Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Importance of Assisting and Testing

Anyone who knows me knows that's I'm a huge advocate for assisting and continuously building your portfolio.  I've blogged about it many times.  How to approach an artist about assisting and what to do when you get there.  But I've never really mentioned why it's so important.

While I've met some artists who never really assisted I firmly believe that it's a crucial part to learning the craft correctly.  And not just about how to apply makeup but about how to properly behave on set.  To actually see how a real set with real working people who actually do this for a living, works.

You will experience and learn different things depending on who you assist.  But one thing is certain. 9 times out of 10 you will not, I repeat, will not be getting paid.  But why, do you ask?  Because getting chosen to assist is a privilege.  Sure you can go to a school and learn makeup till the cows come home but a school wont really teach you how it is in a real working environment.

In the beginning of your assisting "career" you will get coffee, you will wash brushes, you will do pretty much anything that the key artist needs you to do. It's called paying your dues.  Think of it as the "wax on, wax off" of the makeup industry.  Everyone who is in the business and is successful has, at one point, paid their dues.

I'm not saying that you won't get paid ever but don't expect it to be much if you do.  Especially when you're starting out.  Maybe $50.  Maybe $100.  But don't ever expect money.

Test, test, tesssssstttttttt till your arm falls off.  I always say, if you're home sitting on your couch munching on Cheetos, then you don't want this bad enough.  You should be testing!  You should be doing productive things that pertain to getting your makeup career started.  Make your business cards, set up a Facebook page, set up your website.  DO SOMETHING!  Sitting there watching re-runs of ::insert fav show here:: will get you nowhere fast.

Testing is another thing that will not pay.  The point of testing is to build your portfolio.  Gather a team that is also in need of portfolio building and build your books together.  If you don't have work to show, no one will hire you.  Whether it's a bride or a commercial client, people want to know what they're buying.

Testing is also necessary to build your skill. Work on different skin colors, skin textures, bone and muscle structure (that's right people, learn that too cause it's not just about slapping makeup on someone face).  Perfecting your craft no matter how little the detail is key.  Maybe you have trouble applying lashes.  Maybe you can't get eye liner on straight.  Test so that you can work on it.  

Everyone who is testing with you is there to perfect something.  The photographer may be trying out new lights.  The hairstylist may be trying out new products.  Maybe the pictures aren't going to be as good in the beginning.  But one thing is for sure.  You walked out of there and learned something new.

Being a makeup artist is so much more than just applying makeup.  It's learning lighting, bone structure, skin types etc.  Ask questions.  Yes, that's right, ask the photographer why that light, why that position, why that lens.  There are so many aspiring artists out there that would do anything for a chance to assist and learn.  They are eager to soak up this knowledge.  So, when you get there, don't screw it up!  Below are some links to past posts that I've written about the industry.  I hope you find them useful.

And please, any questions at all (there are no stupid questions) please feel free to ask me.  My email is always open and I always respond. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

In MY Kit - Updated

Last time I blogged about my kit was quite a while ago.  Much has changed and many have asked for an update.  This is currently how my kit looks and has looked for about 6 months now.  At this point I don't think it will change much and if it does, I'll just update this particular blog post.  Enjoy the makeup porn.  Lots of pictures ahead.

The only thing that I didn't take pics of were my disposable cause I'm pretty sure you guys know what cotton balls and qtips look like and my Skin Care.  I'm not one of those to carry a lot of skin care items.  I'm a makeup artist, not a dermatologist and don't have any specialty items in my kit.  If my client has a certain skin problem then they usually are already taking care of it and I use their stuff.  I just don't have the space in my kit to carry skin care for every single person in this planet.  My skin care consists of:

Embryolisse 24 Hr Miracle Cream Moisturizer
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Toner
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels (for Brides ONLY)
Olay Facial Wipes
Elizabeth Arden 8 Hr Cream

As usual, any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment section OR you're more than welcome to email me at contact[at]yisellsantos[dot]com.

This here is my main eyeshadow palette.  It's what I use for everything from Catalog to Bridal.  Can you tell that I love FACE atelier?

Every makeup artist needs to have a playful palette and this is mine.  Though not used much I always carry it with me.  You just never know when a client is going to ask for random orange eyeshadow.

My Blush Palette.  The top row consists of a palette I got some time ago by Powder Puff Squad.  The company has since sadly disappeared.  A real bummer too cause these blushes are quite amazing.  Tho, Peach Glaze is what get's the most use here.  Don't let the fact that it looks new fool you.  I've renewed this one twice already (this is my 3rd).

I purchased this when it was first introduced and never really used it much.  It's only been lately since I've been doing more bridal that this started seeing more use.  I love it for Bridal (and so do the Brides).

A Hautelook compulsive buy turned awesome.  It was meant to be in my personal kit but I loved it so much that after using it once I stuck it in my kit, once again leaving me with nothing good in my personal bag.  Oh the life of a makeup artist haha!  I find myself using it a lot when I do makeup for Military Balls (for those that aren't aware, I'm an Army Wife and live near a Military Installation).

After trying to find a palette that had a little bit of everything and failing, I just created my own.  This is my main lip palette and use it for pretty much everything.

I recently purchased this and la la love it for Bridal.

Yet another Hautelook compulsive buy but who could blame me?  They were $6 a pop!  Yes please.  Quicky is my fav for catalog.  Plus they go on so gorgeous.

My Bronze Palette.  Though the Yaby powders are supposed to be "Powder Foundations" I never use it as such.  I love to use them to bronze my darker skinned gals.  FA Mocha I use both as bronzer and blush and the MAC I use mostly on men.

My Highlighters and 2 more Bronzers.  I couldn't bring myself to depot the Laguna, I really love that packaging.  The Uplight I use mostly for photoshoots, the Watt's Up (which replaced the NARS Copacabana Multiple) I use for both personal clients and photoshoots and the KA Candlelight powder I use mostly for Bridal (skin dependent).

No you're not seeing double, yes I have two Sparkling glosses.  I use that one the most from this set.  It just looks absolutely beautiful on everyone.

FACE atelier...That is all!

Great when I have that adventurous Bride or doing a flashy bright lip beauty story.  Scandal is the popular color.

Some other various glosses.  The FA's are both lip and cheek tints.  Arabesque is my fav and used the most.  I realize that I carry a lot of glosses.  Many artist carry one (clear).  I love lipgloss (srsly you should see my personal stash) and I love it even more on top of lipsticks.  It just...gives it something.

Lip Pencil booklet.  NARS Sex Machine gets all the use here.  The rest are mostly depending on mood.  But I don't use them as actual lip liners.  I use them as lipstick.  That's right, I fill the whole lip in with them.  I don't like the use of lip liners as...well...liners.

My fav and most used things here are my brow pencils and the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick.  That stuff stays on like a champ!

My main one, only love and obsession in foundation.  FACE atelier!  I could go on and on about this foundation so I won't.  If you use it, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  If you don't use it, I highly urge you to.

Yaby Foundations.  A little more lighweight so I tend to use them more on someone who already has amazing skin such as very young models or prom girls.

My main for TV/Film.  Not that I don't use these for anything else.  I've used these for catalog and bridal as well depending on the skin and look I'm going for but for TV these are key in my kit.

 My go to for my darker gals.  I don't get many darker skinned girls often but when I do I absolutely love this palette.  I mix as needed to get the color I need.  

MUFE Camo Concealer palette #1 & #4 depotted into the Yaby Stackable palette.  I've been using these for years.

Temptu S/B Foundations.  I love the finish and coverage of these.  I've even used them without the airbrush machine.  Fantastic for brides!

My Powders.  I carry all three depending on the look and occasion I'd need them for.

And last but not least, my UD Setting Spray, FA Transforming Gel and Fortunate Face Minerals IntensifEYE Primer.  Cannot live without these in my kit.