Makeup trends for me, begin on the New York runways. I consider it a part of my job to KNOW this stuff. NO....I do not GO to NY Fashion Week every season (but someday I will). The shows are very easily accessible on the internet. I don't necessarily follow every one of them, but I definitely pay close attention to them and utilize them in bits of my work.
But my work is my own. .....
I've never had any formal instruction, as I've stated in my first blog. I am totally self taught. I've had people ask me if I'd teach them, and I'll typically agree to mentor but not "TEACH". Why? Well first of all, I'm not really sure of how I do what I do, and therefore can't exactly explain it. But also because I believe that there are only a few basic rules you need to learn, and from there you should take off like a little bird and experiment! I think that when you learn through someone else's ideas and/or habits, you could very well turn into a "cookie cutter" artist of sorts...And that's just no fun AT ALL, now is it? And how do you know that the artist teaching you is really qualified to do so? Well, I'll tell you one thing....if they claim to be a "certified" artist, it doesn't mean squat, because there IS NO SUCH THING.
So how do you tell? It's easy. Just ask to see their artist portfolio and maybe their resume, too. If their work is something you are instantly impressed by, if it's consistent, the makeup style is up to date (if their commercial work looks like it's from the 70's, you need to run) and genuinely beautiful and there's quite of bit of it to look at ....then you're gonna be okay.
The following are a few of the basic makeup "rules" that I've learned over the years. Some might seem a bit vague. But there's a reason for that...and I'll explain as I go. Keep in mind.....I have a slightly emotional and even philosophical point of view when it comes to my work. Each client...whether its a model, actor or non industry client that I'm working with, becomes a working "relationship". They are in my care for the next few minutes, and I'm going to make sure that I do right by them. And to me they are all absolutely beautiful.
For aspiring artists, these tidbits might be helpful. They don't necessarily apply to the creative, editorial and avant garde stuff, of course. But for basic beauty...and a bit of a guideline for the rest.
Rule #1: If it's not broke, don't fix it....And sometimes even if it IS, maybe you shouldn't.
This is so important to remember. If you have someone in your chair and straight out of the gate you're thinking about what you need to change or cover or correct, you've got it all wrong from the get go. Think about it....none of us look the same. Isn't that amazing? It's that way for a reason. So why try to correct what's already perfect?
I can remember back in the late 80's the modeling industry began choosing models for their unique features. Some weren't even really classically beautiful...far from perfect. But those imperfections were praised, and I think it was a wonderful change. I kind of look at faces that way now. Everyone needs to be approached as the unique individual that they are. Freckles don't necessarily need to be covered, neither does beautiful clear skin....contour is absolutely NOT a necessity and skin tones absolutely shouldn't be "corrected".
Which leads me to.....
Rule #2: Foundation is not always needed....
Okay, so this is where I guess I'm a bit old school. In the beginning, foundation wasn't really meant to be slathered ALL OVER the face and used like a mask. It was only supposed to be applied to the areas of the face where it was needed, IF it was needed. I tend to follow that school of thought, whether it's an editorial shoot, or for film production. It just depends. Sometimes just a bit of concealer and powder is all that's needed. Uneven skin tones might require a bit more...putting too much foundation on someone with acne can actually make the problem more pronounced. A makeup artist has to have a really good understanding of when to practice restraint. And I think that's the hardest part for some.
When using foundation or concealer, there are certain rules you MUST follow!
Foundation IS NOT to be used to give someone color!!!
When you match someone, that color had better disappear on the skin. PERIOD!!!!
Color correctors are WAY outdated! This purple and green to correct the skins' undertone thing? NONONO....yesterday's news. And I mean 1970's old news!
When contouring: White and Gray are not flesh tones!!!! When looking at shadows falling on a person's face, ask yourself in all honesty...is there gray there? Or are they just a shadow in a slightly deeper flesh tone? Do you see pure white anywhere other than the whites of their eyes? Common sense, my friends. Common sense. Shadows pick up the tones of what they're cast onto.
One of these days, grab a friend...sit them down, and just study their face. Take a really good look at it. Pay attention to the natural contours and highlights. Take a few notes on the colors and shapes that you see. Look at the color of their eyes...how many different colors do you see in their iris?
The human face is truly so amazing.
That is why I do what I do.
(to be continued)