the makeup show los angeles 2011
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Women in the Industry Panel

The last weekend in February was a big weekend for us makeup artists here in Los Angeles. Not only were there two major awards shows happening (the Indie Spirit Awards on Saturday, and the granddaddy of them all, the Oscars, on Sunday) but also the weekend of the Makeup Show Los Angeles 2011 presented by Metropolitan Events.

Sadly, the fact that it fell over a big work weekend lessened the amount of time I was able to spend at the show as I had private clients for both awards shows. I did, however, manage to make it for a period of time both days and take in both the education and shopping experiences.

Day One

Saturday I woke up bright and early, determined to get to the show on time because the Keynote I was personally most interested in was first that day. The Women in the Industry panel was moderated by James Vincent (The Makeup Show Director of Artistry and Education) and featured Joanna Schlip, Danessa Myricks, Crystal Wright, and Eve Pearl. Needless to say, that’s a formidable panel and I looked forward to hearing these pioneering ladies insights on the upsides and downsides for women in the industry and what emerging female artists can do to up their career. Unfortunately, instead of a moderated discussion, the floor was just opened to questions at which point it quickly became more about “how do I get work”. In fact there were several males in the audience and one in particular started asking quite a few questions, taking up floor time. As I am already a working artist and I was really just there to observe I had to seriously hold my tongue and not jump in and try to re-direct (cos y’all know I wanted to!). Finally a female in the artist just asked directly about the glass ceiling for women, and how emerging artists can break through it. Overall it was not the panel I was hoping for. I do hope they bring it back next year and perhaps let one of the female panelists actually moderate it, and keep the conversation on point and on track. Two very good points that were made;

– Danessa Myricks, makeup artist and entrepreneur, stated that when she was first starting she made a calendar to keep track of how much actual money she earned per day. This helped her stay on track on monetizing her business and not letting it become a hobby.

– Crystal Wright is a former agent and has seen and developed the careers of many an emerging artist. She says – and I cannot second this strongly enough – Do Not Play at being a makeup artist. Learn your craft AND understand your business

And I think those were the types of things I was looking forward to hearing. As a working makeup artist and teacher, I think one of the many pitfalls that makes becoming a professional makeup artist a challenge for women specifically is making the mental shift from wearing makeup and liking product to thinking about makeup as a money-making business and profession. This is an important panel since I’d guesstimate 90% at least of Makeup Show attendees are female, so hopefully they will re-work this panel and bring it back for next year’s show.

From there I could not stay too much longer (Indie Spirits tape early so they can air for East Coast time), so I hit the shopping floor. There were lots of empty seats in the Women in the Industry panel, and in most of the other floor workshops I notice, but the shopping floor was packed. Hmmm.. Sadly, it would appear that most artists come just to shop and not to take advantage of all the education that is included in the admission price. That’s unfortunate. I can understand that if you are an established, working artist. I cannot really understand that for a new artist. I will always wonder about trade shows how many of the attendees are actually aspiring professional artists and how many are makeup/product junkies. There is a difference, no matter what YouTube says. In any event, the exhibit floor was packed with people checking out the latest and greatest of everything. As usual, the more popular name brands and/or indie cult brands were swamped and you could barely get to them (I could not get to Inglot or Make Up For Ever at all, OCC was a challenge but I did get there). The store booths (Naimies, Nigel’s, Cinema Secrets) were jam-packed also. New to the Makeup Show – or any trade show floor – were YSL and Kevyn Aucoin cosmetics, and both seemed to be doing brisk business.

YSL did not have a PPID program starting as I was told they would be (it is still in development), but they were selling all products for 20% off which is a great for a department store brand so I did end up picking up the Top Secret Pore Refining primer . Top Secret Pore Refining Primer is a salicylic acid based primer, great for controlling oily skin (so long as you or your client are not sensitive to acids).

The standout discovery for me this day was Red Carpet Kolour (RCK), which I’d heard about but not yet had the opportunity to play with. RCK was developed by veteran makeup artist Joanna Schlip. Her line is already gaining notoriety for its Body Glow product, which is similar to Scott Barnes’ Body Bling, but RCK Body Glow is more subtle in terms of texture and color in my opinion AND it does not transfer once it is set on the skin. I do not tend to use products like that often, but when I do, clearly I need it to not be transferring all over the place. I was even more excited about the liquid blushes which are new to the line and come in universally wonderful colors for all skin tones, but which also did not transfer once set. These are great for anyone who has to do bulletproof makeup that has to last for hours. Both the Body Glow and the blushes survived The Test as they stayed on the back of my hand all day through multiple washings. They were all used that very day on my client!

Day Two

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco the makeup show los angeles maurice stein
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Maurice Stein lecture and demo

Despite going out dancing until 3am (seriously!) Saturday night/Sunday morning, I managed to wake back up and hit it again. The lead Keynote of the day was the legendary Maurice Stein. The room was empty when I got there and show staff had to go tell people what was going on to get them in the room. I think a ) a lot of young artists do not know who he is which is sad enough but b ) they read the description and assume they cannot relate. Also c ) the first Keynote does start fairly early, but if ya cannot make it to a 10am workshop, can I hire you for a 5am job? I don’t know about that one… Obviously I am guessing as to why someone who says they want to be a working artist would not come hear someone who has had the career that most of us dream of. Mr. Stein does film, yes, but he comes from an era where makeup artists did not specialize, so he does and has done EVERYTHING from film to TV to print to you name it and all at the highest level with multiple awards to prove it. In addition to all of his on-set work, Maurice Stein is the mastermind behind one of the best professional stores in the country, Cinema Secrets, and one of the best professional cosmetics lines in the business, Cinema Secrets Cosmetics. Mr. Stein is no joke. Those who did attend were treated not only to witty dialogue and a lot of information, but he also did live demo, which he often does not do. It is always an amazing treat to see how a master artist approaches their craft. Despite already being “established”, I learned new things, gained new insights, and I was very glad I saw this living legend in action.

From there, knowing I would not be able to stay long again, it was back out to the showroom floor. Things of note I saw on the floor:

Crystal Wright was there with both of her publications 30 Days at 100 Percent and the Hair, Makeup and Fashion Styling Career Guide. In my opinion, the Career Guide should just be required reading for anyone who wants to embark on this as a profession. 10+ years on and I still use information I learned from Crystal and The Career Guide.

Stila Cosmetics‘ changes to their existing Pro Artists program look like they are going to be significant. If you missed going to their studio or if you weren’t in LA at the show, go to for more information.

Nexagen / Bdellium Tools was a company I’d not heard of before nor do I know much of anything about them. They were selling artist brushes at the show and what caught my eye and why I’m mentioning them here is that they had a vegan line of brushes. As we all know, OCC recently introduced an amazing line of vegan brushes that are getting accolades, but they are a bit pricey. I’m going to find out a bit more about these Nexagen/Bdellium brushes to see if they might be a nice lower cost substitute. Could be fine, could be a “you get what you pay for” situation so we shall see. One thing is they dye the brush hairs green on the vegan brushes, which was a bit of a turn off.

– I did not get to attend, but Crown Brush had a series entitle “Tools of the Trade” which sounded like a great idea to me. Again, since I also teach, I find one of the difficulties new artists have is knowing what brush to use in which instance. Actually, I remember being challenged by that myself back in the day! Needless to say proper tool usage makes a huge difference in the success of a makeup application. I am hopeful that a lot of emerging artists took advantage of this great offering and it comes back to the show next year.

the makeup show los angeles 2011 tools of the trade
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Koren Zander demonstrating at Crown Brush Tools of the Trade workshop

Temptu Pro has introduced new S/B Multi-Colors. These are ‘in between’ colors like Ecru, Lavender, Apricot, etc. that can be used directly for eye makeup without having to mix primary colors as artists have done to date.

Yaby Cosmetics was back with great show prices on their fantastic product line. Created by professional artist Liz Yu (as in formulated with a chemist. Yaby is not a generic manufactured brand repackaged with a cute name on it) with the needs of pro artists in mind, Yaby offers the basics and fashion colors in professional formulations at amazing prices. Yaby’s prices are going to be going up for the first time in quite a while later this year so taking advantage of the show prices was a must! I finally got one of her amazing eye shadow palettes (Best of Both Worlds), and I have already used it twice since the show.

Grex Airbrush systems was there, represented by amazingly talented body painter Lisa Berczel. Sadly, this booth was not getting as many hits as it should have, probably due in large part to it being right next to the Dinair booth which had a $129 ‘Daily Airbrush System’ going. Dinair has been around a long time, and I’m sure the system is good, but a $129 system is meant for personal, not professional use. If you are a pro, you are going to need something with more gusto in your kit. The Grex trigger gun Lisa was demonstrating was amazing (easy to hold, with a smooth, fluid motion), and the compressor was compact and relatively quiet (as compressors go). For less than $500 for both, this was an EXCELLENT deal that most folks slept on. If you see them at IMATS don’t sleep again!

– Sadly, I had to leave before my friend and fellow artist Rachel Rose started her (FREE) airbrush makeup workshop for OCC in the hands-on section of the show. In fact I did not make it over to the Hand-On area at all, unfortunately, so I cannot speak to what any of those lessons were like.

In all, the Makeup Show improves in terms of its presentation and offerings every year and I am glad I was able to attend. For established artists it is great to see friends and meet peers in the industry. For emerging artists, yes the shopping is great, but the education is Amazing for those who are wise enough to take advantage. For all of us, it is a great reminder of the amazing Artists community we have here in Los Angeles, and how fortunate we all are to be a part of it. I look forward to next year!

© 2011 – 2016, Tania. All rights reserved.