Q & A with Ms. K

This weeks Blog is various questions I have had over the year.  Some pertaining to makeup, and the business of makeup.  If you don't know me I am pretty straight on to the point….enjoy!

Dior quad…..what to do with "funky" colors

Dior quad…..what to do with "funky" colors

Aileen asks "I am a Dior fan like you.  I have about 4 of their quad sets.  In each set there are one or two colors that I don't use, and I am not sure why the colors are even there.  Who wears red eyeshadow?  They don't sell the colors I like as singles.  I hate wasting the money but I love certain colors in the set - what do I do with them"?

Great question, and the biggest complaint about quads.  Why they do it that way I imagine has something to do with $$ - a quad is more expensive than 2 or 3 singles.  However, I also think you have not been taught how to use the quad at point of sale.  These sets are designed to be layered.  On a client I may use 5 - 10 shadows to achieve the look I want.  By layering I am creating depth; therefore, the final outcome may only look like 2 or 3 colors when it is really a mix of many.  For illustration think of a fine arts painter - how do they get a flat surface to appear to have depth?  If I were painting a sun on canvas I wouldn't just squeeze one dollop of Cadmium Yellow and paint a circle and think it looks like the sun!  Its the layering of color that brings things to life.  Same with makeup.  So here is how you do it -  layer the funky colors under or over the colors you normally use - its really that simple.  

Ughh, melted lipstick

Ughh, melted lipstick

Sharon writes "What do I do with melted lipstick?  I just bought a new one and left it in my car. The whole tube melted".

I throw them away.  You can search for some DIY fixes to this I guess some people will scrape it out into a small container and then use a lip brush for application.  For me that negates they whole purpose of lipSTICK.  Messy to deal with, no thanks.  

The destiny for all that makeup you bought and didn't return when it didn't work.  Might as well be hundred dollar bills…..

The destiny for all that makeup you bought and didn't return when it didn't work.  Might as well be hundred dollar bills…..

Kerry writes in regard to an upcoming makeup lesson "You said to bring all my makeup?   I have a drawer full of stuff I don't use do you want me to bring that?

Yes I want you to bring it and hopefully we can salvage something.  Its puzzling to me why so many women are under the impression that makeup that has been opened is a NON-RETURNABLE product.    That may be the case for some small boutiques, but in mainstream stores is IS returnable even if is has been opened.  Target and drug stores will require a receipt.  Most will require the packaging the product came in, but some do not.  Check with the store on their return policy or read you receipt which should state it.  I will return products at my store, but to date I have never had a return because I don't pressure clients to purchase products I know they will never use!.  A good makeup artist should ascertain your lifestyle, and the amount of time you will spend on your makeup.  When I have a client that says they only spend 5 minutes on makeup I don't bombard them with 15 new products I already know will be collecting dust.

Brittany Spears by Billy B Beauty

Brittany Spears by Billy B Beauty

Jaquita (a cosmetology student) writes " I only want to do celebrities.  Can you tell me how to do that"? 

LOL.  Well, first you need to graduate from Cosmetology School.  Then you need to get a job. I recommend working for a cosmetic major at a department store.  This will open you to every type of skin, race, age to hone your skills because if you are going to be successful at this you need to know how to work with it all.  Next, while you are working you need to start picking up jobs to build a portfolio.  Since you are new you will probably be doing a lot of free work in exchange for shots and experience.  Volunteering to work with Charitable Organizations who are producing fashion shows is a great way to network, get some shots, and do something good for the community all at the same time.  I would guess in my lifetime of being a makeup artist I have done the equivalent of at least 100k in free work along the way (and still do).  I also recommend continuing education taking classes in makeup specific areas such as airbrush, special effects and the like to meet other makeup artists, and increase your visibility and network.  I guess I am not really answering your question - and I can't.  I have done many celebrities in my career - but they are in smaller percentage to how I run and operate my business on a daily basis.  How I got them was through working my ass off, and establishing a reputation where I was referred the work.  If you are saying you desire to be Billy B, Kevyn Aucoin, Pat McGrath and the like then most likely you need to move to either New York, or Los Angeles.  Yes, we have a large community here of filming industry, but the celebrities are transitory they don't LIVE here. You will need to get to the level where you are also shooting for the giants like Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Mademoiselle etc. That means 99.999% you will have to have agency representation (for NY or LA not applicable here).  I had the pleasure of working with Billy B for a week on American Idol - he was also here giving a class to aspiring artists.  He asked me to attend the class.  He said something in that class that I wish all aspiring makeup artists could hear "Not everyone can do what I do".  Its so true.  Those artists in our community are few and far between - I'd hate to see you set your sights in this microcosm area, and miss out on the plethora of opportunity available in many areas that you probably don't know about, or have not thought of.  Please understand I am not trying to tell you what to do, or to tell you not to have "celebrity makeup artist' as a goal.  The answer to your question is work, work, work.  Everyday.  Find your speciality.  Develop a reputation of excellence.  Never stop educating.  If its meant to be it will happen.  

Smashbox step by step contour palette 

Smashbox step by step contour palette 

Maired asks "I just bought this contour kit what do I do with it"?

Find your receipt and take it back.  I despise powder contour is looks horrible.  Contour should be done with creams, and should be done by a professional makeup artist.  Sorry you got suckered into the current trend.