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:
Friday, July 25, 2014
Friday, July 18, 2014
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
Friday, July 11, 2014
Friday, July 4, 2014
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
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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Friday, June 6, 2014
Friday, May 30, 2014
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.
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.
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.
Friday, May 23, 2014
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.