#BizTalk – Late Pass – IMATS LA 2017

Disclosure: Hey folks, instead of doing sponsored posts, Makeup to Go is a member of Skimlinks and Amazon Affiliates. So if you purchase something via any of our links, we get a lil sumthin sumthin to help us keep running. Thanks much!

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017

line around the building for opening day of IMATS LA 2017…

I’m late…

This was originally going to be a #MakeupMonday – Makeup Short Notes post, but as I was writing it became clear that my notes were no longer short. So IMATS LA 2017 will be its own post, and we’ll hit the Makeup Short Notes on Monday.

IMATS LA 2017 took place this past January, and while it was not as amazing for me as last year was, it was a highly enjoyable, well produced show. The caliber of the vendors was overall very good, and the caliber of the education was excellent. Even in the “Influencers” hall – which I found quite spookadelic last year – there was education that was accessible to the consumer audience, but still relevant to the pros.

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 sir john

Sir John Keynote and demo

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 sir john

Sir John’s second model

Sir John – of Beyonce’s Makeup Artist fame – was more awesome than I even hoped he would be. I’ve been a fan of his makeup for a while as his aesthetic is similar to mine – he even said a lot of things I’ve heard myself say in my classes – and I was pleased to see that he has a wonderful personality to match. No matter how simple the question, Sir John was energetic, engaging, encouraging and NEVER condescending. He truly wanted to teach and share information. All while doing not one, but TWO great makeup demos. Impressive! (follow him on Instagram @sirjohnofficial)

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 fatima thomas mac cosmetics

Senior MAC artist Fatima Thomas “Contemporary Beauty for Women of Color”

On the flipside, I was completely UNfamiliar with MAC Senior Artist Fatima Thomas before her demo, and I walked away a fan. In addition to being an excellent artist and doing a beautiful demo, she gave a lot of technical knowledge in her talk. She is an EXCELLENT teacher. Lighting, temperature, hues, tone, color theory all played heavily in her demo. Those who kept their ears open walked away from the demo enlightened.

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 mac cosmetics ashley rudder

Ashley Rudder of MAC Cosmetics “Eras Reinterpreted” demo

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 mac cosmetics ashley rudder

finishing touches on Eras Reinterpreted demo

MAC Senior Artist Ashley Rudder’s demo met at the cross section of art and fashion as she worked through a highly modernized Elizabethan makeup design. I’d forgotten that MAC has some interesting, non-traditional products available in the MAC PRO line. I walked away with some new thoughts on product usage.

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 jordan liberty

Jordan Liberty “Beauty of Restraint” demo

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 jordan liberty

Artist Jordan Liberty is known for his modern “Glam” style and in his demo he walked through achieving a Glam look without going overboard. The end result was definitely still Glam complete with his signature glossy eyelids, but still fresh and pretty.

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 sam fine

Sam Fine Keynote and demo

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 sam fine

I’ve seen Sam Fine in demo about 12-trillion times and this last time it really dawned on me how unique and “his own” his style is. Everything from the way he uses product to the tools he uses (including an all-important Tupperware™ lid) is just nothing like what I’ve ever seen any other artist do. Maybe that’s why I keep sitting in on his demos whenever I have the opportunity. In an industry where folks are described as one of a kind pretty regularly, Sam Fine is truly One Of A Kind. And his work and career speak for themselves.

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 lost boys panel

a whole lotta film makeup fire power on one stage – Lost Boys 30 year reunion

On a very different note from what I’m usually into and what I usually discuss here on el blog, IMATS celebrated the 30-year reunion of the film “The Lost Boys” by having a Keynote panel featuring some of the actors from the film and the makeup artists who created the looks for the film. For those of us “of a certain age” The Lost Boys was That Movie; everyone saw it, everyone talked about it… even scare-dee-cat me who NEVER watches any kind of even slightly scary movie went and saw it in the theatre (eyes covered a lot of the time but still, I was there!). What I didn’t think about until this panel was how that movie completely changed the aesthetic of the Vampire genre, period. With one movie it went from the old Nosferatu “I vant to drink your blood”, Transylvania scary guy Vampire, to the young, sexy Vampire aesthetic we have now (if you’re wondering, yes, Lost Boys pre-dates the film adaptation of Interview with a Vampire by 11 years). So if you’re a fan of True Bood, Twilight, etc. you owe a lot of that to Lost Boys. Thank you to make-up artists Ve Neill, Greg Cannom (who was my Spirit Brother on the panel), and Steve LaPorte for sharing stories and insights.

Other Sights and Sounds

Aside from the education, the other (probably main for most folks) draw at IMATS is of course the shopping. I didn’t do too much damage this year, but for me as a Pro it is important for me to visit my vendors and peers, and as a FAN of makeup I always like to see what fun stuff is being created. Also, hanging out with my makeup homies is always the best part of any trade show. Shout Out to Eizabeth Fox (Instagram @lizzyfoxmakeup) for hanging with me. It was fab! 😀

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 old man makeup

The actor underneath this makeup is in his mid-30s

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017

someone forgot to put their face on before the show!

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 eve pearl

my former student Priscilla (@prisgutierrez) now works with the Eve Pearl line…

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 frends beauty

my former student Mindy werkin’ it out for Frends Beauty

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 beautylish

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 kat von d

the pro-sumer brands were doing swift business…

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 senna cosmetics

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 senna cosmetics

new Senna Cosmetics brow powder pencils. Senna’s Taupe and Blonde pencils are some of the most truthiest #Truth products in all of makeup

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 cozzette cosmetics

Cozzette powder palettes

My “Haul”

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 gratis haul thank you

Thank you to Make Up For Ever, Lemonhead LA, Embryolisse, Royal Langenickel and Poise Professional for your generosity! Be sure to follow these brands on social media, and buy and #supportthebrandsthatsupportproartists

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator imats la 2017 purchase haul

Mehron Mixing Medium, Parian Spirit brush cleaner, and a few brushes from Crown Brush

The 2nd to last photo are items I was gifted, the last photo is of the items I purchased. As always, I don’t do “first impression” reviews so keep your eyes out on full product reviews as I’ve had the chance to actually use things (except for Parian Spirit which we all already know I consider to be #TheTruth).

Thanks much to Michael Key and the IMATS staff for always listing to the community and putting on a high quality event! 😀
Have you signed up for the Makeup to Go Blog newsletter yet? Join the fun for exclusive content, giveaways, and other assorted fabulosity! Makeup to Go Blog Newsletter – “Speaking of Makeup”

A Tale of Two Trade Shows 2016 edition

makeup to go blog a tale of two trade shows 2016 edition imats the makeup show

I love the makeup tradeshows…

I try to hit as many as I can, and I’ve done so for quite some time now. In fact my original “A Tale of Two Trade Shows” posted back in 2009(!!!). For A Tale of Two Trade Shows 2016 Edition, it’s been fun to reflect on what has keeps me coming back for more. Ultimately, I love the community building, I love seeing my artist friends whom I normally do not get to see, nowadays I love seeing my students as this is a whole new and exciting world for them (like it was for me back in 1812 at the very first IMATS), and I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of the education that is available. The shopping is cool, too, but more on that in a minute. With IMATS being more Film/TV/FX oriented and The Makeup Show being more Beauty Biz oriented, I have liked IMATS and loved The Makeup Show.

Not this year.

Make no mistake: I enjoyed both shows for sure. And definitely both shows are well organized and thoughtfully produced. I just felt that IMATS made some changes that took the show up to an Eleven this year. Here’s what was working, and what might need to be worked on, IMO for each show…


20 years in, IMATS has had its share of ups and downs. Through it all the organizers have always listened to the artists community that attends the shows, and been willing to try to change to meet the needs of said community.

makeup to go blog a tale of two trade shows 2016 edition IMATS industry panel IMATS

industry expert panel with Melissa Street, Eve Pearl and DeShawn Hatcher (not in view is Michael Key)


– PRO CARDS: First and foremost I must thank the organizers of IMATS for the Pro Cards. The Pro Cards offer student and professional artists various benefits including discounted entry into IMATS and discounts on subscriptions to Makeup Artist Magazine, etc. I am a Gold card member, and I have to say; it’s a little thing but it’s a big thing. It’s a little thing in that it is no problem to pay for the Show, I have before and I would do so again. BUT it’s a big thing to be appreciated for my career. No, I’m not a “star” artist like those who do the Keynotes, but I am a established, working artist and have been for a while and it is nice for the many of us who fall into that category to be recognized as such. Thank you!

– PRO NIGHT: I couldn’t make Pro Night IMATS 2015 and trying to get anything during the show once it was open to the public was a nightmare. This year I took FULL advantage of having time and space to talk to vendors and shop. Yay Pro Night!

– INFLUENCERS HALL: This was the best change of the show, full stop. For folks who are into the social media influencers, artists, and brands they had their own hall with their own stage. This meant that the education out on the main exhibit hall stage (and breakout rooms) stayed more on-topic for pro/aspiring pro makeup artists, AND the main exhibit floor never became over-the-top crowded unlike past years (although the line for Kat Von D. Cosmetics – which was in the Main exhibit hall – was no joke all weekend).

makeup to go blog a tale of two trade shows 2016 edition social media influencers IMATS

Brian Champagne and some of the leading ladies of the social media beauty expert sphere…

– ONSITE BOOKSTORE: The makeup shopping was fine and pretty much consisted of the usual suspects. This was fine with me as I had specific stuff I needed and I did some shopping damage. However the Bookstore did me in. Did. Me. In. If you’re a fan of makeup books – as I am – it was nearly impossible to get away.


– NOT MANY: I wish it was a Peet’s Coffee instead of a Starbucks inside the Pasadena Convention Center. As far as show improvements; some vendors offered pro pricing with the proper credentials throughout the weekend, but most did not once the doors were open to the public. I’d like to see that change because it’s not always possible for working pros to attend Pro Night. Other than that, I went to the show for a little bit all three days, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of it.

The Makeup Show

This was the Makeup Show’s eighth year in Los Angeles. When IMATS was around 10 years old, I remember feeling like it might be time for some changes, and this is how I felt at The Makeup Show this year. The Makeup Show 2015 was stellar, but this year I felt like The Makeup Show could use some freshening.


– KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: The Makeup Show never fails to get incredible leaders from the beauty world to come speak and demo at the shows, and I always walk away educated and inspired. This year I saw Charlie Green whom a lot of younger makeup artists may not know but who was hugely influential in, say, the early 2000s. Hearing the “come up” stories of top artists is always inspiring to me. I also saw Scott Barnes, whom I’ve seen many times before, but I still managed to learn some new techniques to try. I love it when that happens.

makeup to go blog a tale of two trade shows 2016 edition charlie green the makeup show

Keynote Speaker Charlie Green

makeup to go blog a tale of two trade shows 2016 edition the makeup show charlie green demo

Charlie Green in demo

– PRO ONLY: Not sure about other cites, but in Los Angeles, The Makeup Show is a trade show open only to people involved with the profession of makeup. While the requirements are not necessarily stringent, it makes enough of a difference in both the numbers and the energy of attendees that the vibe is much more chill. Also vendors honor Pro Discount rates all weekend so there’s no mad dash to buy everything during one night for the Pros.


– VERY SHOPPING CENTRIC: Obviously IMATS features a full-on shopping experience as well. That’s why a lot of people attend, in fact I’d say it’s why most people attend. What was interesting, and why I bring this up as a “Neutral” is that I attended two different Lectures the topics of which did not suggest that product was going to be a center of discussion, but then product did end up being a main talking point. Hmmmm…


– ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR PROS: I have to be honest that my disappointment with the show started before the show. I had been on hold for a job out of town over the dates of the show. Once I knew for sure that wasn’t happening, I bought my ticket and made a professional inquiry by email regarding the show. My email was not answered. Contrast that to my feeling fully acknowledged by IMATS – including I had to make a lame, totally my fault, last minute rush request and they both answered my email and fulfilled the request – and… yeah. Not good. I almost didn’t go to The Makeup Show because of it. I understand folks are busy and a “no” is fine, but not responding at all – which as of me proofreading this post at 11:115pm, 3/31/16 I STILL have not received a response – is just plain rude. And unprofessional.

– ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR PROS pt DEUX: Obviously a show like this is going to primarily skew towards newer artists. I think if The Makeup Show wants to keep more established artists engaged it may be time to change up the content a bit. The Keynotes, as stated before, were fantastic. In my opinion, however, a lot of the Breakout sessions were pretty much like previous year’s breakouts. There’s only so many times one can really talk about brows, or contouring or the like. Myself and most of my peers either already have an agent or we’ve had one before, or we’re in the Union, etc. I think it might be time to change things up a bit with fresh content in the breakout sessions that would appeal to artists of all levels.

Again, The Makeup Show is a well curated, well executed event that people work very hard to produce. Do I think it could use some changing up? Yep. Will I attend again in the future? Yep (unless I’m booked).

makeup to go blog a tale of two trade shows 2016 edition diversity the makeup show

Diversity Panel Discussion featuring Lori Taylor-Davis, Melanie Mills, Nick Lujan, and Ruby Polanco moderated by James Vincent

What’d Ya Get?!?

I did buy some things, particularly at IMATS. I swore I wasn’t going to get anything at The Makeup Show but I still ended up buying a lil sumthin’ sumthin’ 😉 Details to come in the form of product reviews in upcoming posts…

Next up; PHAME Expo in June. Unless I’m booked 😉

makeup to go blog a tale of two trade shows 2016 edition verve coffee

$6.75 almond latte. But it was delish…

Have you signed up for the Makeup to Go Blog newsletter yet? Join the fun for exclusive content, giveaways, and other assorted fabulosity! Makeup to Go Blog Newsletter – “Speaking of Makeup”

#MakeupMonday – The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2011 Wrap Up

the makeup show los angeles 2011

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

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco the makeup show los angeles maurice stein

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 Stilacosmetics.com/proartists 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

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!

#BizTalk – Non-Makeup Kit Essentials

To be a successful makeup artist is to be as fully prepared as possible at all times. Once you are out in the working world it is no understatement to say that you never know what situations you may run into. Oftentimes what you may be asked to do that does not *seem* like a makeup artists job, but on that day in that situation it is.

As such, in addition to my cosmetics makeup essentials I have a lot of non makeup kit essentials. Some – while not being cosmetics specifically – are easily related to a makeup artist’s kit but some might strike you as odd or coming out of left field. One of my personal sayings is “When you need it, it’s too late to go get it…”, and all of these items fit that bill. All have proven to be Right On Time at some point or another in my career so far…

Swab Plus Brand Eye Makeup Corrector Swabs non makeup kit essentials
1 ) Eye Makeup Remover Swabs
It is no exaggeration – in fact it is a literal truth – to say that I use at least one of these on every single job I do. Every. Single. Job. These ingenious little swabs have oil-free, fragrance-free makeup remover inside the swab. They allow for precise clean up of any smudges, mistakes, or when you need to make a change without destroying the rest of your makeup. Lifesaver item. I tend to get the swabs formulated for waterproof makeup so I am covered for any situation. I specifically use the Swab-Plus brand which is the first brand I knew of to make this product. Andrea Eye-Q makes pre-moistened swabs which are similar but in my opinion not quite as good and I’m sure there are some Swab-Plus knockoffs out there, but I stick to the original brand. NOTE: Swab-Plus brand also makes swabs with nail polish remover! 🙂

braun butane cordless curling iron non makeup kit essentials
2 ) Butane Curling Iron
Many is the time I have been told I was not doing hair only to arrive on set and be asked if I could “do a little hair”. Many more is the time that I was booked for both makeup and hair and but then we were shooting on location with no trailer, no generator and no hope for plugging in traditional hair tools. I paid I think $20? for this probably about a decade ago. Still heats up fast, works great and has saved my life many MANY times. I don’t know if this specific model is still in existence but if you see a Braun Butane Curling Iron, get it! You will not regret owning it. (Conair and a few other companies also make cordless curling irons)

photo of nail care products non makeup kit essentials
3 ) Basic Nail Care
I am not a manicurist, I do not claim to be, nor have I – to date – run into a client who expected me to be. However, I routinely run into instances where the models hands were bare and/or she was wearing an inappropriate nail color, etc. Having a few nail polishes, some implements and some nail polish remover on me has proven to an asset in my kit time and time again. In addition to polishes, having some type of quick-dry – be it drops or a spray or quick drying topcoat – is also essential on set. Not only do you not have time to wait for things to dry but you don’t want to risk getting wet polish on any of the wardrobe. Lastly, I use acetone-free nail polish remover. Yes it takes a bit longer, but if the model/talent has acrylic nails acetone remover can be damaging. Acetone-free is just a safer route.

selection of shaving products non makeup kit essentials
4 ) Basic Shaving Tools/Product
Artists who are known as men’s groomers such as Diana Schmidtke are, obviously, expected to have a full array of tools and products for men. Makeup artists tend to forget these things, but trust me I have never been sorry to have some razors and some shaving cream with me in my kit. My preferred Shaving Creme is the Dermalogica product pictured however it is not necessary to buy expensive. I got the Gillette Sensitive Skin foam in a pinch on a job talent said it was excellent and gave him a smooth shave. Likewise the razors don’t have to be special, they need to be good – the razors pictured are dual-blade with a moisturizing strip for a smooth shave – and the need to be NEW. Most nicks and cuts are caused by trying to work with a dull blade. Afterwards I offer my men a soothing spray of my Toning Mist (also Dermalogica but any good NON-alcohol toner will work) and some moisturizer and they are good to go.

fromm brand shielded facial razors non makeup kit essentials
5 ) Shielded Facial Razors
Speaking of razors, I love these little things. I get this specific brand at Sally’s but you can get different brands at pretty much any beauty supply and they are just wonderfully versatile tools to have in one’s kit. The longer ones are for bigger surface areas and the smaller ones are for detail (they call them “brow” razors). I’ve used these for men’s grooming, kids grooming on faces, under-arms, legs, etc. They really are shielded and really will not cut the talent unless either you or talent do something stupid (the one time *ever* I cut talent using one of these razors, I was getting rid of hair around is ankles and he lifted his foot to show someone his new shoes 😐 ).

eve pearl mini powder puff non makeup kit essentials
6 ) Mini Powder Puffs
For years artists have been using powder puffs as kind of a “placemat” underneath their hand while working so as to not accidentally touch the talent’s face and mess up any makeup already applied. What’s awesome about these new mini-puffs is they are much less awkward than trying to work around a full size puff. Just slip the ribbon over a finger and you have the rest of your hand free to work. Pictured is Eve Pearl’s mini puff which I picked up for a great price at IMATS. I do prefer it because it is made specifically for this purpose to it is a bit thicker and more cushioned than a regular small puff but I am sure any small puff would work as well.

renu brand contact lens care travel kit non makeup kit essentials
7 ) Contact Lens Accouterments
Uncomfortable contact lenses can literally ruin a shoot. If you are shooting in the desert and wind blows dust into the talent’s eyes, unless they can take those lenses out and clean them, they are miserable and cannot half open their eyes for the rest of the shoot. Even in less dramatic scenarios, I have often been praised for having lens care in my kit. I use a mini-set similar to the one pictured here (I need to get another one, I’m out) which contains the essentials; Cleaning/disinfecting Solution, wetting drops, and a lens case. They are readily available at any drug store/pharmacy, they are inexpensive and you’ll be ready should contact lens disaster strike. NOTE: I carry regular eyedrops as well for non-contact lens wearers in case of dry and/or red eyes.

johnson and johnson mini first aid kit non makeup kit essentials
8 ) First Aid Kit
Because you never know when talent is going to need to show off those new shoes, I carry a little first aid kit with me. If you are working on production, the “crafty” aka craft services will likely have this but on most still photo-shoots there is no crafy. I like to be prepared so I just carry one myself. This is just a very basic kit with anti-bacterial wipes, a variety of bandages, etc. This is a total “just in case” item. It rarely gets used but when it is needed, I’m glad I have it. (NOTE: I also carry extra feminine products on me “just in case”)