Module 6: The differences in Bridal, Photography, T.V, Fashion & Airbrushing
What you will learn:
- Television – HD Makeup
- Fashion & Creative
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”
― Coco Chanel
There are many Artists, Teachers, Schools, Bloggers and Social Media Influencers who complicate the differences between bridal, photography, T.V and fashion styles of makeup, suggesting that we require separate education or class to tackle each of these styles of makeup or makeup jobs. This is only partly true. In this module we are going to cover the key differences with these types of makeup. As we go through these differences, it is important to note that makeup is makeup, when you apply bridal, photography, television or fashion makeup, you will essentially use the same basic principles and techniques that we have covered till today, only we are applying a few additional tips and techniques to make it more industry specific.
2.1 Bridal Makeup
It is all about the finer details. Artists will usually charge brides a little more for a professional makeup application, and with good reason. Bridal makeup not only has to last all day, but it also requires a lot of intricate detail so that the makeup is exceptional in close up photography. There is a common misconception that bridal makeup always means effortlessly “natural”, soft”, or “simple” but not everyone is after this style of bridal makeup.
The style of bridal makeup chosen usually comes down to the bride’s personal preference, but occasionally they may be influenced by tradition, current trends or more commonly family and friends, who are there to help but often times make it more difficult. A bride should always feel beautiful and like themselves on their wedding day. The last thing you want is a bride that feels self conscious about their makeup.
During a trial, one of the most common requests brides ask for is that they want to completely change themselves for their wedding day, from a person who usually doesn’t wear much makeup to a highlighted and contoured, smokey eye’d Instagram bride! As a professional Makeup Artist you must do your best to steer them away from that idea, as 9 time out of 10 they will not be happy with the end result and not book you for their wedding day, not because of the quality of your work, but because they weren’t comfortable with that particular look, even though it was their idea. It was only a good idea in theory and you must help your client realise just that. Many times an experienced Makeup Artist will know what a client wants more than the client does.
The other thing you should know is that some clients will come to you thinking that all brides should look a certain way, i.e. natural, soft and dewy. There are so many different bridal looks, in fact a bridal look is what you want it to be, as long as the detail is there and lasts the distances. There are many bridal looks chosen based on different cultures and traditions.
Bridal trials are absolutely a must for both you as an Artist and the bride. There will be a small number of brides who may want to book you in for their wedding day without booking you in for a trial, possibly to save time or because they are keeping to a budget. Unless the wedding is last minute, (Yes, you may be booked for a wedding that is tomorrow, or within a few hours), then trials should always be booked. Sometimes a client will have more than 1 trial.
Some clients may wish to book you in for a trial first as their way of seeing how good your work is in real life, don’t let that intimidate you. The client has come to you because they have seen something in your work that they love and so you are already at an advantage. If you “pass” the trial then they may go on to book you in for their wedding day. Some clients like to “shop around” and do many trials with many Artists, these clients are usually the hardest to please. They may be very particular about their makeup, and like anything else, the more they “shop” and try other options, the more confused they may become. On the other hand, some clients may lock you in for their wedding day first, before booking a trial with you, simply because they’ve seen your work and don’t want to miss out on you. If this is the case, ensure that their trial is booked in no more then 6 months out of their wedding day, ideally 1-3 months out.
A trial should be at least 1.5 hours long, but ideally not exceeding more than 2 hours.
If you don’t wish to base your trial around the duration of time spent, then you may wish to offer a number of looks for your trial. i.e. 1-2 looks max per trial.
Your trial is an opportunity not only to discover what makeup you will be applying on their wedding day, but it is also a time to build up a rapport with your client and let them know that now is the time to make any changes or ask as many questions about the makeup as possible. Speak up now or forever hold your peace, wedding days can be very hectic, and there is usually no time for changing makeup or trying new ideas, this is what a trial is for.
Once the trial is over, ask your client to keep the makeup on for as long as possible, to look in different lighting and mirrors, to take many selfies. Ask them to make a note of anything they would like to change, lip colour, intensity, foundation coverage, etc. Finally, call them 1 or 2 days after the trial to get some feedback about the makeup, this step will make the difference between you and many other Artists out there, this final step may even win you the job or be the reason why this client leaves you a 5-star review.
You should always take photos of the makeup trial for your own reference. Take close up photos so that you can see all the makeup detail, they may not be flattering angles but it’s for your reference only and it will ensure you remember what you have done during the trial. It is also a good idea to write down all the products you used, any feedback, comments, and requests. You can use a Face Chart and write feedback like; “Brows to be slightly thicker” or “Use less concealer under the eye area to avoid creasing as much as possible”, “Lipstick colour may change to a plum”, “Some of the foundation came off around her nose- apply more”. As a professional it is important that you are always up for changes and welcome their feedback, and not see it as a negative comment towards your work. Makeup will always sit differently on different skin types, so this feedback is essential to tailor the wedding day makeup to your client. Ensure you bring the notes and photos you need on the wedding day, don’t rely on the bride to bring the photos and notes you need.
INDUSTRY TIP: As mentioned before, if a client decides on a makeup that is totally different for them, then it is almost guaranteed that they won’t like it and could even blame your Artistry skills for disliking the makeup. One way to phrase it in hopes of influencing their choice of makeup is by saying something like;
“Your makeup should be a more glamorous representation of you, you still want your future husband/wife to recognize you down the aisle”
BONUS INDUSTRY TIP: Always take a photo of your client’s makeup at the end of the trial to show her how it appears in photography, especially if they are a little unsure of the makeup. This is really important if the client wants less makeup on but still wants it visible in photos. You should educate your clients that makeup will always appear washed out in photos compared to real life, so they may need to compromise to achieve what they want.
2.3 Bridal application differences
As we have emphasized, bridal makeup is all about the details. Everything from the forehead down to the décolletage, shoulders and occasionally upper arms. Bridal makeup is very similar to television HD makeup, as there will be plenty of close up photos, videos and you don’t want them to look perspire through it.
Bridal makeup should
✔ Last at least 8 hours.
✔ Reflect a more glamorous version of the client, do not create something they are not.
✔ Should not stop at the jawline.
✔ Traditionally it should glow, however, many prefer a matt option. ✔ Visible in photos, especially for close up photography.
✔ Be waterproof.
✔ Easy to retouch.
✔ Comfortable to wear.
INDUSTRY TIP: A client may need to touch up with powder throughout the day, as their natural oils and sweat may start to breakup the makeup. The best way to do this is with a compact powder, but before they apply powder on these areas, they should always blot of the excess oil first. This should ideally be done with blotting paper, but if they don’t have blotting paper they can use a tissue (or even toilet paper as a very last resort!). Otherwise they will just be layering powder over oil, not a good look!
Usually when you are booked to do a bridal makeup you are usually requested to do makeup for the bridesmaids too. It is not common for bridesmaids to have a trial, but it does happen. Usually the bride will decide on one look for all her bridesmaids, or may leave it up to the bridesmaids to decide on their own individual makeup looks. If there is only 1 makeup look selected for all bridesmaids then you must replicate the makeup on all the maids, ensuring that you adapt the style to suit everyones individual features. In large bridal groups it almost becomes a production line, as an Artist it is the quickest and most convenient way to take on a large group of bridesmaids.
Bridesmaids makeup should be treated like any other Special Event Makeup, ensuring it is a quality makeup, but not spending so much time on the finer details as you would a bride. It should take between 45 mins – 1hr per person to complete.
In order to build up your portfolio and attract future clients, you must have a good understanding of how makeup is expressed in photos, especially with all the HD technology around. For bridal and special event clients, it may not be necessary to have a printed portfolio of your work to recruit business, as most Artists now have “online galleries” on their social media or website, which tend to be enough for your client to choose you as their Artist. But if you decide that you want to dabble in other areas of the makeup industry like, editorials, fashion or television, then a professionally printed portfolio is a great tool to have. In this topic we will briefly discuss what to consider when working with makeup specifically for photography and how to take amazing photos to add to your portfolio, both online and offline. In the coming modules we will delve into these topics in greater detail.
3.2 The differences in makeup for photography
Makeup that is created for a bride and makeup that is specifically created for photography like editorials, catalogues or printed portfolios are very similar, in that all the basic elements are the same but there are a few additional essentials to remember.
As previously mentioned, makeup in photos will always look washed out compared to what it looks like in real life. There is an art to balancing makeup in real life and what appears in the photo, and if a client has hired you because they are planning on taking professional photos then you should reassure them that the makeup will look less obvious in the photos.
Use High Definition Makeup, without SPF in order to avoid flash back. We will get more into HD Makeup later.
Unless requested by the client, the agency or unless it is the look you are going for, try to avoid shimmer and highlighter. In photographs, shimmers and highlighters can make the person look sweaty and greasy. A light highlighter shade rather than a shimmer highlighter is a better choice to add depth and dimension to the face.
Try to avoid frosted lipstick in photography. It creates a shimmery highlight on the lips and can accentuate the lip lines.
Use matte eye shadow to define the eyes, especially the crease. Use a matt face powder to define the face. Photos are flat, they are 2D, and so you must create dimension on the face and eyes in order to make the photo come to life.
Use lashes! Lashes are like the rest of the makeup, they look more dramatic in real life compared to what they look like in photos, but they make a world of difference to the overall image. If you have fall out from the eye shadow on top the lashes, ensure that you dust off the fall out before you take a photo. Remember its all in the details.
You can use your photo to identify areas that may need correcting, sometimes you can see things in the camera that you can’t see in real life, so don’t be afraid to take photos using your own camera phone to ensure the makeup is on point.
3.3 How to take quality makeup photos
We will go into this topic in much more detail later on in the course, but it is important that you familiarise yourself with the basic differences first.
Taking good quality photos is just as important as producing good quality makeup. Your makeup will always look different behind the lens, but applying some of the principles that we mention in this module will ensure that the picture is as true to reality as possible.
A good camera is a must, if you are working from a studio or from home, and you can afford it, try to purchase a DSLR. Most brands will do a good enough job for what you need, but if you want extraordinary makeup pictures then the difference in picture quality will mainly depend on the lens you use. There is so much variety and price points with lenses, it really depends what you can afford. If you can not purchase a DSLR or if you constantly work on location then a good camera phone will do wonders. Try not to use the selfie side of the camera, as the lens is usually significantly lower quality. In general you usually cant go wrong with most modern camera phones.
INDUSTRY TIP: Take plenty of action shots, these are great for adding to your website or social media. If another Artist or Stylist is also working on the job, you can always ask them to take an action photo of you and offer to do one in return.
In this section we are going to talk about taking photos at a flattering angle of your client to showcase your work. It is important you take photos with angles that compliment the client, not just the makeup. Position your client so that you can focus on the features you want to accentuate only. For example if your client has a large forehead and a small chin (heart shape face), then taking a photo of them that is too high up will accentuate their large forehead and small chin even more. Instead take a slightly lower angle. If your client’s face is fairly wide and round, you don’t want to take a photo of them facing front on, a ¾ profile photo works better. Most of the time, taking a photo from a lower angle is not flattering to anyone, as it may accentuate a double chin or widen the face.
Keep in mind that most clients are shy, and may not feel comfortable with having their picture taken, especially if you want to post it online, so it is up to you to make them feel comfortable. This may mean that you give them a few moments to fix their hair, their outfit and allow them to get into a better position on their own. When they do this it is a good idea not to stand there looking at them preparing themselves, as this will make them even more uncomfortable, instead pretend to do something else during that moment. When taking the photo some clients don’t know how to pose, so instruct them. If you want them to smile then ask them to, tell them a joke so that they have a giggle, anything to loosen them up.
Once you have taken the photos, always show the client to get their approval, especially if you are posting it online.
3.5 Lighting and background
Lighting is key to a great photo. White lighting is best as it will help to expose all the makeup colours, if you use yellow mood lighting then it will make all your hard work disappear. The ideal situation is to have a set up of soft boxes and perhaps a ring light or another form of LED lighting if you are working from a studio. If you are working on location then you should always try to seat the client in front of a window, but out of direct sunlight. Lighting should always be directly in front of your client. Lighting should never be behind your client or on to one side of your client’s face, as it won’t give you a true representation of your work. The only time you should experiment with lighting on other sides of the face is when you are doing a creative makeup and want to create a particular mood for that picture. Natural lighting is your best friend, but if there is none then use your portable white light.
When taking a photo of your client make sure that you double check the background. The last thing you want is a messy background of tools, people or chaos. Ideally you want a crisp and clean background. A white or black wall being the optimum choices, otherwise try to blur out the background activity by adjusting your camera focus or during the editing process.
3.6 Editing your photos
This is a controversial subject but in order to stay relevant and competitive in the industry today, your photos must have an element of editing, but that’s not to say that you should over do it! When you edit your photos, it is important that you only edit what wasn’t captured by the camera, and what was actually present in real life.
Sometimes colours can fade away, so it is ok to go over them with a little more contrast or saturation to make them pop again. Many Artists over edit their photos, blurring out everything and creating detail that never existed. This may look pretty for social media, but is bad for business. The client will book you in according to the quality of makeup you are displaying in your gallery or social media, if you are over editing to the point that the makeup looks totally different and almost fake then you are doing yourself more harm then good. The last thing you want is to set your client up for disappointment, they will see that your makeup is not so picture perfect as displayed online and will not be happy. Edit your photos to add the colour back into your photos if its been washed away, don’t edit your photos to create effects that never existed. Some of the better apps to use as of 2020 are Face Tune, Adobe Light Room, Snap Seed, and Colour Story. Lastly, try not to place beauty filters on your photo, these will filter away all the detail you have done, not to mention it also makes it look really fake.
4.1 Television – HD Makeup
High Definition (HD), Camera Ready, Photo Finish, these are some of the makeup claims brought about by High Definition (HD) television and digital photography. The resolution of HD images and videos allows for high detail, better picture colour, and clarity. HD makeup can appear to mask fine lines and other imperfections when displayed in HD technology.
HD Makeup products are highly micronized, at least 7-10 times more than regular makeup, meaning they are milled and refined a lot more. Refining a makeup product means that the particles are so miniscule that it applies onto the skin a lot more efficiently and will not allow imperfections to be picked up by the camera so easily.
HD makeup also reflects differently from regular makeup. In the case of foundation the lustre that you see in HD foundations allows the makeup to appear more skin like, the makeup appears sheer, but actually isn’t, giving life like radiance to the entire skin.
Most HD foundations contain silicon, as previously discussed, silicone makes makeup sweat proof and water resistant which is essential when working under hot lighting. But applying too much HD makeup (especially powder) can create flash back, making the clients face appear very white and ghostly.
Makeup for television is all about limiting the shine, increasing longevity and ensure the person still looks like themselves. It is essentially glamorous day makeup with minimal shine and shimmer. You shouldn’t highlight with a shimmer for Television, as the lights will reflect off the shine and the person will appear sweaty. You really want to focus on emphasising particular features, making certain features pop without going over board for example lips, eyeliner or lashes.
If you are seriously considering working in Television or any other form of media, then 2 things are absolutely essentials you must know.
- You MUST be able to style hair. Almost every network, magazine or brand will require hair styling. You will need to know basics at the very least like blow drying, curling, creating texture, volume and simple updos.
- You MUST network, to get into television or other forms of media, networking is non negotiable, it’s usually the only way in. Thank goodness we now have social media, so finding out who is working in media makeup and getting in touch with them is so much easier then what it used to be.
General Rules For Television Makeup
- No shimmery highlight on the skin.
- Think of it as a glamorous day look.
- Use HD makeup sparingly, use makeup that is SPF free. • Accentuate features like eyes, lips or lashes to add contrast to the makeup. • Ensure the person still looks like themselves.
- You must be skilled at both hair and makeup.
- Networking is a must.
5.1 Fashion and Creative
Working as a Fashion Makeup Artist can be one of the most creative types of work you do. However many times the direction of what type of makeup is required will be dictated by the Key Artist, who is the lead Artist for the show.
The Key Artist will usually give you and all other Artists involved a demonstration of the look. As a professional it is important that you observe and take notes of how the Key Artist applies every detail, adopting their techniques in order to replicate it exactly. Remember, you are not there to showcase your own style, you are there to replicate a look on various different models, which may require you to adopt new techniques and take critique from the Key Artist if your work does not meet the brief. As a professional it is imperative that you not only work quickly, adhering to the time that has been given to you, but to also be as helpful as possible to others in order to get the job done as a team. If you finish earlier than other Artists or other Artists ask for your assistance or request to borrow an item, then be as helpful as possible as this could the difference between designers hiring you for future jobs or not. Another important element to ensure your day runs smoothly is that you are flexible, working around others, around hair stylists, around wardrobe, around the models and around other Makeup Artists. Don’t expect your model to always sit in your chair for the duration of your makeup application, they may be pulled to other areas and come back to you to finish their look. It can be a little stressful but you must learn to adapt.
The makeup style done at such events can be almost anything, from bold eyes, sheer skin, to a soft glow, so make sure you are always prepared.
Airbrushing is another technique of applying foundation, which is great to know and to add to your repertoire of skills. Learning to airbrush is not essential in todays industry however it definitely puts you at an advantage.
Prospective clients will usually request airbrushing because they know a family member or friend who had a great experience with airbrushing, usually claiming that their makeup looked flawless and perfectly airbrushed, which is usually enough to convince your client that only airbrushing will give them that result. As a professional Makeup Artist you know this isn’t true, you can achieve a flawless finish with any foundation medium. However if you don’t offer airbrushing from the start then you may lose that particular client, no matter how much you try to convince them that traditional foundation is just as good if not better than airbrushing.
It is true that airbrushing can give you a filtered look, in fact any makeup can, traditional or airbrush foundation. Just like traditional foundation, what determines the final result is the formulation of the product and the application. Just because it is airbrush makeup doesn’t mean it will give you that airbrushed, picture perfect look, as not airbrush foundations are the same.
6.2 The mechanics of Airbrushing
When you look at airbrush lingo, there’s a lot to take in, we could fill up pages and pages with technical information alone. Here is a summary of what you should know about the basic mechanics of Airbrush machines.
Piston, oil-less, and CO2 tanks are examples of industrial-grade compressor types, not ideal for makeup application. Most airbrush systems designed for makeup are diaphragm compressors, which are smaller, less powerful, and more affordable.
The airbrush effect is created when air and pigment meet. Every gun houses a tapered needle which thrusts the air and pigment forward, and the needle rests on a nozzle that the user manoeuvres. Some nozzles are “single-action,” meaning the gun sprays like an aerosol can—just push down to spray. Conversely, a “double-action” mechanism enables you to control the intensity and flow of pigment by moving the trigger back and forth. The double-action gun is more commonly used in makeup, and offers greater control in drawing both fine lines and wider strokes
6.3 Airbrush Formulations
Just like in traditional foundation, airbrush foundation come in different forms. They can be water based, silicon based and even alcohol based.
Water Base – The makeup appears matt on the skin, and it’s easy to build full coverage. Water base formulations are also easier to clean from your gun, as it doesn’t require a special cleaner like silicone formulations do. They work at a lower pressure of 2 –PSI. They are not water resistant and can streak with large amounts of water. Some water based products are not so moveable and tend to dry almost immediately on the skin
Brands include; Luminess, Dinair, Kett Cosmetics Hydro Foundation
Silicone Base – They are a lot thicker in texture than water based. They require a higher pressure of at least 15 PSI. In order to produce a fine mist that doesn’t look cakey, the airbrush machine must be able to cope with the viscosity of the product, so not all airbrush machines suit this formulation. They are highly water resistant, even by a large quantity of water. Silicone formulations tend to be more “moveable” meaning you can still re-blend them after a few minutes of application, they don’t just set straight away.
Brands include; Temptu Silicone, Kett Cosmetics Hydro Proof
Alcohol Base – Also called “temporary airbrush inks”, they are formulas used when creating fake tattoos and prosthetics. They are usually really drying and matt on the skin. They are quite thick and the machine requires 25-35 PSI. Although not really recommended for general makeup, it does have amazing staying power of up to 5 days!
At the Academy we teach our students using Kett Cosmetics Airbrush foundation, as this foundation is easy to use and best for application for bridal and special event clients. The formulation of Kett Cosmetics Airbrush foundation is very similar to that of MAC Cosmetics, as the co-creator of MAC Cosmetics foundations is the founder of Kett Cosmetics.
INDUSTRY NOTE: PSI means Pressure Per Inch. It is a measurement of the level of air pressure the compressor can produce. Not all machines can reach higher PSI levels as some are not as powerful. If you decide to purchase a particular airbrush foundation medium, then ensure that the machine you select is compatible with the foundation you have chosen.
- What makes Bridal makeup different to special event makeup?
A: Bridal makeup is always soft and dewy. Unlike special event makeup, it should never be matt as this is not bridal makeup.
B: A bridal makeup is always natural and barely there, whilst special event clients can request any makeup look.
C: A bridal makeup is all about the detail, it should be perfect for up-close photos and should last at least 8 hours. The style of makeup can be anything.
D: All of the above
- True or False
A bridal makeup is defined by the clients personal choice, not by a particular standard. The style of bridal makeup can be influenced by social media, cultural traditions, family or friends.
- A bride should never book in for more than 1 trial, as 1 trial should always be sufficient time to decide on a look
- How long should a trial take?
A: 1-2 hours
B: 1.5-2 hours
C: 2-2.5 hours
D: Until the bride is happy, so as long as it takes.
(Answer is B)
- Bridesmaids or family friends should never have makeup trials
(Answer is False)
- What is the main difference between makeup done for photography and makeup done for a special event.
A: Makeup will always appear washed out in photos, so you may have to apply a little more.
B: Under no circumstances should you ever use shimmer, highlight or frosted lipstick in photography makeup.
C: In photography, you should always use HD makeup, no other makeup will photograph well.
D: There is no difference, makeup is makeup.
(Answer is A)
- The most flattering photo angle for a client with a wider face is
A: Front on
B: ¾ profile
C: ¼ profile
D: Side profile
(Answer is B)
- True or False
To have a successful career in television as a professional Makeup Artist you must be able to style hair and network.
(Answer is True)
- True or False
You can expect to do a lot of creative work when you are a Makeup Artist working in the fashion industry. The Makeup Artists hired for this type of work are selected based on how creative they are, the more creative and individual your style is the better.
(Answer is False)
- True or False
You can only achieve an airbrush look with an airbrush foundation.
(Answer is False)
- True or False
You should select an airbrush foundation based on what your airbrush machine can handle, as not all airbrush foundations are the same, some are thicker than others.
(Answer is True)
(Insert Airbrush video 10 here)
7.1 Practical Activity
Now its your turn to practice on a family member or friend.
If you have an airbrush machine then please use it, otherwise you can use traditional foundation to create a detailed bridal makeup with traditional foundation. Remember to apply makeup all the way down to the neck and chest area. Detail is key. Upload your photo
(Bridal Makeup with Optional Airbrushing – Upload photo)
Asking 3 family members or friends to be your bridesmaid models, apply the same makeup look on all of them. Apply makeup on all 3 bridesmaids within 3 hours.
Aim for 45mins-1 hr per person
Be honest with your timing as it is your benchmark for improvement.
Take portrait photo of each separately. Remember to use lighting, angles and background to compliment your work.
(Bridesmaid 1 – Upload Photo)
(Bridesmaid 2 – Upload Photo)
(Bridesmaid 3 – Upload Photo)
CHECK LIST TO COMPLETE BEFORE MOVING ON TO MODULE 7:
√ Submit Module 6 Quiz
√ Upload photo for Practical 7.1
√ Upload Homework photos (3 photos total)