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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Models: What to Bring to a Test/Portfolio Shoot?

There are a few things models should always have with them, even if there is a full crew expected at the shoot. Heaven forbid, but if your hairstylist doesn’t show & you showed up looking like you’ve got sex-hair, the shoot is about to be a disaster. So, if you pack the following things, you should be good in a pinch no matter what disasters strike!

Please bring:

 

1: a good attitude. No, not a hungover attitude. A good, wide awake, energetic, ready-to-pose positive type attitude 🙂

 

2: makeup. These items are your basics & should be in your bag incase the MUA is not there. Items with * beside them include both male & female models.

~foundation*

~concealor

~translucent/anti-shine setting powder*

~clear brow gel*

~mascara

~eyeliner (black, white & a colour to match your brows)

~eyeshadows (neutral brown, black, shimmery white or gold if you are an ebony toned model)

~blush (a peach tone & a pink tone that flatters you, no shimmer)

~bronzer* (no shimmer)

~lip balm*

~lipstick (one nude, one red, one soft pink, one deep brown/deep plum/deep burgundy)

 

3: directions and phone numbers. Don’t just store them in your iPhone, print them and pack them in your bag. If you get lost & have no reception or your phone dies, you can still go to a gas station or ask a transit personnel for directions. Or if you have the numbers of the crew written down, you can call from a payphone to let everyone know you’ll be arriving a bit late.

 

4: hair things.

~flatiron. Preferably a round barrel that can do both straightening and curls.

~hairspray

~texturizer/messy hold gel*

~a hair elastic & bobby pins

 

5: clothing. Always bring the basics, even if wardrobe is provided. I have seen it happen so many times where we have used a model’s white tank or leggings.

~leggings

~skinny jeans (slim jeans for the men)*

~white tank*

~white tee if you’re ivory-medium/black tee if you’re medium-ebony*

~g strings. black, white & nude. not thongs with those thick straps in the back. g strings.

~bras. strapless in nude/black/white. pushup in nude/black/white. at the very minimum you need these 2 types.

~white or denim button down shirt*

~nylons/pantyhose, 1 nude & 1 black

~a blazer/leather jacket*

~a pencil skirt

~ 3 pairs of shoes, minimum. 1 classic black/dressy. 1 bold & trendy. 1 casual (flats, boat shoe, etc. Runners don’t count)*

~accessories. a hat, a tie, suspenders, jewelry, etc. Whatever you have that you like & is vintage, classic, or ultra trendy. Leave stuff from 3 seasons ago at home.*

 

6: clean nails. Nails should be freshly manicured on hands & toes with a clear or neutral lacquer. No lacquer required for men.*

 

7: snacks. There may be no break or it may be a long time before dinner. Bring things like fruit or veggie sticks, protein drink, granola bar, cheese wedges, etc. Nothing greasy or carbonated (which could leave your waistline bloated in photos).

 

8: iPod. Bring music you love. Play it while you model. Put stuff on it that will get you in the right kind of mood for your shoot. Somber, upbeat, grunge… whatever does the trick. And even if you can’t play it in the studio (for whatever reason), you can pop on your headphones in between changes and get re-focused and re-charged.

 

9: safety pins. Always.

 

10: your business card/comp card. You just never know who you might meet 😉

Wedding Day Checklist! How to be Hair & Makeup Ready

These tips will help you prepare so that you’ll have an easy, smooth wedding makeup and hair experience on the day of your wedding. Follow my ten tips and you’ll be able to sit back comfortably and relax while you’re makeup and hair artist gets you gorgeous for your big day. There are also a few do’s & don’ts so make sure you know all the ins & outs!

1. Wash your face the night before and remove all traces of makeup. Cleanse and moisturize your face the day of the trial and do not apply any makeup. This give the makeup artist a clean canvas to work.

2. Do any colour touch ups to your hair about 1 week prior to the wedding day. Freshly cut hair may be harder to style in certain styles so be sure to make hair cuts very simple and not too drastic as this could affect your hairstylist’s ability to create your wedding style. Wash your hair and blow-dry it the day before the wedding. Make sure the hair is clean, product free and dry on the morning of the wedding.

3. Any facials/microdermabrasions should be done 2 weeks prior and waxing/threading should be done 2 days prior to the wedding day because makeup doesn’t adhere as well to freshly waxed or harshly exfoliated skin.

4. Set up an area for the makeup artist/hair stylist to work on, on the wedding day. You should set up a table across from a window with lots of natural light coming in and near to a power outlet to plug in curling irons/straightening irons, etc.

5. If you’re using a tiara/hair crystals/jewel combs/flowers, etc, be sure to lay them out for the hairstylist on that morning so that everything will be in arms reach and will go smoothly. Also if you’re using a veil, be sure that it is steamed and hung nearby to where the hairstylist is working.

6. If you have photos of the makeup or hairstyle, lay them out where the makeup artist/hair stylist will be working so them can have a visual of the look you decided on as they work (unless you had a trial, in which case the artist should know and have photos of, the look you chose at the trial).

7. If you are incorporating any wedding colours into your makeup, be sure to lay out your bouquet, or your cloth swatch so the makeup artist will be sure to get you a perfect colour match. (This is also essential for the bridesmaids/MOTB/MOTG, etc.)

8. If there are any specialty items you want the makeup artist to use, be sure to have them laid out that morning (such as bindis, specialty eyelashes, etc) that way you won’t need to hunt around for them in the middle of your hair or makeup being done.

9. If you’re using any special makeup products that you are supplying (such as a particular face cream or foundation that you really love or a product that is specific to your sensitive or allergy prone skin), be sure to lay those items out on the day of the wedding.

10. Pack a face-kit. If you haven’t hired your makeup artist to come back and touch you up for the reception or for the pictures after the ceremony, then be prepared to have one of your bridemaids or the MOTB stick a few items in their purse for you. You should pack: a lipstick in the same colour you’re wearing (lipstick will wear longer than lipgloss), a lipgloss for layering colour if you’re going for a glossy look, blotting papers (I love the ones from Clean & Clear or NYX because they absorb oil without adding powder to your face), a pressed powder (use sparingly on shiny areas only), some bobby pins (just in case you get a fly-away), and a waterproof dark eyeliner pencil if you’re going from a morning/afternoon ceremony to an evening reception and need to quickly amp up your look.

*This next one all depends on your artist. Many artists ask to be paid in full prior to the wedding date. Others ask for a retainer and that the balance be paid in cash on the site when services are being done for the bride/bridal party. If the latter is the case:

11. Be prepared to pay your artist! Ensure that you have collected all the cash from your bridesmaids or if you are gifting services, ensure that all the money is put together in one envelope with no change being required from the Artist. This is usually best handled by the MOTB or the Maid of Honour so that the Bride doesn’t need to be bothered with that and so that the Artist doesn’t need to go running around asking about being paid when the morning is already hectic enough.

12. Remember, it is customary to tip, although not mandatory. Think of it like a salon service that was mobile, you would tip your hair dresser or colourist or esthetician if you enjoyed their services, so if you love what they did, then remember that services well-done should receive a tip. And if you have paid the balance in full before the date, there is still no reason not to put an additional 10-25% into an envelope with which to tip your Makeup and/or Hair Artists.

13. Make sure you get a business card from your artist and mailing address so you can add them to your thank-you card list afterwards, to help them for making you gorgeous on your wedding day.

Bridal Trial Checklist!

The number one thing to remember during your bridal trial prep, is that you want to feel comfortable, prepared and have peace of mind so that on your wedding day, you’ll have no mishaps or surprises and you’ll know exactly what to expect from your hair and makeup artist. These ten tips will help you prepare for your bridal trial with your makeup artist and/or hair stylist.

1. Wash your face the night before and remove all traces of makeup. Cleanse and moisturize your face the day of the trial and do not apply any makeup. This give the makeup artist a clean canvas to work on during the trial.

2. Wash you hair and blow-dry it the day before the trial. Make sure the hair is clean and product free and dry when you arrive for your hair trial.

3. Any waxing/threading should be done 2 days prior to the makeup trial (facials/microdermabrasions may need 10-14 days depending on your skin sensitivity) because makeup doesn’t adhere as well to freshly waxed or harshly exfoliated skin.

4. If you have any ideas of the makeup or hair style you want to have on your wedding day, bring photos with you to your trial. That way the artist can get a clear idea of what you’re looking for and make sure that you’re getting the look you want on your special day.

5. Bring a photo of your wedding dress/outfit, bouquet and/or bridesmaid dresses (or a cloth swatch) with you to your trial so that if you want to incorporate any of the wedding colours into your makeup look, the makeup artist can be sure to colour match you for the perfect look.

6. If you’re planning on having a tiara/veil/hair combs/hair crystals/flowers in your hair on the day of the wedding, be sure to bring those items with you so the hair stylist can position your pieces into your hair to see what feels comfortable for you so on the day of the wedding, your hair pieces will be sure to stay comfortably in place.

7. If there are any specialty items you want the makeup artist to use, be sure to bring them with you. Things like bindis/gems or specialty false lashes are things you want to make sure to try out before the wedding day to make sure you get the look just right and you’re comfortable with the look and feel of everything.

8. If you plan to discuss the makeup and hair you want done for your bridesmaids/bridal party on your wedding, bring any additional photos with you to the trial so you can set a aside a few minutes to discuss those details with your makeup/hair artist that way there won’t be any surprises for you on the wedding day with regard to how any of your bridesmaids look. It’s also always a good idea to choose one look for makeup and hair for all the bridesmaids to give your party a more uniformed and classy look.

9. If there’s anything else that you want the makeup/hair artist to know, such as special makeup products that you need to be use or that you will bring for them to use, if you have any skin allergies or makeup sensitivity, etc. please use the opportunity to discuss all of those details with your artist during the trial so that you’ll have no surprises or mishaps on the day of the wedding.

10. Bring your camera! Capture a few shots of yourself so that you can go home and review your look and take a few days to decide which look you liked best. That way you won’t feel rushed on the day of the trial to make a decision plus you get to see how your makeup could photograph so you’ll know exactly what to expect on your wedding day.

This is an add-on depending on your makeup artist, but…

11. Be prepared to sign a contract and leave a retainer for services (typically 25-50%) in order to secure your date. Most artists give you a 24-48 hour grace period to email the contract and wire your retainer after the trial, but if you liked the service and skills, be prepared to book on the spot in cash (many do not accept cheques).