No one will make you feel like shit like a makeup artist will. Oh sure, there are abusive boyfriends, manipulative mothers-in-law, overzealous law enforcement officers…but it takes a makeup artist to peer deeply into your pores and castigate every single one of your personal habits while smearing your face with a dozen bacteria-ridden irritants and PROFESSING an interest in making you look good because, after all, it's a makeup artist you're talking to, and to have makeup professionally applied is to sit willingly in on the sermon of a high priestess of Let's Be Honest, Is There Really Anything More To Life? Our anonymous model contributor Tatiana, in New York for the first part of the summer, always thought there might be. Then she endured the Photo Shoot From Hell. Herewith, ten reasons she hates makeup artists, an idea I endorsed heartily because a makeup artist was actually the last person to make me cry.
Makeup artists: as any model knows, some of you are great. Both as individuals, and in the consummate skill of your professional practice. Some of you like good music, some of you like my candidate, some of you went to Brown, some of you speak other languages, and some of you talk about books and politics. In general, I'll be the first to admit that I generally have more problems with your cousins in crime, hair stylists. But this does not mean you're off the hook!
Since the model and the makeup artist form the first quality-time pairing on any shoot, ours is a relationship that, if successful, can make even a tedious, cheesy, or uninspired job at least a little rewarding. Plus: Some of you give mini-facials and kick-ass beauty advice. But it's precisely because a makeup artist works so intimately with every client - our faces might be mere inches apart, our eye contact nearly constant, for 45 minutes while you do a "natural" spacklejob - that a run-in with a bad makeup artist has unique potential for being so thoroughly demoralizing
And if you pull any of these moves on me, I, and any other self-respecting model you work with, will hate you. Forever. Let alone any regular woman whom you might expect to pay you directly to do this to her! If you're guilty of any of the things on this list, then, seriously, good luck with that!
1) Your skin is sooooo dehydrated!
According to my extremely scientific polling, this is the number one complaint of the makeup artist class. Which either means that every model has dry skin, or that models all come to jobs with freshly-washed (and therefore: slightly drier than normal) skin so that makeup artists will have clean, blank canvases upon which to exert their ministrations.
Seriously, guys, the apparently-dry-skin secret is this: We don't go through our whole beauty routines on days we work. Because frankly, you all have about fifteen kinds of cream you like to smear on before getting to the actual makeup anyway, and it sort of seems like a model's place to recuse herself in the face of your preferred methods.
But not if it means that we are criticized for having dry skin! I don't need your suggestion of a new oil cleanser - I already use one! My problem is breakouts, not dryness, my solution is drink more water and maybe less alcohol and caffeine, and I'm totally feigning interest in that miracle eye cream you love, too! And fuck me if I'm buying Crème de la Mer. We're shooting this on spec, recall? I'll be lucky to get out of here with a free pair of jeans.
2) Bacteriffic brushes
They make these things that are like mascara wands that you dip, brush onto a model's lashes, and then throw away. Steal them from Sephora if you must.
Once a makeup artist used a single-use brush for my first mascara application of the day, and then, a few hours later, dashed in for a touch-up with her Great Lash Waterproof's own sticky, abused wand. "Oh," she said, noting my horrified visage. "This mascara will just go on over the mascara you're already wearing. So I'm not actually putting it on your eyes."
Until you're the one at risk of pink eye, I reserve the right to give you a don't-piss-on-my-leg look. And to ask you to use my mascara, which I take with me to every job just in case.
3) Pointy pencils
Related to above: Makeup artists who try to use dirty, unsharpened eye and lip pencils, I hate you. And when I ask you, nicely, to please expose some fresh lead before you wave that shit all over my mucous membranes, it would be a relief if you were to resist the urge to pull back aghast, sneer playing about your lips, and furiously carve an eye pencil into a rapier point before raking it all over the inside of my upper and lower lids. Do you want me to cry? Because I will, and then you will have to do it all completely over again, and if that is what you want…well Sartre had a point I guess!
4) The areas of my expertise
Don't tell me how to pose for a goddamn picture and I promise I won't lecture you on the UV-protecting differences between titanium dioxide and mexoryl SX. Each of us has a role in this team sport called fashion, and I expect you to respect my work just as much as I respect yours.
Also: If we're on a fucking test shoot together, both donating our time? And you take a peek at my book? Don't suppress a giggle, pat my hand, and tell me it's the worst portfolio you've seen since Lluvy was on ANTM. And don't follow up with a nicey-nice speech about how much the photos we're doing together are going to help my career. Because if we're both laboring unpaid, the Groucho Marx rule applies, and I'm willing to bet your book isn't a wonder of the western world, either.
5) Brainless commentary
"So, like, which are the Amish, and which are the Mormons? What's the difference between the two? Really? So are the Mormons, like, Christian? Huh. Where do the Amish live? What about Quakers? Who are they? Ok. So which drive the horse-and-buggies? Do the people with the weird clothes drive the horse-and-buggies as well?" My, aren't you curious! Have you ever considered retaining information? You won't gain any water weight, I promise!
6) The fake eyelash and you
True story: Once a makeup artist put fake lashes on my left eye upside down. Instead of curling upwards and outwards and bringing out my inner Judy Garland, the lashes turned inwards and attacked my cornea like so many spider legs. In removing the fake lash strip, he was so careless with the solvent that ripped out four of my own. Then he had the toe-curling awfulness to chide me for crying. If you think you're ready for Advanced Makeup Artistry: Falsies, you better know what the fuck you're doing.
7) Offensive smells
You're going to be in my face. I don't want to smell lashings of your: B.O., favorite perfume, last night's booze, signature cologne, breakfast burrito, or halitosis. I'll embrace the same scent-minimal lifestyle for your sake.
8) I'm not your bitch, bitch!
When did I give my permission to you, a stranger, to call me Bitch! in a cheerfully-passive-aggressive kind of way? Oh, you're a homosexual man? Bitch, find a husband to bitch to! I have a name and I would love it if you'd do me the outrageous courtesy of using it.
Yes, our jobs require us to spend a significant amount of time more or less gazing into each other's eyes. Yes, I find this physical intimacy strangely out-of-place without its natural complement, intellectual and emotional intimacy. Yes, if we have conversational chemistry, I'd love, if it comes up, to tell you about this guy I once dated, or how I have this weird room-mate who never eats and that makes me uncomfortable, and I'd love to hear about your breakup and your cat and this asshole your best friend just started dating, too.
No, the answer is never to launch unprompted into monologue overshare mode. No, I do not appreciate pointed questions about personal matters from someone I met five minutes ago. No, I don't want your financial advice, and I don't want you to tell me that my prickliness is all because I'm a Capricorn, or because I must not have a close relationship with my sister, or some shit. There are plenty of topics I'm willing to talk about with a near-stranger, and a good few I'll broach if the circumstances seem ripe. But do not treat me as your patient-listener BFF, and do not cast yourself in the role of my therapist, OK?
10) Be Prepared
"Oh, yeah, this is like the best makeup remover ever. Mmmhmm. It comes from Tahiti - I pick it up whenever I'm passing through - and it's made with extracts of a plant that only grows attached to the trunks of trees, 30-60 ft. above the rain forest floor on the mountains of Samoa. Yeah it's a really super soft and conditioning remover, you know? It would be great because you have such dry skin, totally. And because I've spent, like, all day shoveling on the makeup with a trowel! I bet it'll look great in the pictures, you know, since your book is, bitch, can we be frank? A total mess. And not a hot one! But let me see. I don't think I have enough remover left in the bottle to just give you some. Oh, you didn't bring any of your own? And you want to take the drag-queen lashes that took me four tries to get right off before you ride the subway home? Huh. Well. I tell you what - here's a cotton ball and there's a sink down the hall. Oh! Look! I just dug up a baby wipe from the Reagan administration. Will these do? OK then! Hope to see you soon, bitch - work on that posing in the mirror like I showed you. Kisses!"
Questions? Quibbles? Impassioned defenses of your artform? Send 'em to: Tatiana.Anymodel@gmail.com