The Winner of My Makeup Artist Competition Shares Her Story
Hi there! You may remember me from a blog post two months ago— I was the girl with the trompe l'oeil plastic-face makeup who won Lisa’s contest. I’m writing to you from a café in Fulham the day after my graduation from Davinia Fermi Makeup Academy here in London. When I fly home to Boston in a few days, I’ll be glad to be in a country where I’m not constantly looking the wrong way before I cross the street, but I’m going to miss being surrounded by people as infatuated with makeup as I am for 7 hours a day! I’m so glad that I have this chance to share with you some of what I’ve learned and some of the work I’ve created here in London this month.
Applying makeup to a face other than your own is an entirely different task. I had almost exclusively done makeup on myself before DFMA, and was excited to start working on others. I learned that eyelids other than your own are not so well behaved as you brush them with gel eyeliner. Skin tones different from my own turned my bright coral blush into a rosy pink color. A foundation that sat cakey and dry on my face could blend seamlessly and invisibly into another woman’s skin. As a makeup student, I learned the most from my mistakes. And hey, it’s just makeup. You can always take it off and start again.
One of the most valuable parts of my education at DFMA was sitting for my classmates as a model. Every day, we would pair up and take turns applying the day’s lesson to each other’s faces. It is so important to know what it feels like to be the client; you learn what different brushes feel like on the skin, which head and neck positions are comfortable, and what kinds of touch to use. Working on someone’s face and hair can be very personal; a client or a model has to trust you not to hurt them or make them look like a clown. Thankfully, I got weeks of practice making my classmates look like clowns (sometimes) and occasionally poking them in the eye (it happened one time!). Despite the learning curve, I was always very pleasantly proud of my work when the look was complete, and surprised by my newly discovered talents.
Here are a few of my talented and beautiful classmates who modeled for me during the course. The first look is a rebellious bridal makeup for a role-play client who said her wedding dress would be black.
Another look I worked on is a frozen Ice Queen, complete with glued-down eyebrows, glacial cheekbones, glittery icicle hair, and an artfully tied bathrobe. I love using photography to create an illusion—here I painted her cheeks white so they would disappear into the background.
One day’s lesson was devoted to makeup for black and white photography. I loved the high contrast, slightly goth look I created by blending out a creamy black pencil in unusual places on the lid. (Image below)
I studied art and art history in college, and I loved the creative freedom I had at DFMA. One of my favorite looks I did this month was a makeup and body paint interpretation of Pablo Picasso’s “Head of a Woman” from 1907 (below). I used Charles Fox Aquacolors on my friend Ana to transform her into a two-dimensional painting.
I felt like I found my niche with this look. I love creating dramatic makeup for illusionistic images like this one—my mother didn’t realize that this was makeup on a person until I explained it days later!
For my final photoshoot, I wanted to parody makeup “rules” about color and shading by using unblended paint strokes to define my model’s face and body. I was so pleased with the result: something very strangely beautiful and creepy, combining beauty makeup with theatrical body paint. (images at the top)
I’ve accomplished so much this month, and I feel like I’ve finally found my calling. My dream is to work in editorial fashion and runway makeup. I owe a lot to Lisa Eldridge and DFMA for believing in my talent and choosing me in the contest. I am so grateful to the instructors and my classmates at DFMA for being so generous with their makeup secrets and their time! I am so grateful to my family for supporting me always. I also want to thank the readers of Lisa Eldridge’s blog who sent me so many sweet messages of congratulations. I feel so ready to begin my career, and I can’t wait to make you all proud.