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Makeup artists are true chameleons in their own field. Their medium is the human body, although their main canvas is the face. A makeup artist may be defined as the specialist who, through his or her specialization in the knowledge and application of makeup (cosmetics), brings out the absolute best in one’s facial appearance. Their skills, experience and creativity are used to create different looks based on their clients’ requirements. They may be asked to do anything from simple application of facial makeup for a special occasion or a photo-shoot, to complete theatrical and effects makeup for a stage show or film. Most general makeup artists are tasked with professional application of facial cosmetics for special events where the client wants to look as perfect as possible. Makeup artists often work in tandem with hair-dressers, although these are two separate specialized fields.
A makeup artist will identify and enhance a woman’s most attractive facial features through careful use of cosmetics, bringing out her natural beauty and disguising flaws as naturally as possible. They may be tasked, for example, with applying the makeup for a bride and her retinue on her wedding day as well as liaising beforehand with the hairstylist to ensure that the makeup and hairstyle complement each other. A skilled makeup artist will be called on for photo-shoots and modeling assignments, and will work with the designer in fashion shows to ensure that the facial makeup of the models matches the clothing being showcased, for instance exceptionally colourful and futuristic designs requiring similar intricate and over-emphasised makeup as part of the theme. A makeup artist may also be required to apply full body makeup for modeling shoots, for instance to make a model blend in with the surrounding area.
This type of makeup is extremely specialized and creative and can take hours to apply. It is clear that a makeup artist is more than just a person who “paints faces”. A makeup artist must be aware of the effects of different lighting and skin tones and adjust the application of the makeup accordingly. For instance, an event held at night will require bolder colours than one held during the day in order to achieve a more conspicuous overall appearance. Whether the end result is striking or unobtrusive and understated, this can sometimes take hours to achieve and adequate time must be given to complete the application properly.
Many makeup artists work closely with wedding venues and bridal shops, or at least have advertising cards and pamphlets available here. Probably still one of the best ways of finding these specialists is through advertisements in Women’s and Bridal magazines, and through the Yellow Pages. Makeup artists are not easily found via the internet in South Africa, although their exposure is slowly growing through this medium. If you use a search site such as Uptasker, you will save valuable time and effort, particularly since Uptasker lists suppliers in geographical areas which will speed up the process immensely. Together with the provision of online ratings and customer reviews and website links (if available), Uptasker is a great asset in online searches. If possible, though, try to find a makeup artist through word of mouth, preferably one whose work you have seen and liked. Take your time, as you don’t want to end up with someone whose artistic style does not agree with your own ideas. When planning to use a makeup artist for a special occasion, ask to see their portfolio beforehand so you can be sure that you will achieve the end result you are looking for.
The application of makeup is very individual to each woman. We all have our own methods of application, from extremely subtle and minimal to extremely noticeable in appearance. When you use a makeup artist, it is for the purpose of making the most of your looks, and even women who are comfortable and expert at the application of makeup may choose to have a professional do the job for special occasions. If you can do so, do a “dry-run” beforehand to make sure you are happy with the results. For more tips, see our makeup artist articles.