Makeup Artist ~ Stephanie Mazzeo

From zombies to brides, I am a Freelance Makeup Artist who has been fortunate enough to work with multiple make-up companies and alongside national and international professional makeup artists at all levels of the industry.

Florida | California - Makeup Artist * Airbrush Makeup * Tattoo Cover Up * False Lashes * Special Effects

View more of my work at: and

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What to Wear...

I know how frustrating it can be to spend time stressing over what to wear. That’s why I started a 100% Online Personal Styling business with Keaton Row. 

I’ll work with your wardrobe needs, personal style preferences, and budget to help you look your best without the stress. The best part? Styling services are totally free! You only pay for the items you choose to buy – and the prices are exactly the same through Keaton Row as through the retailer. 

Simply sign up on my Stylist profile at “” to get a complimentary styling session. 

As a Keaton Row stylist, I strive to help clients discover their true personal style. I collaborate with them to create looks for everything from weddings to job interviews to weekend brunches with friends. It makes me happy to help people get dressed in the morning and express themselves through their style.

Yours in Style,
Stephanie Justine

Friday, August 1, 2014

Keeping Skin Healthy - Tips for Actors, Dancers, Performers and everyone else!

As a performer, your day usually begins with an early call time.You may often work well into the evening with just enough time to eat and get ready for the next day's schedule. Most of the working hours are typically spent in makeup under hot lighting. So, in order to keep your skin looking fresh and vibrant, I've compiled a few tips.

Start by keeping your skin healthy and soft. Be sure to treat your skin kindly and it will return the favor. 

First of all, never sleep in your makeup; this includes eyeliner and mascara. You want to be sure to remove all traces of makeup using a quality face wash and makeup remover. Cetaphil is a great choice and perfect for sensitive skin. 

Use warm water, never hot. Hot water can be damaging to you skin by drying it out and stripping its natural oils. Be sure to fully rinse your face removing all traces of makeup and face wash. Pat dry and avoid rubbing your skin. 

If you are rushing from one place to the next, use a makeup remover wipe to remove most of the makeup. This will give your skin a break and allow it to breath. 

Take the time to exfoliate your skin to rid it of dead skin cells and renew that healthy glow. Philosophy's Microdelivery Peel Pads are perfect for quick at home exfoliating.

Follow with a moisturizer to help protect your skin from outside elements. Embryolisse Skincare Lait-Creme Concentre is excellent and perfect for dry, flaky or even sunburned skin. This can also be applied before any other cosmetic products. Use this before bed and when you leave your house in the morning. 

Eating healthy and drinking appropriate amounts of water will show through with glowing skin. The craft table doesn't always have the healthiest of food choices, but do the best you can. 

Your skin needs moisture to stay healthy.  Be sure to always drink plenty of water. Stage and set lights are hot and drying. Your skin and body will need the extra moisture.

Just as important as what you put into your body, you need to pay attention to damage from outside elements such as the sun, smoke, fumes, dirt, pollution, etc. Creating a barrier to block out these toxins will help keep your face fresh and beautiful. 

Avoid tanning and always protect your skin from the sun (not just your face, but every part of your body is susceptible to damage.) Never go without something on your skin; at the very least a moisturizer with SPF. 

Pay attention to your hands and arms when driving in the car. A car's windshield does not protect you from the damaging rays, so prepare accordingly with long sleeves or SPF lotion.

Take care of your face... it's the only one you've got!!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

How to build your Makeup Artist Network

Last week's post was about Getting work as a Makeup Artist. This week I'll give you some tips on building your network in the industry.

First, know who is in your sandbox. Start by doing research. Get to know other makeup artists. If you're focus is fashion, learn about and understand the industry. Seek out fashion photographers and educate yourself on their style so you know them well enough to pick out their image from a wall of photos. Film and TV... you want to know the producers and the genre. Immerse yourself into it and stay abreast of all the latest news whether fashion, film, tv or music. 

It will take time and commitment, but the only way to understand is to get right in and start learning. The internet is a fabulous research tool. Use it to your advantage. 

Bridal Makeup Artists are not exempt from building a network. Discover who the other wedding vendors are in your area. Set up lunch dates or meetings to introduce yourself. Come prepared with business cards and other promo pieces that they can use to remind them of you and your skills.  

Bridal shows and expos are a great way to meet other wedding vendors and make connections. Connect with everyone from wedding planners and photographers to caterers and florists. Being able to refer another wedding vendor to a bride will showcase you as a knowledgeable wedding makeup artist who understands the industry. Being aware of how a wedding day unfolds is key to keeping your client, the bride, calm, cool and collected. Learn as much as you can from other wedding vendors to stay on top of the game. 

Continue to build your network with other working makeup artists. Get rid of the competition idea and think of them as your support. You never know when you may need to call on another artist to fill in or help out. 

See if you can assist a veteran makeup artist. But be prepared to explain what you can offer. Just saying you want to learn from him or her is not a good answer. You need to be able to provide the artist with something she can value. Perhaps you are great at keeping his kit organized while he's working, or your spot on to clean those brushes. Don't expect to do much in the way of makeup application as a beginning assistant. You need to prove your worth.

Just about everyone loves to be treated to something special. So, when you ask another artist or industry pro out for lunch, consider picking up the tab. Come prepared knowing about your guest. What's the latest project they've completed? What are they currently working on? 

Another great way to build your network is to attend conventions and workshops. There are many groups that host different events all over. Becoming a member of these groups will give you a huge network of support. Some require membership fees, others are free.

These groups often host workshops or meet-ups where you can connect with other industry pros. Some offer skill training or business education and others are simply meet-n-greets. 

A solid support network can provide you with so many benefits. Perhaps you have a new product that you just can't get a satisfactory result from. Chances are, others may have had the same experience and will offer suggestions. 

Knowing who is in your sandbox is almost as important as knowing the tools you are working with. 

Gothic Beauty Magazine

Friday, July 18, 2014

Getting work as a Makeup Artist

Last week was the opening post: So you wanna be a makeup artist? This week we focus on: Getting work as a Makeup Artist

Many aspiring artists begin with attending a makeup or trade school. There are hundreds, with more schools opening every month. Some focus on beauty, others on special effects and some encompass everything, even hair styling. Graduates exit with the highest of hopes that they will walk right into a top paying career as a makeup artist. 

With all these schools pumping out new artists by the thousands, there are now way more artists than there is work available. When I began my makeup career in 1992, schools were extremely rare. Cosmetology schools were readily available, but the focus on makeup was and still is about 2-4 weeks worth of lessons. And of course, the courses are taught by cosmetologists who focus on hair and makeup for every day looks, not for professional styling.

For those that choose to go to a school, keep in mind, you'll spend many hard earned dollars on getting that certificate and truly it means absolutely nothing. It will be worth as much as the paper it's printed on. There is no certification for makeup artists. Certifications exist for careers such as an electrician, plumber, doctor... You can not be a certified makeup artist because that does not exist in the US. You can get your state license as a cosmetologist or esthetician. Check your local laws as certain states will require you to have at least an esthetician's license before you apply product to anyone's face. 

In Florida, if you apply makeup on someone with the intent to sell that product (such as a counter rep), you are exempt from needing the esthetician's license.  If you are inside a salon and are applying makeup on someone, you will need to be a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician. There are also very strict rules for providing makeup to the general public outside of a salon setting. Please refer to the State Statutes for full details.

All of these makeup schools fail to tell you the honest truth about working as a makeup artist. You're in for a rough wake up call when you venture out to find work.

A piece of paper and a makeup kit does not make one a makeup artist. Anyone can print out a certificate and go to Ulta and stock up a caboodle full of products and call themselves a makeup artist. But you'll be hard pressed to find someone to pay you as a makeup artist. 

With that being said, your best bet is to begin with your network. Learn for those with the experience. Being a makeup artist is much more than just knowing how to apply makeup. It's a business. 

If your focus is on fashion and print start with building your portfolio. Begin by contacting some photographers that will allow you to "test" with them. This means that you won't get paid, but you will be provided images of your work that you can use to add to your portfolio. Your goal is to keep working with better photographers and models as you build your book. If you can't find any photographers willing to work with you, consider paying a great photographer and some awesome models, to collaborate with on a shoot. 

For those that want to venture into the bridal industry, I don't suggest practicing on actual brides,. The worst thing you could do is ruin their wedding day by giving them a bad makeup job. So, until you are comfortable with your work, start by doing makeup for friends and family members. Take photos of your work. Then connect with some wedding photographers and see if you can collaborate together on a bridal shoot. You want to be sure your work is perfect enough for a bride well before you show up on her wedding day. Build up a great album of bridal images so you have something to showcase to the bride. Once you have a decent amount of fantastic images, consider setting up a booth at the local wedding expo or sign up for some online wedding vendor sites to get those bridal leads. 

The film and tv makeup artist can be the toughest one to find work. More and more filming is being done with CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) and the need for makeup artists, especially special effects, seems to be in a decline. California was once the mega for all things film and tv, but with tax incentives offered from states such as Georgia and Louisiana, production companies are pulling out of CA. 

Being on a film set for 10 to 12 hours a day is only for the strong at heart. You must absolutely love this side of the makeup world. It's often long and boring and I've had many assistants who much rather prefer to be busy doing runway makeup where the hustle never ends than to sit around and wait for touch ups on set. 

Theater and stage makeup is a whole different can of worms. A bit easier to get into than film, theater may be found in your home town. Check into colleges, schools and churches to offer your experience. Many times these may be volunteer positions, but with persistence, they may lead you to broadway or a traveling production. 

No matter what area you choose to focus on, you want to be sure to do your research. Contact some seasoned artists and take them out for coffee or lunch. Be a sponge and soak up as much information as you can. Don't burn bridges, because although the makeup industry has grown tremendously, it's still a very tight network. 

Next week: How to build your makeup artist network

Gothic Beauty Magazine

Friday, July 11, 2014

So you wanna be a Makeup Artist?

With an increased interest in makeup artists from shows such as Face Off and Blush, I receive emails all the time with questions on how to follow a career as a makeup artist. 

To begin with, let's define a professional makeup artist as someone who makes money by solely doing makeup. They do not rely on a "day job" and they are not "weekend warriors". I would refer to those as the hobby makeup artist. 

There are many different types of makeup artists. We have the entrepreneur retail side - think Mary Kay, Avon, Motives Cosmetics. These artists primarily focus on selling and not as much on applying makeup. Income is made from the sale of the product to the general public. 

Then there are the counter makeup artists who work at the cosmetic counter at stores such as Macy's, Dillard's JC Penney, etc. The focus is also on selling but it may be for just one brand such as Clinique or it may be for all of the brands that are sold at the store. Another retail position would be at a beauty store such as Ulta or Sephora. The artists will have the opportunity to provide makeup services to the shoppers, but their primary goal is to make a sale for the store. 

Freelance makeup artists will work for a specific brand such as MAC, Make Up For Ever, Smashbox, Pur Minerals and the list goes on. The focus of these artists is to push the brand they are representing. They may be called in to stores such as Macy's or Ulta for special events. The goal is to sell a specific dollar amount per hour of the brand that the artist is there to represent. Makeup applications are typically done on customers, but with the focus on making a sale. 

You'll often find cosmetologists that are also makeup artists. Perhaps they attended school primarily to get into hair styling but then ventured into the makeup side. These artists may work directly in a hair salon but will offer makeup services as well, usually within the salon. Depending upon the salon, the stylists/artists may provide on location services as well. These types of artists primarily serve the general public and usually are the ones offering makeup applications for weddings, proms and special events. 

Makeup artists can also be in business for themselves where it is solely up to the artist to go out and find work. A true entrepreneurship. Bridal makeup is a big industry for artists everywhere as it's a bit easier to find work in smaller communities. 

Some artists may wish to focus on fashion, runway, print ads or commercials usually in larger cities such as New York, Miami, London, etc. Others may chose to work in tv, film, music videos or with celebrities normally in Hollywood, but they can certainly travel to any location. As a makeup artist, you can also choose to work in theater or stage makeup which can even be found in urban areas as well as broadway.

As a professional makeup artist, it's a tough career. It's not all glamour and celebrities. It's 5am call times, long days on your feet and getting home late and staying up even later to wash brushes. If this sounds like fun, then follow up next week for more tips...

Next week: Getting work as a Makeup Artist

Gothic Beauty Magazine

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wedding at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, FL

all photos copyright Steven Miller Photography

Makeup for the bride, bridal party, mother of the bride, and mother of the groom and for the groom as well!

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Friday, June 27, 2014

There is a new breed of Vampires... The Legacy

Special effects test shoot for The Legacy with actresses Danielle Marcucci and Victoria Baxter. Production by Charlie Willits, Jared Wofford and Erik Warren, 

Big thanks to Melissa Feyereisen for her assistance with makeup and hair. 

Check out my 100% custom made fangs!!


12 Common Makeup Mistakes

How many of these mistakes have you made?

  1. Applying Makeup To Dry Skin - If you try to apply makeup to dry skin, you will find the makeup sits on top of the skin instead of blending in. The makeup tends to accentuate the dryness resulting in flaky skin. You want to be sure to exfoliate at least once a week, followed by a moisturizer suitable for your skin type.  
  2. Not Applying Primer - Primers create a smooth surface that not only helps your makeup glide on, it provides a base to keep your makeup in place. After applying moisturizer, apply the primer and then your foundation. 
  3. Not Knowing the Proper Way to Contour - There are oodles of contouring guides available on the internet. But be aware of what areas YOU need to contour. Blending is as important as the placement. Stick with using only one shade darker of your foundation for the contour. 
  4. Using the Wrong Shade of Foundation - When choosing your color, select two shades that come closest to your skin tone, apply them at your jawline and then in natural lighting (outside) pick the one that looks natural. Change your foundation shade with the seasons, being sure to color match properly. 
  5. Testing Makeup on the Back of Your Hand - Your hands will not be the same color as your face. So, it's better to test the makeup on the area it's meant to be used . Test foundation on your jawline, and lipstick on your lips, blush on your cheeks, etc. 
  6. Picking the Wrong Under Eye Concealer - If you try using a shade that's lighter than your foundation, you may end up bringing more attention to the area. It's better to choose a color corrector for under the eye area, such as peach to counteract the purple under eye circles. 
  7. Overusing Bronzer - The purpose of bronzer is to add warmth to the areas of the face that you can imagine the sun to hit, the forehead, temple and nose. It's not designed to be an all-over color nor a blush. Pick the high points of your face and subtly apply the bronzer.
  8. Applying Powder All Over - Powder needs only be applied in the areas where it's needed, usually the T-zone. You don't need a ton of powder which could end up looking cakey. Use a brush and tap off any excess powder then stipple (press) into the areas. If you've applied too much powder, it will look heavy and made-up. Spritz your face with a moisture spray to bring back the natural dewy look of skin.
  9. Using Dirty Brushes - Not only does this attribute to causing skin breakouts it doesn't allow your makeup to look fresh. Wash your brushes regularly with a good brush cleaner. You can use a mild shampoo in a pinch. Try not to use alcohol as this is damaging to the bristles and shortens the life of your brushes. 
  10. Curling Your Lashes After Mascara - Always curl your lashes prior to applying mascara. If you try to curl them after you've already applied mascara, you may end up pulling out your lashes. Especially when the mascara is still slightly wet and tacky. You will also cause the lashes to clump together. 
  11. Wearing Dark Lip Liner - Excessively dark lip liner was in 20 years ago but not anymore. Choose a lip liner that's just a shade deeper than your natural lip color. Be sure to blend in with your lip color to avoid any telltale line.
  12. Too Much Glue on False Lashes - Only a minimal amount of glue is needed. Just apply a slight amount of glue to the lash rim. You also need to wait for the glue to slightly dry, about 30 seconds. You'll find the lashes won't slip and slide as easy when you allow the glue to get tacky. 
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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Promo/teaser for a new Sci-Fi TV Series Ganymede Pan

Here is a promo trailer for the pilot episode of the new Science Fiction TV Series Ganymede Pan


A reclusive space hero seeks good grog in a quiet location with no connection to any corrupt governing body in the local solar system. 

Ganymede Pan, a decorated veteran of the now corrupt governing body of the solar system has done his best to retire out of view of his former employers. Known for his cunning and somewhat unconventional methods, he is sought out by his former commander and convinced to take up a mission to locate his former partner... but, who is actually in control of the chase?  

Directed By Alan J. Levi 
Written By David P. Johnson
Screenplay By David P. Johnson
Produced By Levipan Productions

Awards: Finalist in screenplay competition, Oregon Film Awards, Finalist in screenplay competition, Alaska Film Awards.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Make Up for the DIY (Do It Yourself) Bride

If you're a "Do It Yourself" kind of girl, I may venture to guess that your wedding is no exception. Whether for financial reasons or just the hesitation of letting go, you may decide to take wedding day beauty into your own hands. Here is where I can help. Let me give you a few insights into creating a picture perfect bridal photo.

There's nothing wrong with doing it yourself, if you're well-informed and excellent at applying your own makeup. I've been doing makeup for well over 20 years and even still I would never attempt to do my own makeup for my wedding day. But to those who are more adventurous, I will provide you with a few important tips.

Flawless makeup begins with flawless skin. Get routine facials, wear sunscreen, avoid harmful tanning, drink lots of water, watch what you eat and take care of your skin. We can always make our skin darker with bronzers and spray-on tans but once you damage your skin with UV rays, there's no way in reversing the negative effects.

Invest in quality, professional makeup products and tools. Using consumer geared products may have less than stellar results. Consumer makeup not designed for photography may present a problem with artificial flash of the camera washing out your skin tone on pictures. Most "over-the-counter" cosmetics lack beneficial pigments and will fade away long before the night is over. Just like quality cosmetics, a good set of brushes can make your application so much easier. Expect to pay a decent amount for quality products and tools. One professional brush can set you back between $35 and $75.

When working with clients, a makeup artist will take into account such things as; weather, heat, attire, skin tone, genetics, season, indoor/outdoor and many more variables. Understanding how all these things can affect the final photography outcome would take months, maybe years to master. But if you begin to make yourself aware of them, you can start to see how it all comes together to create the end result.

Cameras will be in abundance at your wedding and you're bound to have your picture taken more times in this one day than at any other time in your life. So, you definitely want your makeup to stand up through it all.

Be sure to practice with a full blown makeup application and take as many pictures in different lighting and locations as you possibly can. Apply your makeup early in the morning and note how well it lasts throughout the day. Do this for several days; wearing your makeup while you workout, clean the house, go shopping, etc. You want to see how well it holds up under the worst conditions. This way, you can rest assured knowing your makeup will still look fabulous from the moment you walk down the aisle until you make your final get away at the end of the night.  

Many area makeup artists will offer tips and technique training classes with either individual or group lessons. I highly recommend attending a class or private session to tweak your wedding day bridal look. It may be difficult to learn how to master the art of creating flawless skin but with practice, you should be able to create a picture perfect look.

Best wishes to all the happy and beautiful brides. Please feel free to contact me for more tips.

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Gothic Beauty Magazine

Friday, June 6, 2014

Your Makeup Services Cost How Much?!?!

Are you completely in shock by the price quotes you are receiving from makeup artists for your wedding day? It can be extremely confusing, overly bewildering and downright baffling. Let’s be real, it’s just makeup…

If you’ve never had to inquire about having your makeup professionally done, you may find these makeup prices to be a bit over the top. By now you are probably thinking this makeup artist has got to be from another planet and you are bound and determined to find someone with lower pricing. Perhaps you are on a super strict wedding budget and you just can’t imagine why any bride would want to drop that much dough on making herself look gorgeous for her wedding. It’s just one day after all…nothing super special, right? If this is you, then stop reading….But, if you are the bride that wants to know why it’s going to cost a pretty penny to be flawlessly perfect, then please, read on….

Let’s begin by diving into the nitty-gritty world of makeup artistry for brides.

When contacting makeup artists, if you find a makeup artist that is in high demand, you can usually expect her rates to reflect this. You will find a variety of makeup artists. Those who work for a cosmetic company, those working at a retail makeup counter, those working in a salon and the self-employed makeup artist. Many artists work as Freelance Makeup Artists (these are artists who are contracted by either private individuals or companies to do makeup and are not employed by any specific company)

A Freelance Makeup Artist will generally set her price to account for time spent with you, the bride. Imagine the amount of minutes (maybe hours) expended with emails, telephone calls, texting and face-to-face meetings. All of these take time out of her working day and need to be factored into the cost. This is her business. She is her own employer, as well as employee and must cover all the expenses associated with being self-employed. This is how she makes her living to pay for rent, food, electricity, etc. A girl’s gotta eat….although I’m no stranger to Ramen Noodles….

The artist will have travel costs in both time and fuel to get to you on your wedding day. And we all know gas isn’t cheap, let alone free, so this expenditure must be calculated and included. Moving right along, in order to apply a fantastic, flawless bridal makeup, it’s going to take products, lots of products consisting of several forms of cosmetics and tools to get the job done. Your makeup artist will be using professional, quality makeup designed to look incredible in person and superior on film, all while lasting from the moment you walk down the aisle, to the final farewell following the reception. Inferior products and brushes may provide you with substandard results and perhaps a mediocre makeup artist at best. Do you really want this on your wedding day?

The largest measure in the cost of a makeup artist will be her experience and skills. Often achieved through a combination of education (workshops, schooling, seminars, etc.) and hands on practice, this is by far a very important contribution to the fee she charges. The more experienced and skilled she is, the more likely her rate will suggest this.

As a Freelance Artist, most professional makeup artists will do makeup on commercial accounts (think editorial in magazines, advertisements in print and television, film, TV shows or music videos, celebrities and on air personalities, etc.) The list is endless and can encompass a wide-range of skills and experiences. More often than not, these are the in-demand artists, the ones everybody wants. These are the artists that can make you look not just good, but spectacular. What bride wouldn’t want this?

Bridal Makeup, as in the makeup needed for your wedding day, can be just as demanding as makeup required for a feature film. Working in various environments and mediums gives an upper-hand to the makeup artist. This artist will understand proper application for dim or low light such as candlelight, natural (outdoor) lighting versus artificial (indoor) lighting and she’ll recognize how weather will affect a makeup application and prepare your skin with flawless detail!

Your geography will play an important part in defining what the average cost of a makeup artist will be in your area. If you receive one quote from a specific makeup artist and it’s unusually lower than others in the area, it may be in your best interest to take a moment and reflect. Just like anything else, you get what you pay for. If you still want to consider that artist, certainly take the time to view her portfolio, ask for references and follow through with contacting them. Get past reviews from real brides and real clients.

So now that you’ve narrowed down an artist or two and you want to schedule a trial makeup consultation, you find out that the cost is the same as for your wedding day makeup. Although you are looking at the trial as a “test run” keep in mind it’s going to require the makeup artist to use the same amount of time, effort and product to get this done. Possibly more if you go through several looks.

If you work a 9 to 5 job, most likely you are compensated for the time you work. What if your employer did not want to pay you for training or while you learn a new software program? That would be quite disheartening….

Why won’t the makeup artist wheel and deal with you? Most pros set fair pricing and they prefer not to waiver from these amounts. It’s difficult to drop the rate for one bride and have it get around in the wedding industry causing the artist to now offer lower rates for everyone. So instead, she sets a reasonable price that is impartial and honest for every bride.

As most makeup artists understand wedding budgets and the ever-so-costly price of a wedding, many will offer discounted rates for multiple faces. You might get a lower rate if you have five people receiving makeup services rather than just yourself. Sometimes you may find artists who work in a salon may offer makeup at a slightly lower rate, but they will typically only provide the service in the salon and won’t offer on location, mobile makeup. This option may work for some brides, but it definitely isn’t for everyone.

Having a wedding is an inexpensive venture said no one ever!! Sure, you can cut corners and do without, but when you are looking to hire a professional, keep in mind you may need to pay appropriately for these services.
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Questions to ask your wedding day make-up artist.

Congratulations, you're engaged!!  Now that you have the bling, it's time to start planning your wedding.  Colors, gowns, food, music....I am sure you are thinking of all sorts of things for your ever-so-perfect day and your makeup is no exception.  But, before you head out and start panicking with sticker shock, let's go over a few important points so you aren't caught like a deer in headlights.   

Is it really worth it?  Before you start to rule out hiring a professional makeup artist, consider the other vendors you'll be using that day.  Would you hand over a point and shoot camera to your favorite cousin and hope for the best?  This is the only chance to get your wedding day photos. There is no do-over and it's not a dress rehearsal, so be sure everything is lined up for you to be flawless and fabulous.  You are going to be the focus of the majority of wedding day photos and I would imagine you are going to want to put your face in the hands of a professional.  You will look back at these photos in 5, 10, 15, 20 plus years and if you have hired the best professionals your money can buy, then you will be absolutely stunning in your pictures.    

I can do my own makeup, why do I need a professional?  Believe it or not, I can do my own makeup too, but I would never even consider the option of applying it myself for anything as important as my wedding.  Knowing how to apply makeup for every day wear or for a girls' night out is not the same as understanding how the makeup will look for a wedding day.  Artificial lighting (indoor & flash) will affect the outcome of makeup differently than natural lighting (outdoor).  Being able to provide a look that reacts perfectly to both types of lighting takes quality products and professional knowledge.  But even trying to expertly apply my own makeup can be a challenge.  Looking in the mirror throws off my perspective and I just can't quite make it perfect.   

How much is a makeup artist going to cost?  You will find rates vary by location and number of artists in your area.  If the market is swamped with makeup artists, their rates will be competitive, but if you happen to be situated in a city where MUAs (makeup artists) are few and far between, you may be limited unless you choose to look outside your local area.  The years of experience and learned skills of a MUA will also affect the price you are quoted.  Cheaper isn't always the best option.  A makeup artist who is in demand may have a higher rate than others, but if you truly love her work and personality, the extra money may be well worth it.   

A few important questions to ask your makeup artists:   

What sort of education and training have you received? Keep in mind, most states do not require a makeup artist to be licensed as such.  This means that anyone with a stack of makeup and a website may be open for business.  This is why it is so important to find out the qualifications of the artist.  There is no "certification" for makeup artistry, so if you find an artist claiming to be certified, it may just mean she has completed some sort of course or workshop. This certification is not governed by any state regulations.  Some makeup artists hold a license in cosmetology or as an esthetician.  This allows them to provide services in a salon.  However, the makeup training that one receives during the cosmetology course is extremely limited and focused on daily makeup wear.  Extensive makeup education may be received through workshops and seminars as well as attendance at a makeup school.  On hand training can be done through mentoring a professional artist or even through classes from a makeup brand such as Temptu, MAC and Make Up For Ever.   

How did you get started as a makeup artist?  Ask any artist and you will find a wide range of answers.  Hopefully this can give you an insight as to the artist’s skills and expertise.  Did he start out applying makeup to friends and family members?  Perhaps he worked at a makeup counter or in a salon?  Or maybe he hit the ground running and began working with photographers and models.  Not one of these is by any means the correct answer; they are just going to give you more of a background of the artist's levels of ability.    

May I see your portfolio?  Looking at her work, you should be able to see a wide-range of makeup styles and her personal touch should be apparent.  Make sure her makeup creations are appealing to you.  Is it too edgy or not funky enough?  Are there some classic beauty and clean makeup looks as well?  Do you see real brides and not models?  Ask if the artist has a website or blog you can refer to for her current work images.    

May I contact your references?  A professional makeup artist should be able to provide you with a list of past and current clients, both bridal and the general public.  Request no less than 3 bridal references and be sure to contact them.  Ask for feedback about what they liked and didn't like about the artist and how easy she was to work with.  Don't forget to ask about the artist's response time to emails/texts and phone calls. Prompt replies to any client are extremely important.    

Will you be the one doing my makeup on my wedding day or do you have a team of artists?  This question is probably a very important aspect to consider.  You've just reviewed a portfolio of images from the artist's work, or did you?  How do you know which artist did the makeup if there is a "makeup team"?  Just like snowflakes, no two artists are alike.   Their skill and personality are as unique as the individual.  Knowing which artist is going to be the one doing your makeup can really make or break the situation.  

Do you specialize in bridal makeup?  Brides can be extremely emotional and finding a makeup artist who is familiar with the flow of a wedding day can certainly be a positive feature.   The artist will know how a wedding day timeline works and understand the importance of sticking to the schedule.  The flurry of the morning activities won't interfere with her ability to provide exceptional, outstanding service even as bridesmaids are running around in a frenzy, mom is off in a corner weeping and dad can't seem to find his tux.   

How large of a bridal party can you accommodate and how long will it take for our makeup to be completed?  These two questions are extremely important to planning your timeline and coordinating with your photographer and hair stylist.  If you have an extremely large bridal party, ask if the makeup artist will be bringing an assistant.  You don't want to be rushed and stressed on the wedding day, so plan accordingly.    

How much do you charge and what methods of payment will you accept?  Some artists except only cash, others may take payment in the form of personal checks, money orders, Paypal and even credit and debit cards. This can be important if you are planning your destination wedding from another city or state. Find out what the total cost for the wedding day will be and make sure to ask if travel fees are extra. Some artists will charge separately and some will include it into their fees.  Be sure you have a signed agreement of some sort that spells out your total amount due, your deposits, balances and when all of this money is due.  This agreement should also include the number of people receiving services, the specifics of each service and if there are any extras (lashes, touch-up kits, etc.)  Also, look carefully at any cancellation clause and make sure you are comfortable with it.   

Will you travel to my location on my wedding day or must I come to you?  Many artists offer makeup services on location with or without an additional cost.  Having an artist come directly to you may well be worth any additional fee.  It saves time, stress and traffic worries if the makeup artist is on hand at your location.  Find out how far the artist is willing to travel and how she handles any mileage, valet or parking fees.    

When do I need to book your services?  Knowing how in-demand the artist is can probably provide you with enough information on whether you need to book immediately or hold out.  But remember, the longer you wait to book the artist of choice, the more likely he/she is to become unavailable.  Begin your search for a makeup artist as soon as you have a confirmed wedding date.  I suggest at least 6-9 months out, hopefully more if you can.  This will allow you enough time to contact references and discuss pricing options.  Once you've decided on an artist that you really connect with, schedule a consultation or set up a meeting just to see how your personalities blend.  Be respectful of the artist's time and try not to schedule a non-makeup meeting during the days she may be booked for makeup jobs.  If you are comfortable enough, then set up the actual makeup consultation.  Some of my brides have scheduled their makeup trial on the day of their engagement party or bridal shower.  No sense in letting a great makeup application go to waste!

Are you going to try to sell me or my bridal party cosmetics?  This can often be a deterrent if the makeup artist is actually a sales person in disguise.  I wouldn't think any bride wants to feel pressured into purchasing makeup products on her wedding day.   

Do you offer trial makeup consultations and where is this scheduled?  Most brides will prefer to have a makeup consultation appointment so she can not only see what her makeup will look like on her wedding day, but to get a feel for the artist's personality.  Quite often the style the bride originally envisioned may end up changing after she sees the final product.  I have had many brides who decided to do a completely different look than the one they first thought.  The artist may offer the consultation at her location or even at your home.  Discuss the different options and determine where you feel most comfortable and whether on location is priced higher.  Confirm the amount of time allotted for the trial and if the trial will be an additional cost or if it's included in the total services.   

Will you work from a magazine photo of the makeup look I like?  Some artists prefer to have the bride bring along images of the makeup styles she likes.  It often alleviates the issue of having the bride describe what she wants to the artist.   

What products do you use?  Many artists now offer airbrush makeup, some consider it an up charge.  Be sure to ask if the makeup is suitable for film (photography/video).  If it is a concern, find out if the brands are sensitive to those with allergies.  Take note of the different names the artist mentions.  Most will be professional brands you may not have heard of and that's perfectly fine.  There should be a wide array of makeup brands and not one kit loaded with the same company.   

*These questions are by no means all-inclusive and you should use them as a guideline to begin the search for your wedding day makeup artist.  

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Tattoo Makeup Cover for the DIY ( Do it yourself ) Type

Although I offer tattoo cover, it is pricey and that can be a huge turn-off to brides trying to keep down their wedding costs. The products I use are a professional grade cosmetic, designed to withstand sweat, heat, water, rain, tears and anything else that could dampen the best laid coverage. 

I highly recommend hiring a professional, but if you can't or don't want to hire a professional makeup artist to cover your tattoo, I will give you the low-down on some of the different tattoo makeup available. Keep in mind that these are far inferior to the products I use but are designed for the consumer who wants to save a buck or two.   
The location of the tattoo has a lot to do with how well the coverage stays put. Tattoos on the arms or legs; areas that are the least likely to sweat, will have better results than tattoos on the back or chest areas. But tattoos that are on the underside of the arm or areas that rub against the body, may result in makeup transferring onto the clothing. The below products will work for a short period of time, perhaps for a job interview or photoshoot, but may not hold up to a full wedding day filled with drinking, dancing and hugging....

Comparing brands of Tattoo Cover Makeup

Mehron Tattoo Cover is available in 5 shades individually or as a color wheel.  If you have a large tattoo, the color wheel may not provide enough product to fully conceal the tattoo. You may need to purchase the individual colors and hopefully you are able to blend the colors to match your skintone.  You will also need to purchase the Colorset Powder plus the Barrier Spray. The items may be ordered at their online website. The product takes some time to completely dry and does not work exceptionally well on colorful tattoos. It does work great for blemishes or evening out pigmented skin. Based on the cream consistency, the product may soften and melt as your skin heats up, causing the makeup to slide and rub off.

Dermablend has been long noted as a tattoo cover for brides although not specifically designed for tattoo covering. Dermablend requires several steps with a lot of layering to completely cover the tattoo. It is slow drying and will require a Setting Spray. Because the product contains sunscreen, it ends up looking very visible in the sunlight and will be very noticeable on the camera. It takes lots of time and practice to get the coverage down correctly and you need to be sure to have a good color match to keep it blended with your skin. It will still look like makeup and may be more noticeable than you want. Color matching seems to be the biggest complaint as it's pricey to purchase several shades and it has been noted to rub off. 

CoverMark has a Tattoo Cover kit that contains samples of their full-size products. The product appears not to cover tattoos completely and ends up looking like a large bruise. Several steps and lots of practice are needed. Skin tone matching is an issue with the product and there are complaints of it fading away through the night. Again, the product fails in remaining skin-like and ends up looking like a shiny patch of plastic.

Kat Von D's Tattoo Concealer is not designed as a tattoo cover makeup. It is simply using the name and talent of the artist to sell product. It's a great concealer for under eye circles, skin flaws or blemishes. But as tattoo cover, it is not meant to last or conceal a tattoo and using it will not warrant satisfactory results.

ColorTration's Tattoo Cover Kit comes with 9 blendable shades, application tools plus the Sealing Spray. The professional Camouflage Brush is not included and would need to be purchased separately. The small applicator brushes are not user friendly and the product vials are extremely small and would not be useful to cover anything but a small tattoo. Designed more for skin imperfections rather than tattoos, the full-size individual colors are pricey. Again practice in blending to match the skin tone is important and the Sealing Spray is not suggested to be used anywhere but on the legs and the body. The Sealing Spray is identical to Mehron's Barrier Spray, just renamed to include the Colortration name.

If you are considering covering your tattoo and plan the Do It Yourself route, please be sure to practice well in advance of the wedding day. There is honestly no guaranteed way to cover a tattoo. No matter what product is used, professional or otherwise, it is never going to look like you didn't get tattooed. The tattoo changes the skin's consistency and may be raised or otherwise noticeable even with the best coverage. The products used to conceal a tattoo are just that, products. They are removable and as a result transferable to clothing. They are not permanent and will not last for days. If they did, then they'd be called a "tattoo".

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