I think I lost a few years off my life yesterday with the stress case that was the Hello Kitty Fashion Show.
If I wasn't so downtrodden in the areas of finance, I would have never agreed to be head makeup artist. Even with the promises of monies dangled in front of me I was mulling over plausible excuses I could give Friday night in a last-ditch effort to get out of it. If one of my best friends wasn't running the thing I most likely would have done my typical last minute abandoning of ship.
For one, I hate Hello Kitty. And when I say hate, I mean HATE. Right under VC aka VD on my list of hate. They might actually be the only two things on that list.
1. The Venereal Disease that is VC
2. Hello Kitty
It's not a long list, but it is one I am very passionate about. Hello Kitty is to me synonymous with all these wanna-be little girls, boys, and in-between, who try too hard and leopard print their hair. Trying to look different and all ending up the same. What once was a cute little cartoon from Japan that delighted little kids has become a mascot for this sort of shallow surface-obsessed world that I have unfortunately become a part of since I started working professionally as a makeup artist.
From the get-go I felt like a sell out for even participating in this. But, god damn I'm broke. And being in charge was a bit of a draw: At least I wouldn't be told what to do with my art.
So I found myself sucked back into the cotton-candy pink land of cheap glitter, neon hair, vapid myspace scene-queens and their egos, and worst of all the mass acceptance of sub-par art and effort as the norm, or worse, quality.
The day started off with, what else? Late models. I'm not talking the fashionably late, albeit rude, 15 minutes. More like an hour. I being key makeup artist took this time to explain to my minions how the makeup was to look. We were using Shrinkle's new makeup line, Sugar Pill (AMAZING by the way) so that we would have a cohesive color palette.
I have been working as a makeup artist for 3 years. One of the MUAs has had more experience than me, and I had been assured that both of them were capable of quality work. So when I have a conversation with them explaining how I want the look down, and they kind of cut me off with a "yeah yeah yeah..." like we are of one mind and totally on the same wavelength, I feel like they know exactly what I am talking about.
I say I want a smokey eye format, with the darker color on the lid to a lighter and/or different color above the crease. Simple, flattering on everyone, and could be customized to the colors in each model's outfits. Simple glossy lip so the color focus is on the eyes, and despite my loathing for blush, a lightly pink cheek since it's Hello Kitty and Hello Kitty is...vomit...sweet.
I am naive. I am consistently looking for the good in people's hearts, and SKILLS, assuming it is there. I didn't think I needed to babysit a makeup artist who has worked for NARS and has a year more experience than I. I trusted what I was told, that these girls were not as good as I am, because honestly more and more I realize that is rare, but still perfectly capable.
What I got was nothing near a smokey eye, with muddy colors, spotty blending, drag queen blush, models sent to the show with NOTHING on their lips, etc etc. The original plan w that after my models were ready I was OUT of there. I had agreed to do 2 or 3 models and found myself taking on FIVE. The 2 I was in charge of were supposed to, had agreed to, had been told by the event coordinator to take care of touch ups between runway shows. I was NOT planning on staying (read my early hostile ramblings of my hatred toward that "cat"). Yet I am the ONLY one backstage taking care of ALLLLLLL the models. Powdering every single one, putting lipgloss on two when I see in horror they were sent out with NOTHING on their lips. I get close to some of the models I didn't work on and see shadow fallout all over their faces. The makeup in a whole was only cohesive in that the Shrinkle palettes were used. FAIL.
The 2 coordinators kept apologizing to me and thanking me for going above and beyond because they could tell how stressed and upset I was. But it wasn't about me doing any extra work. I t was just more about me, once again, realizing the massive amounts of CRAP that is put out there and ACCEPTED by people. I just can't stand it. It's disheartening and depressing, and makes me want to just stop everything. If total shit is appreciated and welcomed as good, then why even bother trying to put real art out there? No one cares. They'll take anything as long as it's a bright color or you throw some sequins on it. Magpie masses with skittish ADD brains, ready to take off chasing the next flashy thing that is dangled in front of them.
Ugh. I could go on and on and on. Honestly, I was pissed. And disgusted. I'm glad I stayed just because the models needed to be taken care of and everyone else is too lazy and fucking inept to do it.
When I was getting ready to leave one of the MUAs says "You stayed! You weren't going to stay!" all happy and cheerful. I looked her right in the eyes and said very poignantly "Yeah. And it's a good thing I stayed because I was the ONLY ONE back there doing touch-ups." Her excuse was that she "forgot" to bring her stuff in with her. So go out to your car and get it!!!!
Normally I wouldn't be so bitchy to someone's face, and I felt bad after. And this was someone I met for the first time yesterday and is REALLY good friends with one of my best friend's. She probably thinks I hate her. I don't. Just one more to add to a different list...the list of people who make me realize that true talent and passion is exceedingly rare. And THAT list? That list is getting longer and longer and longer.