Yesterday, I got called to a Colorescience event. I wasn’t even sure I was going to go, but then I researched the company and decided to check them out. This is one of those times when you’re glad you got off your ass and went out to see the sun. While I was there, I met some of the most amazing women… and I realized how much I’ve been missing talking to ACTUAL colleagues in my profession who regularly move and work in an adult space without cameras or constant digital validation.
It was EVERYTHING.
It started when I sidled up to a group of women who were being educated by a member of the Colorescience team. They welcomed me in… and the next thing you know we were screaming about the difference between contour as correction and spending an hour on ‘cake face’ just to go to the gas station. What a burst of FRESH AIR to talk to women who understand exactly why I twisted my lips at Tilbury’s Legendary Mascara because of claims vs. actual performance (did I ever talk to y’all about how it smudges all to be damned on the lower lash line after about 4 hours?) and how hard it is to trust ANY of these so-called pros on the internet. Y’all thought I was mad about IMATS? None of them even went to PHAME because they were not up for the bullshit. They’re like: most of that stuff gets sent to the productions we work on or we can get it any time we need from the pro stores. Who wants to be in 100 degree heat on PURPOSE because the convention is made up of more Youtube fans than actual professionals? Imagine how much I sparkled when one of the artists said the EXACT SAME THING about the lack of hair education or products at a convention that was also supposed to cater to hair stylists…
Another woman sidled up to us when she heard me talking about teaching yoga to dancers (former dancer herself) and we welcomed her in and suddenly she was sharing the BEST stories…
How amazing to talk about the VALUE of interacting with human beings in a human space, instead of on a consistent digital platform. One lady told me that a girl reached out to intern with her. But it was actually the girl’s (NOT A GIRL. Actual age: 27) mother who contacted her, after googling this artist’s name. When the artist specified that the girl HERSELF would need to make the request and show some interest in getting the job… *crickets. Her point was that these very LARGE digital personalities tend to shrink in real world environments that don’t directly impact their celebrity. Being a professional mua has a crap ton of perks, but it also involves knowledge, a fluid personality, and actual WORK. We talk to somebody who knows somebody who needs somebody and BAM! Pirates of the Caribbean (real story). You treat everyone with kindness because the asshole who declared himself Key (like… wtf) and tried to drive you absolutely insane with his ‘vision’ at a random fashion show is now asking you for a job (another real story). We got to talking about joint issues from standing for a billion hours or working in ridiculous environments (I SCREAMED when one artist with the best name in the world talked about doing makeup for a celebrity client in the bathroom of a club with a precision light strapped to her forehead… real world mua problems y’all). I told them that people tend to know me by by head scarf, and one girl was like I NEED ONE! She is wearing wigs because she can’t be bothered. Worked with RuPaul on a new show and was like ‘well at least I can wear my wigs here and no one will give a damn.’ Doing professional makeup is NOT about THE MAKEUP ARTIST. It’s about the client and about the art. And we all agreed that so much of that seems to be lost with this new crop of self-declared pros. Between talking about skin issues, color theory, the art of contour as correction vs. necessity, and how celebrities of a certain caliber want the camera to see their FACE, not their makeup… we hit all the high points.
I meant to stay for 45 minutes. 2 1/2 hours later I looked up and realized just how much fun I was having. What a wonderful and priceless experience. MY PEEPS Y’ALL! My peeps. The Colorscience people left and we were still huddled in a circle laughing and high-fiving each other.
We all agreed that digital platforms have so much value and are not to be dismissed, but when people are using it to hijack an actual profession, members of that profession are bound to speak about it. We love that you’ve learned to do makeup on yourself. We love that you’re excited about it and want to share. We don’t love when you interrupt a show or a lesson about tricking the camera or the naked eye with shadows and light, because you don’t understand why the extremely qualified Educator has not used contour on his model (a real story). We don’t love when you introduce yourself based on your channel/instagram/snapchat and lead with how many followers you have (another real story). We don’t care. Can you show up on time, do the work, and not bother people with your drama? Do you play well with others? Can you pivot when the situation calls for it?
We spent damn near an hour talking about the pivot. It’s a very real thing.
I confessed that I was not on Snapchat and one of them was like… OH YOU MUST! She showed me hers and another artist confessed that she learned how to use it from a toddler who was in her chair one day. The valet guy showed me how to use it and showed me all the fun stuff while we were waiting for our cars. We laughed and clapped and hugged and exchanged numbers. I even promised to do pizza at one of our favorite local joints (turns out that three of them live right near me).
*this morning the face demon is significantly smaller. small miracles people… small miracles.*