Monday, May 23, 2011

Learning Experience: Doing prom makeup

My baby brother and me.
Last Saturday was my baby brother's prom.  I had offered to do his girlfriend's hair and makeup, but Dave told me that she wanted to do her own makeup, but would like me to do her hair.  I'm a little more comfortable doing makeup, so I begged my brother to convince some of his female friends to let me do their makeup.  

Meanwhile, the past weekend has been crazy hectic for me.  Dave and his friends were getting ready in the morning.  I woke up at an ungodly hour Saturday morning and drove the 1.5 hours home from my apartment on 5 hours of sleep.  I was so dead tired that his friends probably thought I was a mean hobag and just isolating myself from everyone lol.  In any case, my makeup and hair supplies were packed in a hurry, and I was working in a cramped bathroom to do hair for 2 girls and makeup for 1 of them.  I didn't include their pictures in this post because I don't want to seem like I'm bashing them, because this really was an eyeopening experience for me.  Here are a few things I learned:

1. Be ready for mishaps.
I had prepared for makeup mishaps with makeup remover and cotton pads, but obviously not for hair.  I spend over an hour curling one of the girl's hair.  It was very thick, and I had to keep the curling iron in for a little bit longer to retain the curls.  She wanted to do an updo with a braid clipped over her head like a headband.  I didn't know exactly what she wanted so I told her that I'd curl her hair and let her style it the way she wanted, since she seemed pretty sure of how she wanted her hair.  Well, as we were running out of time, her updo wasn't looking that good and she didn't hide the base of her braid so it stuck out funny.  Not to mention this was about 2 hours after I did her hair and she had messed with it a lot so the curls were falling apart.  I didn't have time to fix it or do a more elegant do, so I ended up popping her hair up in a messy bun, and pinning it down with bobby pins in random places so it still looked somewhat elegant.  For this do, I didn't have to curl her hair at all so that ended up being a waste of time.

2. Guard your makeup.
I don't know if it's because time was starting to be pressing or I was just lenient cause it was my brother's friends I was dealing with but one of them basically just expected me to supply makeup for her.  Again, I was dealing with two "clients" at once so while I was busy doing one thing, the other girl was asking me where my eyeliner and concealer was instead of asking if she could actually use it.  I was not as professional as I would have liked, probably because I was tired and I didn't want to seem like a stuckup bitch, so I let her have her way.  I still have to go about sanitizing my kit.  Which leads me to the next item.

3.  Have a separate kit for clients.
I actually had a sort of kit that I would use on clients only, mostly eyeshadows and blushes.  The problem is, I use my own makeup so often that I get to be more familiar with those colors and textures more so than my client kit.  Especially since I was in a hurry to get everything together.  Also, my client kit lacked dark colors for contouring and doing more dramatic looks, so I opted to use mostly my own makeup.  For things like concealer and foundations, I decided to use my own because I don't do makeup on other people often enough to make use out of those investments.  Not to mention the fact that I do not charge money for services at this time and I am currently unemployed so I can't afford these items.

4. Clients' wants come first.
This is by far the biggest issue I was struggling with.  I am not yet professional by any means, but I know a shitload more than the average girl.  One of the girls wanted all her hair up completely, even though it would have been a lot more flattering for her to have a strand of hair on each side to frame her face.  The same girl was also horrified at my version of "light makeup" because she felt the makeup would overpower her ivory dress.  She didn't like having eyeshadow applied under her eyes.  Her foundation was a tad dark and looked slightly orange on her but she wanted to use her own foundation.  I thought I was prepared to deal with girls who wanted light, natural makeup, but obviously not.  Looking back,  I've done makeup on other girls for clubbing, parties, and performances so my style and experience has leaned towards slightly dramatic.  The eye look I ended up doing on this girl was a shimmery wash of color over the lid up to the socket line with a slightly darker color pressed onto the lid and blended out.  Eyeliner was a matte brown eyeshadow pressed into the upper lashline only.  It's really frustrating for me as an artist to know that I could do so much more with the look, but be limited because that is ultimately not what the client wants.

5. Bring a lookbook.
This would definitely have solved a lot of problems.  I've been meaning to put together a lookbook of my own, but that would have helped clients pinpoint exactly what they wanted in terms of hair and makeup.  

I typed this entire blog during class lol.  And now class is over so I better get moving.  Thanks for tuning in everyone!

1 comment:

  1. wow, so sorry to hear that your day didn't turn out so well. People in general think that being a makeup artist is like a dream job but they have no clue what happens behind the scene. I'm glad that you shared that experience because it really is more complicated than it looks. Anything that has to do with "dealing with people or pleasing your customer" requires tacts and a lot of patience. At least next time, you'll be better prepared.