Here's the first of many blog posts that will flood your feed on the learnings of assisting amazing makeup artists.
I wanted to accumulate all the top tips that I've learnt from the past 2 years of assisting some of the greatest artists in Australia. Hopefully, there will be an international one as well.
These top tips have helped me develop my skills and really accelerate my learning in this industry. I truly believe assisting can get you places and just wanted to share my experience with you all.
If it looks good in real life, it will look good on camera.
This one is from the legend Rae Morris, who is the queen of skin and enhancing the model's face using her phi method. This tip came from one of her masterclasses and has stuck with me for years. I used to think that the camera would make everything look better and that I didn't need to have that much attention to detail. Boy was I wrong.. Once I adopted this philosophy I noticed my tests and my shoots turned out a lot better than I expected.
Less is definitely more.
This comes from pretty much all the artists I work with. A lot of times, when you're on set, you're just applying a little bit of concealer, brushing the brows and adding some colour here and there. There's no harsh contouring, there's no blush, then bronzer, then a lip, then a full brow. It's all balanced and a lot of the times the artists just prefer to enhance what the model has by leaving it bare. Our job is to enhance the client/model's features, that is the main skill of a makeup artist. A lot of times you need to leave something out to make the image beautiful.
Prepping the skin is THE most important step.
A lot of times, makeup artists on set don't use a primer. a/ because it's another layer that'll look too makeup-y and show on camera b/ the skin is prepped so well that generally the makeup lasts. I've assisted so many artists and each on has their own skin care prep routine. Some exfoliate beforehand, others just cleanse the skin with Bioderma. But all have a similar moisturising step in that they keep the skin looking beautifully plump. Also, they protect the models skin all the time. On location, they would be sure to have a sunscreen as part of the skin care prep because the model will be in the sun all day. Same goes for their body. Honestly, you'll have to get on your knees and moisturise those legs and shoulders and find joy in doing so because that's part of the norm.
Be present and know when to step in.
Usually, you're working in a large team when you get the opportunity to assist. There's a stylist, their assistant(s), photographer and their team, the client and their team...you get the idea. The key to working collaboratively is to know when it is your time to help out. Let the photographer have time to light the model THEN go in to do touch ups once everything is in place. DON'T talk too much if they look like they're trying to figure out something. It's all about being there, being useful and knowing when to be quiet.
Keep your body in check
We're constantly standing around all day and there's always some heavy lifting to be had. Ive learned that this job can take a toll on your body and have met many artists who are striving to keep their body in check due to the strain of this job. Stretching, chiro, yoga, gym, eating right - they are elements of what makes a makeup artist work with their best body. Now, I'm not saying everyone does this, but most are striving to do some of them.
That brings us to the end of the top 5. There's definitely more to come, probably more product focused in the future posts. In the mean time, keep creating and keep moving.