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alks Spring TBeauty Adviser Confidential: A Makeup Artist Trends

Confesses to doing a little bit of everything—from minimal makeup to the full-face “Kim Kardashian” look (one of the most requested party faces).

Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 04/22/2011

Working as a makeup artist at a popular beauty counter in a large mall means I’m usually busy helping women find the right products and providing application tips and tutorials. I’ve been a makeup artist for almost three years and my clientele is largely in their 20s and early 30s, with the occasional older woman. To be successful, I have to specialize in a little bit of everything—from minimal makeup and glowing skin to the full-face “Kim Kardashian” look (one of the most requested party faces).

This story first appeared in the April 22, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Clients usually know what they want when they come to the counter. My job is to fulfill their vision, but make it work for their features. Recently, I’ve had a lot of requests for the perfect “winged eye” (my secret is a gel liner and angled brush) or a red, matte lip. Older clients typically want to “look like themselves but better.”

Those getting my 10-minute mini lesson usually buy an eyeliner or lipstick. A full makeover takes about 45 minutes. On weekends, clients must spend $50 to be eligible for it; during the week, there’s no minimum. Weekend makeovers are challenging, as the bulk of our traffic is on those days. If I’m with a client and notice another customer getting agitated because of a long wait, I’ll invite her to watch what I’m doing to keep her involved. This usually works.

Recently, many customers have been coming in for foundation. This can be difficult, as I’ve noticed that many women are drawn toward shades much darker than their skin tone, while Asian- Americans and Indian women tend to go too light. My mission is to get them to go home with the right shade for their complexions—or at least a happy medium.

[Editor’s note: This was written by a makeup artist for a top five brand at a department store chain in the Northeast.]