Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Campaign: OLAY Regenerist

In make up artist life, it is always super exciting to be a part of prestigious ad campaign that will end up on the pages of every magazine out there.

It is like badge of honor. 

It brings you sense of pride and accomplishment and justifies all of the crazy photo shoots you subjected yourself to as young make up artist "You want me to ad glitter, lace AND sequence too??? Daaarling??

Beauty shoots are so much more technical, don't be fooled by their simplicity.
Your job is to be as precise as humanly possible and make your photographer proud of you and their client super happy.

It all begins with casting the perfect model of course. That is where experienced eye of true beauty photographer comes to play.  They know what they are looking for, close up like that leaves nothing to imagination.
I won the lottery with lovely Kourtney here, that was step one. Her skin was flawless and it gave me so much inspiration and confidence.

 Step two is skin prep. In shoots like this, no matter how flawless skin is, you still have to do work to make it look...effortlessly,  glowingly beautiful.

So bring out  those face scrubs, de-puffing eye pads, lip exfoliators, tweezers and all of the sci-fi gadgets in your possession. As finale, yes, Regenerist was used, to beautifully prepare the skin for make up application.

Being mindful that skin, must look like skin is the key (that seems to be my favorite word according to my hubby, the KEY).

It is your mission to help the client represent their brand in the most beautiful way (and it all starts with exceptional talent of the photographer Ondrea Barbe).

On the job like this, there are about 4-5 creatives (art directors, creative directors, graphic designers etc) are sitting behind huge monitor seeing your work up close and personal as it is being shot.
This is the moment of truth, you can't think to yourself, oh they will fix that in post.
They need to love it right there and then, only then you can take a breath.

You better pay attention, every hair, every lash needs to be perfect. You can't have heavy foundation sitting on the model's skin, no distracting colors to take away from the glow you so lovingly worked on. 
Balance is the key (here it is, that word again!). I can paint the model rainbow colors with the best of them, but knowing when is appropriate is of most importance, and that comes with years of experience (and few of the "What the hell was I thinking" photo shoots).

These kind of shoots are my dream come trough. Anything that has to to with beauty and hair, my heart skips the beat. I adore amazing fashion shoots too, but it seems that destiny always steers me toward beauty project, like universe chose it for me.

As I watched those masterfully lit photos come up on the screen, my heart swelled with pride and sense of accomplishment. I did it! I am here! Part of this amazing energy.

Then as final chapter, seeing it come out in print, wanting to shout out to the world "I did this, I did this" makes all of those days of lugging that heavy make up suitcase up and down subway steps so totally worth it!!

Feeling grateful :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Behind the scenes: Keying the fashion shows

Fashion week is an organized chaos, where powder and tempers fly in equal measure and having a zen like ability to turn it to your advantage and use it as an energy source is a must.

This is why I love keying and being part of fashion shows, and why being surrounded by panicked designers, late models, fashion disasters and all other (to us) natural occurrences is something that becomes part of the rhythm of this awesome dance.

We, as the creative team, are there to offer the designer our support and that is not the time to fall apart. Fashion shows are not for weak of heart.
When I say make up "key", I often get a sideways "huh?" from non industry folk, so to clarify the term, "key" means the person in charge of the Makeup team, helping the designer create the make up look for the show.
A Makeup designer of sorts, followed with a team of make up artists who help re-create the already decided on look.

I still chuckle at my first assistants' declaration after our first make up test with a designer "Please promise me I never have to do this, I thought this is just showing up and doing make up".

You see, you have to know the art of compromise, be a great politician, and be able to absorb all of the information, opinions, worry and translate it all into a final look that is perfect for the collection, and keep your integrity intact at the same time.

Early in my career, out of a desire to please, I would sometimes do everything that was asked of me, and I did not follow my instinct, the results were disastrous.

I have learned my lesson and now and I'm confident that I was hired on a job for my skill and talent, and if I know, as a professional, that something will not work right that was asked of me, I will speak up.
Being the great Key Makeup Artist is knowing how to convey your message and not get flustered or be offensive in the process.
You will often be asked to change things, sometimes drastically away from your original ideas, at this point, understanding team dynamic and taking other people's creative ideas and incorporating them in the final look is big part of the process (unless you are working with your husband, then you just pout until you get your way :)).

You have to have ability to deal with that in professional and diplomatic manner. Just in everyday life, importance of communication is crucial.

After looks are decided, you have to take that communication further and be able to successfully lead team of makeup artists  that will support you in this great journey.
Your team is your heart.  Even one negative energy can throw the balance off.  Your make up crew/team is a reflection of you, it can ultimately make you look bad.
There is a saying,  "You only get invited once", so assembling a good team is a process that takes few turns, but once you get it right, it is golden. I am so grateful to them.

When I was on the makeup teams myself I never forgot I was there to support the Key, and I took pride in it. It is a great time to bond with your peers and great learning moment as well.

Doing your homework, organizing, making face charts and being prepared its crucial to smooth sailing.
When you know your stuff, and your base core is solid, there is nothing that can scare you.
Things happen and ability to think on ones feet is dependent of how well you know what you're doing.
You are not only representing the designer and yourself but also sometimes your makeup sponsor, so being knowledgeable about the product and who the company is - it's a must.

So next time you see all of those gorgeous models strolling down the runway in their sleek and peaceful manner, remember, behind the scenes it is a hive of people making it happen.
Sleek and peaceful it is not, but if you are confident in your ability and have love for it as much as I do, all that noise and all that chaos becomes the melody for a great dance. 

Here is little video behind the scenes of some of my shows

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

To New Fresh Beginings and Glamour Magazine

Happy New Year everyone!

2012 was filled with highs and lows for me, and I feel it was a turning point in my life.

I carry endless supply of gratitude for even most painful moments and cherish them as much as I do happy ones. Each one a feather in my new wings, dusting the ash away.  I am looking forward seeing what this year has to offer.
I wish you all, most beautiful, inspiring New Year, filled with love and creativity.

To start fresh and sparkly, I am sharing new editorial just published in Mexican edition of Glamour Magazine by photographer Michael David Adams.

We had pleasure working with delightful twins from Lithuania Aida & Ieva Aniulyte. They were such joy to have around, amazing models and great comedians as well. They had us in stitches most of the time and synergy they had with each other was inspiring and effortless.
Lets start with behind the scenes photo, from one of the looks.
I can't thank talented manicurist Eri Handa enough for her sweet energy and her talent, she so graciously lands us on our shoots. Linh Nguyen for beautiful hair and Don West for amazing styling.

 Shall we begin......

I have been on minimalist kick lately, so much more about the skin, freshness accompanied by accents of color.

I have bleached their brows in order to provide extra minimalistic palette, that will accent pops of color even further. I love bleaching brows, I think endless supply of Jolen cream bleach is in order!
This obsession probably stems from the fact that I am painter as well.
I love creating story, characters and symphony of colors....
I LOVE my job!!!

I wanted to touch on trends that are happening right now, like purple lips, or beetle colored eyes, but still keeping it simple and approachable.
Naturally I  know that everyday woman is not bleaching her brows any time soon (well, unless they are me, in my goth period) but certainly can take elements of these lush, rich colors in everyday life.
One product that I am loving right now for that wide eyed, rested look is Le Blanc lightening corrector by CHANEL
This magic wand, helped with dark spots, and dark under eye circles and gave me amazing prep to achieve that luminous skin I was going after. It has metal ball that is cooling, de-puffing, kind of like high tech ball of cucumbers. So yay for peeps at Chanel!!!
I loved how all came together, perfect blend of different minds, creating singular image. I could have not started my year any better...
Without further ado....here is the editorial with delicious twins!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Santigold, art and awesome music

I have meant to write about this forever, but being busy, traveling, working, painting my heart out,
I always forget, but TODAY I do it.
My beautiful talented Santi has come out with a new AMAZING album "Master of My Make-Believe" for which I had pleasure doing her make up for the painting that is behind her.
That was fun day, we played dress up, even I donned some costumes too :). We took series of portraits for the painter, so he has photo reference to work from. Result is stunning!! It was painted by super talented Kehinde Wiley.
Being painting enthusiast myself, this was my dream project. Here are some behind the scenes photos.
 This ended up being final outfit that was used in the painting, and it was my fave!

 As you can see we had true costume party and it was lots of fun. I kept Santi's make up pretty natural and simple, she has most beautiful skin, so no heavy coverage needed for this lady.
 And the final pose! Ready to be painted
Being the part of this project was truly exciting, and I am always excited and happy when I work with Santi. 
Few months ago, I did her make up for music video, which I will post as it comes out.
In the meanwhile check out her new album! She is truly fascinating, beautiful and inspiring artist to work with. I feel privileged. I LOVE my job!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman by Benefit Cosmetics

When I first saw the trailer for the movie "Snow White and the Huntsman" and Charlize just dissolved into the cluster of crows my heart skipped the beat.
Visuals of that movie make me little paranoid that someone is spying on me and knows what is in my head EXACTLY!!
Needless to say, I can't wait to feast my eyes on that visual buffet, but in the meanwhile, imagine my delight when my beloved Benefit came out with special edition make up bag to celebrate the film.
Take a look at this baby
 It was made for me! Its purple, it has silhouettes of tiny little fairies and I am not parting with it.

Inside it holds my fave matte cream POREfessional, Bad gal lash, Benefit classic BENEtint and illuminiting moon beam. All aready part of my kit but now with most gorge bag to hold them in!
This rare beauty can be found in Sephora!

Friday, May 11, 2012

My not so secret life

As some of you know, besides being in love with my job as a make up artist, I lead double life as a painter.
When I started I could only do paintings based on photographs, but my wish to create original art has come trough a while ago with "Alice in Wonderland" painting.
Recently I took my love for painting even further and discovered new medium (to me, I only worked in oils prior to this).
Enter Watercolor. I love it's flowing nature, it gives me ability to let go and allow paint to guide me.

I am so happy with final outcome, and feel as finally things that have been locked inside of me are coming to life.
Yesterday I had my first sale in Etay where I sell giclee prints of my artwork. Feeling of accomplishment and pride was incredible.
I love the feeling that someone liked my work so much to buy it and that fraction of my soul will be part of their story now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pretty Little Liars: Troian Bellisario for Good Morning America

This is my second time to have privilege to do makeup for beautiful young actress Troian Bellisario.
Yesterday we visited Good Morning America set, where Troian and her castmates discussed season finale of Pretty little liars.
It was fun seeing young fans adoration and grace in which Troian and the girls showed to them.
She is beauty inside out!

I have used mostly neutral palette of warm browns to give Troian soft smokey eyes and highlighted her skin with illuminizer to give her nice glow.
Afterwards, for ABC Upfront event Troian was attending, I have added little bit of loose gold/pink shimmer on the center of the eye, to warm up the make up, since she was wearing neutral assemble.
In both instances I kept her lips neutral color.
What a fun day!