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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to Keep Your Makeup Artist Happy

(Sometimes it gets tiresome to type out "makeup artist" a lot so I'll shorthand it to MUA interchangeably throughout this post, which is the industry's way of abbreviating this title.)

Needless to say, I've worked with a ton of makeup artists over the course of my career. I enjoy talking shop with them, finding out what got them into the makeup industry, etc. One of my favorite subjects to talk about are their pet peeves, aka things models do that they can't stand.

My favorite saying is that my job as a model is to "make the client's job easier." That includes others in the crew, such as makeup artists. Anytime I ask a makeup artist about what their pet peeves are or negative experiences they've had with models, it's for the main purpose of making sure I'm not guilty of any of those things--and if I am, learning what I need to change. Trust me, the last thing you want is to make your MUA unhappy...they're responsible for making you look fabulous!

Both male models and female models work with this type of industry professional and while male models don't wear as much or the same types of makeup products as the women do (in most cases)...when it comes to sitting down in the makeup chair, below are key ways for models of both genders to ensure the makeup artist loves (instead of loathes) them:

Find Out Info in Advance

It isn't uncommon for makeup artists to email/call a model (or have the person in charge of the gig do it) to pass on information/instructions about how models should arrive the day of the gig. Should you ever get such instructions, please follow them! I worked with a MUA recently who shocked me by saying more than a handful of times she's had models show up to a shoot or fashion show with their faces not prepped according to what she specifically told them well in advance.

Never received any such instruction/information beforehand? Then...

Arrive With a Clean, Moisturized Face

This goes for both female and male models. That means wash and moisturize your face as you normally would before heading to your modeling gig. And make sure to tell the MUA what is currently on your complexion. For example, anytime I'm working with a makeup artist, before they put anything on my face, I'll let them know I only have moisturizer on. If you have additional product on your face, let them know.

NEVER come to a MUA with makeup on from last night or an unclean, unwashed face. Doing so means taking extra time to remedy the situation and time is money.

Remove as Much Previous Makeup as Possible

There are times when a model is busy with back-to-back gigs. Just this past weekend I had to diligently clean my complexion from a shoot in order to make sure my face was as makeup-free as possible for a fashion show I had the very next day.

Models, this means paying attention to tedious matters, such as removing as much lash glue as you can from your lash line (if fake lashes were used), wiping dramatic liner from the top and bottom lashes and of course getting rid of lingering lip color. Sometimes eye liner, especially when applied to the lower lashes, tends to linger even after a thorough cleansing. In those instances, it's okay if you can't get it all off--there's only so much you can do and the MUA will be able to work around it. But don't leave a large majority of previous makeup on and expect the makeup artist to tend to your face. Their job is to apply makeup, not clean it off.

Don't Wear Makeup to a Modeling Gig Where a MUA is Provided

I'm sure there may be certain exceptions to the rule but why would a model do his/her own makeup when going to a gig when they know a makeup artist is going to be present? Believe me, models do this--I've had MUAs tell me so! Even if it's just foundation or concealer, the MUA isn't going to be happy. Clients have a specific look they want their models to have and that info is passed onto the makeup artist so having a model take that matter into their own hands only serves to start things off on the wrong foot.

Groom Your Face!

Male models with facial hair need to keep it nice and maintained when getting ready to work with a makeup artist. That means cleaning up any stragglers and shaving/lining up edges. Female models, check your brows the day before and if they need some cleaning up, tend to it asap! That means plucking stray hairs, grooming any facial hairs, including upper lip and chin hair...I know it sounds icky, but women have facial hair, too, people!

Male models, if your brows are unruly and you get them trimmed, maintain the results so that they look their best the day of the gig. If you've kept your brows natural and that's your "look", then leave them as is. Female models, however, can't risk having stray brow hairs. It might sound like something so small and trivial but I've heard it straight from the horse's mouth that working on a female model's brows that aren't groomed and have stray hairs is a nightmare for MUAs because it means either tweezing it themselves the day of or applying foundation or concealer to hide it. It's annoying to do, especially when knowing it could have been avoided altogether, had the model simply paid attention to it the day/night before.

Learn to Sit Still & Lean Forward

Not everyone is good at this and if it applies to you, start working on getting better because the last thing any MUA needs is a fidgety model. Male or female, realize when it's okay to shift a bit in the chair and when to remain still. When the makeup artist is working on the eye area, don't start blinking a lot--it doesn't help. It's okay to talk to the MUA while he/she is working on your face but know when to not talk, like when lip color is being applied.

On the leaning forward part, I don't mean lean so far forward that you almost fall out of the chair. When sitting in a MUA chair, it might feel natural to sit back. But guess what? That means the MUA has to reach in to put on your makeup and that's annoying, not to mention uncomfortable. Scoot your bottom up a bit and lean your face forward slightly. The makeup artist will let you know if you're in a good position.

Don't Play With Your Cell Phone During the Process

Texting, talking on the phone, checking email, etc. makes it extremely hard for a makeup artist to do his/her job. Pay attention to the task at hand and not your phone. Leave the phone in a purse (for female models) or on the table (for male models)--whatever it takes to prevent you from reaching over and checking it. The cell phone's not going anywhere so focus on your job.


You don't have to be pro to understand why it's important for a model's face to be relaxed when it comes to applying makeup. Scrunching your face up, furrowing your brow, squinting and other movements can cause makeup products like foundation, concealer and eye shadow to go on unevenly, making for a messy end result.

I don't know about you, but getting my makeup professionally done is like getting a massage--I get totally relaxed. When your face is free of tension it means the products will go on smoothly and beautifully, which is how you definitely want to look when all is said and done!


Teen Glamour Girls said...

Good point. Thanks for sharing.

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