Makeup Art is all around you and part of many industries. Without the valuable work of Make-up Artists a lot of industries could not really exist.
You look at the work of Make-up Artists many times a day: passing bill boards, wandering through department stores and watching make-up demonstrations, seeing a fashion parade, being a guest at a wedding and admiring the beautyful bridal make-up, visiting the Beauty Expo and observing make-up competitions, looking at the latest CD cover, watching MTV or the Logies, enjoying going to the movies, watching your favourite television program.
You may also have experienced being done up by a professional make-up artist at a Glamour Photography Studio.
And those special treats like visiting high class life performances; the opera, the theatre, the ballet or simply looking at make-up and beauty books or relaxing with a magazine.
So how does make up for photography differ from normal make up you’d wear out?
The main difference is the thickness and intensity of colour and coverage. What looks fabulous on print would look over done in real life. Best rule to think of is enhance what you’ve got and hide what you don’t like.
If you have a largish nose, by adding contouring it will look smaller, straighter and less noticeable, however if you add contouring to your day make up you’ll just look like you’ve got dark smudges on your face. A great photographer will be able to light you in a way that flatters your features and if need be retouching can be done post shoot. If you are applying your own makeup for a photography session have a look at your foundation and powder. If it contains large amounts of Titanium Dioxide then the flash will reflect and you’ll end up with a white face. Try to use products created for photography.
Learning how to apply makeup for photos, especially black and white, and how to work with lighting.
When you are doing makeup for black and white photography, think in terms of shades of white, grey and black – it takes a little time to get used to working in a medium that doesn’t require “color co-ordination”! I find that if I squint my eyes almost shut, that it allows you to perceive tonal values better and colours are not as distracting, so you will get a better idea of the intensity of your “ colours” (rather than their specific hue) and see if your contouring is appropriate for the look you are going for.
Use your darker colours for contouring – shadowing effects are created by strategic placement of lights, so your shading and highlighting will be applied accordingly.
B + W photography does not tolerate obvious effects, so blending is your best asset here
* You will still have to do your usual corrective work (under eye bags, blemishes, etc) – corrective work is about creating a harmonious balance between the models skin (or your own if you are modelling and doing makeup on yourself) and subtle contouring – so blend, blend, blend!!!
* If stronger effects are required for a more dramatic look, then it is really important that no hard lines or harsh edges are visible. Your aim is to alter or improve the appearance of you / your model.
* You may have to add intensity to eye makeup to balance the contouring and highlighting.
* Remember, that reds will photograph as dark, so works effectively as a contour, but if you / your model is used to wearing red lippie, you may have to lighten the shade for a softer lip color.
* Try to keep in mind that streaky or blotchy patches in foundation application will be very noticeable, so make sure you apply foundation smoothly and evenly. Unless you / your model are blessed with perfect skin, then a heavier base (more like a two-way cake or pancake) is suitable.
As with all makeup, it is about creating illusions, working with each face as a new canvas and utilising the medium of black and white to its fullest by making the most of its variety of values!
I always like to see a polaroid once the shot is set up, that way you can gauge how the lighting is working with your makeup, and see if you need to make any alterations to get the best shot. Lighting varies so much, depending on the photographers vision of the end result, and black and white is a great way to experiment with lighting and makeup techniques – just remember that the harsher the lighting, the less forgiving the medium is on any flaws / mistakes – uneven lines, streaky foundation, careless blending, and inappropriate product selection.
It takes a bit of practice to perfect the black and white makeup, but it is such a beautiful medium to work in because it really emphasises the subtleties of light and shade!!