A Day in the Life of a Celebrity Make-up Artist
On set with Rebecca Romijn!
Research is crucial to the success of the look for a photo shoot or red carpet event. For photo shoots, there is always a mood board or “inspiration” sent to the team by the photographer or editor of the magazine that the shoot will be published in. The inspiration of the shoot includes the clothing looks, which then determines the hair and makeup inspiration. For a red carpet event, it is often a multi-faceted collaboration between the clothing stylist, designer of gown, the hairstylist, makeup artist and often times the client. The chosen accessories and jewelry are always taken into account when choosing the final look. I always utilize Google images and Pinterest to bring more inspiration to the table. It is helpful to research other shoots and red carpet looks the client has done previously to ensure you are not repeating the exact looks. This information will then help you pack your kit correctly.
Mood Boards: Revlon
Prep for a photo shoot or red carpet job is incredibly crucial. An artist has individual clear make-up bags dedicated to categories of products; skincare, primers, face/foundation colors, lip colors, eyeshadow palettes, false lashes, bronzer/blushes, highlighters and so forth. Everything is neat, clean, organized and packed the way that will ensure maximum efficiency. Brushes and beauty blenders are washed and sanitized. Skin care items such as cotton swabs and sponges are stocked and there are plenty of lip and mascara applicators on hand along with makeup remover and wipes.
“On time” is late and late is detrimental to the schedule and compromises the quality of your work as you will be rushed and stressed. Be early! Always map out the address the night before and allow extra time for traffic, to park or valet and to arrive to setup. I always find out beforehand exactly how much time I have for makeup application. I collaborate with the hairstylist while we set up as to how we can support the other in the process, i.e., pausing hair while I apply eye liner or pausing makeup while they blow dry the hair line, etc. I often wear a wristwatch so I can easily reference the time and ensure the client is done, with enough time to get dressed, touched up and capture behind the scenes photos. Timing is incredibly important and there is nothing worst than hair and makeup taking too long and making a client late to red carpet or causing production to go into overtime. If you are a good artist you should also be timely and efficient.
It is important as an artist to determine what set up is most beneficial for you and helps you work efficiently. I always have a cute towel I set my makeup on in an order and flow that makes most sense for me. I put unique and beautiful touches to my kit like having my brushes set in Diptiyque candle glasses.
Lighting is so important to ensure your work is perfect. There may be natural lighting in a hotel room for red carpet, or set lighting for a photo shoot, but there are times when the lighting is not good and you need to have your own. One of my tricks is to bring a head flashlight. It’s lightweight, fits in my kit and has saved me so many times when the lighting was not good.
Taking BTS (behind the scenes) pictures/stories and posting once you’ve been given permission from the photographer or client to do so. Ensuring you are including the proper hashtags to give everyone involved credit.
Attention to Details
Being attentive and paying attention to details throughout the shoot/makeup app. Especially during a shoot, it is important to stand out of the photographers work space while also watching the monitor as photos are taken to see if anything needs tweaking throughout, i.e., powdering the shine, putting more color on, etc. When doing red carpet, its important to stay around until they are completely dressed to to do body makeup, bronzer, and highlighting. I also make sure they have the lipstick I used on them and powder to touch up in their bag. Just as set up is crucial, packing up and leaving in a timely manner is important. Make sure you have an effective and efficient way of packing up your kit. Even more so for Red Carpet; while my client is getting dressed, I am packing up quickly. You should be too so as not to linger in the hotel room or their home too long.
After the Event
After the event you are following up with the photographer of the photo shoot for the professional photos, or you are searching sites like Getty images to get the Red Carpet shots to post on your social media. These generally must be posted on the same night of the event or the following day with all the appropriate parties tagged. Behind the scenes from photo shoots are sometimes not allowed to be released until the shoot is released; sometimes they are permitted by the photographer. At the end of the day people work for people. You can be the best artist, but the relationships you make while on set will be what gets you booked again. Being flexible to change, professional and having fun doing what you love!