The life of a make-up artist is not easy. When we met with Jennifer Nam on a rainy Friday night, she admitted that she had been running on only 3 hours of sleep after attending to an impromptu call from a client at 6 in the morning. We were so grateful that she agreed to spend her Friday evening with a bunch of college make-up novices in the Broadway Sky Lounge for lack of proper facilities despite her busy schedule. But turns out Jennifer is one tough cookie. After all, she went through military school, an experience she found truly rewarding after becoming the unofficial make-up artist for all the girls there. Since that humble beginning, this self-taught make-up artist has worked for big names such as MAC and Chanel alongside some of the most influential make-up artists in the city.
Unlike so many other talented people, Jennifer is extremely down-to-earth. The fashion industry has not gotten in to her head in the slightest bit. Despite all the high-profile shows she has done, she was nice enough to do the make-up for the recent Lunar Gala fashion show on late notice. No doubt we were ecstatic that she was here to help us learn her art, and surprisingly she was equally eager to be there citing her future goal of teaching.
Jennifer definitely knows how to make her audience comfortable. I have never really thought about the psychological role of a make-up artist before but how many times have I sat at the cosmetics counter or before a friend chewing my lips in fear of what they’re doing to my face, sneaking glances at the mirror every time I could? Jennifer’s job emphasizes the necessity of making the model or client feel good. There has to be trust between the artist and the model, they have to believe that you know what you’re doing.
Here are some of Jennifer’s feel-good techniques for any of you future make-up artist wannabes:
- Always carry a bottle of facial spray. She likes MAC Fix Plus Spray, a super-light and refreshing spray-on toner with caffeine to wake up the skin. Caffeine is great for the skin (on your face…not ingested) and the spray leaves you with that glowing dewy look. After a long day, models are exhausted and the spray will suddenly revive them – they’ll feel so much better and think you’re the best make-up artist ever!
- Use a firm touch. A touch that is too light will make the model think that you don’t know what you’re doing and cause them much anxiety. Trust is everything.
- For men, clean their faces with wipes (it feels good!) and bring tear drops to hydrate their eyes which makes them look more open and clear.
- Prepackage everything into organized kits so you don’t waste time scavenging around and looking unprofessional.
A popular look for models these days is the natural look being demonstrated above on Kahini Parekh (CC ‘13). Most professional models are blessed with flawless skin already but as for the rest of us, it can be achieved with proper application. Here are some of the helpful tips we picked up:
- Clean skin and moisturize – oil-free moisturizers are good for most skin types.
- Put concealer around the face where needed and under the eyes. Cake concealers are especially great for covering scars and for oily skins
- For those of you confused by colored concealers: yellow takes away dark circles and counteracts brown spots, green counteracts redness, purple helps with sallow yellow skin, and orange removes the ashiness in darker skin. Jennifer likes Makeup Forever Cream Palettes.
- When using your fingers to apply makeup on your face, always use your ring finger which has the weakest pull on your skin.
- Pick the right foundation – there’s a lot out there! Stick foundation is best for those with oily skin and especially good for photoshoots which add a lot of shine. Powder foundation is great for a matte look and for those with acne.
- Don’t apply foundation evenly all over the face or you’ll look cakey – start from the center of your face and blend outwards.
- Lighter concealers can be used as highlight contours.
- Everything is in HD nowadays! Use a super-fine translucent power to finish it all off such as Makeup Forever High-Definition Translucent Powder (trust us – it’s ridiculously fine!).
After setting us on our way to looking and feeling beautiful, of course we had to take Jennifer out to dinner!
Make sure to check out her work here!