FAQ to a Working Makeup Artist

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FAQ to a Working Makeup Artist

Frequently Asked Questions –
I thought I would share some of the most common questions that I get asked while working as a makeup artist.

 

What type of makeup do you use? This is probably the most asked question when anyone approaches the makeup station.  I don’t work for or represent any brand or cosmetic company.  I use what I feel are the best products for the job.  At any point in time you can find a range of products in my kit from luxury & department store brands to professional makeup for print and tv.  Yes, there’s even some drug store finds in my kit as well.  What type of makeup I bring to the job depends on the needs for that day.  Some of my favorite brands are Makeup Forever, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, Hourglass Cosmetics, Chanel, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, OCC Cosmetics, and Viseart.

 

How did you make my eyebrows look like that? I’m obsessed with making brows flawless.  They’re so important in framing your eyes, and rounding out the lines that follow into your cheekbones.  They’re practically never identical in symmetry so I use brow powder to even them out versus over plucking them into oblivion.  I’m a huge fan of Anastasia Brow Powders and a flat edged brush.  Powders have a tendency to look more natural than a pencil or gel, especially when brushed through with a spoolie.

 

What do you use to clean your makeup brushes?    I’m huge on sanitation.  If you keep a clean kit, people really appreciate it.  I can’t tell you how many times someone in the makeup chair shares a recent story of working with another makeup artist who didn’t follow proper sanitation techniques and used dirty brushes on a client.  I use Parian Spirit while I’m set to clean my brushes.  Once a brush has been used on a person, it is cleaned and sanitized before it is used on someone else.  I fully shampoo my brushes at home.  Gentle shampoos, and baby shampoo are ok, I prefer to use something with an antibacterial property as well.

 

My (girlfriend, daughter, cousin) wants to be a makeup artist?  There are a lot of paths that lead to becoming a makeup artist.  How you prepare yourself as a professional and the training and experience you seek really depend on your career goals.  If at all possible I recommend a college degree to start.  There’s a business and communication side to being a makeup artist that has absolutely no relation to how skilled you are at doing makeup.  You can attend beauty schools, assist seasoned makeup artists, work for a makeup company, freelance, do makeup for weddings, or work for retail makeup counters etc.  I’ve met many talented artists who are very successful in the industry.  No one has the exact same career path, but I think the college degree is a good place to start and assist if you can.

 

Is this really your job, how fun!?  How did you become a makeup artist?  I have loved makeup, fashion, and beauty since I was a young girl.  I was a good kid, but the one thing I would get in trouble for is playing in my mother’s makeup drawer.  It was too much fun, I couldn’t stop playing with makeup.  In my teens, I poured over fashion magazines and started to experiment with how subtle makeup changes could transform my look.  I absolutely loved the transformation process.  Whether it’s a subtle or dramatic transformation.  I love enhancing beauty.  Eventually I found the Kevyn Aucoin and Bobbi Brown makeup books at the bookstore and I couldn’t help but be amazed by the power of makeup can have over someone’s appearance.  I went to college and received at my bachelor’s in Psychology.  My senior year of college I started testing and building a portfolio.  Eventually my portfolio was strong enough to book small jobs, and the rest is a very long drawn out slow and steady progression of building a career to becoming a key makeup artist for shows and tv commercials.

 

What’s your favorite thing about being a makeup artist?  There are several things that make me very happy when I think of my job….

–  One of the obvious things is I’m a makeup product expert and I get to play with makeup and try new things “for work”.

–  I also love working behind the scenes and being part of the creative process.  It’s pretty fantastic when a good creative team works collectively and creates images, video, or film that is amazing.  I love being on that team.

– I get to go to a ton of different locations and occasionally travel.  The range of people I have met on this journey is pretty incredible from actors and models, CEO’s of large corporations, members of the NFL, NBA, MBL, musicians, the occasional celebrity, public figures, military officials, teachers, doctors, activists, investment bankers and even a female astronaut.  Working with actors and models is fun, but I also truly enjoy working with real people.  I get such a kick out of the boost in confidence that people have after having their makeup and hair done.  I know I’m not changing the world, but I do like bringing out the beauty and confidence from within.

 

What’s your favorite shoot you have worked on?  I have many shoots that come to mind for a lot of reasons.  Sometimes the location is really fun, or we are shooting fun content for a production.  I find the shoots that I walk away and I am most happy, really comes down to the crew you’re working with.  When you are working with the right team, it’s meant to be.

 

When you curl my hair, the curl lasts all day, how? I love being told that “my hair will not hold a curl” and then making some one’s hair hold a curl.  Usually the reaction is amazement, and then next comes the “How did you do that” questions.  My answer to this is “It’s all about how you prep the hair, and the technique you use to curl”.  The type of iron you use can make a difference.  I carry titanium curling irons in my hair kit.  They can be a little overkill in the heat department if you don’t know where to set the heat setting.  A ceramic iron is great for consistent heat, which will help your hair curl.  It’s always important not to use more heat than you need because it will lead to hair damage.  How you prep your hair really helps your curl have staying power.  Some of my favorite thermal settings sprays are Kenra Platinum Hot Spray # 20, and Oribe Soft Lacquer.  You spray a thermal spray on the section of hair, prior to curling.  Not only do these protect your hair from heat styling, they also really help hold your curl all day.  After I curl the hair, and while it is still warm.  I use alligator clips to pin set the hair.  You can use bobby pins if you do not have alligator clips.  The reason I do this is to let the hair completely cool before releasing the curl.  If you let your hair drop after curling while it’s still warm, the weight can pull your curl down.  There’s no sense in ruining all of your hard work.

Can you come live at my house and do my makeup and hair everyday?  Ha,I get asked this question literally almost every shoot and my answer is “Yes, can you pay my day rate everyday?”.  Sadly no one has answered “yes” to this question as of yet.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading through some of the FAQ ‘s I have encountered recently.

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Behind the Scenes from a Print Advertising Campaign

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I wanted to share some behind the scenes from a print advertising campaign shot on location in Atlanta.  I have to say a special thank you to Ty Milford and his assistant Zac Hardy for taking the time to share these images with me.  This campaign was shot over the course of a week in Atlanta during the summer with some pretty intense humidity.  Even though it was hot, it was a great job to work on because I had the opportunity to be on set with some of my favorite people, and I met some new friends too.

Behind the scenes - Atlanta makeup and hair Kathleen Marsh working on a commercial advertising shoot

Taming hair on set

 


 

TY_M2591
 Wardrobe extraordinaire fashion stylist Emily Sistrunk having some fun on set.


 

behind the scenes - atlanta makeup artist kathleen marsh

Seems like a normal behind the scenes working shot….. until you notice the photo bomb.


 

TY_M1716

Our photographer having a care free moment on set….


 

makeup artist working shot

Beautiful house, morning light


 

 

commercial advertising makeup and hair final touches

85 degrees and 90% humidity, rooftop in Atlanta


 

 

advertising styling narrowing down blouse options

Deciding on shirt options for the setup


 

behindthescenes

That’s me, always running out of the shot


 

Fashion Stylist Crew

Behind the scenes – fashion styling crew taken on location

Emily and her styling crew, this shot was taken at the end of a long day.  I really love this picture.  These ladies worked so hard, and they’re awesome personalities to have on set.


Ty Milford – Commercial, lifestyle, editorial, advertising photographer with an astounding client list.  Ty’s images have a focus on a healthy, happy, active lifestyle. He capture life’s real moments and emotions in his images.


Emily Sistrunk  – Atlanta based fashion stylist, wardrobe with specialties including commercial advertising, catalog, laydowns, editorial, and celebrities.  Emily has an amazing ability as a stylist to bring a subtle modern edge to commercial advertising.

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Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara Review

Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara Review

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Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara

Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara

 

 

When I have someone in the makeup chair, people will try to sneak a peak or ask “So what is your favorite mascara?”  If I had a nickel for every time I have been asked this….  My answer depends on what your expectations are for your mascara – length, volume,  or separation.  If you’re answer is yes to all of the previously mentioned, and you would like to keep it in the “Under $10 category”, my suggestion would be my current favorite drugstore mascara Prestige My Blackest Lashes.   I like to give practical product recommendations for all budgets.  I can’t bring myself to spend $25+ (on a regular basis) for a mascara that will be thrown away in a month.  I keep my mascara supply fresh, in conjunction with always using disposable mascara wands to keep any contamination risk down.


 

Prestige My Blackest Lashes

Here is my before and after.  I did curl my lashes before applying the mascara.  The reason I love this mascara is how natural it looks while it adds major volume and length.  Makeup artists don’t always pick the most dramatic mascaras because they can appear a little messy on camera.  Clumps, specks and spider lashes aren’t so lovely on high definition video or in pictures.  Fiber mascaras have a tendency to flake off throughout the day.  Once your mascara has gone clumpy, there’s no quick easy resolution.  So I tend to like mascaras that separate lashes but still look clean and natural should we need to zoom in for a close up.

At $6.95 this mascara is a steal.  You can find My Blackest Lashes Mascara online at Prestige Cosmetics.    If you would like to find this product in a store Ulta carries the entire line in store as well as online.

Atlanta Makeup Artist / kathleenmarsh.com


 

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Primer Before Foundation

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Hourglass - N° 28 Primer SerumMakeup primer, I frequently get asked about primers before foundation.  Are they necessary?  What is their purpose?  Which one is the best?  Will it work for oily skin?  Will it work for dry skin?  Will it make me look 15 years younger?  To answer the last question, no it will not take 15 years off of your appearance.  What it will do is makeup your makeup last longer, soften fine lines, minimize pores, keep your foundation and concealer from settling into lines, and provide a smoother surface to apply foundation to.

Priming your skin before putting on foundation isn’t required.  I do highly recommend wearing primer if you’re interested in minimizing pores, smoothing lines, and increasing the longevity of your makeup.  Primers provide a barrier between our skin and our makeup.  It is disappointing to spend extra time putting your makeup on in the morning only to find by lunch your efforts are disappearing and melting fast.  Have you ever felt like it’s especially difficult to keep your makeup on in the summer? Primer will definitely help you maintain your makeup wear longevity in color .

I have found a need to apply less foundation when a primer is used.  As much as I love makeup, I don’t like seeing people go overboard with foundation.  It’s actually a makeup artist pet peeve of mine.  When it stops looking like skin, it’s too much.  I have witnessed a lot of  heavy coverage foundation when it wasn’t necessary.  Foundation does serve a purpose of evening out our skin tone, but too much can actually work against us trying to achieve an attractive look.  Primers help to smooth out our skin tone and reduce the appearance of pores.  With using a primer it’s very possible you will find yourself using less foundation because your skin is already improving in appearance.

Hourglass - Veil Mineral Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15Some of my favorites are Hourglass No 28 Primer Serum and their Veil Mineral Primer is absolutely lovely. Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Primer is great for those with oily skin who struggle to keep their makeup on with regular clear silicone primers. Silicone based primers can feel a little too greasy for some people with oily skin but they are wonderful on dry skin and combination skin.  NYX Studio Perfect Primer is a great primer at an even better price point.

Atlanta Makeup Artist/ kathleenmarsh.com


 

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