There is a natural assumption that make-up artists love make-up and make-up shops and stores and beauty salons etc. I can’t speak for all artists but I really, really don’t.
I don’t enjoy traipsing around busy stores, being attacked by the perfume army, feeling mentally suffocated by the sheer volume of goods on display, the pressure to buy and the hostage-style lighting. It is almost like you are under attack, in many ways you are.
I started off as a make-up artist with a love of transformation. Like thousands of artists before me, I got my initial inspo from the legend that is, Mr. Rick Baker. His transformation of 1980s MJ into a werewolf got me hooked. So it was never the love of make-up per se. It was the magic of transformation.
Make-up products and tools and tech inventions are a means for me to do my job. I need to understand them, keep up to date with them, play with them, know what works, what ingredients are in them etc etc. I need to understand new technologies and innovations, be able to see through the trials, gimmicks and shiny new things. I.e. spotting what is really good and ground-breaking to improve my work and share it with my trainers and students.
Yesterday, I did my duty-bound traipse around Selfridges in London, before heading back to India on Saturday. I started my career off here, working between different beauty brands so enjoy going in to remind myself of where I started and how important it was for me in my career. Excellent, hard, fast-track training.
My aim was to go check out Isamaya Ffrench’s new collection. Found it and started playing around with the products on my hand. Whilst doing this I was struck by a bright shiny mask. I had to check it out! So while letting Isamaya’s delicious products sit on my hands I let myself be led into the skincare section.
Again, I am not naturally drawn to the “vanity insanity” side of this industry but today I ventured in as I had time. I know I have to see what is out and about on offer to women (and men). So went from shelf to shelf and started up a chat with a charming young sales girl.
This bright young thing was working with the Dr. Vali brand and I have to say I was curious by the below tools and tech. She offered a trial with her and these clever little numbers…..
Home | By Dr Vali | New Breed Skin Technology
Look like a superstar, perform like a legend! By Dr Vali is home to the world’s best-kept secret where artistry meets…
and so it began, I would look like a superstar (see link above)
I got my face fracked!
Ha…at least that’s how it felt. I sat in the chair and was told one side of my face would be tested. It only lasted a few minutes but could still feel the vibrations for a good time after. As my jawline, cheekbone, eye area, forehead was ‘fracked’, I giggled uncontrollably with the sensation.
5 swipes along my jaw, along the cheekbone and the journey continued upwards. I was thinking of so many things while it was happening. “Does it work? It tickles! This is hilarious! If it works would I or people get addicted to this process? Is this damaging my brain? I am being fracked! Would it cause long term damage, mentally and physically? Do I really want to concern myself with this? Am I insane?”
Drunk monkeys having a party up there!
After I stopped laughing, my lovely new friend said she could see a difference! I was still slightly drunk with giggles and a bit stupified and my face still felt the sensation and vibrational, fracking vibes. Quite an intense experience!? Would you get used to the sensation? (90s Epilady flashback “you get used to it!” Lies, all lies!).
Before exiting and needing to get back to my reality, I started asking about all the other companies in the store, just SO many.
It is impossible to keep up with it all. She also agreed. You cannot keep up.
I said my farewell to the store and sauntered out into the London air, face still fizzing. I was meeting people I knew that evening, so was looking forward to them seeing and to see if they could see a difference in my face. I asked them immediately,
Question: Can you see a difference…? and pointing a bit too enthusiastically.
Answer. ‘Oh yes, it looks thinner. Although a little bit red.’
Today in the office.
Question: Do you see a difference in my face?
Answer: Busy person. ‘Yes’ and carried on being busy.
I have seen and worked with actors, actresses, models, keen beauty enthusiasts over the years who all use ‘whatever’ it takes to maintain their looks in many different ways. Lotions, potions, tricks, tucks, needles, lifts, fillers, tech etc. As I said, I always try to steer away from the “vanity insanity” world but it IS important to know the industry and help navigate people through it safely and in an informed way. Knowledge as always is power.
It is a minefield out there and as we know such a pressure to look good and younger and better. All the time.
Keeping your wits and common sense with you at all times is essential and maintaing a keen sense of humour. Remember you can never ‘win’.
I think Benefit has it right. Laughter is what it’s all about. Do remember that when it all gets too much.