Models: How to Arrive Hair & Makeup Ready!

As a makeup artist, hairstylist & often times stand-in wardrobe personnel, there are some things I sometimes wish a model would have done to properly prepare herself, her skin & her hair for a shoot. This is a quick checklist to make sure you’re bringing everything you need and doing everything possible to ensure your shoot goes smoothly, your pictures look fab & your hair and makeup are perfection.

Please arrive:

1: on time. Do not flake. You may be blacklisted & that team/photographer/MUAH may choose to never work with you again. Especially if it’s a TF shoot. If you’re going to be late, call. And text. Don’t send an email or MM message. Call or text directly. Communicating with your crew is vital, even if it’s just to say that your subway train is delayed 10 minutes.

2: braless or with a strapless bra or tube top on. If you are wearing a bra with straps, the straps will leave marks on your skin and may take a while to disappear after you arrive. If you’re shooting fashion or topless beauty shots, it may be best to arrive braless to avoid all skin markings. Please bring & wear a nude gstring and a black gstring. For more tips on what to pack in your bag for both male & female models, please read this.

3: with no makeup on. None. Just a clean & lightly moisturized face please.

4: hair-free. Take care of any unwanted facial hair 2 days before… freshly waxed skin doesn’t allow makeup to stick to it the same as unwaxed skin, so the face may look uneven. This includes tidying eyebrows & removing upper lip hair, excessive sideburns or chin hairs as needed. Remove all under arm hair & have freshly shaved legs up to the bikini line 1 day prior (incase there are any nicks or irritation bumps or redness that need 24 hours to vanish). This also applies to men: make sure you’ve had a proper haircut (if required to look well-manicured) within 3 days prior to your shoot. Shave and shape your facial hair accordingly. Don’t forget! Trim that back of neck hair, armpit hair, groin hair, and any other long and lengthy hairs we do not want to see. Men being hairy is cool, but men looking like a Sasquatch is not.

5: like you’ve got 20/20 vision. If you wear glasses, please take them off at least 1 hour before the shoot to get rid of the nose pad marks or just wear your contacts. But always bring an extra contact case & solution in case you need to pop them out.

6: with clean, dry hair. Preferably washed the night before, no product in it and no flat ironing please, unless you have kinky/highly textured or relaxed hair then please care for it as discussed prior to the shoot. If you have a wig or weave or clip in hair extensions, make sure it has been washed & styled properly. Do not show up with a ratty looking wig or extensions and expect miracles! Also, styling extensions can be like styling 2 heads of hair on a model, so coming with them properly treated can save a lot of prep time, meaning more time for you in front of the camera!

7: smooth as a baby’s bum.  Please ensure your skin has been exfoliated & black heads/white heads removed the night or 2 before. Smooth skin is key for a beauty shoot.

8: no-ash. All body skin should be well moisturized with lotion, no oil as it leaves residue on clothing garments.

9: not in your Sunday’s Best.  Please wear a button or zip down shirt to the shoot in a dark colour to wear while you have your hair & makeup done, or bring a robe. Something you don’t mind getting makeup or powder on.

10: the same. Do not make any crazy changes to yourself after you have been cast for the shoot! This means, don’t go tanning, don’t get 5 inch acrylic nails, don’t change your hair colour, don’t get a drastic haircut, don’t get more tattoos or piercings, and don’t gain or lose any weight. Unless you’ve discussed any of these changes with the shoot organizer/photographer, do not make any changes to yourself once you have been cast. The shoot depends on you showing up looking like you looked when you were given the job, so no changes please.

Coming prepped saves time, money and mostly… it makes you look more professional and desirable to work with again. With this list, you are now ready!

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