When I studied makeup I was not a makeup enthusiast. My choice to do it was based on my artistic background and a wish to have a skill that I carry with me and use anywhere. I grasped onto any information that I thought would give me the best kit and products. Often I was misinformed or following the advice of someone that was not an expert (such as Youtube artists) which led to wasting a lot of money.

Here is a list of things I wish I had known when I was studying:

  • Buy a good portable chair (you will destroy your back bending over for hours without one)

  • Extend your foundation colour range before anything else (most student kits have one colour for deep skin tones, shocking I know)

  • Spend your money on good skin preparation products (this was glossed over at school but is super important)

  • Bright colours are pretty useless, your best friends are going to be shades of neutral brown, get used to it (I wasted so much money on bright, glittery eye shadows and cream products that went off)

  • Think about the weight of your kit, buy small or decant into smaller bottles and jars (you will be lugging that kit up and down stairs in all kinds of weather)

  • Don’t bother with cheaper options of products, I ended up buying the expensive version so many times when the cheaper one didn’t perform as I wanted it to (so much money wasted)

  • Separate your fantasy, brightly coloured and special fx products so you don’t have to carry them around all the time (I have a few bags I bring to shoots that are more creative that I can leave at home when I won’t need them)

  • Photographers often ask for makeup that is outdated or cliche during collaboration shoots, I have let myself ruin several photo shoots because I was too scared to explain why what they were asking for doesn’t work well and offer better solutions. Speak up respectfully. (TFP photo shoots should be a collaboration if they are demanding a certain look then they should pay you)

  • Never leave your makeup kit in the car, I saw one person have theirs stolen and another’s kit melted in the sun

  • The techniques and procedures you learn in class are so that you can be assessed against criteria. Everyone needs to perform the same tasks in the same way. Once you leave school you can develop your own ways. Follow the rules while you are there, they are simply for assessment. I felt crippled by the rules at school, it took me a full year to regain confidence in my painting instincts. With art, my hands move in a certain way. Now I have my own “wacky ways” and my friends are forever laughing at me, then bewildered by the results. As long as your ways are safe and hygienic, be patient.

I wish I could go back and shout these things in my face. I hope you found this information useful.

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