Let’s Make-Up…


“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.” – Yves Saint Laurent

As I was considering what we should talk about this week, I really felt we needed to take a “style” break, so I thought maybe I’d give you a little insight into what I’ve been up to with my Make-up Artistry classes.

In one respect the Make-up course seems shorter than my Styling course – it has only 4 units, half as many as my Fashion styling course. However, each unit probably has at least twice the number of assignments.

I have to say that I really love the way this course is set up. Not only are our materials available on-line, as they were with the Fashion Styling course, but we were also sent hard copy books – very nice quality, lovely photography! As well, there are multiple on-line videos we’ll be watching, as well as DVDs we’ve been sent. Another fun tool is the virtual make-up model that we can access through our log in on the school’s website. We can pick our “model” of choice and practice making make-up color choices and combinations. Kind of cool. They’ve “gifted” us a very nice set of brushes and 4 make-up palettes: eye shadows, blush/highlighters, lip glosses and concealers/contours/correctors.

Our 4 make-up palettes

The Executive Make-Up Artist in charge of the department is Artist Nathan Johnson. He teaches all the videos. (I love him! He’s so personable and gifted!) He’s a NYC based celebrity artist who has been in the business for over 20 years. He’s worked on movies, TV, runways and magazines such as Elle, Glamour, Harper’s. He was the make-up artist on set for seasons 4 and 5 of Project Runway. Just some of the people he’s worked with – Kevin Bacon, Paul McCartney, Lea Michele, Kyra Sedgwick, Paula Abdul, and the list goes on. It’s encouraging to know you’re learning from someone with such impressive credentials!

As with the Styling courses, you are assigned a personal Instructor/Tutor who works with you one on one and grades all your work for the entire course. They, also, are professional Make-up Artists. I am working with a lovely woman named Corianne Cowan. She is an Atlanta-based artist who has worked in every conceivable part of the industry – including the circus! She presently specializes in Bridal/Wedding make-up and has been featured in just about every Bridal magazine you can imagine.

Our first unit covered A LOT of ground. Of course, we started with the basics of what a Make-up Artist does and all the different venues where a Make-Up Artist may be needed – down to and including burn victims after reconstruction surgery and postmortem work with morticians. (Yeah, pretty sure I won’t be going that direction!)

Next, we learned all the different brushes and their uses. Do you have any idea how many different kinds of make-up brushes there actually are?! A LOT! And you don’t just need to know the brushes and their shapes and why they’re shaped that way, you also need to know whether that particular brush is better made of natural bristles or synthetic bristles and why.

Which blush shall I use this morning?!

That naturally leads us into cleanliness. Nathan REALLY emphasizes the cleanliness of your workspace and equipment. It has already become second nature to me to clean my brushes EVERY DAY. Then once a week they get a deeper cleaning. Additionally, you have to clean your actual make-up. Did you know you could clean your make-up? This floored me! But, yes you can, and if you share your make-up and absolutely if you’re a make-up artist, you need to clean particular items, such as blush, eye shadow etc. Simply take a cotton ball or Q-tip swab dipped into a little alcohol and dab over the top of the item. This will lift the bacteria off the top of your item so it doesn’t grow and pass to the next person who uses it.

Just a few of my brushes drying after their weekly deep cleaning. Use baby shampoo for their weekly cleaning.

We went on to discuss what kind of environment you need to work in – what you need as the Make-up artist, as well, as the environment you need to provide for the client. This led into our supplies – what do you need to keep in your make-up supply kit. OH. MY. GOODNESS. This is one thing I really did not take into consideration when I decided to take this course – the amount of make-up I was going to need and what it was going to cost me. Thankfully, Nathan is great about not requiring high-end products. He has no issue if you’re using E.L.F. products or something from the Dollar Store. But, even if that be the case, you buy enough of even E.L.F., Milani or Cover Girl and it’s still going to add up! And I’m not even close to where I need to be yet! Criminy!

This is my new make-up holder that I JUST bought for this course. The pic doesn’t do it justice, but it’s huge! Twice the size of what I was using before and I’m already running out of space in it!

These basics pretty much ended Unit A. I’m about 1/4 into Unit B. We began with skin care. Which was really quite a coincidence because I have been right in the middle of re-vamping my skin care routine! There was great emphasis on the fact that our pre-application skin care routine is absolutely vital to how the make-up is going to look on our faces. I can testify to this being 100% true! The changes that I have been in the process of making have already made a huge difference in how my make-up is going on, as well as it’s longevity. And FYI, this doesn’t necessarily mean buying “better” products and spending more money. Several of my changes have been to DIY home products.

From skin care we moved on to skin tones, seasonal colors (mildly), skin types and having to work with people with skin conditions. Finally, now we’ve moved on to actual application steps. We’re moving into this slowly, as I believe you should if you really want to absorb the correct process. I’m presently working on blending – both blush and eye shadow. I have to admit that the blush is an issue for me. The issue being I have a moderate rosacea condition. I’ll think I have it well covered, but as soon as I apply blush, highlighter or heaven forbid, contour, the rosacea seems to pop back to the surface and the entire cheek looks red again. This makes it truly hard to see if you’ve really blended or if it’s just the rosacea. As well, now you’ve got to put on MORE concealer or foundation to try to cover the rosacea up once again! Hopefully, they’ll be able to help me find an answer for this! I know, I know, poor me! Definitely a first world problem!

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Weekend – filled with sunshine, picnics, family and a few moments of rest and relaxation!

Until We Meet Again!


“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”  Audrey Hepburn

9 Replies to “Let’s Make-Up…”

    1. Haha! I honestly feel like I eat, sleep and breathe make-up! Trying different brands and colors…trying to know what’s going to work for different skin colors and types. And it feels like I’m forever re-applying my make-up just to practice! 🙂 For the most part it is really fun. The only downside has been the cost. Make-up can really add up!


    1. It’s REALLY simple, Karen. First you need to purchase a daily cleaner. There are multiple ones you can buy. I buy E.L.F. daily brush cleaner. It’s only $3 at Wal-Mart and it works really well. First I brush any top coat of make-up off on a white paper towel. Then spray the top of the brush with the cleaner. Holding the brush by the bottom of the bristles (where they connect. You don’t want them to bend out of shape) wipe in the cleaner with a white paper towel or any white towel. Keep going until nothing is coming off your brush. You can re-spray them if necessary. Real simple.


      1. Thank you! I didn’t know if you used rubbing alcohol or peroxide. I’ve read different things about cleaning brushes.


      2. No problem. I definitely wouldn’t use either of those. Much too harsh for the bristles. One thing I should have mentioned in the post itself probably. When you do the weekly cleaning, be sure to keep your brushes facing downward. You don’t want water to get into the handle area where the bristles are connected. That can really ruin your brush.


  1. Wow Ronnie!! How fun is this. You can practice on me! I’m terrible at the make up thing. I didn’t think about how much make up you would have to buy either, or all the cleaning of the brushes, etc. I love that you are learning from an Atlanta based artist – very cool! Looking forward to gleaning more from you in the future. 🙂 Have a great weekend!


    1. I would love to practice on your beautiful face! Get it over here to PA, ASAP! I have a project coming up that I need to do a full-face make-up on.
      It is CRAZY how much make-up you need – matching all the different skin tones and types. Things you just never thought about. And my poor brushes are getting cleaned sometimes 3 or 4 times a day because of all the practicing I’m doing. But, it’s fun and I’m really learning a lot. I’ve never considered myself really good with make-up, either, so it’s really a challenge. But, it’s good to challenge ourselves sometimes. That’s how we grow! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s