HomeArticlesI Tried Being A Professional Makeup Artist For A Day | Lucie For Hire | Refinery29
I Tried Being A Professional Makeup Artist For A Day | Lucie For Hire | Refinery29
August 17, 2019
I’m Lucie Fink, I’m a video producer at Refinery29 but every so often I like to try other people’s jobs. Today I’m working with makeup artist Stefani Paige Vivian to see if I have what it takes to be a makeup artist on set at Refinery29. This is Stefani is a New York City-based makeup artist who’s worked with Refinery29 a bunch of times in the past. I do makeup as a freelancer, but I also work for a subcontracting company where I go to people’s houses and put makeup on them. But her path to success was a little bit different from many makeup artists’ today. I personally didn’t go to beauty school. I’m already 85k in debt from college, so I can’t afford to do that, but if you have the means to I would absolutely recommend it. I learned how to do makeup solely through trial and error. Stefani began with a focus in special effects and fantasy makeup, but she’s now expanded to editorial, fashion and even bridal makeup. Okay money, great! I love being broke all the time. Income wise it varies, so it can be as low as like 20k a year, to 5 million a year. You know it depends on where you’re at. I think sometimes the misconception is that if you become a makeup artist you’re immediately gonna make a lot of money, but that’s not always the truth and sometimes you’re waiting on the money that you’re gonna get for weeks, months at a time. So once I knew the dirty details, my first challenge was to set up. Setting up is kind of assessing what you’re gonna need and taking out what’s necessary. Can I grab it and show you? Yes. Oh god. Here she comes. This! I mean I love her, she’s great, she makes me all my money, but she weighs in total, like both of these bags, probably about 60 pounds. Stefani’s kit is no joke. Man this is heavy. As a makeup artist, when it comes to building your kit you want to make sure you’re considering three things: I don’t even know where to start. Stefani is a little bit protective over her kit. Lucie’s gonna set up her kit, my kit, and it’s gonna give me agita. She’s gonna set up a clean easy to find everything workspace, Let’s see what you got in here. Foundation on foundation on concealer on everything, highlighters, powder, bronzers, eyeshadow, some glitter, most of the hygiene and skin prep. Hygiene? Mm-hm. And just when I thought I had seen everything, I realized she had even more. This is the size of a small child. Every single makeup product that exists, you have to have it. You don’t have to bring it to every shoot but you have to have it and you have to have it for everybody’s skin. Every skin tone, every skin type, everything. So step one out of everything, you better not be sitting down. Should I get up? Yeah. I’m up on my feet, I’m ready to move. So how do you know where everything goes? I just know. Alright, bring in the model. Your second challenge is to prep the skin. Our model Katerina was at Refinery29 for an editorial shoot. She came in completely makeup free and my first step before touching her was sanitizing my hands. Something that should be done regularly as you go through the process of applying makeup. I began by checking the model for any dryness. A very good question that I started incorporating is, “is it okay if I touch you?” Oh, before I pet you. Is it okay if I touch you? Yes. Some people do not like to be touched. Asking if she had any allergies. I am allergic to avocados. Do you have to check every ingredient in everything? Mm-hmm Okay, we won’t hurt you. And finally moisturizing her skin. Question, do you moisturize your face with one finger? You want me to just get in there. You can just get in there, yeah! I have to say this feels very unnatural. Yes. One thing I hadn’t anticipated was how awkward it felt to get fully in someone else’s personal space and touch their skin. Next we matched the model’s foundation and concealer. And keep in mind, just because it looks a way in a tube, it doesn’t mean it looks the same way outside of the tube. How do you feel? I think that looks beautiful. Your third challenge: apply the makeup. One of my favorite things about my job is all of the people that I get to meet and all the people I get to work with. As Stefani told me, the makeup artist is rarely the one deciding what makeup to put on the model. In this case, the photographer was our creative director and she had given us an inspiration image ahead of time. Look at her. I’m looking at her. She’s glowing. And then it was the moment of truth. Because we’re working with glitter today, I do want to start on the eye. I added primer. That’s not eye primer. Okay. You don’t have to be so incredibly gentle, I mean you want to be gentle but you don’t need to like not touch her. We’ll do a basic eye contour, which I think will be easy for you to grasp. My best practice advice here is you can always add more but you can’t take away. Start here, blend inwards. If you need more color, pick up more color. Does it feel incredibly unnatural to you? Yep! Wow. Yeah, I love it. Pack the product a little bit on the outer corner and that same motion of pulling just inward and just buff out that edge. All you have to do left is a lid color. Just the inside? Mmm-hm. I also maybe wouldn’t rest my whole fist on her forehead. Good to know. Okay so next is the liner. Don’t be afraid of it because it will know. When you do a wing go from that tip and pull inward. Open. Beautiful. Next is glitter. Oooh, fun. Oooh. Stefani was great at guiding me through the process and teaching me various techniques along the way. Pop right in here, please don’t pop my mascara. Just one pop? Well the reason, when you pump mascara you— Please don’t pump it. you’re pumping air into the mascara it dries out quicker, so you just need to do one scoop. But she also let me make my own decisions at times. She has such long lashes that I don’t even know if fake lashes are necessary. What do you think? Cool, that’s your call. Whew, it looks like she has false lashes on actually. It does. And then I applied makeup to her face. Foundation. You want to focus it where you feel like she needs the coverage, don’t be afraid of her face. And that’s why blending is bae. Now put your head down and look up. So here’s where we want to get that little tiny bit of correction. And then I applied contour, bronzer, blush, and highlighter. I’m learning a lot of techniques that I will be implementing on my own face. And for her lips, I lined and filled them in with a red liner and applied red glitter on top. Oh my god, you’re like Dorothy. Dorothy’s shoes right on your mouth. This challenge above all revealed just how clumsy I am. What did you do? I’m gonna go in really— I was dropping things left and right. A big no-no in this industry. I am a mess, this is a hard job. It also took me a little while to realize that it’s okay to ask the model to tilt or move her head. Okay let me have you turn towards me. After I had gotten the hang of it though, I was starting to feel a lot more comfortable. This looks really good, I’m not just saying it because I did it. And once the makeup application was complete, we quick styled the model’s hair for a photoshoot. We’re shooting. Let’s go. It’s happening. Your final challenge is the shoot. So it’s just about being very vigilant and at the ready to go in whenever you need to fix something. Our photographer Maya met us in the studio and the photo shoot began. Maya is a photographer that I’ve worked with many times in the past, but I’m used to being the one in the photos. When you’re behind the scenes as the makeup artist and the hairstylist all in one, your job is to remain fully attentive and keep an eye on the model’s full look. As the photographer’s shooting, if there’s a hair out of place or any fallout from the makeup, you need to fly in and fix it. Flying in, she’s great. Flying out. I even accidentally called ”hold” and jumped on the set before realizing that only the photographer can call hold. Hold, hold. You don’t get to call hold. Flying out. Look how good she looks. Oh yeah, She’s a natural. She is. I didn’t realize how fast paced the set would feel. You don’t have the time to switch brushes. I didn’t realize just how much goes into being a makeup artist. And not just the skills and knowledge you need to have, but also the energy needed to ensure your model feels comfortable and well taken care of. Love those. Stefani’s the makeup artist who’s gonna be doing my makeup on my wedding day and now that I’ve gotten a taste of her job I am absolutely blown away. Lucie did great, she listened to direction well, she was excited to learn new techniques. She’s not a bad makeup artist at all, except when she dropped every single one of my tools all day, but I think that Lucie has a lot of promise in makeup artistry for sure. Let me know what jobs you want to see me try next time and we’ll see you then on Lucie for Hire. Hey YouTube, thanks for watching. Click here to watch another episode of Lucie for Hire, here to subscribe to a Refinery29 on YouTube and right here for my personal YouTube channel. Bye!