TOP TIPS TO MAXIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY AS A MAKEUP ARTIST

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When you’re just starting your career as a makeup artist it may take you more time to finish a makeup look than if you are a skilled professional with several years of experience. This is pretty normal, as with practice you will manage to eventually create the same look in a shorter period of time and figure out ways to increase your productivity, which will quickly become your signature tricks. 

Sometimes you may need to speed up your makeup application for a client depending on the project and time restrictions; imagine the situation when your client has only 30-40 min for her makeup to be complete and she wants the same full glam look she gets from you every time with a perfect application and blending! Or maybe you have booked a bridal party of 6-8 bridesmaids who need to be ready in 5 hours. All of them! What can you do?

You have to find ways that will make your work faster, more efficient, and most importantly without sacrificing the quality. Here are a few professional and time saving tricks to help guide you and make your work more practical as you take on more clients throughout your career:

1.          Remember that if you always have everything from your kit in the same order every time you’re doing a client’s makeup it will make it easier to find a certain brush, pencil, or any other product! Organization is a huge time saver.

  • It is very convenient to have all groups of products in one plastic bag (they are sold online or as a part of a makeup case/bag). Eye shadows in one bag, bronzers, blushes, highlighters, liquid lipsticks, etc. Brushes can be conveniently placed in the brush case in a certain order that you prefer (from first application to last is a great tip!)

2.          To save time for your client to choose a product color/type (lipstick, blushes, foundations, contour, eyeshadow, etc!):

  • Depot all of your products into a palette. They are sold by different companies (vueset.com is a favorite of ours!) and you can choose the one that will work best for you. A client that sees all of the available product colors/types at once will make a decision much faster than when you have to open every individual lipstick or other products separately.

3.          Doing eye liner on a client can sometimes be the most difficult process in makeup application, even for skilled makeup artists. Find the easiest and fastest way of doing it, for you and your individual application process and technique. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a gel or liquid eye liner:

  • Eye pencils sometimes are easier and faster to apply. Even when you apply it not so evenly the first time, you can go over it with a flat synthetic brush afterwards making the line smooth and maybe even a bit smoked out. Just drag the brush with the rest of the product left on it outwards prolonging the line and you will get a nice soft wing. Perfect eye liners made with gel or liquid products are really time-consuming and need practice – therefore this trick can really save you and your precious time!

4.          If the look your client is going for is still a sharp and edgy eye liner:

  • Use tape to perfect your angles for the perfect line. Just remember to stick it couple of times on your arm to reduce the tackiness (they also make cosmetic / styling tape - which we highly recommend over traditional tape!), then attach it at the right angle kind of prolonging the lower lash line outwards and it will be much easier for you to draw a perfect wing without taking a lot of extra time for perfection when applied completely freehand. After you’re done remove the tape and apply concealer if the tape budged some of your previous application.

5.          If your client is looking for a smokey eye but you are short on time:

  • Use cream eye shadow. You can take a soft brown color or even a color with shimmer to it and apply all over the lid, blend the edges with a synthetic brush, maybe apply a tiny bit of lighter eye shadow onto the center of the eye lid to add dimension, highlight the brow bone and inner corner, and your smokey eyes are done! It will definitely take much less time than to create smokey eyes by blending all these eye shadows in the crease creating a definition and ombré effect, and achieves a very similar application when complete.

6.          Applying mascara onto the natural lashes after false lashes are applied will save you time as well.

  • You will skip the step where you apply mascara first and then apply falsies. Second, after you applied falsies you need to press natural lashes into them to make your lashes more natural looking. This way, if you apply mascara after the falsies are on you will save time twice.

7.          If for any reason you have to go darker with eye makeup and you have already finished the look:

  • To save it from eye shadow fall out use Shadow Shields. Using a tissue in this case and press it every time you apply darker eye shadow will be very inconvenient and time consuming. Also, these shields can be used as a tape for the perfect wing we were discussing about above.

8.          If your client wants a look with glitter:

  • Do not apply loose glitter as it will be all over the client’s face and it will require additional time to clean any fall out. Instead, use a pressed glitter or a glitter in a tube (like a glitter eye liner). They will apply perfectly onto the eye lid without any fall out and will stay all day and night!

9.          Good light will save you a lot of time as you will see how you apply and blend products onto a client’s face right away, without the need to ask her to come “into the light” for you to see if everything looks good.

  • The top time saving tip? Invest in a good (and portable) lighting system. Especially if you work on site and do not know what the light will be in every job that you will have.

10.      Also working in a more comfortable position means that you will save energy and will be working faster than if you would need to bend all the time to the client’s face, you will soon get tired and even exhausted, your back will hurt, your hands may get shaky and makeup application can turn into something really hard to accomplish.

  • Get yourself a makeup chair (we actually recommend portable chairs from Ikea or other stores as they will be more comfortable and sturdier than a traditional director’s style chair). When a client’s face is on the level of your face it will make your work more pleasant and thus much faster (and you will feel so much better at the end of the day!). Always remember to take care of yourself, too!

 

AIRBRUSH APPLICATION VS. TRADITIONAL FOUNDATION

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When it comes to choosing foundation for your client you have to be knowledgeable enough to offer the best option possible, especially when there is such a large variety available on the market! When selecting the best type of foundation you have to take into account many things:

·         Skin type of your client

·         Skin condition

·         Event (the lighting there, weather conditions, etc.)

Depending on these factors will help you to choose between traditional and airbrush makeup for your client.

Traditional makeup is a liquid, cream or powder type of foundation that you apply with fingers, brushes or sponge, while airbrush foundation is the one that is dispersed from a stylus pen connected to a compressor with a hose.

           · The first difference you can see is that an airbrush system is a touch free foundation application method which for some clients may play a beneficial role as they may prefer their faces to be touched with the least amount of brushes as possible.

            · A traditional liquid foundation is usually thicker in consistency (cream or liquid) while airbrush foundation is more lightweight (being silicone based or water based) and sits on your face like tiny pixels making your skin appear smoother! On the market right now there are still many more options for traditional foundations while for airbrush there is only a few. That is why sometimes women as well as makeup artists prefer traditional makeup over airbrush. It is more convenient for them to get the right shade and formulation as the variety and selection is much larger. As for airbrush you have to mix 2-3 colors together in 98% of the time to get that perfect match (which we do discuss throughout our Essential course at the Online Makeup Academy in the Bridal makeup module!). 

Some makeup artists may feel more comfortable with applying only traditional foundations, even though sometimes it requires much more time for application and blending of liquid than airbrush, the application is traditionally more familiar in technique.

           · Skin concerns: airbrush makeup usually requires an almost perfect complexion as it is really lightweight and will primarily cover to only even out your skin tone (if you, let’s say, have discoloration of any kind) just a little bit without dramatic changes. As a result this may not suit a client who has problematic skin, dark spots, acne, scarring or rosacea. Here you will have to cover them first using correctors or even a very thin layer of traditional foundation and then apply airbrush after to “seal it”, creating a perfect surface if your client prefers that airbrush application. If your client has texture on their skin, then more than likely you will also have to use primer under the foundation. Depending on the intensity of texture you will have to decide between traditional or airbrush foundation after the primer (or both)!

           · Staying power: it is believed that airbrush foundation will stay longer, especially if it is silicone based (a silicone base is meant to be smudge and waterproof), but with the experience of a professional makeup artist traditional makeup will stay put without budging within the same amount of time. Also to help both foundation types stay longer we have such helpers as primers, setting powders and setting sprays.

Among one of the main reasons why clients tend to choose traditional makeup application above airbrush is that airbrush is also much more expensive! The system itself, and the materials are not inexpensive, so a makeup artist who provides airbrush services usually charges more. Of course some clients will not be stopped by this with the knowledge that airbrush makeup application may photograph better, and if it is a bride having her once in a lifetime moment, or a model that needs makeup for a very important photoshoot, they will likely go with airbrush. Keep in mind that we also now have HD foundations and powders which also photograph very similar or even the same to airbrush. Of course, there is a chance for your client to have pictures with “flashback” as HD makeup contains silica which in flash photography may cause these white spots. HD makeup will photograph perfectly in the studio with soft boxes but not on the event where only flash photography is used. So again makeup artist’s experience and event lighting play a very important role in choosing the right foundation.

If your client is a model looking for a “bare face” makeup look, airbrush foundation will be a great choice. It is hard to blend traditional foundation to the level when it looks as natural as airbrush. If you are experienced with applying airbrush foundation, your client will leave with the most natural looking skin!

           · If we talk about skin types then airbrush will definitely not be a good option for dry skin! As it tends to pick up on any texture, and would make the dry skin look flaky. Traditional foundations can be found for all skintypes, so this may be the best selection for a drier skin.

         · Application: to apply airbrush foundation perfectly you need to practice a lot, as if you lack experience you may end up with not blended spots and it will be very hard or even impossible to fix it, in addition, if you didn’t let enough time for the airbrush to dry and will touch your client’s face you will ruin the foundation and to fix it you will have to wash it off and start all over again.

As traditional foundation is buildable, it is also easier to apply (we are also more familiar with using our brushes or fingers as the tools!): you apply it and blend with a brush or beauty sponge to the level you are satisfied with blending. You can go over it as many times as you want to make it look perfect!

Contouring as well as under eye concealer application with an airbrush system is also much harder than the same type of application with traditional foundation. However, as with anything, with necessary practice you will get there and can become an expert in airbrush as well! 

       · Cleaning: an airbrush system requires cleaning after each use! Otherwise the product in the gun (stylus pen) will get dry and you will never be able to use it again! As for traditional foundation you may clean your metal plate and brushes/sponges whenever you have time (between each client, of course, always sanitize in between appointments!), the product can be dissolved with makeup cleaning solutions even if it is dry.

         · Coverage: airbrush foundation can be buildable but not to the full coverage point that some traditional liquid foundations can. So if your client doesn’t wear makeup at all on a daily basis or has mature skin it is better to choose airbrush so that they do not feel as much makeup on their faces, and especially on mature skin, airbrush application will not accentuate fine lines and wrinkles as much as traditional foundations may. If a client asks for a full glam with heavy contouring? Then traditional foundation will be the best choice!

As a bottom line there are pros and cons of any type of foundation, and the final result depends on the makeup artist and his/her experience. So it is very important that if you offer certain services you are experienced enough in the actual application and can recommend your client the best option, always taking into account their needs, skin type, occasion, etc.

Must Have Makeup Brushes in Your Makeup Kit

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Brushes are the most important thing in your makeup kit. If you have excellent quality brushes but don’t have expensive makeup it is all ok and you can still achieve a great makeup look. On the other hand, if you have poor quality brushes even with the most expensive makeup products it will be a real challenge for you to create a decent makeup look. You will have to try really hard! Luckily, the Online Makeup Academy has taken the guesswork out of finding  the best brushes to begin with in your professional kit, as they have included a full and complete professional brush set in their Essential and Master makeup kits! It’s also very important to know how to correctly use a brush or what product to apply with a certain brush – here we will give you the breakdown of the must have brushes to always have in your kit, and their specific uses!

Many makeup artists may have very expensive brushes in their kit and they will treat them like their “babies”, but brushes don’t necessarily have to be expensive to be of good quality – either way, your best brushes will be the star of your makeup kit, always! You can begin with just a few of the most important tools, and one by one, build upon the brushes, selecting and investing in additions that you will personally use depending on your clientele and techniques as you gain your own individual experience. 

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It is true, when you have soft brushes your makeup application will become a dream and will look flawless. Below you will find must have brushes for your kit (as well as some extra brushes that are also always good to have, and of course tips!). These are the basics you can’t work without.

1. The first very important tool (though not a brush) is a beauty sponge. Nowadays we have a huge variety of them on the market and you can find great quality ones even in drugstores! See, when we mentioned about great quality brushes, we don’t mean they have to be super expensive! You can find amazing brushes for under $10. The same with sponges, I love drugstore ones even more than the original. The beauty sponge tool will distribute and blend your foundation so well that it will look flawless on your face, almost like an airbrush.

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2. Concealer brush. Or you can find a dual foundation/concealer brush if you do not prefer to apply foundation with fingers on your clients. This would be a small synthetic brush that will allow you to apply concealer onto the areas where you need to lighten the skin: under the eye area, bridge of the nose, forehead, and jaw. You can blend it with a beauty sponge.

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3. Powder brush. A fluffy brush that will help you set foundation. Maybe it is a good idea to get a powder brush that is on a smaller side as your clients will have different faces and sometimes large fluffy powder brush will be just too much for someone’s smaller framed face. Additionally, with a smaller brush you will also have more control.

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4. Powder contour/blush brush. You can use one brush for 2 products: for sculpting powder and for a blush. Just rub off the excess bronzer on a dry paper towel and then go for the blush. An angled brush will give you more control and will apply a necessary amount of the product exactly to your desired areas.

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5. Highlighter brush. You can use this brush first to set the under eye area with powder and later apply a highlighter with it on the highest points of your cheeks, on your cupid’s bow, jaw, etc… So basically you are saving space in your kit making it lighter for you to travel with it. This one is a smaller powder brush, it has to be small so that it is convenient to use it on smaller areas.

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6. Eye brow brush. This will be great if again you will have a dual ended brush: an angled thin brush on one side and a spoolie on the other side. It is very convenient as you brush the brows first with a spoolie and then you apply product with the brush. If you applied too much this spoolie will also help you out. You can brush the brows with it to get rid of any excess product.

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7. Eye liner brush. Here you can choose the shape that you like the most: thick, thin and tiny, angled. Any one that will make you more confident while applying eye liner will be great!

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8. Big fluffy brush. To apply a transition color and to define the crease you will need this brush. It applies eye shadow like a hue which can be built up according to the eye look you are going to create!

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9. More dense brush for the crease. To intensify the eye shadow in your crease you will need this brush. It allows you to add eye shadow more precisely into the crease.

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10. Shader brush. This brush is designed to pack eye shadow onto the eye lid. It is better to choose a medium sized brush so it will fit to any eye shape even a small one.

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11. Pencil brush. You will need this brush to apply highlighter into the inner corner of your eye, or to smudge the color along the lash line.

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12. Lipstick brush. The name of this brush says by itself, you will use it to apply lipstick onto your client. Flat and synthetic brush is perfect for this.

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Those are the basic brushes you will need in your kit to apply makeup on your clients. Of course you may choose more to make your work easier and faster but these are the main brushes it is almost impossible to work without. To find your own set of perfect brushes, read a lot of reviews, try them out and see what works best and is most convenient for you (each artist’s preferences will vary)!

If you decide to invest in additional brushes that will help you improve your makeup game you should consider these additional useful tools:

1. Flat definer brush. It makes smoking out the lower lash line so much easier and more precise. It allows you to get to the lash line as close as possible, making your smokey eyes perfect!

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2. Synthetic brush. This brush will help you to apply cream products onto the eye lid: cream eye shadows, gloss, etc, as well as blend it out to create a nice effect. Cream eye shadows are often used as a base for your powder eye shadows.

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3. Pointy crease brush. You will need one to apply eye shadows into the crease the most precisely, usually with the darkest color. It can be any size you are comfortable with. Keep in mind you will have to be experienced to work with this brush, as your application must be very neat.

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4. Super tiny crease brush. You might want to use it to blend the eye shadow edges into the skin, to hide all the sharp lines and make the transition of an eye shadow into the skin invisible.

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Here is some additional insight on brush care: 

If you want your brushes to serve you the best, and always look like new, you have to really take good care of them! Product build up can ruin your brushes while dirty brushes used on your clients can ruin your reputation! Wash your brushes thoroughly and regularly, at least once a week (the ones you use for yourself!), 2 times a week for the ones you use on your clients! Clean brushes apply products in the best possible way!

In between washes you can and must use a special brush cleanser which disinfects as well as conditions them. MAC Cosmetics offers a great brush cleanser/sanitizer. You also have to sanitize and cleanse each brush in between your clients if you have them one after another or don’t have enough time for a deep clean! Keep in mind, this solution also needs time to dry so it is better for a makeup artist to have duplicate brushes in their kit; you will apply makeup with one set while another one will be drying!

If you need to clean your brush the quickest and most effective way (and please note that this is only if you are working with this brush on the same client) you may remove powder products by using Vera Mona cleanser or its dupe. It is a kind of sponge that lets you get rid of the color on your brushes and then take another one without mixing them.

Choosing the right brush for a certain application in the beginning of your career is hard but as you become more experienced you will not even pay attention to what brush to use for what, it will pop automatically in your head and become second nature. With experience and practice, you will learn, and be skilled enough to multitask your brushes in order to keep your kit most streamlined.

Top Makeup Misconceptions

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We are always hearing about new makeup tips or makeup products that are worth trying from all the mass media sources: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc… it can be overwhelming! Are they all worth it? Should you really follow all of these tips or use every single product that is recommended?

Sometimes media confuses us by convincing us that most famous makeup artists are using a certain product or technique when they’ve actually never actually practiced it! For example, once social media claimed that Mario Dedivanovic was using Banana Powder by Ben Nye on Kim K for under the eye area and the truth is that he actually never did! You know what happened anyways? The moment that everyone saw this article they swept this powder from the shelves in a second to try to achieve the same look. The same can go for makeup tips and techniques, sometimes we are blindly following trends because we read or heard somewhere about them without even understanding why and the basis of the technique, especially when it doesn’t do any good for our appearance! Since all of us have different face and eye shapes some techniques or products will be good for one and a disaster for another; this is something you should always take into account when following your favorite tips and buying into the hype!

Here are some makeup misconceptions – remember always stop and think before applying!:

1.      We think that to get a better coverage out of foundation we have to layer a thick layer of it at once. The truth? It will look extremely cakey! It is much better when you are needing to obtain coverage, you instead apply a thin layer of a product, wait for it to melt into the skin, then apply another layer and check if it is enough and your complexion is evened out the way you want it to. This is how you will get perfect coverage without looking like you are wearing a ton of foundation.

2.      Using your fingers for blending your foundation instead of a brush or sponge. You can’t blend it perfectly with your fingers as sometimes you will press harder, sometimes more lightly. You will also be using way too much product with your fingers! Use a brush or a beauty sponge to blend out the foundation. These tools will help you blend the foundation seamlessly so that it will look like “no makeup” on your skin.

3.      Choosing the right foundation shade on the back of your arm. The color of your arm will always differ from your face! So the truth is you have to even out your complexion with reference to your neck and chest. If they are all different colors you should match everything to your chest (if you are wearing something with a low neckline) and to your neck in all other cases. You will always test on your jaw line to see if it works. Yes, this is the toughest part but is key in helping you find and match the right shade of foundation.

4.      Setting a foundation with powder otherwise it will melt away! It is not true at all. Sometimes women have dry skin and powder after foundation will make their skin look patchy and even drier and they will feel tightness throughout the day making it not comfortable to wear. Use powder only if you feel like you have to use it, for example, if your skin is oily or to get rid of tackiness, or use it only on some areas (like T-zone); you can leave other parts of your face free from powder. Another benefit of not using powder? It will give you a glowing skin effect that is so popular right now.

5.      Highlighting the tip of your nose will make it look slimmer and more glamorous. The truth? This may look good in those social media selfies (if you like the look) but it will look very weird and it will elongate your nose in real life. Add highlighter only to the bridge of your nose!

6.      Thinking that smokey eyes/defined lower eye lid will make your eyes smaller. Or applying eye pencil into the waterline will make them smaller. The truth? This is actually the opposite - “smokey eyes” is a makeup technique which actually makes your eyes bigger and more defined, but you have to do it the right way! Do not leave any harsh lines unblended; every eye shadow has to be blended perfectly into each other making the transition into your skin seamless in order to add more definition to your eyes. As soon as you perfect smokey eyes technique you will use it most of the time as it is the easiest and fastest way to enhance your eyes.

7.      Believing that thick eye liner will make your eyes bigger. The truth? Dark color pulls your eyes back meaning it may make them appear smaller. If you want to accentuate your eyes draw a thin/medium line, not the thick one!

8.      Thinking that eye shadows cannot be the same color with your eye color. This is a misconception. The truth is choosing different hues of the same color of your eyes can make your eyes pop the same as the usage of contrasting colors! You just have to experiment and find the right ones.

9.      We were told for years that you cannot use shimmery eye shadows on elderly women. This is so not true! Shimmery eye shadows chosen wisely will look beautifully refined (as well as on all other ladies)! Just remember that shimmer should not be chunky, instead the shimmer should provide subtle highlight and be finely ground, this is the key to making it look great!

10.  Over-lining your lips will make them look fuller. The truth? If you over-line your lips too much they will look unnatural! To create an illusion of bigger lips try an ombré technique by applying a lighter shade in the center of your lips that will diffuse into the darker one in the corners of your lips. Also you can use highlighter on your cupid’s bow and use wisely a contouring shade right above and below your lips to create an illusion of a shade. These tricks instead will definitely help your lips appear to look bigger.

11.  Choosing High Definition (HD) powder for your face will make you look flawless in pictures. The truth is powders with silica (and this is the main ingredient in these types of powders) will help blur imperfections on your face giving an airbrushed effect but at the same time even the smallest amount of powder with silica will cause a tremendous flashback. This doesn’t mean you cannot use HD powders at all, as they have amazing benefits in terms of makeup making your skin look flawless. You can wear them on a daily basis or for a photo shoot either in a studio, for example, where they use special equipment to diffuse the light without it being too harsh causing a flashback or if you or your client is going to a photo shoot taking place outside at daytime. There will be plenty of natural light and a flash will not cause the flashback and the dreaded white spots in the photo on your face. However, if you are going to any event where photographers will mostly use flash photography and it will be inside or in the evening you may look like a ghost with white traces of powder all over your face! The key is knowing what kind of light will be used on the event, so you may choose the right product to avoid. Keep in mind, silica is not the only culprit for flashback - titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide (which usually are a part of makeup that has SPF) can have the same effect as silica, but usually are not as extreme. A lot of primers or foundations contain SPF so if you know that you or your client will go to the event that will have mostly flash photography just don’t use these kinds of products. If your client insists on using some products with SPF you may lessen its flashback effect by applying a colored powder on top of the foundation. Otherwise you will end up with not flattering white spots on your face when being photographed.

The most important tool to always remember? Practice, don't worry, and have fun! Continued practice and experimentation will always make perfect. If you make mistakes, you will always learn from them and it will help you to continue to improve your craft. Some techniques will work for you while they may not work for others; makeup is an artistry and each individual artist will have their own different forms of expression!