Working at London Fashion Week – an insider’s guide to makeup

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With London Fashion Week on the horizon, we caught up with makeup artist Jennifer Jane  for her behind the scenes makeup tips…

Things backstage are always a little crazy at London fashion week, but as part of the integral hair and makeup team you have to know how to keep your cool and get the job done.

You don’t always have as much time as you would like to prepare the models so you have to be prepared to work fast and hard and be totally unflappable.  In some cases you only have 10 minutes to get a model prepared from no makeup to catwalk ready, so London Fashion Week is certainly not for the faint hearted.  Not only are you dealing with limited time, but you also have to jostle for space and contend with the hair stylists doing their thing at the same time, making for a slightly challenging eyeliner application!

More often or not you will have models dressing as you are doing the final touches, so you really have to have your makeup mode head on to avoid any mishaps.

If you have a secured a spot at London Fashion week this season then follow my tips and tricks for staying one step ahead.

Minimize your kit. 

More often than not you will be involved in several shows so keeping your kit to the essentials will really help you out, not only so you can see what you’re working with but for ease when carrying it from show to show. 

Wear comfortable footwear.

We all know wearing heels is just not an option as an artist, even for the most die-hard fashionistas but seriously, you are on your feet all day long, frantically running around to make all the models perfect in the shortest time possible. I would advise a dark grey or black pair of discreet trainers, preferably ones with memory foam to keep your feet from feeling fatigued. 

Keep calm under pressure and be prepared to work hard.

There’s a lot going on back stage which is all too easy to absorb and become distracted by.  Concentrate on the task at hand, which will help you to get the job done in a timely manner and move on to the next model.  Speed is of the essence!

Don’t be late.

If you have been fortunate enough to secure a spot on a makeup team assisting an artist, don’t let yourself down by being late. It’s just not professional and will do you no good when trying to get future work.

Keep your station clean and tidy at all time.

Not only will this enable you to work more methodically, but it will also represent you, as an artist, in a better light.  There are always photographers floating around back stage snapping left, right and centre.  Don’t let yourself down with a sloppy looking makeup station.

Wear black

The Makeup Artist uniform of choice.  You are working as part of a team, it is not your time to stand out from the crowd with your unique style.  Leave that to the designers.


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