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MAKEUP ARTIST WISDOM #1

 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. 

SUNGLASS HUT REVISITED


I took this pic more than two years ago...and haven't been back since!?!
I have really good sunglasses; bought for me by my largely unfashionista husband. I know he meant well, and he got perfectly good, and healthy sunnies for me, ...but...they are just not FAAAASHION!?! And if you want fashionable sunglasses, darling, where would you go??? Sunglass Hut, of course. I haven't been there in nearly two years!! Can you believe it!? And yet...I simply must. There are some absolute gems, and all designer brands, which sit very well with my image-conscious eighth of my brain...the rest of my brain really doesn't give two hoots. But my delay in going for such undeniable style, is based on my sensible demand for the best protection I can afford.
Classic black sunglasses: everybody needs these
I adore beautiful things. My sense of beauty may sometimes be a little kitsch, and somewhat vintage, but I do spot a few incredible beauties rather easily. But are they worth it?? Yes. Absolutely. If your sole concern is satisfying your bohemian urges and inclinations for good looking stuff!
I want this kind of fashion, but with the very best UV protection and polarised lenses: Every crew memeber on a photoshoot will tell you that a good pair of sunglasses can save your sanity. (And spare you some wrinkles.) But they don't come cheap. You have to decide what it's worth to you. I have a good pair of set sunnies that protect my eyes in the harsh glare on a beach shoot, or in a magnificently lit studio, but I wouldn't dare wear them to an uber fashion-mad media event...especially in Cape Town!?! So, I shall soon visit this magical place of fashion editor worthy eyewear, and find my forever pair!
Sunglass Hut, I'm coming for you.


HOT BUNS

Messy buns, braided buns, sleek buns, ballet buns, french twists and chignons : call them what you like, an up do has always been some form of bun. The romance of a low chignon was given free reign last year, and out of that rose the messy bun full of tendrils and wispy bits. It is a softer interpretation of an 'off the face" trend that gave the top knot so much encouragement. We are busy women, with hair as long as our to-do lists, and when we wanted sexy, sassy and sorted: we made buns!
I love playing with hair. It's a bit like sculture. And Ihave to work so fast on set, that my art had to be no-fuss and instant magic. So I reworked old classics. My chignons were intricately messy, and my french twists always came with a...twist!
The classic chignon does not have to be a methodical nightmare: simply start with a low pony. Now separate the ponytail into a few strands and wind around the hair tie in beautiful shapes that fill out the final bun. It has to be fairly loose, and almost unrestrained, but held securely in place with bobby pins. You can make this a formal bun with cleaner lines, or a date-ready chignon with soft tendrils caressing your neck. You choose. there is no wrong way.
I adore the drama of a twist. This may look intricate, but strands twisted and rolled to wind around each other can create a very interesting affair. Hair like makeup and wardrobe is just another way to express a mood, a character, a feeling. And yet we settle on just one or two styles in our repertoire. That is such a shame; we could be having so much more fun.