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

 


 

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 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.


 

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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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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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Mens Grooming Yes! Men Wear Makeup

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Mens grooming makeup for tv

As soon as someone learns that I work as a makeup artist for photo shoots and sports television, one of the next questions they ask is “Do men wear makeup?”.  I know it seems ridiculous for the every day man to “wear makeup”.  Yes!  Men wear makeup and greatly benefit from having a makeup artist on set.  And yes, makeup artists help men look their best on camera for tv, film, and photo shoots.

My approach is much different for mens grooming and it differs from traditional beauty makeup.  It’s about evening out skin tone and blemishes, maintaining shine control, brightening the under eye area (when needed), hiding a recent sunburn, covering the occasional shaving mishaps, eyebrow grooming, & aiding with hair styling and the occasional haircut and trim.  The reality is without having a makeup artist on set, it can become painfully obvious under bright studio lights how much a

mens grooming makeup for tv

makeup artists assistance is required.  The progression of camera technology, high definition advances, and led lighting  has created the ability to produce an incredibly sharp more realistic image.  With that sharper image is where you start to notice things you might not have seen before, flyaway hairs, blemishes, uneven skin tone, perhaps you see that the talent appears to look like he didn’t get a full 8 hours of sleep, especially in the eye area.  The technique for makeup application for mens grooming has changed with the advances in technology.  It is a makeup artist’s goal for her men’s grooming work to appear natural and effortless.  A good makeup artist’s work is virtually undetectable. You shouldn’t “see” the makeup, that means it is too heavy.

Seasoned pros know the value of mens grooming and how the time spent in the makeup artist chair benefits their appearance on camera. I will tell you, men don’t willingly sit in the makeup chair at first.  A common concern I hear from men is that wearing makeup will make them appear feminine,  as if I’m punching their “guy card” as soon as they sit in the makeup chair.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Once they realize how quick and painless the ordeal is, and no eyeliner or lipstick is involved, they usually put up less of a fight, especially once they see how great they look.  Sometimes at the end of the shoot the talent refuses makeup remover wipes because they have an audition or on-camera engagement afterwards.  The pros know to keep wearing the makeup if they are going to be on camera again.

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Phone Usage in Makeup Chair Set Etiquette

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Some productions have guidelines for phone usage and texting while on set. It’s hard to imagine working on a production now without cell phones, texting, ipads, email, laptops, glued to our hip, we did manage to survive without them years ago.  No one likes to be late, especially when there is a production crew waiting on talent to arrive to set makeup and hair ready.  On occasion the makeup artist gets blamed for the tardiness, sometimes the finger is pointed at the sound guy or the stylist, even though it’s out of our control.  Productions hit speed bumps, Atlanta traffic happens, weather isn’t always the most agreeable, and the schedule starts to wander off the tracks.  I do understand the necessity of phone usage, ipads, tablets, laptops in our tv film and photography production world, but I don’t always agree with the prevalence they are used while sitting in the makeup chair.  In some cases, I have a CEO from a large corporation sitting in my makeup chair moments before a big press release, he physically can’t put his phone down and I understand.  Urgent parenting issues that require immediate attention are another completely acceptable reason of why you need to be using your phone at that moment.  Unfortunately, I can tell you many people who have sat in my makeup chair exercised poor phone usage judgement as they’ve subjected me to  “Dude, we were so hammered, she was so hot” conversations,  or the “Omg, what’s his deal, I can’t believe she said that, insert drama stirring gossip comment here, like totally, omg what do you think I should do?”.  Well since you asked, I think you should put your phone down and pay attention.  Work with me while I have pointy objects close to your eye.  Cooperating with your makeup artist who is trying to make you look your best before you go on camera is a really good idea.  If the text or call isn’t really important, save it for personal time when we are not all on the clock.   Use your discretion to decide if that call, text, social media post can wait.  Remember people on set are waiting for you.

Here’s some key points to remember the next time you are about to spend some face time with your favorite makeup artist.

  •  The quality and speed of my work as a makeup artist is compromised while you are looking down at your electronic device.  This is my main frustration with this issue, especially when there is a time constraint I’m trying to respect and observe.  Can I get the job done anyways?  Yes!  Could it have been a lot easier, absolutely!
  • Taking an important call is ok, wrapping it up quickly is greatly appreciated, staying on the call the entire time I’m working, will NOT or will it ever be ok.
  • If you’re on set, keep the notifications quiet even if it is a photography shoot without sound.  The rings and notification sounds can be distracting when the crew is trying to work.  If you must have your notifications on turn your phone to vibrate.
  •  Texting is disruptive – Yes it’s slightly better than taking a call, but looking down and focusing your attention to your phone while I’m trying to make you look your best is counterproductive for a makeup artist to work.  I’m limited to less detailed makeup application work at this point with really bad light as you look down.  If you’re ok with not wanting to look your best, then text away.
  •  Emergencies are the exception.  If you’re using Twitter or Snapchat in the makeup & hair chair, I can assure you it’s definitely not an emergency.

Hopefully this makeup artist set etiquette advice on phone usage will help the next time you’re up to sit in the makeup chair.  I know each situation is different and there isn’t a standard rule that can apply to all scenarios.   Use your discretion on phone usage while the makeup artist is trying to make you look your best.

Atlanta Makeup Hair / www.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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