An interview with MUA Sarah
If you didn't already know we launched a new Stackers Cosmetics Storage collection this week, to mark the occasion we teamed up with our Stackers makeup artist Sarah, talking about what makeup trends she is loving this summer, what her everyday make up look is and getting some advice on being a freelance makeup artist.
Hi Sarah, thanks for chatting with us, firstly we want to know are there any key make up trends you are loving this summer?
I noticed the brand Chloé had their models wear barely there makeup, very natural. Clean skin and nothing on the lids of the eyes apart from a trace of coffee coloured kohl pencil blended out. Sometimes that can stand straight out as much as a bold lip or graphic liner.
Of course there is the standard for every Summer it seems to be, which is bronzed and dewy skin. It’s always a winner in my book. It gives total radiance to the skin. There is something freshly polished about it that I love seeing and recreating.
What top 3 products could you not live without and why?
Ahh this is very hard! Why only three?! If I had to choose, then I would say my stable makeup products are probably Nars Soft Matte Concealer, I would highly recommend this to anyone who has oily skin and doesn’t like cakey concealer.
Kevyn Aucoin's sculpting powder in Medium, it gives the best definition. I love it. Perfect for those of us who aren't graced with killer cheekbones! It has a grey tone to it, which is perfect for shadowing. A lot of people still have the misconception that bronzer and contour are the same products. They are very different. Bronzer's are warmer toned; hence they are there to warm your skin up for a sunkissed look. Whereas contour powders lean to the cool toned and are usually greyer in colouring and are meant to be used to stimulate the look of shadows on the face.
Finally, MAC paintpoint in 'Groundwork' whether it’s on, or a base for other products it’s great. Just use your fingers to blend or a brush. Its brilliantly versatile. I would describe it as a warm toned milky chocolate colour. I would say I reach for those the most on myself, and tend to use those in my kit a lot.
What’s your everyday go to make up look?
When my skin is playing nice I tend to reach just for concealer this time of the year. There is nothing worse than sitting in the sun on a job outdoors and feeling your foundation melt off of your face. But I will always contour and bronze up my face. I usually have (like most people) a paler face then the rest of my body, so adding that colour makes me feel refreshed. A MAC paintpoint smudged over the eye (they have loads of natural bases) and blend that out. Finishing the eyes with a lick of mascara. And I've currently been reaching for my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder to set my makeup. It sets your makeup, will still giving a beautiful glow to the face that isn't too much.
We have been lucky enough to work with you on our Stackers shoots but you also work with lots of other amazing brands; what is your favourite part about working on set?
Being able to work with other creative people. One person's point of view is never enough. Shooting with a group of people in the industry is always eye opening. Everyone in that room is coming from a different stand point. For example, the photographer will capture angles and be creative with positioning's of models that we would never have thought of. Whereas a stylist or creative director will know what the best way is to show off a product. I've been on jewellery shoots before, and the majority of the shots were from the waist up, so it was down to me to see what the products were that we were shooting with and the best makeup looks that would go with them.
All of us may work together a lot in the industry and know a few basics of each other’s jobs, but it doesn’t make us experts in each other's fields. That's why you hire separate people for those jobs. We all see things differently and I learn so much in terms of photography and fashion, just from being on these shoots. Its eye opening.
I would also love to say that working with Stackers is always great fun. We have the best shoot locations. We've been to some fabulous houses that are extremely Instagram worthy! I've known a few members of the team for many years and we always have a laugh together that it seriously doesn’t feel like working.
What are the benefits of being a freelance makeup artist and do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting?
Going out there and doing something I'm extremely passionate about. I get excitement every time I go on a job. Meeting new people within the industry, that in the end you find out is a lot smaller than you think! I have worked with many models/stylists/photographers who have worked with people I've worked with before. I also don't think I've met anyone yet who was rude or abrupt. I've met some incredible people while working as a freelancer. Not only on shoots but doing weddings and special occasions.
I recently had a lovely lady at the wedding of her niece, fretting about her under eye darkness, and telling me that no matter what she used, she could never get rid of them. Something I could really relate to as I also have them. I let her hold onto a handheld mirror as I showed her what products I used under her eyes and after I was finished concealing the area she got emotional and thanked me. Saying she had never been able to cover them properly. I gave her the details of the products used so she could go out and buy them herself. Being able to bring someone that happiness is one of the reasons I love being a makeup artist. It’s just as rewarding now as when I started 4 years ago, and I know it will continue to be.
My advice is don't be afraid, I wasn't confident in makeup application when I first started. I felt like giving up a number of times because I believed I wasn’t good enough. However, it was my passion for makeup that spurred me on. I knew it wanted to do it and I wasn’t going to let a few bumps in the road knock me off. I just kept practicing and I still learn every day from being a makeup artist.
The other thing is connections, once your qualified, put yourself out there, make a website, business cards (although these are slowly going out of style) and let all friends and family know what you’re doing. I think I have had only one client that wasn't referred to me because of a friend or family member, all the rest have been.
I would say deciding to become a makeup artist was the best decision I've ever made.