What’s in the Pro Makeup Kit?

20140421-132651.jpgWritten by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

Okay, so Ive been asked this question over and over again by Pro’s as well as novice Makeup Artists and makeup enthusiasts alike…”What’s in a Professional Makeup Artists Kit?” Young Makeup Artists have you ever wondered how much money it will take to build your Pro Kit?

Have you ever been asked by the production company the “INVENTORY LIST” for your Pro Kit during filling out your “Start Paperwork” (this is required for the reimbursement of product in the rental of your Pro Makeup Kit)?

Well, every Professional Makeup Artist should have an “INVENTORY LIST” of what’s in their kit and the makeup and makeup supplies, tools and miscellaneous items they have in storage. If you don’t have it it’s time to do some “Spring Cleaning” and organize that kit! Out with the old and in with the new!

Just to help you get started, here’s a sample of an older version of my former Pro Makeup Kit. Some items are a staple in the kit and others have been updated as new and more efficient products are being manufactured. Your inventory list would best serve you in an Excell Spread Sheet so you can list all items, quantities and price points for each item.

NZINGHA’s Makeup Inventory List
(SAMPLE)
Shu Uemura Makeup Case $800.00
2 Small Lavender Suitcases $300.00
Makeup Brushes (Various Brands) $2000.00
1 MAC Lip Conditioner $12.50
1 MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner w/SPF $14.00
1 MAC Embelish Glitz Gloss $14.00
8 MAC Brow Set (Various Shades) $12.50
6 MAC Eye Brow Pencil $13.50
1 MAC Fix + Spray $15.00
1 MAC EZR $29.00
1 MAC Day SPF 15 Light Moisture $25.00
1 MAC Moisture Feed/Skin $27.50
1 MAC Strobe Cream $25.00
8 MAC Select Cover Up (nc20, nc45, nw30, nw25, green, peach, nw40, nc30) $14.00
1 MAC Fast Response Eye Cream $27.50
20 MAC Lip Glass (Various Shades) $14.00
6 MAC Lipliners $12.00
1 MAKE Ready Brightening Mist $32.00
1 MAKE Away Mist Away $32.00
1 MAKE Under Transparent Coverage $32.00
4 MAKE UP FOR EVER Waterproof Eyebrow Kit $24.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Corrective Makeup Base $24.00
6 MAKE UP FOR EVER Diamond Powder $24.00
2 MAKE UP FOR EVER Loose Powder $26.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER #5 Camouflage Cream Palette $36.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Lipliner Concealer $18.00
6 MAKE UP FOR EVER Glitters $18.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Metalizer $36.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Puff Pouch $35.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Freelancer Bag $45.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Touch Up Smock and Bag $
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Makeup Brush Case $32.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Set Bag $45.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Makeup Apron $30.00
2 Kevyn Aucoin Liquid Shimmer (Various Shades) $24.00
3 Kevyn Aucoin Pencil Liners (Black, Brown, White) $26.00
2 Kevyn Aucoin Lip Gloss (Bliss, Aurora) $27.00
2 Kevyn Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow $37.00
1 Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Eye Shadow Set $45.00
4 Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Lip Tint $34.00
12 Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer $45.00
1 Revlon Fineline Natural Brow Pencil $3.14
2 Revlon Fineline Natural Brow Pencil Refills $3.00
6 Prescrptives Liquid Eyeshadow (Various Shades) $24.00
6 Prescriptives Adjustable Coverage Pressed Powder (Various Shades) $35.00
6 Prescrptives Colorclick Eye Sticks (Various Shades) $16.50
12 Prescriptives Liquid Foundations (Various Shades) $32.00
12 Lancome Juicy Tubes (Various Shades) $16.50
1 Laura Mercier Foundation Primer $34.00
1 NARS Body Glow $60.00
6 JAPONESQUE FAST LASH THICKENING FIBERS $14.00
2 JAPONESQUE Heated Eyelash Culers $14.00 2 JAPONESQUE Brow/Groomer/Scissor/Comb $13.40
2 JAPONESQUE Preo Prescision Lash Curler $34.00
1 Calvin Klien Liquid Crystals for Body $20.00
1 Calvin Klein Eye Glass $25.00
6 Posner Cover Cream $6.99
7 Vera Moore Lipstick Palettes $30.00
3 Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs $12.95
6 Posner Derma Color Camouflage Crème $6.99
6 NZINGHA Beaute` Lipglosses (Various Shades) Not Yet Priced
6 Pack of Purell Hand Sanitizer $4.00
2 Double Sided Metal Makeup Pencil Sharpener $20.00
1 Samuel Par Blemish Pen $12.00
1 Duo Eyelash Glue $3.00
1 Mavala Clear Nail Polish $3.75
1 Travel Size Visine $4.00
1 Box of Square Cotton Makeup Remover $12.00
1 Box of Square Makeup Blotters $30.00
1 Carmex Jar $5.00
1 Nosehair Clipper $12.99
Small Set Lip Palette Cases (Various Lipstick) $25.00
2 Alcone Professional Foundation Palette $30.00
1 Hard Candy Training Brow Dark Hair Girl $24.00
1 Small 5 Comparment Makeup Pallette $27.95
1 Small Tortoise Set Foundation Palette $30.00
1000 Small Pink Cotton Squares $36.00
1000 Triangular Sponges $100.00
1000 Small Clear Spatulas $36.00
25 boxes Double Sided Point Q-Tips $51.25
2500 Double Sided Small Round Q-Tips $.33ea
1 Viseart Professional Makeup-Palette $30.00
12 Mark Traynor’s Temporary Face & Neck Lift (Brown) $19.00
1 Dozen Alcone Professional Makeup Sponge $20.00
1 Small Black Fan $19.99
2 Double Sided Black Mesh Makeup Bags $12.99
1 Prestige Individual Eyelash Curler $16.00
6 Small Pack Brumisateur Evian $10.00
2 Small Artisan & Artist Standup Hand Mirror $30.00
3 Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner 32oz Containers $25.00
1 Box of Dental Floss Sticks $4.35
1 Travel Size First Aid Kit $5.00
1 Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil Gel $3.95
24 Case Lashes (Various Styles) $24.00
1 Pack of Straws (36 units) $.99
6 Pack of Wet Wipes

Now here’s a visual update of my current kit found on Pinterest. This visual display makes it easy for me to know what’s in my kit as assisting me in creating the updated inventory list.

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Kenig + Alcone…Beauty Curators…a beauty ingenues heaven

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Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

It was just an ordinary day for me on my way home from work. I happened to be walking towards 14th Street up 6th Avenue (in NYC). And I stopped by a window and saw beauty items. I originally wanted to go to Ricky’s that night for a special product I always use. This place would be a detour for me on the way.

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The boutique like store was closed! I knocked on the window for the attention of what looked like a sales person. We spoke through the closed glass door, I asked if they carried the item I was originally going to Ricky’s for. I thought perhaps they may have it. He said wait hold on let me look. He looked and said “No, but you may find that at Ricky’s it’s just up 14th Street.”

The original brand store in NYC called Ricky’s

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I thought to myself how sweet of him to stop to talk to me even as they are closing up the shop. I asked what time they’d be open again tomorrow so I could be sure to come back. I turned on my heels and found my way over to Ricky’s for my products.

I returned again the next day again after work but a bit earlier. Again looking through the clean clear glass windows of this beauty boutique I could see what seemed to be an endless wall of hair goodies and supplies. Well, you’ve already reeled me in! As I walked in the door to this sleek airy and modern space to my left was what looked like an electric chair. I didn’t bother to examine it because I was pulled in by what I saw…PRODUCTS!!! Turns out that that “electric chair” is the original hair perm machine used in the 1930’s. A magical, historical and vintage find!

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As a beauty Artist you find yourself always on the lookout for the next best thing that will become the “SECRET WEAPON” in your makeup kit. And sometimes the “SECRET WEAPON” is… a place. I always want to be surprised by the latest and greatest new thing on the market that will wind up becoming legendary and something my clients (celebrity & non celebrity alike) will absolutely love.

When I was deep into the store a most stunningly handsome man asked if he could help me. In my usual frank and nautily witty way I replied “Mmm you don’t even know!”, “What’s this place?…it’s new. I’ve not seen this store here before. And it says outside Kenig + Alcone? I know about Alcone I’m a big supporter of Alcone are they the owners of this store?”

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He said yes. And began to tell me of the merging of my two favourite brand stores. OMG!! I’m in love!! Truly an amazing find I thought. And funny just the night before I came here looking for products I usually find at Ricky’s!!! The irony of it!! Well, just then the same young man who spoke to me through the glass just the night before came barreling down the steps.

He said “I remember you. How are you? Where you able to find your products? My name is Ray. Ray Holt.” I loved him instantly! He took me for a tour upstairs as I told him my specialty is makeup. He asked if I knew Ricky then. I said “Ricky who?”, he said “Ricky Kenig. The owner of this store and the founder of the original Ricky’s beauty supply.” Me “WHAT?!?!” Wait a minute, Ricky’s beauty supply and Alcone merged? GENIUS!!!! Who knew! No I don’t know Ricky.”

Ray, “Surprising, everybody knows Ricky.” I guess Ray was right everybody does know Ricky if they’ve been in his store but do I know him personally,…no. “He knows everyone in the beauty industry you had to have met him.” “I should know him, his store has been my go to all throughout my career! Guess, if you think about it,… you can say I know him and he knows me.”

Well, upstairs was a virtual smorgasbord of beauty and makeup items a beauty ingenues heaven!!! There were two young MUA’s up there browsing like myself. We wound up chatting all four of us.

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This time I had to run because I was going to my next job but I wanted to meet Ray and browse the store. I would return again and upon my next visit after sending several clients to pick up items at the store, I walk in and there’s a handsome distinguished gentleman who greeted me at the door he said “Hi! Welcome to the store, I’m Ricky (with a firm handshake).”

I’m now floored by all the irony surrounding Ricky and myself today. I finally after years of supporting his other stores get to meet him today…, genius serendipity and not accidental! We spoke for at least an hour and a half ( such an amazing man, with the warmest heart and incredible brand knowledge). Please look for upcoming classes from yours truly at Kenig + Alcone Boutique.

After doing a bit of homework after my meeting the charming, stylish and enigmatic Ricky, I found out that Ricky’s was not his first beauty supply shop but “LOVE” Beauty Supply during the 80’s was! I lived for Love’s back then at the the beginning of my budding makeup career out of HS. My how we both have grown, I thought. Not only is Ricky a man with a Midas touch for beauty stores he’s got a creative talent for making things happen. Ricky Kenig is the originator of the fashion runway worlds choice hair clips and matte hair pins only found at Kenig + Alcone and created by Ricky Kenig himself.

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Well, in closing, I’ll say this…Kenig + Alcone is certainly no kitschy novelty store but a sleek, modern boutique with an almost millennium apocathary feel. It’s for the more mature polished consumer who knows about Pro Makeup and Hair brands. NY’s answer to LA’s Frends and Naime’s (I dare say Kenig + Alcone will give the West Coast brands a run for their money!). Not to mention you can find just about all of your beauty needs that a Sephora cannot fill. Specialty beauty items never seen before and only used by Celebrity Pro Makeup Artists and Hair Designers. The items as only Ricky Kenig and Alcone can deliver. BRAVO Kenig + Alcone, BRAVO 👏👏👏👏

20140416-125102.jpgKENIG & ALCONE LLC 538 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011 (917) 261-2640 10am-8pm

Why Do Most Makeup Artists Wear Black? (Part 2)

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

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Wearing black is the Artists “uniform” if you will. Wearing black is tasteful and is well groomed not over or under dressed. As one of my favourite designers Tom Ford says ” Dressing well is a form of good manners”. Hospitality is also a form of dress (atmospherical dress, setting the tone of your dressing room). Also your clients should only be able to see you and not all that you wear or anyone else on set while you’re working as being too flashy can cause distractions (more about that below).

We first discussed the functionality of black in the theater, what types of clothes to wear, some unconventional things to know in what to wear and why. I shared with you some additional Makeup Artists thoughts in Why Do Most Makeup Artists Wear Black? (Part 1)Okay, so lets talk a bit about the psychology and history of why Artists wear black.

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The fashion world goes hand in hand with the beauty world. In fact this marriage had a plan starting long ago. Designers like Coco Chanel made “The Little Black Dress” in the 20’s and it was a must have for every woman’s wardrobe because it was stunning, simple yet powerful.

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It’s was said to make every woman look their best. Well worn for a night out and looking elegant. Best dressed for ladies in suits and now trousers for work during the day. Chanel was always known for her black and white clothing designs making the wearer most chic after the post war era. Black and white both became a power colors. But black always signified both power, authority and irreplaceable style.

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And because Chanel had such an impact on the fashion world her mark has clearly been left. Now designers make their most stunning pieces in black.

So wearing black became a fashion forward trend. Not to mention wearing black creates an optical illusion in making one look more slender in their garments. Many years later not only was wearing black functional for working backstage but it also became “fashionable”.

CHANEL MODERN STYLISH COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR

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Speaking of fashion, when I first saw the film “The Devil Wears Prada” I had a range of emotions. I went from level 1 angry to level 3 angrier! Why? Well, because I’m a firm believer in people wearing what they want to wear within reason at work.Then I thought to myself “Now it’s the truth! If you were an oil rigger you would not show up to work in LaBoutin’s, if you were a doctor you wouldn’t show up in a policeman’s uniform. Snap out of it!! It’s not personal, it’s business. And you are your business, you are your brand.”

So ask yourself viZionaire…”What am I selling?” Are you selling clothing, the products found in your makeup kit or are you selling your skill and expertise as a Makeup Artist? What are you selling…be clear about that and that will help you establish who you and your skill as an Artist.

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I wished I could come to work in this outfit however what would my level of comfort be? I’ve done it but modified my footwear. And how would I be perceived by the client? Taken seriously or a one shot deal, never to be hired again. Choosing your wardrobe is strategic and you must use wisdom on so many levels. You definitely want to leave an impression on the client yet save your personal fashion statement for your personal down time.

EXAMPLE: While working on set one day a fellow Artist came to set with an arm full of jangling bracelets. They were beautiful gold bangles, simply stunning. However while we were shooting we had to stop several times due to the fact that the sound man (who was recording live sound) could not only hear the actors doing their lines but hear those bangles just jingling!! They eventually got a word spoken to them and ultimately wound up removing them. CAUSING DISTRACTIONS AND DISTURBANCES ON SET IS HIGHLY FROWNED ON.

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The point here is, ….you dress the part and appropriately for your position in your career. If you work in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industry you dress fashionably, smartly comfortable and polished. My thoughts on “The Devil Wears Prada” I will discuss in an upcoming post.

EXAMPLE : I remember when I was working on the set of Spider-Man 3 for three straight months I would see the director of the film Sam Ramy and be amazed. Why? Because he wore a suit and shirt everyday! We worked long hours 12-16 hours in a day some days and he was always well groomed. It was rare to see but it reminded me of the splendour and dignity of Old Hollywood. Back then directors wore suits and Makeup Artists (back then it was all male Makeup Artists) wore suits or lab coats. This was how the studios crew came to work.

Makeup artist Jack Pierce and Conrad Veidt on the set of THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928).

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Jack Pierce in the makeup room with Boris Karloff 1935. Jack is wearing a lab coat.

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http://www.cherrybombed.com/2012/10/boris-karloff-becoming-frankenstein/

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In closing viZionaire all I’m saying to you is this. This business should not be and is not for everyone. You set the tone for how you and your work will be perceived. You set the tone for how the thought of a “Pro Makeup Artist” is perceived. So, lets strive to be excellent and restore dignity, and respectability to the title of “Makeup Artist”.

Why Do Most Makeup Artists Wear Black? (Part 1)

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

20140403-174907.jpgI’ve been asked this question on several occasions about why Makeup Arists always wear black. My response is not just about wearing black but about what we wear and how we present ourselves in general. You may not be the top fashionista but at least be presentable and groomed. You may not have the money now to build your wardrobe but in time you will and then you build your wardrobe piece by piece.

With that said here’s my answer to the question.

A: The real reason why Makeup Artists (and work crews) originally started wearing black was because in the live theater world backstage the crew wore black so they could still keep working backstage and not be seen by the audience while working.Crew would blend into the background with the black curtains and walls and usually everything backstage is black.
~NZINGHA

Just a few of My personal suggestions.

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1) Personal hygiene
…lets just say we work extremely close to people in their faces and in tight places most times

2) Keep a clean kit
…most people think that this is not important to what you wear on set BUT a clean kit is part of your wardrobe! It speaks volumes about how you are personally, how you keep yourself and the health, care and hygiene of the products you use and how you will ultimately care for your clients.

3) Wear comfortable shoes and clothing
…being comfortable is key here because you will find yourself in some situations where you will be working exceedingly long hours or varied weather conditions. Also a word to the wise as a caution… Never be too flashy with you dressing i.e. your designer wear and jewelry collection (save it for your personal down time). I once heard my client fire the wardrobe stylist because she felt like she was attempting to out dress her, look better than her (yes it’s they’re insecurity but I can cost you your job). Stay well groomed yet dress smartly.

4) Wearable workable nail length
…simple clean manicured nails for the men and clean groomed mid length nails for the ladies.

5) Know what time it is
…in other words get info about what,where, whom, time, location and weather conditions are going to be. This will put you ahead of the game so you don’t look or be prone to act the fool.

LETS HEAR FROM OTHER MAKEUP ARTISTS…

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A few more answers from other Makeup Artists about what they wear to work and why. All great answers…check it out.

A: A call sheet (the document supplied by your agency prior to a shoot, which contains all the details about the job you have been booked for) very rarely mentions clothing, but there are exceptions. On occasion for instance, it might say “dress warm” if the shoot is going to be outside on location. Once on a trip to Barbados, I remember we were instructed not to wear army camouflage clothing, and another time when we shot a campaign at a working men’s club in central London, the guys in the creative team were told they had to wear long trousers. At fashion shows when you are working for a brand, you might be given a team T-shirt. At the ones I’ve done for MAC, for example, I was supplied with a MAC Pro tee and it was requested that I wear it along with their signature shade (black). Beyond this, it’s really up to you. ~Private

A: Luckily, when I’m working everyone’s eyes are on the model, not on me. Most of my work wardrobe is black. I typically prefer pants or jeans and like flat shoes for the sake of comfort and practicality. Skinny black jeans teamed with a plain sheer T-shirt or crisp white bat-wing shirt and a pair of black sneakers is my usual uniform. If the conditions are cool, I will throw a jumper on and add a coat with leather lapels to the mix. Sometimes I will wear a cute little black dress paired with tights and pixie boots, and depending on my mood and the weather, I may pop a cashmere chunky-knit cardigan on top. Once I’m dressed, it’s all about getting my makeup kit in the car and getting to the job on time.
~ miss_supra

A: Black simple clothes (T-shirt, pants, skirt & tights, etc)

Closed in black flats, some sets and workplaces require closed toed shoes for health and safety reasons. Avoid dangly bracelets, earrings, necklaces etc.

The idea is to look chic & stylish yet be comfortable because you’ll be on your feet all day long. Try to avoid trends that are too out there as your outfit will detract from your work.

Same goes with your makeup, hair and personal grooming. Simple elegant makeup and well groomed hair that is styled well for medium to short length or tied/pinned back if long will enhance your image as a professional makeup artist. ~Private

A: I’m not trying to look cute on set, not trying to impress anyone with my outfit. My makeup and hair are always done professionally. I figure the scrubs help me blend into the background when I am not needed, I don’t disappear on set when I am doing touch-ups, and no one forgets who the makeup artist is on crew. ~ Samantha Reeder

A: When I went to my makeup training schools, they always advise us to wear black. They say it’s the signature “makeup artist attire.” The same thing was followed when I was in L’Oreal. I did retail training for the beauty advisers of Shu Uemura and the rule was to have all our makeup artists wear black. Well it only makes sense — black looks professional, it almost never looks unpolished and it any dirt hardly looks obvious on it. ~Dior

THIS COMES FROM AN UNDISCLOSED MAC COSMETICS EMPLOYEE.

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Wow!!! Who knew? And Yes, after reading the ryder, I strongly agree with MAC’s policy, with the exception of Artists who are working freelance and not for MAC but on location sets. Most freelance Artists are not sales people on freelance fashion, music, misc. projects or Union film, TV and Broadway projects.

MAC is a “brand” and has irrefutable standards and that I applaud. In addition the same grooming standard should apply to all makeup professionals. If you are a Pro Freelance Makeup Artist you should consider yourself a “brand” too. It’s simply wise business on the behalf of a freelancer.

“Here’s word for word in my paperwork”
~ Unknown

*All M.A.C Staff are required to wear 100% professional black.

*A white shirt may be worn with a buttoned-up jacket or cardigan/sweater.

*Black clothing must be clean, not fade, pulling or torn (cotton is not recommended due to fading).

*Materials with Lycra of some stretch are ideal (more durable and color fast).

*Translucent or sheer clothing must be tasteful and worn over/under solid black clothing.

*Clothes must be tastefully fashionable and appropriately fit.

*No brand logos permitted.

*Pinstripes and stitching detail need to be minimal.

*Scarves must be black, but ties may have some color.

*A M.A.C pin, chain must always be worn.

*Jewelery and accessories such as belts must be black fashionable and appropriate.

*Shoes must be professional , black and not scuffed. Tennis shoes, flip flops, “nursing shoes” or slippers are not permitted.

*Hosiery is optional, but if worn must be black or neutral. Socks also be black.

*Athletic wear such as fleece, or yoga pants and “hoodies” are not permitted.

*M.A.C theme/even shirts such as Viva Glam should only be worn on theme days as a group and not individually.

*Hair accessories and black hats may be worn at the counter so long as it does not obscure or shadow the face.

*Baseball caps are not permitted.
Hair must be neat, clean, well groomed, styled and should reflect the current trends in the industry.

*There is no restriction with hair color.

*A full well executed make-up must be worn to work at the start of shift. (For example, foundation 3 eye shadows, mascara, blush, three lip products are required (lipstick, liner, lip gloss).

*Employees may be required to wear applicable “look” associated with a new product launch. The requirement of wearing such look shall be determined by “your market” for the product(s) being launched and the current industry trends, and may be changed at discretion of M.A.C at any time.

*Personal hygiene needs to be regularly monitored bt the individual. Nails should be manicured and toes should have a pedicure when open toes are worn. M.A.C nail polish must be worn.

*Deodorant or other personal alternative to odor prevention must be qorn at all times.

*It is preferable for fragrance to be worn. If worn, the fragrance must be a M.A.C fragrance.

*Fresh breath is mandatory. If you smoke, please be sure to wash and sanitize your hands prior to returning to te counter and serving customers. Breath mints are required ater smoking.

*Absolutely no gum – small mints are acceptable.

*Cell phones, pagers etc. should be turned off and kept with personal belongings and are not permitted to work on the counter or in your brush belts. Emergency calls can be accepted at the counter.

M.A.C is admired for respecting and embracing individuality. However, it is important to remember that while at work you are expected to look, act and service our customers in the most professional manner possible.

The Incredible Artwork of Jason Mercier

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Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

“Jason Mecier, a San Francisco-based artist creates portraits of celebs using everything from bits of discarded jewellery to empty deodorant cans and bubble-gum wrappers. He has spent 15 years carefully collecting rubbish and using it for his masterful modern artwork. Artist Jason Mecier says that many celebrities have bought the work they inspired. Each one of his creations takes at least 50 hours of his time.”

~ James Pond CEO & Founder of Pondly.com
http://www.pondly.com/

http://www.jasonmecier.com/

My first introduction to the work of Jason Mercier was in 1997 with his work featured in the now defunct Suede Magazine. Suede was a hip trendy African American Women’s magazine to which I’d loaned some of my Makeup services to and had hopes of joining their staff as Beauty Contributor or even Editor at that time.

I’d gone up to the office and saw this future spread they were about to do that was all about celebrity makeup, so I thought. Well these ladies have all been in my makeup chair at some point so I thought they’d request me to do makeup for the shoot. the roster of ladies were Rosario Dawson, Missy Elliot, Ashanti and Mariah Carey.

Well, I never got a call for this amazing shoot! Why? Because it never happened!! I was in shock,… well I thought to myself, at least 2 of the ladies were on promo tours and one was working on a film with Will Smith. So I figured thats why the photo shoot was deaded.

When I finally saw the layout it was indeed the 4 ladies and there was makeup but, it was their portraits done in collage style with makeup products as the paint for their portraits!!!

GENIUS!!!

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I was rendered speechless and utterly and completely amazed at this new brand of “Makeup Artist”. No way could I even compete with this work…in fact no Makeup Artist that were my peers could!! This was another skill set none of us had reached it truly was ART!

I began to follow Jason’s work and I have to say each and every piece I’m floored by. I AM A FAN.period.com…Lololol! Just look at these pieces in Jelly Beans

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These in licorice

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The Comedians

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Musicians and their VICES…

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The Game Changers…

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No Better Drag Than These Dolls…

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Actresses and their VICES…

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Anyone who argues that this is not Art is a cerebral jerk!! Art is objective, subjective to its viewer. As for the celebrity aspect of the artwork makes it even more interesting that the portrait actually has their personal items in it.

It’s what I’d say is the “new” Pop Art. Pop Art is short for popular art. What’s popular to this generation. Warhol was Pop Art for his generation…his art was reflective of the culture and colors of his era…it’s was psychedelic, psychotropic and bright, multiples.

So what is one mans garbage is another mans treasure!

Here’s more from my FAVORITE Artist…check it out.

I just smiled when I saw George Lopez’ reaction to his portrait.
http://youtu.be/EuLmUd9C_jk

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PRECIOUS….

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Preciously Behind the scenes…
written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

My journey to PRECIOUS began in 1996 with the Novel written by Author and Poet Sapphire. I lived in downtown Brooklyn at the time and was part of a group of intellectual neo soulers that were setting the entertainment industry on its ear with our voices and visions. We were the soundtrack to the new black aesthetic, sight and sound. We were this generations hope of a new Black Renaissance. I hand no idea how much I would really be a part of this new movement in Art.

Doors were now being opened to African American/African Caribbean story tellers. Modern authors like Terry McMillan(Waiting to Exhale), Walter Mosely(Devil In The Blue Dress), Sista Souljah(The Coldest Winter Ever, yet to be adapted), then Sapphire (PUSH) with her stirring in your face novel, people indeed were experiencing a new “Black Literary Renaissance”.

Despite the mainstream media ballyhoo and irreverence, Black writing was and is experiencing a renaissance. And if it was taking place in the literary world we would surely eventually see it make it’s way to Hollywood.

“They decide what is hailed and what is dismissed.They say what is produced and what will never be. They choose the superstars. They tell us what is literature.They select who will be idolized and followed.”

~ Amiri Baraka, a professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Spike Lee, John Singleton, Robert Townsend, the Wayans Brothers and the Hudlin Brothers were popular and were becoming the mainstream voices for African American cinema.

20131022-152613.jpgThis book, this little book that only has 192 pages had so much impact on me that I wasn’t right for days! I was on a promo tour while reading it. I had to put it down at several points because it made me nauseous. It stirred up a lot of questions and feelings. I recall being furious at this reading, furious at Sapphire for writing it and writing it that way, furious for Precious who oddly was a hero in the midst of chaos and unprotected and violated by those who were supposed to love and protect her. I was furious at illiteracy, at those who lack compassion, furious with every character that came into contact with Precious in both good and bad ways.

In essence the title of the book was appropriate…PUSH! Push you to the brink of making a life choice in my mind. A choice to be a help or a hinderance. Help those for whom this is their personal story and are a “walking wounded”. Help for those who are functioning illiterate, help for those who have never seen, heard or experienced what transpired in the book to understand, have compassion and help.

I began doing more volunteer work whoever my busy schedule would allow. It made me a more gracious Artist remembering everyone has a story and has come from someplace.

This indeed was someone’s no many people’s untold story…

This story’s characters reminded me of a film I saw Starring Sidney Portier, Elizabeth Hartman and Shelly Winters made in 1965 called “A Patch of Blue”. Back then films of this nature were marketed and handled very differently. The stories scenario is different but the nature of abuse, cruelty, ignorance, illiteracy and redemption in both PRECIOUS and A Patch Of Blue are the same.
“A Patch Of Blue Trailer” http://youtu.be/2f64hh6k8jc

Many people focused on the films mild subject of integration negating the even bigger subject matter of family abuse and negligence, rape, and alcoholism. By today’s standards Roseanne and Opah would both be reported to the Bureau of Child Welfare for their abuse of Selina.

Like Precious, Selina had much to contend with in her horrid home life and yet, in the midst of the chaos come a loving and helpful individual in Sidney Poitiers character Gordon. Like Gordon is to Selina so is Ms. Rain to Precious…a teacher, a guide and a helpful loving friend.

The characters of Selina are like Precious, Gordon like Ms. Rain, Roseanne like Mary. In fact a year after the films original release in 1966 it had Oscar nominated actors too. Shelly Winters was nominated for Best Supporting Actress as the role of Roseanne, much like Mo’Nique for her role as Mary and both ladies won! Similar roles different era’s. A Patch Of Blue a bit less graphic because of the era it was shot in was indeed a brave film much like PRECIOUS the courage to address hard subject matter head on. Both pictures are winners!

Shelly Winters accepting her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in “A Patch Of Blue”

20131022-151645.jpgAfter completing the book I remember sitting in the Brooklyn Moon Cafe chatting with my girlfriends about it and the reaction was all the same fury, pain yet oddly a new word…VICTORY. Our heroine Precious was victorious! A massive overcomer, not bitter but better!! This was a hot topic book a book bomb”, to drop when you saw violation of any sort.

Then the hooplah over the book died down, like hidden away again perhaps to be dusted off on your bookshelf or the shelf of your mind. Little did anyone know there were talks of it becoming a film only a few years away. And that I would who was so furious about this book would be a part of its coming to life on film.

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I can’t recall how I’d heard about the film being made but I do recall working with one of the Executive Producers for many years when they worked in the music industry. I made a phone call to her inquiring about doing the Makeup for this picture. Her response was one of uncertainty but she agreed to have me meet with the director. The director was Lee Daniels who’d directed Monsters Ball with Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton. I was floored to know he was the director (and that I would get to meet him and maybe just maybe work with him). I recalled his gritty style of filming and his complete unbiased toward what seemed to be a range of actors physically.

I rembered Halle won the Oscar for her performance in his film. I remembered seeing Halle in the film and it was nothing like I’d ever seen of her in any film…, a true departure from who she is and when that happens its because of two things at work, an Actor completely letting their persona go and the director guiding them through the mind and actions of that character. And this director helped create a whole other person for the film.

20131022-175503.jpgThis film was an important film. It was an important body of work to convey on screen and everyone on set took it seriously too. We all knew it was an important film, a film that would free many people and work on the conscience of many.

The night before I was scheduled to meet Lee Daniels, I’d received a phone call requiring that I put together a presentation that would depict the look of the era in which the film was to be shot in because the film was considered a “period piece”. I thought to myself “The 80’s…..A PERIOD?!?! HEY LAY OFF IT!!! THAT WAS WHEN I WAS A TEEN!!” Essentially are you calling us old? Lolol well I can laugh now about it…yeah, I guess the 80’s is a period.

So, I went deep into midnight until morning hibernation and research. Research to put together a power point presentation that not only showed the fashion of the time but, the lifestyle and the music of the era in one montage. I went to Lees house that morning exhausted, a bundle of nerves and had a myriad of questions on my mind to ask him.

He came from one of the rooms as I waited for him in his living room. He was tall, handsome, a great smile, and had a head full of Curly Afro hair. I immediately liked him. He gave me a wonderful compliment and then, we began our meeting and my 80’s presentation. Lee was impressed and so we began to talk about the film. I’d told him I’d read the book and my feelings about it when it first was released. I asked him how was he going to remain true to the book? How is it even possible to convey all that’s there in the book and still get FCC approval on the film because, the book was quite graphic. The content of the book was too important to water down any of the situations or characters. How Lee, how? How are you gonna do this? How are you going to create Mary (the monster mom from hell)?

20131022-150639.jpg Lee was about to show me and the whole world, how this film could work! I was immediately hired for the project. The first in my department. He told me that there would be some recording artists in the film as well (ones I’d had as previous clients and had a rapport with, so it would not be uncomfortable for anyone). Lee had an amazing cast of some seasoned and some unknown actors. The cast was stellar.

Mo’Nique who we all knew would be up for some kind of award yes even the possibility of an Oscar (which I’m proud and glad to say she won!) and newcomer Gabbourey Sidibe who blew all of us away day after day of filming. Paula Patton as Ms. Rain a shining light in Precious’ world. Paul’s real life grace was poured into her character in the film her compassion was genuinely felt and conveyed.

20131022-151656.jpgPrecious and the girls from the center

20131022-183907.jpgThe Makeup and Hair on this film had to be authentic 80’s style. I realized my part in this film was to help in developing the look of the characters as well as what action is going on in the scenes. Makeup in any film cannot go overlooked. Our department is an integral part of the storytelling. And the makeup here was not all going to be pretty pretty makeup, we would at some point get grimy with it.

The Makeup Department comprised of Department Head: Toy Russell, Key Makeup: Tomisina Smith and Assistant Makeup: yours truly. We did not sleep at all on this film we worked hard. Breaking down the script and developing the characters had us all in a huddle discussing different looks and all aspects of how the makeup would be executed to how the set would be run since we had do many female actors on this picture.

I recall one night on set all 3 of us tag teamed Gabby because Lee was ready to shoot…”PRONTO!!!”and we’d had to change her whole look from a previous scene change. We’d had to practically do her makeup in 10minutes right on set!!! Trust me it was harder than you think to match the exact look we’d shot only days ago with a continuity photo in one hand and a makeup brush in the other and work around the Hair Department who had to do the same thing with hair! All of us pulling at poor Gabby but, she was truly the consummate pro!!!

Here’s the article written in Makeup Artist Magazine giving all the makeup details.

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20131014-141722.jpgI will always remember my time working on this film. Many great moments of laughter and some tears but over all this tender film with it’s powerhouse actors will always be remembered and be indoctrinated in the Oscar Academy’s history. And be considered an African American cinema classic. In addition I’m proud to say I was part of the making of this film.

Thank you Lee Daniels and Lisa Cortes for giving me the opportunity in joining the crew on an Oscar nominated film!!! Oh there’s many more to come I’m sure.