Empowering Every Woman to be Beautiful

Make it Beautiful

A very wise makeup artist once told me (when I was an assistant), "Always make the model look pretty - colors need to coordinate, everything needs to be blended perfectly - even if you're shooting in black and white; or you're only seeing the side of the model's face. The client needs to see a pretty picture before them or they won't hire you back."

I get emails from aspiring (or new makeup artists) asking me all sorts of questions about color selection, lighting's effect on makeup, etc. If I could pass along one great piece of advice, it would be what that wise makeup artist told me. No matter what you do, always make the model look pretty for the client.

That would seem like an obvious and some of you out there may be saying, "Um, yeah. Isn't that what you're hired to do?" But makeup artist can create makeup looks that aren't anything special to the human eye, but are amazing in a photo.

Take a black and white shot, for instance. It's all about tones. I could honestly create a look on a model that resembles a page from Bozo's Beauty Manual, but when the shot is viewed, it's absolutely gorgeous. Why? Black and white photos aren't about colors, but tones and textures.

As long as I have a good command of those two elements I can mix warm and cool tones until it's scary; it doesn't matter. The shot will still be pretty. But my client (the one paying me!) is freaking out because she/he can't see what I can see. It disturbs them that the model doesn't look pretty.

Take the picture above. This is how the model looked right after I finished with her makeup. As you can see, I took time to seriously blend her eye shadows and line her eyes for drama. All of the colors compliment each other.

But, honestly, since she was shot in a different light (see picture below), I didn't really need to work that hard. Slapping on any dark color and blending a bit would have worked okay (not wonderful, put passable).

However, armed with the knowledge that it stresses clients/photographers to see something less than appealing in the makeup department, I worked like we were shooting in day light. Her skin needed to be flawless. Her lips just so. Her blush exactly on her cheekbone to give the definition that would be needed for the dramatic lighting that was used.

In the end, I was very happy with the shot. As was the rest of the crew. As a makeup artist (or a mom on date night!), remember the effort you put into your craft (or your own makeup) will be apparent.

If your livelihood depends on your makeup strokes, it's imperative that those signing your paycheck are very happy with what's before their eyes.