Art vs The World

When you’re reading the following situation, I want you to really think about what I’m about to say. Imagine it. And think about how you would feel if you were in this situation.

You’ve done it! You’ve bagged an interview for you ultimate dream job. Something you’ve daydreamed about for years. You’ve strived, worked menial jobs and did what you had to do until now…but this…wow. The interview is going really well. You get on with your new boss already. He’s clearly going to be a great leader, but he seems fair, kind and quite funny too. You’ve even met some of the staff and they’re a fantastic team! Back in the interview room, the boss is super impressed. You pretty much know you’ve got the job at this point. It comes down to talking shop now.

“So…we really love you and want to take you on,” he begins. You try to reign in the urge to jump on the desk and dance to celebrate. “Here’s the thing. There’s just no budget for you. But it’s a great opportunity. It’s fantastic exposure and there will be paid work in the future. It’s just right now, we’re working on a super low budget, I’m afraid. You’ll be expected to work to the best of your ability, and put your own money into your projects. And you need to supply everything you use yourself.”

What would you say to that?

You might be thinking – that’s ridiculous. There’s no jobs like that.

There is.

The weird thing about being an artist, and pretty much everyone else in the same industry, is you’re just expected to give your time and talent for nothing. The weirder thing is…I do it. I love makeup artistry so much, and although I’ve fallen into it a bit later than a lot of people, I am just so in love with it and now can’t imagine my life without it.

I’m not talking about test shooting by the way. That’s different. Everyone’s working for their portfolio and that’s great! I love testing. I’m talking about other things. Fashion shows, magazine shoots, film, television, music video, etc etc. For some reason, there usually seems to be “no budget” for the makeup, hair, stylist and so on. BBC say the fashion industry is worth £23 Billion.

Here’s a fact for you. I’ve been doing this for near enough a year now. I’ve made £75. My kit, if I added it up, is probably in the thousands.

I’m not complaining. I do love being a makeup artist. I’m just trying to open people’s eyes to how we as an industry are being treated. And I hope people read this and maybe, if they’re ever in a situation where they need to hire someone, they’ll think twice about what they’re willing to pay.

British Plus Size Fashion Weekend 2014

So last weekend, I had the opportunity to assist at British Plus Size Fashion Weekend. My biggest job yet to date, so I was exceptionally excited for it.

The show itself was over the Friday and Saturday of last week (14-15), though I know the models and whatnot were working throughout the week to get everything ready. But I arrived on the Friday for the press day, excited to be a part of it! Makeup is my passion, and I knew I’d be helping out at a huge show.

I met head amazing MUA Clare Cherry who informed me my job for the day would mostly involve taking pictures. Okay maybe not exactly what I signed up for, but hey, it still helped, right? And assisting does cover a multitude of things, so I was happy to do it. Being on the team alone was a buzz! And another plus is it meant I got to walk around and have a nosy at the incredible artists on the team work. I could watch amazing artists for hours with rapt attention. My dream is to be that good. I met Zoe Newlove, creative director at Crownbrush, who was so lovely, as was the entire MUA team! Very kind, friendly ladies, all of which I would be honoured to work with again.

Press day ran pretty smooth all told. There was one look, everyone knew what was going on. I wore stupid cheap dolly shoes so was in all of the pain by the end, but otherwise it was a good day. Met Hayley Hasselhoff who was a real sweet girl.

Saturday was the big one. All the designers/shops etc, two shows, and different makeups. The other assistants didn’t show up (I’m assuming weather related as there were a lot of problems with trains!) so I was put on lashes for the day. Excellent! Was really pleased. Especially as, and I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, I am not very confident with lashes after a few mistakes of them going in the wrong place, or gluing someone’s eyes shut. Well, I was at the beginning but feel far better with them now! So I got to meet most of the models this way, and wow! What a lovely bunch of people. They were all really humble, nice, normal ladies, who were also all curvy and frankly, stunning. Being a plus size lass myself, I wish I had their confidence to rock it down the runway! I want that model sass! Anyway. Back to the lashes. I was doing well until towards the end. It was the worst lash glue on the face of the planet (eyelure) and really slowed me down. So I had a bit of a backlog, but thankfully the other girls were happy to step in and give me a hand when they weren’t working. Which was nice. I feel bad like I let them down though. I did my best, but the glue was awful and tbh you can’t really rush lashes.

It was all going well until the show started. First show was a touch unorganised, but I imagine that’s probably normal. So many people! I got to work at helping powder and generally helping the models if they needed anything. I did find one thing amazing in myself – if you know me on a personal level, you know how I feel about crowds, enclosed spaces etc but, honestly, I didn’t feel that normal anxiety. I must love my job.

Second show went much smoother, and with lashes on, I spent a lot of the in between time tidying, cleaning Clare’s brushes, that sort of thing. And you know you’re loving it when you even enjoy that.

All in all, it was a tiring and wonderful experience. I hope next year I can be on the artist team (though only if someone didn’t come back – I wouldn’t take someone’s job!) as I’ll be more experienced. But yeah, thank you to the entire MUA team, the hair team, and all of Plus Size Fashion Weekend for letting me join you and for being amazing. It was a truly positive experience being a part of something celebrating beauty and diversity.

Makeup – A Clean Businesswoman Look

I recently worked for a new company, lookformation.co.uk in launching their new website. Look Formation is a lovely company launched to empower women, giving them confidence and building blocks to help themselves with their lives both personally and professionally.

I worked with the trial group on their last day which was makeup and photography for their business portfolios. I made over a lady called Cathy, who ran her own business in the city and wanted to create a strong portfolio for when she started creating more contacts and whatnot. So for her photos, she wanted a clean, crisp and fresh look, with a bit of a dewy finish to make her skin look younger. We discussed different options for awhile before deciding.

I primed with That Gal by Benefit, followed by MAC Face and Body and a mixture of a couple different concealers from my Bobbi Brown BBU palette. Blusher was Love at First Blush by Soap and Glory and just a tiny bit of Benefit’s High Beam for a highlight before a gentle cheek contour with elf’s blush and contour palette. She had beautiful, clear skin anyway, so I was just adding a youthful glow and even coverage.

For eyes, her lids were primed with Stay Don’t Stray by Benefit before I used MUA Cosmetics’ Undress Me Too palette. (A palette that still proves that you don’t have to cost the earth to be incredible) She did not want an upper lash line, so we left the lid classic and neutral. Her lower lash line was lined with a brown Model’s Own pencil and she did not want a water line colour. I used MAC’s 3D Lash mascara and she did not want false lashes.

Cathy wanted a soft lip, so went with Rosette by Rimmel London which is a soft red, with a clear gloss on the top.

I moved on to her hair. Cathy has naturally poker straight, fine hair which she wanted a bit of volume. I curled her hair first before giving it a backcomb.

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She looked very pretty in the photographs and I hope she was happy with the photos.

I hope you enjoyed this look and let me know what you think.

Review: Messie Mats

I love Twitter. I discover all sorts of amazing things on Twitter, including today’s reviewed product – Messie Mats!

A few weeks back I was followed by the company in question and I started to look at their product. What is a Messie Mat? A time and lifesaver for any artist or makeup enthusiast.

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The red and white polka dot matt under my brush roll is the Messie Mat in design – Minnie.

I’m enthusiastic when working, and can sometimes get makeup everywhere. I usually (though have forgotten it a few times) have a towel under my work station to prevent messing up the surface I am working on. Then it becomes another thing to remember, and I’m a scatterbrain. Wash my brushes, reorganise (I have a bad habit of just putting things away anywhere after a shoot is done as I’m usually shattered) my kit, put the towel into wash, etc etc. (Hey, MUA Life isn’t just ‘yayyyy glitter’…though sometimes it is for me. Hehe!) So when I saw Messie Mats as a thing, I was interested.

It’s a vinyl type material which is water resistant, as well as any other type of spillages. I have a delightful habit of knocking over pigment pots, so if it happened on the mat it’d be a damn sight easier to clean. Just tip and pour! Because of the material, they wipe clean, so a quick wipe down, fold it back up and chuck it in the kit and you’re good to go! Saves time and effort when there’s about a hundred other things to do. It’s also lightweight! Which again, makes me a happy bunny. My kit weighs a tonne already. I don’t need anything else weighing it down!

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It comes in 7 designs. I have the Minnie, because yay Disney. There’s also a leopard print, and a few different pretty floral patterns. You don’t need to be a travelling artist to use it, leave it on your dressing table. It will make any workspace cute, tidy and easily cleaned.

I realise this review sounds like I work for them or something, but I don’t. I didn’t even get it as a PR sample (disclaimer at end of post). I just am genuinely in love with this product and it will continue to make my job that little bit easier so I can focus on other things.

You can purchase a Messie Mat at http://www.messiemats.com, and I also recommend you follow them on Twitter, @messiemats, as the person running it is a very nice person. They’re £15, and whether your an artist, beautician, or just love your makeup, I cannot recommend this enough.

Disclaimer: As I mentioned, I did not receive this as a PR sample. I did get a small discount in exchange for an honest review which I have given. However it was paid for with my own money and I did not receive anything for this review.

Makeup: Ice Queen

Well it’s been a few days since I’ve been here. Between illness (again!), internet problems and general busyness I just haven’t had a few minutes to sit down and blog. But here I am. And I have a wonderful look to show you. A week or so ago, I was asked to join a ‘creative, crazy’ test shoot. That was all I was given to work with admittedly, but I thought about it for awhile until I started coming up with some things to do.

I was inspired by Venetian Masquerade Masks awhlie back, and found myself being drawn to it again when going through my ‘inspiration’ folder on my laptop. And considering how bad the weather has been, was further drawn to a cold look. I started sketching out on a face chart. Had a few failed attempts, but eventually came up with this as an idea.

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Lots of glitter, sparkles and craziness – just as requested.

So the Sunday involved travelling up to Woking, which wasn’t too bad of a trip at all. Went to the Photographer, Andrew Boschier‘s, home. Was greeted and made to feel comfortable and welcome straight away by both him and the model, Annie Price. (If you’re a creative, I highly recommend both of these amazing people to work with!) After a brief chat with the pair, and a delightful cup of tea I started to unpack the kit.

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The makeup was a dream. She is a great model to work with – doesn’t flinch too much when getting near the eyes, very patient, chatty and fun. We put on show tunes. Is there a better moment than doing makeup with an amazing girl and singing along to Wicked? Not really. While we got ready, Andy started setting up shop and getting the photography section set. It took about two hours in total to get things right. The following is a small selection from the shoot. Next month or so, when I launch my pro website, I will be posting some more.

All photographs below are copyright Andrew Boschier Photography. Model is Annie Price. Makeup and Hair by Bethany Wells.

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There are others I would love to post, and I’ll let you know when it’s been posted on another site.

So would love to know what people think. I think they came out beautifully. Being the artist, of course I am nitpicking tiny mistakes in the makeup. But I am so proud of my first test shoot. Cannot wait to work with these two again. Please check both of them out, give them likes on Facebook. They’re amazing.

Winter Blues and Dream Following

I have been a bit quiet this week on pretty much all of the interwebz. I’ve tweeted here and there but not as much as my usual self would. And I haven’t blogged in a few days.

Although I am a year round sufferer of various conditions of the mental variety, winter is always the absolute worst time for me. Like a lot of people, I definitely suffer with the winter blues. Long, cold nights and grey, miserable days do not make me a happy bunny. I find it pretty much impossible to do anything!

Which is not convenient right now when I’m actually super busy. Well, for me anyway. Work is picking up in various forms. I’m so excited. And there is the most frustrating thing about winter blues – things are actually amazing right now. I’m getting married in seven weeks and going off to Disneyland Paris, and will take one day to hit the city to get me some Parisian makeup. I’ve got a test shoot on Sunday. Meetings, British Plus Size Fashion Weekend (assisting), probably at least one test, and Pro Beauty competition lined up for next month, and I’ve just been booked for the MUA team for Bloggers Fashion Week the week after I get back from Disneyland Paris in March! Things genuinely couldn’t be going better. So it’s exceptionally frustrating to still wake up in the morning feeling like Grumpy Cat.

I realise the above paragraph may come across as bragging but that’s not what I mean. I am just trying to explain that I am feeling sorry for myself for no reason. Which is always how the bipolar downswings work, but this is probably the most frustrating edition of ‘Bethany’s Sad Life’ yet. At least normally I have something to complain about! But instead, things are great and I’m still bursting into tears for no reason, getting angry at nothing and having serious anxiety.

I refuse to let winter blues, my bipolar disorder or anything else that wants to be wrong with my upstairs department ruin my dream. It’s slowly coming true. But it’s so damn hard right now.

I’m not sure what the meaning of this post is. Maybe just to remind everyone out there that there’s no shame in feeling horrid this time of year or any other. And also, if anyone is feeling less than rainbows and candy sprinkles – comment, email, FB message, tweet, send a carrier pigeon, anything. I’m always available to chat. All my contacts are above and down the widget bar as well. You’re not alone. I’m feeling it, and lots of others are too. And it doesn’t discriminate – no matter how great things are, one day we all wake up feeling like an old shoe regardless. And it’s okay.

Getting To Know You Tag!

I now have Getting To Know You from The King and I in my head.

Anywho. The lovely Bethany (hey great name!) over at lunarbellebeauty.blogspot.com did this and I decided I’d grab it as it looked like fun. Check out her blog! Really good beauty blog!

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
It’s naturally a hot mess. Sort of wavy, but not in a nice way as it goes in different directions. That’s what happens when you bleach/dye/straighten etc for over 10 years I guess.
2. Do you dye your hair yourself or go to a salon?
Sometimes I go to this local place that’s pretty cheap but usually I’m too broke to afford to get it dyed in salon. Plus they sigh at me and say ‘really? Pink?’
 
3. Do you wear the same style everyday, or do you change it?
It’s tied up in a pony or top knot a lot if I’m puttering round the flat or working. If I’m doing something more exciting I’ll do straighten it or something of that ilk.
4. Do you do your own manicures and pedicures or do you go to a salon?
I used to be an acrylic nail junkie. But finally just do my own nails. As for pedis, I do it myself, and sometimes my fiance offers to do my toenails because he likes to make me feel nice. :)
5. How often do you change your nail polish?
Once a week at least. Depends on how chipped up they get really. Chipped nails make me sad.
 
6. Do you paint your toes in the Winter or just in the Summer?
Year round for sure. That being said they really need doing right now lol! But even if I’m in socks and boots, I still like to feel pretty!
7. Do you plan your outfit of the day the night before or just decide when getting dressed?
Depends on the event. But as a rule I kinda just figure it out as I go. Whatever has the least amount of cat hair on it is usually the winner. Haha.
8. How often do you change your handbag?
Semi regularly. I never change it to match my outfit. I use a bag until I get bored and change it over then. Just changed from my owl messenger bag to a brown fuzzy River Island bag I got in a blog sale. :)
9. How long does it take you to put on your makeup?
If I’m just doing everyday stuff or I’m on a job, 30 minutes. Date night, going out, events, or when I am feeling sad and need an exciting face can take about an hour or so. I’m a perfectionist, which you may have gathered from my profession.
10. What do you do first? Face or eyes?
For a basic eye without much happening I’ll go skin first. If pigments/glitters/dark colours/anything prone to making an unwanted journey from eye to cheek goes on, always eyes first. Who has time to do their makeup twice when you have to fix fall out?
11. Do you collect makeup or do you just buy what you need when you need it?
Hi. My name is Bethany and I’m a makeup hoarder. Always under the guise “it’s for my kit”. Sure it is…
12. How often do you wear false eyelashes?
Not as often as I’d like. I kinda hate wearing my lenses, and lashes and glasses aren’t the best mix. But I love lashes! Maybe just wear my glasses further down my nose lol!
13. Do you wear a full face of makeup everyday?
If I’m lazing round the house/being a domestic goddess, I make my poor fiance have to see naked!face. Then it just depends, so probably not a full face, no.
14. Will you leave the house without makeup?
Swimming or running to Tesco for a loaf of bread, yeah. Anything else I’ll at least put mascara, liner and shadow on with a lip balm. I’m basically a lazy sod on my own face lol.
15. How many high end products do you own?
I’m a professional makeup artist. I think we both know the answer is “flipping tonnes.”
 
16. What time do you wake up and go to sleep?
My meds make me sleepy so left to my own devices I’d sleep all morning into the afternoon. Weekend nights I tend to go to bed earlier, say 11-12ish. Week nights when Mr Man is at work it’s quite a bit later as I’m up texting.
17. How many pets do you have?
3 cats. :) They’re my babies.
18. How often are you on Blogger?
Rarely, seeing as I’m a WordPress girl hehe.
 
19. Do you read comments posted on blogs?
I love reading comments. I’m nosy and like knowing what people think! And I love comments on my blog!
 
20. What kind of camera do you use for your photographs?
Currently just my iPhone 5. My camera and laptop have had a falling out and won’t talk to each other anymore. So until I get a memory card reader (the built in one packed in awhile ago!) I can only use my phone.
That was fun. I like a good tag. :)
If you’ve read this, I tag you to do it! Comment me when you have so I can see your responses too!