I have been a Hollywood Make-up Artist for almost ten years now. I love being on shoots and being a part of the staging of what eventually becomes a finished work of art. And that is what it is, a work of art, not natural beauty.
We know everyone is beautiful. You are beautiful! You are perfectly imperfect exactly the way you are… from head to toe. You are the only one with that nose. Your freckles are adorable. Your teeth make up an unforgettable smile. Your hair has the nicest tone and cutest cut. Your skin is soft and your feet are graceful. Could you improve a few things? Sure, maybe. But you will NEVER be perfect and that is great! How boring would it be if we all were perfect and not uniquely beautiful?
It is my job to make people close to perfect for shoots. Because of what I do, people are always asking for beauty advice. But I make it my living to point out each person’s unique beauty.
Problem: When enjoying a favorite TV show, movie or flipping through a magazine, what do we see? What do we focus on? Everyone looks perfect. This is not real, they are touched up and made up…
Do you know how many people it takes to make that celebrity on the cover of the magazine in your hands look that way? A lot! It is not natural beauty – it is lighting, hair, makeup, wardrobe, etc… and PHOTOSHOP! If you saw that person walking down the street you would think to yourself, ” You know who that looks like?” They are just normal, everyday looking people without all the extras that come from a styling team. They are just like you and me. And NOT perfect!
I can’t believe how every magazine image I look at is over corrected. Am I the only one who notices his head is bigger than the rest of his body? That her hands are a different color than her face? There are no skin pores anywhere on her face or body? That the clothes are lying perfectly flat? Come on. When I first started in makeup, people told me NOT to rely on anything being retouched or fixed in editing. The goal is to cover and conceal everything to your natural eye, so each person looks flawless before stepping in front of the camera.
I have applied body makeup to every fitness model I’ve worked with – to cover bruises, spider veins, give them a tan and hide cellulite. For bathing suit shoots I have drawn on abs and cleavage to almost everyone that came into the makeup room. I have added extensions into many gorgeous heads of hair and added color and fibers to fill in many holes and bald spots. I have styled wigs and padded many bras. I added brows to eyes than were bare from over tweezing. Scars have been filled in, tan lines evened out and freckles have been covered-up. Tattoos are mainstream now, but a few years ago they always had to be covered by clothing or a lot of makeup. I have done all of this with makeup applications. When footage goes into editing, there is even more correcting that can be done. These are all the imperfections that make us unique and beautiful in life, but you never see them in photos or on camera.
Now with Hi-Definition TV our eyes do see more imperfections because the technology is clearer. I like that. The image is raw with more detail. This is more real. You feel as though you can reach through the screen and touch the actors or that they are in the same room. But don’t let it fool you, we still use makeup and concealing techniques on the actors.
Let’s look at a great example. American Idol. Starting in the auditions, everyone shows up looking their best and dressed to impress. They chose their own look, their makeup, their hair and their wardrobe. The looks become more polished as we move into the top 20. As they narrow down to the top 10 and even the top 5, have you noticed how the makeup increases and the hair changes? They all have a team of artists styling them and touching them up backstage, now they look like superstars. What changed? They are still the same and their talent hasn’t changed? They have a team of stylists that gave them a complete image makeover! This is what we do. To prove my point, watch videos of final contestants from their audition performance to their top 10 performances and notice the difference.
If we all could wake up with a team of stylists each and every morning, we would look our absolute best each day. That is not real life. But if we take some tricks of the trade, learn to accentuate our best features (body, face & personality) and change our look every so often, we may be happier than trying to live up to the images in the magazines. I feel so sorry for anyone looking at magazine images, wishing they could look like that. Use it for inspiration to exercise, make a change in your life or improve your well-being… but please remember, those images are not real life, you are. My people have touched-up those photos and brushed a magic wand across the page.
Embrace your own uniqueness as a positive and you will be surprised at how it not only makes you feel, but how people respond.
Basic rule: When we are happy with ourselves and our image, we become perfectly imperfect in everyone else’s eyes! It all shows on the outside what you are doing on the inside.
A Few Quick Hollywood Make-Up Tips:
* Brighten eyes by swiping a light loose powder over cream eye corrector under eyes. It will set the cream, blend the blush on your cheeks as well as bring out your eyes and relieve any tiredness.
* Quick fix to Lasting lips. Line lips and fill in entire area with same shade liner as your lipstick (darker liner is a no-no). You can then follow with just gloss, chapstick or lipstick and it will last throughout a meal. The top application will come off but the liner will remain.
* Better brows? Take a wax pencil and make little hair strokes in the shape you want your brows. Next, take a spiral makeup brush (like the wand in mascara) and gently brush over the strokes to soften the line and blend. Finally, take one or two shades of a favorite eyeshadow that matches your hair color and lightly add over the wax line. This will add dimension to your brows as well and set the pencil. Then lightly brush over the line again to blend.
* Lengthen lashes with a primer. Coat entire top lash with primer. Wipe wand front and back. Let dry. Follow with one good coat of your favorite mascara (I love the new plastic brushes like Cover Girl LASH BLAST). The primer adds thickness to the lash and the mascara will give the illusion of thicker, fuller lashes.
* Eyeliner won’t stay? Try putting it on before your mascara but after curling. There are a few long wearing and setting liners that work great, my favorite is Styli Style (line & seal). I love using mineral eyeshadows. Just wet an angel brush and line away. In my experience, heavily pigmented shadows applied wet, last all day.
* Always forget Sunscreen? Make it easy on yourself. Finish your look with a loose mineral powder. As long as the powder contains zinc or titanium dioxide (natural SPF) you are covered. There are great mineral powders in brushes now (ex: Eminence and Colorscience), just swipe to set your face and throw it in your purse for the rest of the day.
* Last minute cure for a Breakout. Take a hot towel and apply to area for 1-2 minutes. Don’t squeeze! Dry thoroughly and apply a sulfur based lotion with a Q-tip to infected area. Even if the breakout is only red. Applying the sulfur based lotion will work to dry out the problem area within 2-3 days. Sometimes it will not even break the surface. My teens and actors swear by this lotion (try BYE BYE Blemish). The lotion is usually white or pink so if applying during the day, wait until it dries and lightly brush it off. Follow with your foundation. Great skin saver.