Makeup Tips: Prepping Model’s Face for a Beauty Shoot

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.39.04 AMMy first long-lasting creative relationship with a Makeup Artist began back in 2011 in Omaha, NE. I met Mikala Jean Vandenbroucke through a local artistic project, and all of my work produced in 2011 and 2012, we created together.

I always loved Mikala’s wild creativity and deep understanding of the craft in both directions – makeup and hair – which I now realize is quite rare. I also visited one of Mikala’s educational events in 2013, and absolutely loved her teaching style as well. Today Mikala is the Artistic Director and Training Specialist at Valeria Salon/Spa/Boutique in Huntersville, North Carolina, and Culture Artist at Surface Hair. I reached out and asked Mikala about her prepping routine for a beauty photo shoot, and she graciously agreed to share her “secret beauty weapons” with us 🙂

Thank you, Mikala!

“If you fail to prepare, then you can prepare to fail.”

A mentor of mine shared this with me as I began my journey of becoming a platform artist and brand educator many years ago. This is something that has stuck with me and has positively impacted my work in all of the different avenues that I have pursued since that time.

As a makeup artist, coming prepared to shoot doesn’t simply include bringing the appropriate makeup, brushes, and tools to create the looks you have planned. It is crucial to have the right grooming tools and quality skin care products necessary to prepare the face for makeup and put your model’s best face forward.

Model: Nicole Keimig, Makeup & Hair by Mikala, Photo & post: Julia Kuzmenko

Photographed in February 2012; Model: Nicole Keimig, Makeup & Hair by Mikala Jean Vandenbroucke, Photo & post: Julia Kuzmenko

It is certainly ok – and encouraged – to communicate to your model a couple weeks in advance to remove facial hair, wax their brows and upper lip a week before the shoot. In the event that your model arrives without having done this, you should be prepared to take care of it quickly.

FACIAL HAIR

A pair of tweezers is a must and will be your tool for a quick touch up. Plastic eyebrow razors are inexpensive and should be in your kit in case more work is required than removing a few stray hairs. These should be used carefully and I would recommend practicing with them prior to use on set. To protect the skin and provide slip when using this tool I prefer to use the shaving cream made by Surface Hair.

Click to Enlarge. Yoli of Osbrink Models, LA, Makeup by Lupe Moreno, Photo & Post by Julia Kuzmenko

Click to Enlarge. Yoli of Osbrink Models, LA, Makeup by Lupe Moreno, Photo & Post by Julia Kuzmenko

LIPS

I begin my prep by having my models gently exfoliate their lips with SugarLips from Clinical Care Skin Solutions. This is a gentle sugar scrub that also helps to plump the lips up. It dissolves quickly and is rich in Vitamin E. To hydrate the lips after exfoliating apply a hydrating and protecting lip balm like the Embryolisse Lip Protection Stick.

Note from Julia: Check out this trick that I learned from Mikala many years ago on how to soften and prep chapped lips to minimize post-production.

Click to enlarge. Model Morgan of NOUS models makeup by Vlada Haggerty photo & post by Julia Kuzmenko

Click to enlarge. Model Morgan of NOUS models makeup by Vlada Haggerty photo & post by Julia Kuzmenko

SKIN

The first product I apply to a clean face is a skin balancing and refreshing mineral spray by Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics. This Vegan and Gluten Free mist is packed full of ingredients that nourish and awaken the skin, and set a great energy in your workspace.

Now it’s time to moisturize and prime the face for a smooth and flawless makeup application. This step is so important!

I am in love with Lait-Crème Concentrè from Embryolisse. It is definitely a must-have for your kit. This is a 3-in-1 product that is used as moisturizer, primer and makeup remover. I love the natural glow it gives the skin!

If you have a model with an oily skin type and you would like to minimize their shine, their Hydra-Mat Emulsion is a great alternative.

Click to enlarge. Model: Bridgetsatterlee of NOUS models + flawless makeup by Ernesto Casillas and hair by Raoul Alejandre photo & post by Julia Kuzmenko

Click to enlarge. Model: Bridget of NOUS models, Makeup by Ernesto Casillas and hair by Raoul Alejandre photo & post by Julia Kuzmenko

With all of these steps complete, you are fully prepared to begin your makeup application. Taking the time and attention to prep the skin with quality products will set you up for success, allowing your makeup artistry skills to shine and photograph beautifully.

Hope you enjoyed Mikala’s article and if you collaborate with a Makeup Artist on a regular basis and think that he or she might enjoy it too, go ahead and send them the link!

Till next time!

Featured image:  Photographed in February 2012; Model: Nicole Keimig, Makeup & Hair by Mikala Jean Vandenbroucke, Photo & post: Julia Kuzmenko

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  • Nicolette Fernandez

    Thanks for sharing the tips! Skincare is the best foundation for makeup!

    • Julia Kuzmenko McKim

      Thank you Nicolette! Yes, I am not a Makeup artist, but I definitely see the major difference between seeing product on the skin, or seeing the actual skin, moisturized by skincare products — delicious skin! 🙂