I'm going to Class 2017
Chronicles of a Makeup Artist...
Once again, Erica Carr and the experience that is I'M GOING TO CLASS was truely magical. It was the second time that this class was held (in Portland, Oregon) and it just didn't disappoint. Everything was fine tuned even more, the excitement in the air was palpable for all of us attending Class, meeting more peers from around the world and catching up with friends that were made at the first Class was really awesome.
It's funny to me that all of what CLASS encompasses, going through the experience of a jam packed week of top quality education, inspiration and the aftermath it creates seems to take me a little while to process fully. It was the same for me last year too. My first blog post (ever) was about meeting my idol and my experience of going to Class, which was published in February... Clearly I need a three month 'think space' about everything I was taught and lived through. Haha! Thats how magical it is really. Completely mind bending in every way, shape and form. If you haven't heard of this Makeup Artist Utopia yet, do yourself and your business a favour and go check out the link above.
The line up for #class2017 was amazing to say the least. How Erica topped last year's class is beyond me because last year was just so phenomenal. After watching and meeting Alex Box last year, I wasn't sure how the next class could be as good or better than #class2016 but it was. The educator's were extremely generous with their time and knowledge, answering questions and really showing you different techniques they use, talking us through their processes and what works for all the different mediums that they are working in as well as the behind the scenes, business side of things, the side of the industry that no-one talks about. The Masters all walk around at the end of every day in the "hands on" component which is where all of us students have a chance to practice the techniques etc we learnt that day and get direct feedback from those you learnt from.
It's amazing to have this conversation with those who are established in the industry and again, I cannot emphasise enough how generous everyone is with their knowledge and time. We even had two special guests (which were kept secret, one right up to the time where she walked on stage) who really brought the wow factor. One of the special guests was Val Garland who we found out was coming a few months before Class but the other top secret special guest who just casually walked out on stage so her beauty team could do her hair and makeup in front of all of us was Dita Von Teese. Yes, you read that right. Dita came to Portland, came up on stage without a stitch of makeup on or her hair done and sat whilst her beauty team, Gregory Arlt and Jon Lieckfelt did her up into her signature style. It was amazing to watch a team work together and how they work around each other. I'm not going to lie, it was also pretty amazing watching Dita as we know come to life.
This Class was a little different than last year too, as there was an extra day of learning where if you were interested in fine tuning something in particular, you could take one (two, or all three) of the elective courses. There were three session times offered and there were two different electives you could take in each time slot. The hardest part was choosing who you wanted to see or what elective would meet your needs the most. My favourite was a makeup and lighting elective where Courtney Dailey (a leading beauty and product photographer in LA), taught us about all the different lighting and what happens with your makeup. That was an awesome class and I wish it had of been longer. The other electives were run by Jessie Powers, Brett Dorrian, Beau Nelson and the super cool team of Roshar (on makeup) and Linh Nguyen (on hair) showing us how to work in a team for an editorial photoshoot.
The MASTERS (as they're known at Class) who taught us this time around, didn't fail to disappoint. We were schooled by Eugenia Weston (the OG of brows), Romero Jennings (he was so awesome and it was interesting to find out that it can take up to 10 hours to make his famous lash or brow appliances), Melanie Inglessis (Get Smoked), Vincent Longo (The Art of Observation), Christina Guerra (male groomer to the stars), Nick Barose (#PettyIsland in-house Nickism) who was funny and knowledgeable with diversity and global skin tones, Pati Dubroff who graced us with her red carpet and life wisdom, What vintage is this? masters - Jessica Padilla, Michelle Coursey and Chris Milone who took us through the 50's, 60's and 70's, the delightful and most polite Gregory Arlt and Jon Lieckfelt with Dita, the insanely talented Stephen Dimmick (who just keeps you on the edge of your seat in fits of laughter), the funny and fun loving diva that is Kristofer Buckle, the legend that is Roshar, the team that has the luxury bridal market cornered - Maria Chang and Jennifer Skog. We also had a panel of amazing woman who are all kicking butt in their chosen fields in the beauty industry - Lori Taylor, Viviana Martin, Monique Boyer and Nyla Olynyk from Smith Cosmetics. Such an interesting perspective from such diverse careers in makeup.
The two, yes TWO, big ticket masters were just so amazing and so different. Val Garland showed us three different runway looks she's created for fashion weeks past (including watching her do a red lip in under two minutes and it was perfect! And mind-blowing!) and talking us through her processes. She put on a "show" so to speak and it was so fun. Kabuki was our other show stopping, big name artist and watching him create his art in front of me, was so incredibly cool and awe inspiring that I struggled to get a photo of his finished creation because I was shaking, it was so good.
There is nothing like going through an experience like Class, where you have so much inspiration around you, not only from the masters themselves, but also from Erica through her sheer determination to get this concept of Class up and running, and the fact she smashes it outta the park every time as well as through the other students. Some of my fellow makeup peeps are just phenomenal in their own right and are running fast with all of the new information that they are picking up to take their career to the next level.
The interesting thing about Class is it covers a lot of the different parts of the industry. I have posted some creative makeup that will make you think that it doesn't apply to you, but we heard from leaders in the Bridal, Fashion, Celebrity and Advertising parts of this beauty industry and it's only going to get bigger from this point. Other Masters from different parts again will be coming in for future classes so even if you think that none of this applies to what you do, I challenge you on that. One of my fabulous makeup BFF's runs a successful bridal business in the US and the class she gets the most out of? Roshar. Yep, you read that right. A successful bridal expert pulls more elements and information that speaks to her soul from an editorial genius than anything else. Even though your watching and learning from someone from a completely different part of the makeup world, doesn't mean you can't take parts to apply into your world. How about learning to manipulate light? Using colour in a different way. The behind the scenes stuff like using Instagram to help your business. How to deal with clients. All of the masters teach you many different things from the way that they work quickly, building looks, how to make skin look amazing and how important it is to get the skin work right as well as what I mentioned above. The back end of the industry which is seldom spoken about. The parts that we need to get right to keep elevating our industry and our careers.
The Makeup Industry as well as many other industries are in a stage of turmoil. We have social platforms that allow anyone to call themselves Makeup Artists regardless of what education they do or don't have. They don't necessarily have the correct tools (I'm not talking brushes here) to apply makeup in a sanitary and safe manner because they haven't been taught about it, to use colour theory properly (remember clown face makeup?), to help conceal and enhance what is needed and exactly where and why it's needed, to contour in the correct way for enhancing the individual features that makes each of us unique and beautiful (not everyone needs contouring!), to apply different looks on different shaped eyes and why it works. I can keep going but I know you get the idea. In order to keep our industry from falling into a heap because of the groaning pressure from everyone in the makeup room, doing makeup, I implore you to elevate yourself above what is around you right now. Go above and beyond for yourself, your business and your clients. You can only do this with top quality education from the best in the field. Those who have been working their way through all the trends, that are still working, and work with the best of the best teams, who have honed their craft painting people for a living, who have made mistakes and learnt from them. You can't find a week long education program like this, anywhere else in the world. The caliber of artists that have become part of Class is jaw dropping. To be part of this positive community of like minded individuals, is truly inspiring for not only work, but life.
It's hard to put into words the effects that Class has had on me personally (I am no wordsmith) but I am so happy to be part of this community. I have found my soulmates in the makeup world who help me through the tough times, cheer me on and get me moving into the future. My makeup game has become stronger (direct quote from a client who I saw before the first Class and again, after Class) and I am looking into the future and seeing what the possibilities are and believing they could be possible for me.
I hope this inspires you to be brave, take a chance, go on a journey, go to Class and really feel the love of the industry, reignite your love of the industry or help you dial it up a notch or twelve. I would love to meet you there and go on this incredible journey together. For more Class goodness, check out Instagram to see what everyone got up to.
Peace, love & light
THE LOW DOWN...
I am not getting anything (paid or otherwise) to talk about Class. Telling you about my experience of Class is more about helping to elevate this crazy industry of ours. To inspire you to take a journey outside of your comfort zone (and if you don't live in the US like me, your time zone) and go on an epic journey where you'll not only learn valuable information from the best our industry has to offer but you'll learn a lot about yourself and just what your capable of. And, maybe you'll meet an idol or two..