Even a quick beach shoot can be quite tricky
 A beach shoot always sounds incredibly glamorous and fabulous: like we're just going to hang out on an awesome beach and sip non-alcoholic cocktails while we work. Reality: it's often cold, and windy, and we have to schlep everything down a gazillion steps, and sand gets everywhere, EVERYWHERE, and did I mention the wind?? and a freezing model, who bravely smiles and looks sexy while I add more colour to her nearly deathly pale skin!?! A beach shoot can be tons of fun...when you know what to expect, and are as comfortably prepared for any discomfort.
Stocking up on consumables at Dis-Chem
Preparation for me, starts here: at Dis-Chem. I have both Dis-Chem and Clicks frequent buyer cards, but always enjoy shopping at Dis-Chem more; simply because they have better deals and a good variety, plus: the aisles suit my makeup artist's mind! They have a natural products aisle, they have beauty aisles, a hair aisle, and a medical aisle, which helps me find everything I need quickly, and if it's not in that aisle, then it's not in the shop, and I don't have to keep hunting. I love their organisation. And the travel packs are brilliant for makeup kit storage, and organisation.
My old standby kit bag has gone on to become my regular kit bag, because it was so convenient to work out of,,,but is now finally falling no longer looks quite as sturdy as this.
Much of my makeup kit staples are from Dis-Chem, and they do have the best deals on consumables like 90% alcohol, tissues and babywipes. And if I ever can't find anything, they are quick to source and check with their distributors, and by golly, the next time I'm in the store I am sure to see it!

Dis-Chem always has my back!
 Beach shoots also require a minimal kit. So I pack some of my favourite " beachy" palettes: geared towards a natural glow, and a barely there look that says, " I just woke up like this"!?!  I must admit, I have a gigantic fondness of The Balm cosmetics, but find them a little too pricey for some of their individual products. I do like their palettes, though, and even though they look small, they seem to last forever! I have yet to hit pan on my Autobalm palette and I've been using it on and off for nearly two years!?! It's still as pigmented, even with my continual cleaning spritzes with Beauty So Clean anti-bacterial spray. Keeping your product bacteria-free is the only way to make them last longer.
The Balm cosmetics can be found at Retail Box online, and I wouldn't mind some more of their palettes in my kit.
 Beach shoots inevitably require eyedrops: sand and wind and long gazes into reflectors can take its toll very quickly on the beach. And I have always carried an emergency kit in my bag. It's a tiny box of the smallest must-haves for any professional makeup artist:

  1. Kiehl's Eye Alert: this really works to decrease puffiness around the eye area. Miraculously!!
  2. Garnier Pure SOS pen: Swift healing and prevention of nasty pimples and festering pores...I just had to say festering... the things we do...#makeupartistslife.
  3. Everysun Lip Balm: SPF30 for lips ; do I even need to explain this?!?
  4. Kiehl's sunblock sample: just incase you had to leave your main sunblock, or it somehow has left you, a tiny sample that is always in your standby bag can save the day! I often just pat some on over makeup and the re-powder just to keep my model's face protected when we are not able to do a full touch-up, but are exposed to the sun for a long period. (Which is often.)
  5. Dis-Chem dental Floss: No need to explain this one...and often required for myself! I have been caught grinning at models with spinach speckled teeth!
  6. Dis-Chem alcohol cleansing pads: for cleaning tools, product, nicks, zits, hands, marks, cuts, grazes, and everything inbetween.
  7. Refresh eye drops: a very basic must-have
  8. latex glue: not used often, but these tiny tubes that come with fake lashes are no bother to keep in my emergency kit, and have come in handy now and again.

my standard emergency pack

There are quite a few other essentials for a beach shoot, but I shall introduce some of them in other posts. If you have found certain products to be invaluable to you on shoots, please leave a comment to let me know: I'll be keen to try them!


A mighty girl...and her biscuit.
I suppose sometimes I let the days go by without acknowledging just how much fun my job really is. Working as a makeup and hair artist on stills and commercials means that everything changes, everyday. New locations, new faces, new productions. I stop noticing after a while. But going through some of my rather ancient snaps, I found a few moments that were a good reminder of just how much fun is to be had in this crazy industry. When the tough days come along, and I have to be super professional and put my game face on, I will still have these memories dancing at the back of my mind, to remind me how much is still to be had.
Hugs from Einstein... no...he's actually the car wrangler...


 Working as a makeup artist is by far one of the most enjoyable jobs ever! Now, there are some bad days; some days when I'm just too tired, and we've been shooting non-stop, and I can't clean another toenail!?! But for the most part I laugh a lot on set; I have many good friendships with a network of women who support each other, because we all know how demanding setlife can be.
One thing I find makes a huge difference in my job: organization. When my kit is clean and organized, it becomes so much easier to work even when I am beyond the point of exhaustion. An organized kit means that I don't have to think: I can set up almost automatically, and not waste time hunting for products and tools that I need in a hurry. Part of being organized is knowing exactly which products will be required, and which ones are best to use.
To carry my stash, I need mostly for my bags to be light and sturdy. I find that open bags are great. I can easily see and reach for what I need. It really doesn't matter what brand or what style you choose, just as long as it works for you! I know the ZUCA kit made quite an impression and folks spent oodles on a very heavy bag. For some it works brilliantly, and that is ideal. But if it doesn't work for you, then don't get it. It means very little when you are uncomfortable ( and knackered) carrying your entire kit up four flights of stairs...
Whatever you see me use, works for me, my budget, and my needs. So if you come across something else that suits you better, then it's a no-brainer. I have seen too many makeup artists scurrying about and spending their last dollar to have the trendiest kit. Remember trendy is a fad: you want quality and reliability, which only comes from the very best being tried and tested. The same goes for every product you put into your kit. I have bought faddy products: trends are great if you can afford them. But at some point you come back to your original standard of premium, professional quality, and you begin to realise why some products are exclusively sold within a very small circles of professionals. The blogosphere has flipped the makeup and beauty industry on its head. And for better or for worse, it has made many a makeup artist feel like we're playing catch-up with all the latest hashtaggable trends. But, I can guarantee you that when it comes to professional makeup that is HD appropriate, you cannot come closer that professional brands. And when I say professional, I mean everything you can't get at a drugstore or a department store. It doesn't mean that you can't find a spectacular base at Dior...of course you can...but you can find an entire palette at Kryolan. And for around the same price!?! So, for the professional makeup artist who needs a comprehensive kit that will work on any skin type and tone, it makes sense to go for the brands for are specifically designed for us. One thing is certain: finding our own style requires that we experiment, and grow within our own skills and talents; professional products help us do this more efficiently.