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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Makeup Time Lapse

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I recently had the opportunity to create a makeup time lapse video in studio in Atlanta with our model Bailey.   Before you get too excited about this being an amazing contouring/highlight transformation where the model looks like a completely different person, I’m afraid to tell you it’s not.  This is commercial advertising.  It’s really not about changing someone’s look as much as it is about making a believable daytime look that relates to the story.  Bailey is already gorgeous and lovely without makeup.  I was directed to keep her look fresh – where her eyes pop and she has a beautiful glow to her skin, but not too over the top.  Enjoy!


   Here is our model’s behind the scenes video that she created while on set.  You can see Keke Samberstein in there as well.  She was our stylist on this shoot.

Here is a shot of my workstation and how I styled the hair for the shoot.  I wanted to have a subtle wave to her hair for body and motion.  And in case you’re wondering – Yes, that is all of her own hair. She is genetically blessed.

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Bailey West – Actress & Model – Bailey was lovely to work with, even at the 10th hour of the day, which is saying a lot in our industry.

Keke Samberstein – Fashion Stylist wardrobe and prop stylist

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Makeup Artist Reel

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I’ve added new commercial work to my makeup artist reel.  It features my key makeup and hair work for ultra-high definition tv commercials, national advertising campaigns, television shows, and music videos I have worked on recently as a makeup artist in Atlanta.   You can watch my makeup reel in 1080p at www.kathleenmarsh.com

 

 

 

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Behind the Scenes Adventurers Shoot

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I’d like to share some behind the scenes and final images from our Adventurers shoot.  This was an amazing collaborative project I recently worked on in Atlanta.  One of my favorite things about being a makeup artist is the transformation process that happens in the makeup chair.  It was fun for me because this project required light special effects makeup to create the look of characters.

I worked with a fantastic crew on this shoot.  Josh Meister was our photographer and mastermind for the concept of the series.  Josh incorporated 7 of his own images that he photographed during his travels.  We shot the characters in Atlanta Studio Gallery L1 and Josh digitally combined the images to create the finals.  Keke Samberstein worked Wardrobe & Prop Stylist on this series.  She was responsible for pulling all of the wardrobe as well as the props which was quite an undertaking.  Keke and I worked together to create the ice, dirt, and sweat effects for the clothing.  This series was shot in one day at Gallery L1 Studio.


 

Icy Makeup Icicles Beard


 

One of my favorite characters of the series was our Mountain Climber Explorer.  This was the most intensive special effects makeup of the series.  We wanted our model to look like he was exposed to the arctic elements of an icy mountain climate.


 

 

It was important that the makeup gave his skin a visually cold appearance and icicles forming on his beard.  It’s amazing how much this makeup really looks like ice particles up close.  I applied special effects makeup to his beard and eyebrows to create the icy look.


 

Baja Desert Light Effects Makeup

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       Our models for the desert baha shot needed to look like they had been out in the hot desert sun riding for hours.  We made sure they were extra dusty and sandy.  I created a subtle layer of dirt on our model’s face, but left his goggle/eye area clean.  Both models needed a hint of glow to look like they were sweating.  When I look at the final image it looks like they really are in the middle of the desert.  The reality is we shot this in a studio in January.  I grabbed a quick behind the scenes pic of the studio while this was being shot.


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Stephanie was our model for the jungle explorer shot.  When discussing her look, we joked that she needed to look like she was recently in a fight, but she won.  She is still exploring the jungle.  I added scrapes and cuts to her face and hands.  We worked together to add dirt and sweat to the wardrobe.  Once again, this was shot in a studio in January, but thanks to an amazing team the final result is amazing.

Josh Meister – Atlanta photographer specializing in advertising, editorial, and portraits.

Keke Samberstein – Atlanta based fashion stylist whose specialties include wardobe, props, laydowns, fashion, editorial, stills and video.

Gallery L1 – Atlanta Rental Studio – The gallery is available to rent as independent and commercial film/video/photography location or studio space. Gallery L1 serves as a host to artist workshops, screenings, art parties, critiques and exhibitions as well.

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Behind the Scenes in Atlanta GA

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There’s a lot of fun that comes along with working behind the scenes in tv production.  As a joke this sign was made by a crew member.  “This is NOT a Garage Sale”.  I totally see the humor in this sign, possibly because I’m part of the TV production crew that constantly sees people slamming on their brakes coupled with the blank stare trying to figure out what is going on.  Some onlookers are a little more brazen and have no problem asking some nosy questions. We don’t really have to answer but usually will if people are polite. This sign was made out of frustration on this particular reality TV set because people actually thought it was a garage sale and were walking onto the property.  Nothing to see here people, just an interior design reality tv show production.  When we set up to shoot a reality tv show production in someone’s home, there can be multiple production trucks, and a small fleet of crew vehicles that might cause people to stare.  Here’s a few of the behind the scenes shots from one of the shows I worked on a few years ago.


282439_10150245679666534_1529479_n          behind the scenes reality tv

On the left is a lighting set up in a living room.  The picture on the right is a picture I took of our sound guys taking a break in-between takes.  They just happened to be relaxing in the perfect photo opp scenario.  As they say there’s a whole lot of “hurry up and wait” in our industry.  This would be a prime example of the waiting…..


301034_10150299301732224_910275079_n    This was a fun location shoot in an Atlanta warehouse.  It wasn’t so fun that we shot this in July and there was no air conditioning.  A lot of big features films have been shot at this location.  Even this was from a few years ago, I clearly recall a bunch of personal portable fans, sunscreen and bug spray utilized in my makeup set bag this day.


Crew Shot

Crew Shot

And here’s the crew wrap photo from our final first season episode.

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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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Makeup Artist Lifesaver – Battery Charger for Long Filming Shooting Days

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makeup artist lifesaver battery charger

PowerAdd Battery Charger – My Makeup Artist Lifesaver

Show business is notorious for long hours associated with film and tv productions.  And yes, the term “Hurry up and wait” can be applied to almost every day that I’m working on a set.  Working as a makeup artist you can be subjected to shooting outside all day and changing locations several times.  Although it can be very exciting and fun, there is an element of unpredictability that comes with shooting at different locations.  The combination of a location not having a great cell signal which wears your battery down even faster, can be a recipe for a dead phone on set.  There is nothing worse than losing your ability to communicate while you’re working.  We have families, children, spouses, agents, and managers that we have to stay in contact with.  It can be torture as a freelancer knowing your phone is off and you might be missing out on the call or email for your next big gig.  The lipstick sized battery chargers have been out for a some time now, and yes they are great in a pinch.  I wanted a solution with a little more power and dual outlets that had the ability to charge 2 devices at once, and fast!  Enter the Poweradd charger   which has become my makeup artist lifesaver!  I ordered it through Amazon. It’s small enough to fit in my set bag, and it will charge my phone up to 3-4 times with a single charge, and it will charge my ipad twice.  I’m very impressed with its performance.  This little guy will be a staple in my makeup set bag for quite awhile!  Eventually I would like to upgrade to a quick charge battery unit.  I’m still a little concerned with the lack of “anti-explosive technology” options for the quick charging products.  Be careful when selecting a portable battery charger, read the reviews to make sure it isn’t a fire hazard.

 

 

Atlanta Makeup Artist / kathleenmarsh.com

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Atlanta Makeup Artist Demo Reel

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I’m Atlanta Makeup Artist Kathleen Marsh and I’m excited to share my hair & makeup artist demo reel.  All makeup and hair represented in this video is my work.  This reel displays my freelance work as an Atlanta key makeup artist and hairstylist.  It displays examples of my work from music videos, tv shows, reality tv, episodic television, commercials, promos, sports television, film, cooking shows, documentaries, and interviews filmed in the metro Atlanta area.  If there is a camera involved, I’m there.  I have worked as a key makeup artist primarily in the Atlanta photography, film, and television industry.  I have spent time working in New York and traveling for shoot locations all around the US and International travel as well.

For those not familiar with the term “demo reel”, generally speaking it’s an industry accepted video portfolio of your skill of moving pictures whether it be tv, film, music videos, etc.  We try to keep them short and sweet to display the range of our working ability.

Please visit my website   www.kathleenmarsh.com  for a full commercial, beauty, editorial makeup and hair portfolio as well as a detailed bio, client list, and contact info.

Atlanta Makeup Artist /www.kathleenmarsh.com


 

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