Seattle, Washington, US
How much time do you spend doing a simple beauty makeup?
One of my clients I'm contracted under is a local portrait studio. I get high school seniors and aged executives for portraits (aka, skin issues and color correction has to be addressed, which adds to time). I have 30 minutes to complete a full makeup look, and make them looking and feeling fresh & pampered.
I take care of their skin with moisturizer and primer, wipe off leftover eyeliner, and do makeup as great as any published pro out there. Fresh, clean, simple, detailed perfection. The techniques, talking to the client to prep their energy for the camera, and prepping their skin, takes me over 30 min to do. More like 40 minutes. And they give me 30 minutes. And I work with poor lighting, little or no table, straight out of my kit (takes time, adding seconds, to find things to complete the look).
I'm always checking with the client during my process to see if they want makeup added or edited (especially eye makeup), by holding the mirror, which adds more time.
They're getting extremely worried that I can't do 3 people in a row (I've worked in films with 20 people to do by myself). But this is the public, not actors, so I feel prepping their energy & skin is important for their photographs, and overall customer service experience.
Am I doing too much for 30 minute slot? What do you recommend as a simple process to do for 30 minutes? (Limit eyeshadow to 1 color, as an example).
Should I educate my client more on my process? They've worked with other artists before, but it seems my work they do like the most. Or should I shut up, not talk to the client, and work as quickly as possible?
Shortcuts I currently take for client: 1 lip color instead of custom blend, 1 cheek color instead of custom blend, no contouring, applying foundation by hand instead of airbrush, 1 translucent powder, 2 eyeshadow colors, 1 eyeliner pen, and not prepping the lips with balm.
I don't like taking more shortcuts unless it's absolutely necessary, as they're photographs that last forever, not a special occasion that lasts 1 night.
I appreciate your feedback, as I feel this is a safe place to ask this question. Thank you!!
Jun 13 13 03:56 pm Link
Washington, District of Columbia, US
Whatever stipulated duration for application you accepted when you took the position is what is expected... A portrait studio may not be much interested in skin care... you have to meet your employer's expectations here...
This is an issue you need to address with your employer... btw, I would never show up on site without a small folding table... I also typically bring my own lighting kit if it is an unknown venue... you can/should streamline your setup time... this is of paramount importance to completing a look in a timely manner...
Jun 13 13 04:30 pm Link
Allen, Texas, US
Definitely invest in a portable table, if the studio won't provide one. Make sure its big enough to unload your kit and to organize and lay out your products .... this will save you time of digging through your kit to find what you need.
Ask the studio if they have a light that could be put in the makeup area to help with makeup lighting ... and if not, you might want to invest in one.
Save the hand mirror till the end of the process to have them check .. this also should save you some time.
Jun 14 13 10:34 am Link
Los Angeles, California, US
On one of my series for tv we were given 20 minutes to do a complete makeup , individual lashes and all and for men between 8 o 12 minutes
The most time saving thing I've learned is to really limit the conversation , it's amazing how much faster you can work and make smarter choices when you both not gabbing up a storm !!! Lol!
Jun 14 13 06:48 pm Link
Stevenage, England, United Kingdom
I worked in a studio for a few months where I had to do make up in 10 minutes and hair in 5. And this wasn't on Model skin but on normal members of the public that had skin discolourations, flakyness, acne, redness, viruses and all sorts !
I would built a routine in the end, if they wanted their hair done I would put in the hot rollers, which was already hot before we opened the studio. Then I would start the hair. I would use the lipstick on the cheeks and a darker, cool foundation in the cheekbones. I would quickly tidy the brows and put on a neutral eyeshadow and mascara, then foundation. That's pretty much it. If people were waiting to get their make up done then I would hand them make up remover and some pads to speed up the process.
I didn't have creative freedom working there but I learnt how to do make up FAST, the clients liked it and I got paid. Working on a counter or a studio is valuable, I learnt alot there.
Having my kit set up ready for work really helped. I am right handed so I have my kit set up to the right hand side in the order that I apply products. Hair, skin care, eyes, base, lips/cheeks. I have everything in palettes. The muas I worked with would take longer as they searched for lipsticks and individual eye shadows, whilst I would just choose from my palette, which are already open. I would have them take off their make up and I would do the primer and moisturizer before I do the hair so it's set by the time all the rollers are in and I start the hair.
I think you should use this as a opportunity to break any bad habbits and speed up. Make up schools are shitting out MUA's everyday...do you want to be the best...or left behind because you can't work quick enough?
Before I took the job, I practiced doing make up on others and I would time myself and keep trying to break that record until I was confident I could do it in the time required. I still use a timer on shoots to see if I'm slipping up !
Jun 15 13 05:04 am Link
Dallas, Texas, US
I did this exact type job years ago (I worked it for 2 years) and I just went right over their makeup if they already had it on... I fixed what I could in the time given. I never did skin care, if they aren't doing on going skin care, doing it one time won't make a difference. The only time I removed makeup was removing really bad eyeliner that I couldn't go over. This is the job I learned speed on and I can thank this job for making me as fast as I am now.
You have to keep in mind, these photos are not going in Vogue...these are going on Mom's wall and they want the shots to look like their child so improve on what the teen does herself but don't turn her into a super model.
Bring a clamp on light (these are cheap) Use day light bulbs if possible. As for a table... Let the photographer know you can be a lot faster with a table and he will probably find one for you. Photographers that are not used to working with artists have to be told what you need. You may need to move to another area of the studio for better light and table.... You don't need a mirror (I like to work without one)
Jun 15 13 09:28 pm Link
Los Angeles, California, US
WOW! that is FAST!!!! talk show???????
Jun 19 13 06:44 pm Link
Austin, Texas, US
This is really good advice. I have over the years employed numerous cosmetologists. More so now that I model.
Jun 19 13 07:06 pm Link
Orlando, Florida, US
This post and the replies were so helpful! I'm going to have to practice my butt off now!
Jun 22 13 12:17 pm Link
Seattle, Washington, US
Thank you so much, I honor and respect everyone of you!
I sent a 13 line item of all the actions I could reduce in my process to the photo studio (along with explanations of if I took this action out, this what may happen to the makeup). I asked them what experience do they want the makeup dept to give to their client, so I can tailor it to their needs the most.
And no reply, yet.
They usually have a table and a beautifully lit spot for me to work in, but they had another client ahead of time already photoshooting, so they wouldn't let me in that area to setup, hence no table and poor lighting.
This is great lesson for me to clarify my process with a photography studio, in detail, before I begin working with them.
Much diva love, Krystal
Jun 24 13 02:24 pm Link