Thursday, 5 February 2009


Before you believe anyone telling you they are professional and letting them tamper with your face, you need to be sure of a few things.

How did they become professional?
Where and by who were they trained? Training is very important, especially training in specific products. For instance, there's no way any make-up artist can do a MAC make-up like a MAC professional. It's even better if they have some kind of qualification, at least you know they were trained and assessed by a professional organisation but that doesn't always matter. Usually people who are trained have the basic knowledge. They understand the colour matching, the ingredients, allergy information, the right coverage of specific products, the effects of different lightings etc.

How many years experience have they had? The most important thing in make-up in my experience is experience! If they can show you a portfolio of their work that's great, then you can judge for yourself. If they have a website, that's great- go check it out. If not, find out from somebody they have made-up before. Listen to what people have to say, there is no more effective way of spreading information than word of mouth. Experience is truly the best teacher. You learn a lot of things that no training can teach you. You realise that some techniques are better and develop your own unique style. That's what makes every artist different. It is also important that they can relate to your style. Some people are experts with Asian/coloured skin tones, some people are good with Caucasian tones, some can do any skin type. You need to be aware of what their strength is before you indulge.

What's in the make-up kit?
What brands? I read on some professional's website that they do not have cheap cosmetics and only use the likes of NARS, MAC etc. Basically this is all useless information. OK don't get me wrong, beware of cheap professionals putting crap on your face, but just because it is expensive doesn't make it good. I know this first-hand. The last thing you want is for someone to put something on your face and you end up in a rash. Insist on what you know is good and what you are used to. You have a say on what goes on your face/body. If it is a bridal there must be a trial session at least 3 weeks prior. This is enough time for any allergic reactions to heal and it saves you the trouble of taking ages on your wedding day to do the make-up.

How long have they been in there? I cannot overemphasize this. Make-up has a shelf-life and any true professional knows better than to use out-dated make-up on your face, but you should still ask. Mascara is a very important one. If you see a wand in a mascara, do not use it. We professionals know that we should break the wand and only use disposables. Mascara should not stay longer than 4 months, except if it has been specially formulated to do so. Same with the brushes, when was the last time they were cleaned or shampooed? You don't want to use brushes that have gone on 20 acne faces unwashed! These are all little things that tell you a lot about the person and whether you should pay them your money or not.

Ideally make-up should be done under natural light but this doesn't always happen. If it is a bridal, the trial MUST happen under natural light otherwise you might look very white on your day- to go with the dress I guess.

It is important that the artist is punctual. Let them know exactly what you are after. Don't leave it up to them. I did this a while ago and I was sorry. I hated the pictures.

Obviously if you are not a professional you wont know much about technique, but hopefully if all the other things are right, then you are in safe hands.

I'm telling you all this because these days, anyone can just declare themselves make-up artists and start doing stupid things to people. That's why a lot of people look so fake on their wedding days etc. They may look OK in pictures but appear white to the naked eye and vice versa.
Please be aware of what people are up to. Let your professional session be what you dreamed it to be...

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