My First Runway Experience

For those of you out there who dream of the glitz and glamour of fashion shows and runway looks, I hear you. I dream of it. The rush to the finish line, the final adjustments, the crazy up-dos and seamless makeup. It’s exciting; it’s heaven.

I was recently lucky enough to be offered a position, through the Australasian College to be on the Schwarzkopf Pro makeup team for the GenNext Hair Gala in Sydney. It was my first behind the scenes look at what goes on. I was in the thick of it doing makeup. Yes, it was heaven.

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Here are three things that I picked up whilst finishing off lip liner and perfecting contour.

1. Chaos can be fun.

Back stage, there are always about ten different things happening at any given time. A model can be having three people work on them at once. At one point, I was on my knees moisturising a girl’s legs whilst another woman was dressing her and another was doing a final makeup check. Things are hectic, but as long as you take it in your stride, it’s such a high.

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2. You might not always be prepared.

Having been busy on all sorts of other things in the two weeks leading up to the show, I felt like I had no preparation and no understanding of what I was meant to be doing for the show. I truly felt like I had no clue. Now, obviously, I don’t recommend going into something like this without doing the required homework. You need to know the looks, try them out, get a feel for the products. However, don’t doubt that you can do it. I turned up to my first ever show with a calm exterior but a churning stomach. However once we were in the prep rooms with our stations set out and models at the ready, none of it mattered anymore. There was makeup to be done and I was going to do it. So much of being a makeup artist is thinking on your feet. Trust in your own ability and see where it gets you!

3. Get to know those around you.

There are a lot of people in a backstage prep room. There’s the rest of your makeup team, hair stylists and models. Then there are all sorts of other people dropping in looking very important and checking how everything’s going, asking how long this and that will take. In such a busy environment you can get lost. Each time I spoke to someone in that prep room, I told them my name and asked for theirs. If nothing else, knowing names can turn the scary strangers into normal people who are all in it with you. However, by communicating clearly with those around you, you are ensuring people trust you and know you’re on the same page. This also leads to something very important when it comes to making it in this industry – networking. I came to realise that the moment I stepped into the backstage prep room, I was networking with other people within the industry. Whether you sink into the shadows or shine brighter than anyone else, you will make an impression on someone – let it be the right one!

Do you dream of fashion? Maybe you’re a hair stylist at heart? Don’t pass up experiences like this! You never know where this industry can take you – I’m just starting to learn that!

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