Pittsburgh Fashion Week has been on the rise for some years now. Last night I had the time of my life being a lead makeup artist for designer André Jones.
The adrenaline rush you get when you’re pressed for time to get the job done is all worth it when you see the vision come to life. Of course I have to share my thoughts and give you some tips for your first fashion show as a makeup artist.
One day in August I sent an email to the director of Pittsburgh Fashion Week to inquire about being a makeup artist. I had seen an advertisement for PghFw on Instagram and I thought “why not”? I didn’t tell anyone about it, I simply sent photos of my best work and all links to my social media pages. I received a response within 48 hours.
We had a team meeting a week later to be assigned to a designer and to go over the mood boards. The communication between everyone involved was perfect. It was truly a team effort. We then had a meeting to go over the full week of Fashion Week and to get a sneak peek of the designers clothes , hair and makeup vision about two weeks out from the show. One week before the show all hairstylist and makeup artist completed the look for what the designer envisioned and it was perfect.
I worked for André Jones, his theme was West End Girls. 80’s theme, soft Smokey eye, heavy blush, red glossy lip. Simple, street style look. Jones had 12 models to represent his designs.
I received an email that same week to be the lead makeup artist for André’s team, I was hesitant, I didn’t think I was deserving, and I didn’t think for my first fashion show I was ready. If you stay ready you ain’t gotta get ready, right?
I’ve been to a few André Jones showcases and I love his work, his character and he’s a pleasure to be around.
I didn’t become nervous until two days before. When I began to clean all my makeup brushes and organize my makeup. I googled Fashion Week must-haves, makeup artist attire, and watched a few YouTube videos. I’ve only been a freelance makeup artist a year.
I worked alongside Alexis Vince whom is a freelance makeup artist whom also works at Sephora. We were assisted by students from Bella Capella. Call time was 4:45pm and all models had to be ready by 7:45pm. Baby, we finished by 7pm, we didn’t play around! Approximately 3 models per artist and each model only had 1 look, so there were no outfit changes.
The atmosphere was so inspiring and motivating. Alexis and I set up our area , the two students followed suit and we got the job done. As you looked around the room everyone was working together and in the zone.
I was in my element, I had everything I needed in my kit, all of the models were a pleasure to work with. The staff was so pleasant and made sure everything ran smoothly. There was no pressure, no one hovering over your shoulder, no divas!
Few Tips for makeup artist:
- You can never have too many brushes
- Use disposable everything: lip applicators, mascara wands, wedge applicators, paper towels, small garbage bags, q-tips.
- hand sanitizer, 99% alcohol, water
- keep your area neat and clean as you go so that it’s easier to access the products you need.
- Sanitation is very important
- Focus on your model, don’t look around to see what everyone else is doing.
- Bring a power strip cord
- only bring what you know you’ll need, pack smart. Invest in a makeup case, something with wheels so you’re not struggling to carry your things.
- Hair pins to secure the model’s hair away from the face.
My best friend was on a movie set, she finished filming early and she surprised me by showing up to help me wherever I needed her. She took pictures of the models, she cleaned up my area and helped pack my stuff up.
Here are the looks of the makeup I did on these beautiful models straight from my iPhone 8+
I would love to work with André again. While I was doing the makeup he came over to see how things were going and he approved.
Here is a group photo of the designer André Jones and his models.
All in all, I had a great experience working for Pittsburgh Fashion Week. I hope to return next year. I was able to practice the day before doing two faces to work on my speed. I completed the look in 35 minutes. The day of fashion show it was a breeze. I work well under pressure. Stay tuned for Monday’s Weekly Vlog to capture more moments.