It’s easy to imagine the glitz and glamour of makeup on the runways. There’s often the image of makeup perfectly laid out on benches, gorgeous models being made up after having their hair prepped, racks of beautiful clothes ready to be styled on said models; very glamorous, very fashion.
I’m not here to say that none of the above it true, but there is a lot more to doing makeup behind the scenes of a runway. Some of it holds up to the luxe ideals of fashion, some of it is not so glamorous! One thing is for sure though: all of it make for an exciting, dynamic and incredibly rewarding career in fashion makeup.
Here’s a heads up on some things you might not have expected!
You’ll be the skincare specialist for the day.
A Make-up Artist isn’t just responsible for applying beautiful makeup; you will be prepping skin (often tired and sensitive at the end of a run of shows). Your job is to make sure the model looks fresh faced and bright eyed with perfect skin. Everyone has individual skin concerns; everyone needs things that need attending to. As the person responsible for the appearance of the model’s skin, you will need to be prepared with the knowledge and products to tackle all situations.
You’ll be up close and personal.
There is little room for modesty and personal space when it comes to working on shows. On my first job on runway I found myself on the ground rubbing moisturiser on a model’s legs whilst she was simultaneously being dressed. Another time I found myself using a toothpick to remove the left overs of models lunch. Yep. It gets quite up close and personal at times, you just can’t allow time to think about it. Be prepared for anything
You’ll be ready to improvise.
In a high pressure, fast-paced environment, things can change with a moment’s notice. The designer might change the makeup look; a model might require an alternate lip colour; your work time-frame might alter. You don’t have time to focus on getting upset. You will learn that a lot of the time the finished look of a show is generally an improvised version of what it was meant to be!
On top of that, you will learn to make something out of nothing. With a Make-up Artist’s eyes, suddenly a simple item turns in to a multitude of possibilities. A model needs a lip scrub: I’ll whip out a lip balm and mix it with a sachet of sugar. Someone wants a brushed up brow with no gel: grab some serum or primer with a disposable mascara wand. Things always come up and you learn to think outside the box with what you use from your kit and how!
There simply isn’t time to question yourself or the job. There will be people doing about three different things in your general vicinity. It can be chaotic but also the best fun when you approach it with the right attitude. You just push up your sleeves and take it all as it comes. Everything comes together at the very end and you will be constantly astounded by the work you can produce with your team.