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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My Favorite Concealer

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favorite concealor under eye area

 

What is your favorite concealer?  Working as a makeup artist I get asked this question a lot.  It’s a question that seems to follow me everywhere in my profession whether I’m at work or not.  Concealer is a makeup crutch that I can’t live without.  I’m a working mom in my thirties with an unpredictable schedule controlled by which production I’m working on this week.  That leads to early call times, late wrap times, and a less than desired sleep routine in between.


 

The right concealer really helps to brighten up the eye area but doesn’t have a cakey appearance.   A long time favorite concealer that is in my pro makeup kit and my personal makeup drawer is Laura Mercier Secret Concealer.  There are several reasons I love this concealer and I think the pictures speak for themselves.  I go from looking exhausted “before” concealer to very well rested “after” concealer.  Laura Mericer’s concealers have the right amount of peach tone to them which is key for counteracting the blue/grey/purple undertones in our under eye area.  This is what everyone refers to as “bags” and the term makes me cringe every time  I hear it.   A common mistake I see people make is using a concealer in a lighter shade than their skin tone in an effort to brighten the eye area.  This doesn’t usually work because you’re not counteracting the blue/grey discoloration.   You’re essentially lightening the area with makeup which can create a lighter grey version of a dark circle.  Some of my clients are a little hesitant when they see the peach toned concealer at first.  Once they see the power of this concealer it’s pretty impressive.  One of the other reasons I love this concealer is it doesn’t accentuate fine lines and wrinkles.  As our skin matures, I think it’s harder to find makeup that has the right amount of coverage yet softens our skin’s appearance.   Laura Mercier Secret Concealer doesn’t settle and move around after a few hours.  It does a great job, stays put, and keeps my eyes looking super refreshed even

concealer to brighten the under eye area

when I didn’t get a full 8 hours of beauty rest.

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Makeup Artist Paulas Choice Favorites

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People often ask me about skincare products, and what I personally use.  They’re usually surprised when I tell them how simple my skincare routine is, and how affordable the products are.  I read a book in my teens called “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me” written by Paula Begoun.  The book was so informative about makeup and skincare, but also about the cosmetics industry.  In the book Paula really cuts through the claims of cosmetics companies and various products.  She explains the “smoke and mirrors” terminology cosmetic companies use in advertising in order to sell more makeup. For instance “reduces the appearance of wrinkles” doesn’t mean a product makes wrinkles fade or disappear.   She has extensive research that covers ingredient breakdowns that are effective, and which ones are best to avoid.  I loved her philosophy about every makeup line having some great products.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on your makeup collection to look great.  She defines what’s worth splurging on in the high end department store lines, and recommends items that you don’t have to break your budget for.  I loved her philosophy and much of her advice I still carry with me today.

Paula didn’t stop at writing books.  She developed an amazing skincare line that conquers every genre of skin concern you could be facing.  She kept her philosophy of informing the consumer, and maintaining affordable prices.  What you won’t see is expensive advertising for anti-aging creams with 25 year old models.   I really stand behind her company’s mission, and I love the products.  How many companies break down what each ingredient’s purpose is in the label and talks about stable active ingredients?  When you order her products, you have the option to receive the most informative skincare catalog I have ever seen from a brand.   Because the skincare line has so many options, ordering for the first time can be a little overwhelming.  I’ve put together my Paulas Choice favorites list.


 Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser – I can’t live without this cleanser in my life.  This is part of my daily routine.  Typically I use this at morning and night.  It’s gentle enough for my sensitive skin.  It removes makeup, and hydrates my skin to that perfect glow.  Here’s the product description from Paula’s site:

Paula's  Choice Favorites

Resist Anti-Aging Cleanser

What makes this product unique?
Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser is our silkiest, most luxurious cleanser. Its smooth lotion texture softens and replenishes skin yet rinses without a residue. This exceptionally gentle cleanser quickly removes makeup and helps fights the signs of aging by soothing, preserving, and reinforcing skin’s natural barrier during the cleansing process. It is specifically formulated for use with Paula’s Choice Resist anti-aging line and is the first Paula’s Choice cleanser to have a built-in, lockable pump.

This product is safe for use around the eyes and is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free.

Who is this product for?
Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser is formulated for anyone with normal to very dry skin concerned with reducing the signs of aging.


Skin Recovery Mask

The Skin Recovery Mask is my remedy for parched dry skin in the Winter when my moisturizer isn’t cutting it.  I have eczema and sensitive skin that doesn’t react so well to the drop in temperature.  This mask can be worn for 10 minutes, or overnight.  Immediately after using it I can feel the increase in moisture.  The texture isn’t like most masks, it’s actually a very dense thick cream.

 

 


Paula's Choice Favorites

Resist C15 Super Booster

The Resist C15 Serum is another standout product for me. It does help with brown spots and evening up my skin tone.  It’s the dose of Vitamin C and ferulic acid that my skin needs without the hefty price tag from department store brands.

This information is from Paula’s Site

What makes this product unique?
Resist C15 Super Booster is a concentrated, light-as-water liquid treatment product designed to supercharge your Paula’s Choice serum, or it may be used alone. A blend of 15% stabilized vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) at a pH of 3.0, antioxidant vitamin E, ferulic acid, and peptides repairs visible signs of aging and stimulates collagen production for smoother, brighter, and firmer skin.

Vitamin C also helps protect skin from environmental damage as it evens your skin tone. You’ll see dramatically younger, healthier, and more radiant skin in weeks!

Who is this product for?
Resist C15 Super Booster is for anyone who wants to boost the results from their Paula’s Choice serum or who wants to experience the benefits of vitamin C when combined with other proven anti-aging ingredients. The formula is suitable for all skin types and also appropriate for breakout-prone skin.


Resist BHA 9 Treatment

Resist BHA 9 I might have some considerable knowledge about skincare, but I’m still a victim to the occasional acne breakouts, blackheads, and clogged pores.  Fighting acne has been a part of my life since I was a teen.  Now I’m a grown up and that means I get to combine anti-aging along with my acne treatments 😉  Joking aside, some of the acne treatments help to exfoliate our skin, which not only fights acne but provides some anti-aging benefits as well.

Info from Paula’s Site:

What makes this product unique?
Resist BHA 9 is a first-of-its-kind spot treatment specially formulated to address your most stubborn skin imperfections. The technology behind BHA 9 is indeed unique, allowing for a controlled, sustained release of salicylic acid without diminishing any of its effectiveness. In fact, you will have enhanced results without dryness or irritation! BHA 9 for Stubborn Imperfections has a pH range of 3.2-3.6.

BHA 9 can do all of the following:
  1. Unclog pores with the first use
  2. Diminish white bumps
  3. Minimize enlarged pores
  4. Refine and smooth skin’s texture
  5. Minimize sebaceous hyperplasia
  6. Smooth and soften dry, rough patches
  7. Help balance oily skin
  8. Fade red marks from breakouts
  9. Reduce breakouts

Who is this product for?
Resist BHA 9 is designed for anyone who has struggled with stubborn skin imperfections who wants enhanced results over and above the treatments they’ve been using.


 So those are my pro makeup artist Paulas Choice favorites.  These are the products that I’m familiar with and have continued to order because I’m pleased with the results.  If you order through this link you get $10 off your first order.

Atlanta Makeup Artist/ kathleenmarsh.com

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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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