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Makeup Artist
Pinch of Pretty MUA
Posts: 46
Deerfield Beach, Florida, US


I am often asked the question have I ever worked on Caucasian girls (which I have, but I dont have professional pictures. Ive only just began doing shoots with them recently and am waiting on the photos, but I have done special occasions, so i have candid shots). I may sound crazy because this is not only a common but understandable question; YET, It kind of bothers me when people ask me that. Because its like, we are not aliens. I feel like the only thing that is different between races is the skin color. I have noticed some races have different textures or longer facial hair but they all have different tones within that race. You would still use the same TECHNIQUE when applying makeup. The only thing that is special is the colors used for them. For example, black women come in several shades (i.e. Nicki Minaj versus Gabrielle Union). So, it could be possible that I can't match Nicki Minaj's foundation since she is so light, if I have only worked on darker women like Ms Union. That would just make me inexperienced and a little ignorant. And not a real mua. Im just saying...being a mua is about talent and experience.

I know, I know. I sound crazy. But I feel as though before you call yourself a makeup artist you should be familiar with different shades. Which we all SHOULD BE, I know I am. I also feel the only thing (when applying makeup) that you would have to work on is matching foundations for that skin tone and choosing blushes, eyeshadows, bronzer and lip colors that compliment that skin tone. Because some colors Nicki wears wont always suit Gabrielle. Just as some colors that suit Taylor Swift wont suit Nicki Minaj. I feel your work should speak for itself even if you only have photos of women of a certain race (because we all are different shades). I mean youre not going to die if someone applies the wrong color foundation. Im black and if I wasnt experienced as a MUA I could apply the wrong color on my own mother. Just because she is black doesnt mean I can color match her as well.

I dont know, I hope you catch my drift and I dont sound like an idiot.  Comments anyone....Or personal experience?
Feb 05 13 09:23 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Linda Chudomelova
Posts: 133
Prague, Prague, Czech Republic


I find that different races (is that even okay to say?) have differences that aren't just "It's a different color." Ashiness as happens on deeper skintones will not happen on light skintones. Asian (monolid) eyes are not the same as hooded eyes (IMHO), even though they are often thrown into one bag. Different color corrections... yada dadda.

So unless your portfolio shows that you can and have indeed worked on various ages and skintones (mine doesn't *sad face*), I find that it's a perfectly logical and legitimate thing to ask. That doesn't necessarily mean it's asked out of racism or malice.

Here's a story:

In here it is really an exception for an MUA to get their hands on a woman of color. My teachers at the course I did in October, all of which were in the biz for 10+ years, said they could count the instances they were asked to do a makeup on a woman of color on the fingers of one hand. It really takes a very conscious effort to build a diverse portfolio in here (I pounce at women of color in subway, asking them to model for me in exchange for photos, no takers). When I went to MAC to buy stuff for my kit, I asked for six Select Cover-Up concealers (lightest, darkest and one somewhere in the middle from both NC and NW range) and the guy at the counter was like: "You want six concealers?" I told him I was MUA and that I had it for my kit. Then I asked for Matchmaster foundation, again, lightest, darkest and one in the middle and he went: "But the darkest is this dark."

So, as you can see, even in MAC here they are not used to people wanting foundations for people of color.

Which in turn makes question whether I have ever worked on one so very legitimate, even though I have a proof of education from a state-approved school and am a certified MUA.
Feb 05 13 10:36 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Katy Gonzalez
Posts: 284
Yucaipa, California, US


Pinch of Pretty MUA wrote:
I feel your work should speak for itself even if you only have photos of women of a certain race (because we all are different shades). I mean youre not going to die if someone applies the wrong color foundation.

Yes, a good makeup artist's work can speak for itself, but that isn't always accurate. Especially for someone who is newer. You may have mastered this or that, but need work on other things. Using my own port for example, I have mostly editorial, lifestyle and fashion show images. How can anyone know or trust that I'd do good at beauty headshots or male makeup? They don't, because they don't see it (and so, those are my main areas of focus for the next few months, adding those types of shots).

Everyone specializes in an area or two or three and even if they don't necessarily suck at other areas, that may not be their strong points. Like when I'm looking for models and photographers. Just because they are a damn good model or photographer, if I don't see photographic evidence that they're experienced and talented with the type of modeling/photography I'm needing someone for, I'm not going to take a chance on them, regardless of what their page says they can do.

Sure, nobody will die, but a look is killed by an ill matched foundation color.

I hope you catch my drift and I dont sound like an idiot.  Comments anyone....Or personal experience?

Having said all that, I do believe I get your point. From personal experience, I get many compliments about my work on black skin, mostly from black women. There's always that moment when smiling at their compliments that I pause and think to myself "but, why wouldn't I have done well, I'm a makeup artist!" I can understand where in areas that are predominately populated by one or two rather than multiple ethnicities, people might assume an artist would only be familiar with the skin they're surrounded by. I find it amusing though, here in southern California, where we're a melting pot, that I also get praise for the diversity of my work. It's like, why wouldn't I have all these different and beautiful people in my port?! smile

Feb 05 13 10:40 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Pinch of Pretty MUA
Posts: 46
Deerfield Beach, Florida, US


Linda Chudomelova wrote:
I find that different races (is that even okay to say?) have differences that aren't just "It's a different color." Ashiness as happens on deeper skintones will not happen on light skintones. Asian (monolid) eyes are not the same as hooded eyes (IMHO), even though they are often thrown into one bag. Different color corrections... yada dadda.

And that's what I mean by different features.  But when people ask this question (or at least the ones who ask me), they aren't asking because of the facial structure, skin conditions or undertones. I think you said that because you are MUA. As a MUA we know the more intricate differences of other races and their skin's composition. Nor are they being racist. (And I think its fine to say 'race', its a proper term) When they ask, they are asking in the sense of, "I dont think she's ever done a white girl or I dont think shes ever done a black girl".

Lets say I only do black models and their eyeshadow is blended the the T! Their blush is applied with a good amount and compliments their face structure, and their brows frame their face and all the colors compliment them. The makeup is just impeccable! That means Im good at what I do. This SAME "technique" will be used on the next client no matter what the skin color (assuming Im good with all types of face shapes and what not). If not, there is a problem. The only difference, in my opinion, is to apply that same technique but with colors that compliment the skin tone and application that is best for the features. They should be looking at so much more than the skin color. I cant explain it....Its like, why not ask, "have you ever worked on hooded lids, have you ever worked on people with rosacea, have you ever worked on people with small eyes, round faces, heart shapes faces, vitiligo...etc". If you cant mix and match foundation, I dont think you are ready to take on the MUA game and you need to practice. Practice makes perfect. Im no where near perfect, but I practice and I think I do well. And each client I service will make me better.

As for the ashiness, I dont know about that. LOL. I think we all should moisturize. But I get what you mean.

Feb 05 13 10:59 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Cynna Stylz MUA
Posts: 216
New York, New York, US


For my experience I have done women and men of many races, colors, tones and  undertones. Understanding color and concepts is very important. Knowing your products in your kit are vital. I visited my sister in another state last month. I brought makeup for her skin tone and color ( I'm a Nikki and she's a Gabrielle). I did my makeover on her and she loved it, then we took pictures and the low end HD powder that I only tested on myself reflected so hard in pics that I was nearly ashamed of my skills. In the mirror or face to face you couldn't tell, but had I made the same mistake during a shoot It would have ruined the day.

So it does take time to learn and even pro's make mistakes. Right now my next level of learning ( from mistakes on friends and family members) will be the new air brush foundations that I purchased.

Don't feel offended/insulted/agitated/  in any way when some one ask you. Just send them to your online port or your Styleseat page to show off your work.
Feb 05 13 11:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 4,755
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Iman did an excellent book on the subject, with suggested pallets for skin types for women of different races.

http://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Color-Ulti … words=iman

I used to have the book, but I loaned it to an MUA. lol
Feb 05 13 11:02 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Pinch of Pretty MUA
Posts: 46
Deerfield Beach, Florida, US


Katy Gonzalez wrote:
Like when I'm looking for models and photographers. Just because they are a damn good model or photographer, if I don't see photographic evidence that they're experienced and talented with the type of modeling/photography I'm needing someone for, I'm not going to take a chance on them, regardless of what their page says they can do.

This is true. I never thought of that. Maybe its because I am new to this industry, but if I saw a photographer and he did lovely glamour shots, I would assume he is just as good doing bridal. But, I guess maybe not. Thanks for the insight.

Feb 05 13 11:04 am  Link  Quote 
Body Painter
BodyPainter Rich
Posts: 17,794
San Francisco, California, US


I have to say...

we are all of the Human Race. Race is an artificial construct, and you can have huge varieties of skin tone and hair texture within every "race".

Some people who have specialized in a local or ethnic market will probably be stronger in working with people in that market. Sometimes this means particular challenges in hair texture, skin tone, or even just popular preferences. (For instance, there have been makeup looks that have been popular with southern California Hispanic women that would NEVER be considered acceptable among Hispanic Women in suburban Chicago).

Now, I am a bit of a specialist, and don't market to individuals, but if I was doing bridal work or other "client based" work I would make it a particular point to have all my promo materials (book, web site, brochures) reflect as wide a variety of skin tones, body types, hair textures and whatnot as possible. And if I wanted to specialize in dark skinned brides with curly hair, I would make my book reflect that.
Feb 05 13 11:15 am  Link  Quote 
Body Painter
BodyPainter Rich
Posts: 17,794
San Francisco, California, US


Katy Gonzalez wrote:
Like when I'm looking for models and photographers. Just because they are a damn good model or photographer, if I don't see photographic evidence that they're experienced and talented with the type of modeling/photography I'm needing someone for, I'm not going to take a chance on them, regardless of what their page says they can do.
Pinch of Pretty MUA wrote:
This is true. I never thought of that. Maybe its because I am new to this industry, but if I saw a photographer and he did lovely glamour shots, I would assume he is just as good doing bridal. But, I guess maybe not. Thanks for the insight.

It is true. I have heard from experienced photographers that properly lighting dark skinned models is very different from lighting very pale models. Now, you could contact the person and ASK if they can handle your project... but if you are in a hurry or NEED to know in advance if they have the chops... nothing speaks as clearly as a good photo. And always remember, there ARE people out there who will say that they can do a thing, even if they don't have experience in actually making it happen.

Feb 05 13 11:21 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
House of Westenra
Posts: 41
Louisville, Kentucky, US


Pinch of Pretty MUA wrote:
...have I ever worked on Caucasian girls...It kind of bothers me when people ask me that. Because its like, we are not aliens.   Comments anyone....Or personal experience?

Interesting because I was asked prior to one of most recent shoots "The models are African American.....are you ok with that?" I had to chuckle and say to myself "um, yeah, why not?"  I simply told the photog that would certainly not be a problem at all. 

I need to update my portfolio, 3 of my most recent shoots were with models who were women of color.  And overall they turned out great! 

I guess they want to make sure we have the shade of foundation they will need...?

Feb 05 13 01:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 4,755
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


BodyPainter Rich wrote:
It is true. I have heard from experienced photographers that properly lighting dark skinned models is very different from lighting very pale models.

In some ways it is exactly the same. In some ways it is completely different.

In general the patterns and the placement of lights are the same. The lighting ratios and the exposure are different, especially with low-key lighting.

You can light a model with dark skin the same way you would light a model with light skin - but this doesn't take advantage of the rich, dark skin tones.

I particularly like to photo dark-skinned models with low-key lighting. To achieve a low-key effect with a light-skinned model, much of the skin is in deep shadow. With a dark-skinned model, you don't need to obscure the skin tone and texture with shadows.

Feb 05 13 03:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
FearlessMUA
Posts: 12
Austin, Texas, US


I have to say, although I am new, I have to agree with the OP. I look through countless portfolios that are majority if not all Caucasian. It bothers me because it makes it seem as if minority models aren't considered "hi-fashion" enough for the market. It is very frustrating. Its like, if you are making a mua port, its expected to be majority Caucasian and not the other way around. But then again, that is just a personal gripe I have with the whole fashion industry.
Feb 06 13 08:22 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Maria Vittoria B
Posts: 57
London, England, United Kingdom


Linda Chudomelova wrote:
In here it is really an exception for an MUA to get their hands on a woman of color. My teachers at the course I did in October, all of which were in the biz for 10+ years, said they could count the instances they were asked to do a makeup on a woman of color on the fingers of one hand. It really takes a very conscious effort to build a diverse portfolio in here (I pounce at women of color in subway, asking them to model for me in exchange for photos, no takers). When I went to MAC to buy stuff for my kit, I asked for six Select Cover-Up concealers (lightest, darkest and one somewhere in the middle from both NC and NW range) and the guy at the counter was like: "You want six concealers?" I told him I was MUA and that I had it for my kit. Then I asked for Matchmaster foundation, again, lightest, darkest and one in the middle and he went: "But the darkest is this dark."

So, as you can see, even in MAC here they are not used to people wanting foundations for people of color.

The OP raises an interesting question, however bear in mind that you want your portfolio to attract the clients you have in your market. While it is expected that an artist be able to work with any skin *just in case* (so it's always good to have the skill), it doesn't make much sense to fill your port with pics of women of color if you're based in Eastern Europe, where no one is likely to ever going to request that look.

Testing is a lot of hard unpaid work, so plan your tests according to the type of clients you wish or are going to be able to attract.

Feb 06 13 08:44 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Bloom Makeup Artistry
Posts: 346
Galveston, Texas, US


I've found that to be a problem in my portfolio also. So I have recently started doing castings for ethnic models. It's really important that you show a variety of ethnicities in your portfolio so that people are comfortable with you delivering the look they want.

It's really all about marketing. In my case I want to have more variety so that I get booked more often by a larger variety of people.
Feb 06 13 08:51 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Linda Chudomelova
Posts: 133
Prague, Prague, Czech Republic


Maria V Bortolussi wrote:

The OP raises an interesting question, however bear in mind that you want your portfolio to attract the clients you have in your market. While it is expected that an artist be able to work with any skin *just in case* (so it's always good to have the skill), it doesn't make much sense to fill your port with pics of women of color if you're based in Eastern Europe, where no one is likely to ever going to request that look.

Testing is a lot of hard unpaid work, so plan your tests according to the type of clients you wish or are going to be able to attract.

You are right, although I approach this issue with the logic that if I am the only person in this geographic area who consistently shows she can do it in her port, I may get to be the first pick for this kind of work that's heading this way.

Feb 06 13 08:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,113
Tampa, Florida, US


I thought this thread was going to be about NASCAR.
Feb 06 13 08:58 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Pinch of Pretty MUA
Posts: 46
Deerfield Beach, Florida, US


Maria V Bortolussi wrote:
Testing is a lot of hard unpaid work, so plan your tests according to the type of clients you wish or are going to be able to attract.

Well luckily I live in a mixed area. I do work in a predominately black area. But I live in a predominately white area; not sure, maybe 70/30 or 60/40; not good with numbers. In South Florida I think there is a good mixture of people. I want to work on people of all shades. I am black and I want other women who are NOT black to know that I can do their makeup and do it well. I want to reach all markets. Money sees no color. lol....

Feb 07 13 06:03 pm  Link  Quote 
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