson (Chief Make-up Artist for the X-Factor) was there answering peoples questions, encouraging Safe Beauty within make-up and chatting about being a celebrity make-up artist.

I am so jealous ! I will be there, oh yes, I will be there ! ;-)

One-Day Make-up Course

SAM_0031In my quest to become a fabulous Make-up Artist I have created a list of things to do and courses to attend. The first on my list was a one-day course based in Glasgow. I attended it in September and have mixed feelings.

I was the only student there, which seemed good, and my sister came with me as my model so I wasn’t nervous about poking the model in the eye with the mascara as I knew she would have to forgive me as I’m her sister!! But it seemed a little too basic. Maybe I know more than I think I do, or maybe I was expecting too much from a day course, I don’t know. The tutor was lovely I did feel better about blending eyeshadows and applying mascara, and I got to try products I can’t afford to buy myself, so it was worth it on those accounts (and I got a certificate, Yay Me! :-) ) .

On a whole I think it was a good experience as it made me feel a bit better about doing the make-up for my sisters wedding, but the next courses on my list are longer ones that sound more in-depth or ones that have case studies to do before you pass.

Have you been on a 1-day make-up course, how did it go?

Travelling With Make-up

Greg and I are currently travelling in the Czech Republic. We’ve been here since just before Christmas so this post is a bit belated (sorry). As I said, we’re doing the travel thing staying in cheap hotels and random hostels and have limited luggage, therefore, limited space for non-essentials. So, guess what had to be left at home…yep, my make-up! Well, I did get to fit a small bag with a few items into the backpack so I can’t complain too much. Besides, it’s meant I’ve had to be a bit more inventive when trying to create any specific looks, so there is an upside ;-)

Our first night in Prague I decided that after 27 hours of buses and coaches I wanted a nice hot shower (it reached warm!) and to doll myself up a bit so that I no longer looked like I hadn’t slept for 2 days. I didn’t do anything fancy as we were just going to the hotel bar for pizza, but I had a bit of fun with what I had, just to help me feel human again after our long travels.

So basically I:

SAM_0042Used CoverGirl primer and foundation, mostly around my t-zone and blended out.

Collection 2000 brightener blended into my inner eye, under my eyes and down the sides of my nose.

For my cheeks I used my Colourworks cheek brightener (it was a gift,not great quality but I really like its effect). I put it onto the apples of my cheels and then worked it up my cheekbones. It has a lovely soft pink colour with just a hint of sparkle.

I dabbed a bit of a No17 lip gloss onto my lips but it was far too pale for me (I should have brought a different one really), so I blotted my lips with a tissue until I was left with just a very subtle shimmer.

I brought 2 Collection 2000 Trios with me, one in purple and one in blue. This night I used the purple trio. It has a white which I put all over my lid up to the brow, and then simply swept the light purple over my lid close to my lashes sweeping it out and up towards the end of my eyebrow for a bit of shape (and for the fun of it).

SAM_0144This was done with my tiny little set of travel brushes made up from an ELF travel set and a Body Shop travel set. I’ll let you know how well they hold up at the end of this leg of our travels (in a week or two).

I kept it really simple and subtle, but fun enough to make me feel much better :-)

Teenage Makeover

I was asked to do the make-up for my niece and two of her friends for a small photo shoot. Although I have plenty of make-up theory knowledge,have done a 1-day make-up course, and have some practice under my belt I was a still bit dubious as the course didn’t cover make-up for different ages and I didn’t want to use too much make-up on them but I did need to smooth out their skin. Also, as we’re not settled at the moment (we’re doing some travelling) I have a very limited make-up kit (which I’m attempting to build up slowly but surely!).

One of the girls had never worn make-up before so was apprehensive, the other two wear make-up all the time. Two of the girls were nervous about having their photos taken and the other had no problems ( she’s a dancer and is used to the fuss), so we had a bit of a mixture of girls. I opted for nice pinks and peaches and a little lip gloss, and mascara on two of them, to give shape and definition.

All in all, to start with, it was a bit like pulling teeth trying to keep the nervous girls smiling and stretching my kit to match each girls skin tones and creat three different looks that weren’t “better” than each other, but in no time all three were laughing and posing and much more relaxed thanks to silly games and everyone shouting Blargh! before most photos. As a reward for their great behaviour I let them do my make-up and as it was halloween they went a little crazy…

During the post-prosessing there was still some work to even out their skin, so I’m thinking about using heavier products for future photography sessions and simply making sure they know that they should wash it off particulaly well!

If there’s any make-up artists out there that do photographic make-up I’d love any advice. Which brands do you use? I have some Max Factor foundations which I think seem quite thin and some Leichner foundations that seem quite heavy. Thankyou for any tips you can share!

005_SimonnesBirthdayShoot_20091030_IMG_6248-Edit_Web640001_SimonnesBirthdayShoot_20091030_IMG_6214-Edit_Web640Photos by Greg Steer Photography

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice Parties

Since deciding that Make-up artistry is the career I want to follow I’ve had loads of time to look at the THEORY of make-up, but not much time with the PRACTICAL side (other than doing make-up on myself and trying out a few new products). So when Greg and I got back to Cumbria in August after the first leg of our travels (quick break for attending weddings and birthdays) I decided that a practice session was in need. I called my sister who promptly organised an evening at hers with a group of friends and family, me, Greg and a friend of ours Rob.

The idea was simple! I did the make-up, Greg and Rob did the photographs and everyone else modeled. If the looks are good then use them on web-site/blog/portfolio.

What I didn’t take into account here was, well, ME! I’m not at all the orgainsed type so when it got to the actual night I got myself into a little muddle. I was calm on the outside but inside I was thinking “Crap! What look was I doing for her?! What did I write on my list?! Where’s my blusher brush?! Aargh!”. Uncharacteristically, I had actually made a list of looks that I wanted to try and who I wanted to try them on, but in my muddle I forgot to even look at it (it stayed in my handbag all night!). Eventually I did get through everyone (far too many for my first night!) and we got some good photos, but 1 or 2 people did go away looking a little crazy instead of beautiful (Oops!) and I was a little frazzled by the end of the night.

So, even though my first Practice Party was a bit of a mess, it hasn’t put me off doing them, I’m simply going to do things a bit differently.

  1. Only invite 1 or 2 people and try 1 or 2 looks on each (instead of the entire family and 12 looks each!).
  2. Set up the table with all make-up needed (instead of having to hunt through messy make-up bags to find things).
  3. Let the models (or friends and family) know what it is they are having done, so that there is no “Ooh! Can I wear that?” “Am I allowed the false lashes?” “Can you make me look like Pink?”.
  4. Create face charts (or lists) for each look I want to do, so that I know what I’m doing and don’t lose the plot, and then look at them!

How about you, had any hellish make-up sessions? (I’d feel better if it wasn’t just me ;-) )

Any ideas on the best looks for portfolios?