A Typical Day for a Makeup Artist in Fashion Week
Whilst it’s the models, designers and the street-style that get all the attention during the fashion weeks, there’s a team of hundreds behind the scenes working tirelessly to make it all happen. Those faces aren’t going to make up themselves!
Most trends originate on the runway. So where do the makeup artists get their trends from? They create them of course. A typical day for a makeup artist doing London, Milan, New York or Paris Fashion Week? Let’s go…
For makeup artists, fashion week begins a good three or four months before the actual show.
They’ll have a brief conversation with the designer to get a feel for their themes, trends and inspiration behind the collection, beauty references and colour themes. Once you’ve got the gist, you’ll then need to research the ideas behind it, ie, 1920s-inspired fashion.
Just another day at the office.
Makeup artists will prepare like hell. They’ll have every single colour of every single shade (usually using one brand; NARS, MAC, etc) and they’ll organise it with military precision. Brushes need to be clean, checked and skin care items replenished. If you’re flying with your huge kit, care is taken to pack leak-proof foundations and pressed powders so none are ruined on the journey!
The makeup artist will meet with the designers and models, a few days before the big show to collaborate the look and create a masterpiece. There’s the clothes, hair and makeup to create this stroke of genius and that’s just the basics.
ON THE DAY:
It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it.
Typically, the assistant to the makeup artist will arrive extremely early and they’ll work together to triple check every single piece is intact and in place. They’ll arrive behind the scenes an hour before call-time to set up the station, a last-minute debriefing is had with the designer or the designer’s PR staff to confirm the number of models and the amount of time allocated to each one. A quick bite to eat is very rare at this point!
Starting makeup on the models is never quiet. There is constantly beauty bloggers and PR staff around, interviewing, pointing cameras and asking you to be more than just a makeup artist. Once the models are done, checking for last minute touch-ups is the final piece after all the adrenaline has come and then you approve them onto the runway. It’s time to breakdown the station and move on to the next show or get back to the hotel to sleep and eat.
All those months of planning for that one perfect moment.
Backstage at a fashion week is so highly strung. People are running on pure adrenaline and it’s extremely stressful. Models might be late, assistants may not be doing their best work or hair-stylists could smudge your carefully executed makeup – but keeping calm and treating people with respect is what you really need to do above all things.
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