NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
I finished my makeup course almost 3 years ago and one of the things I REALLY wanted to try was working backstage at a Fashion Week. Lauren Conrad on the Hills working backstage was my inspiration growing up.
American TV has inspired me a lot and it was a dream come true. To me, this dream was unattainable until I found AOFM online. They allowed me to make a dream become reality.
I had to find a way to go to NY to pass my auditions for NYFW. It was a complete day in the city at the Makeup Forever Store where you had tests to past. You were evaluated on direction, speed and technique.
I asked for some "time off" from work and didn't tell anyone I worked with about it, only my close friends knew. I flew to NY in the morning, found the studio, did the audition that was literally 5 hours and then took a flight back to Québec.
5 hours later, they told me I had made it! I was in and that I would see them in New York the following week. It was a surreal moment knowing that these people thought I had what it took to work backstage (remind yourself, they have been doing this every season for years on various shows).
I only told my closest friends that I had passed and I felt so accomplished. The makeup industry is very superficial and most people do not praise you, rather critique you, so this was a nice change from my day-to-day life.
I was flying to NY and worked on a couple shows. It was the most intense experience of my life. You have no time to think, you just need to perform.
They told us : "It's not about you, leave your ego at the door."
And for once in my life, it was true. Employers often say: "It's a team effort, we need to work together". To me, it was the first time that I actually felt that this was true. You have to work in close quarters with other people, switching brushes, makeup, colors, tasks. There really was no "I", it was US, WE, TEAM.
To every artist, I hope you get to one day live this. Knowing that you were a small part of something bigger than you and your ego. It's amazing.
It got my juices flowing and made me realize there was so much more to makeup then just doing makeup. It could become more.
Q & A - A couple often asked questions:
How do the auditions work? They created a look on a model and you must reproduce it. They then changed up the look on the same model, and so forth. You need to follow the instructions, execute and use your techniques to achieve the same look in a specific amount of time.
Were you nervous? It was one of the most terrifying moments of my life.
Are your models assigned? Yes and no. Everyone works on everyone. You help others, they help you, they just need everybody to be ready on time.
How much time do you have per model? Depends, anywhere from 30 minutes to 5 minutes.
Do you have a say in the look? No, they have been created beforehand by the Key Makeup Artist and approved by the designers. However, there is no garantee that they won’t be changed 5 minutes before the show starts. Always be prepared!
Do you do hair as well? No, hairstylists were assigned as well.
How many makeup artists and hairstylists are present? Depends on the show, we were about 20 of each.
Do you all use the same products? No, not really, the idea is to obtain the same final look. For any specific color (eyes, lips, cheeks), they are usually provided the day of.
What were the most popular brands used? Mac, Makeup Forever, Dermologica, Bobbi Brown, Nars, Charlotte Tilbury.
Would you do it again? ABSOLUTELY.
The next Fashion Week I would like to participle in : Milan.