Makeup Academy Diary #3: My First Internship
I really don't want to start in the middle of this series but I lost my draft for post 1 (first week in school) and can't finish post 2 (portfolio take 1) but didn't want to let the energy for this post pass by so I'm just going to do it and nobody can stop me!
The past few days I've been busy with a 5-day internship. We were invited to work on a daily fashion show for an expo in Coex Mall - I don't know how much I'm allowed to say so I'm just staying on the safe side of vagueness. The assignment was to do this chocolatey, rosy eye gradation with a deep brown lip and harsh contouring. The team *must* sit in a demo and do a few practice rounds, while those who can't come are shown the looks and sent a video + look presentation. The look generally suits caucasian models, which most of them are, but we were told to prepare for one Korean model.
At this stage, it is still team leaders or teachers formulating the face charts and looks based on the information provided by the client, technical and styling teams. In the future though, I assume we'd need to take more and more initiative. I finished take 1 of my portfolio shoot just a day before the internship started, so I kind of have an idea what you need to consider in the creative process.
I didn't realize makeup teams came this prepared. It's not to insult makeup teams but backstages often look so frantic that I thought they just imagined a look and came there, or came with a face chart and just tried to copy it on different faces.
Overpreparing as much as we did is apparently the norm - and it definitely makes sense. The first time to do any look requires so much adjustment and "rebalancing" for your eyes that even one practice round allows you to work much quicker (crucial) and allows you to produce a more professional-looking face.
What do I mean by rebalancing? People have different-shaped features on different-sized canvases and the same makeup shapes does not look similar on different people. For fashion shows, they must all look the same. And when I saw the chocolatey-rosy eye gradation I thought: oh, I can do that easily.
On my first practice round with ZM, my eyeshadow looked like peeled grapes on her eyes. Why? Because I hadn't considered her small lid space when doing the 3-color gradation so everything unintentionally stopped abruptly close to her eyebrows. Also, her uplifted eyes meant I had to shade her undereye more than I normally would to keep the look consistent. So of course on fashion show day, I was careful to look at my models' eyes to confirm where I'd have to adjust and balance.
I can't imagine sending my model out like how I finished with ZM. Que horrore.
I've been generally happy with my work. The first day was the hardest as everybody was getting used to the setup and nobody knew what to do. The models didn't know who to coordinate with, the makeup team didn't have a smooth flow, the hair team kind of just came and went and the styling team had some trouble bringing the clothes in. All this makes everyone late and when you only have a few minutes to show, every second of delay counts.
Still, the experience has been really fun and has definitely made me rethink my career options. I didn't realize fashion shows would be such fun work. My first choice for a career path was weddings. I like the kind of work involved in weddings - the happy love stories, getting to know families, prettifying in a subdued rather than outlandish way. Enrolling in makeup school is definitely an asset as I'm exposed to all the fields and can make a more informed choice for my career path.
Fashion Show Pros and Cons:
- Good for team players - Makeup teams never work alone, we normally must collaborate with film/photo and styling crew but in a fashion show sense, I mean teamwork in a different way. You have to be ready to help any of your teammates with their difficulties, be it false lashes or lips. You must be ready to step in when some random dancer asks to have their makeup done, because they're not in the agreement but no sane makeup crew will let anyone go on stage looking like poop. When your team leader is repairing a lip and the model has one foot set on stage, you need to be alert enough to hand her everything she might need, from lipstick and lip brushes right down to remover and tissues. If one model is wonk, the whole team's reputation suffers. You can't let any one member do poorly so you need to help where you can.
- People who can prepare do well - We were given a list of things to prepare but I imagined myself in an actual fashion show so I brought more things. It definitely helps with the time pressure to not have to run around asking your friends for essential supplies.
- Event pass - It was a chocolate expo. CHOCOLATE EXPO <3 I imagine other shows are set in less exciting circumstances but it's not always just a fashion show. Sometimes it can be a promo, concert, or whatever. It's always worth your time to check out the full event once all the work is done.
- Time pressure - 30 minutes full makeup, with false eyelashes, HOW? I can't imagine, I laugh maniacally when I do, but I did it. In fashion shows, time is more important than detail. Knowing which sacrifices to make in terms of work quality is invaluable. Personally, I can handle time pressure better than the pressure to perfect details.
- Time frame - On the topic of time, backstage crews prepare so early. You wait for 2 hours to do 30-minute work. It's not as long a day as a photo shoot but you do compensate with circumstantial stress e.g. The venue repurposed my dressing room! The tech crew wants to take my tissues while I'm wiping a model down! My model came late but has to rehearse before sitting with me! AAAAARG
So far we've done 3 internships, I just consider this the first real experience. Technically I've done fashion shoot and body painting internships well. I really hope we get a chance for a TV internship, too!
Click through the photo below to go through a gallery of my experience.