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I credit having two older sisters with my falling in love with EVERYTHING BEAUTY. Watching two fashionistas while growing up turned out to be a seduction of my interests. I was quite the tomboy until 8th grade  then it began. As a teen, I began to devour every beauty editorial in all of the top fashion magazines: Vogue©, Elle©, Essence©, Cosmopolitan©, Harpers Bazaar© and Seventeen. I could not get enough. I was ever-willing to spend my last $10 on an eyebrow pencil and two fashion rags. I would spend hours at the nearest store to browse the make-up lines and become familiar with every tool there was. I learned to sew at a very young age (Mommy made sure), so this was the time I started designing and sewing my own outfits to wear to school. So of course I had to have nails and eye shadow to match. If my blouse had black and white stripes or a checkered pattern, then so did my nails and eyes. Eventually becoming a NAIL TECHNICIAN & MAKE-UP ARTIST was a natural progression.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

"Why *eyes 1st* Stunts Growth of Your Artistry"

Aaaah....the debate goes on between aspiring/new/working/retail Make-Up Artists & veteran/Top Industry Pro Make-Up Artists...

The big question: Apply *eyes 1st* or *foundation 1st*? Why? Does it matter? Depends on the artist, right? Some techniques are better in some situations than others, right? Well...

I count myself amongst the veterans in the Make-Up Artist's groups I cited above. Working in this industry for the past 20+ years, I am thankful to have been able to see & experience many sides, aspects, scenarios and work conditions industry-wide. Many consistencies exist as a Make-Up Artist navigates their different jobs. Whether consumer applications in the retail environment, bridal, photography, video, fashion, film or television - you are expected to adopt industry standards and produce make-up in accordance with the industry aesthetic.

I'll begin by giving my opinion on the whole argument: Foundation 1st, no bones about it!
FOUNDATION: Definitions
1) Noun - The basis or groundwork of anything.
2) Noun - The act of founding, setting up or establishing.
3) Noun - A cosmetic, as cream or liquid, used as a base for facial make-up.
Synonyms: spine, fundament, infrastructure, anchor, cornerstone
Source, World English Dictionary found here.

With that said, foundation is indeed the groundwork for setting up a beautiful make-up application for these reasons.
  • Skin prep and expert application of foundation is essential to your end result. All of your color products (eye shadow, blush, brow color, lip liner, bronzer etc) perform better, LOOK BEST & go on more smoothly when your base is in place
  • When time is of the essence, EVERYONE (actor, model, newscaster, singer, consumer, all clients) look better and more together when foundation is CENTRAL to the application
  • A well prepped, even & smooth complexion is the crux of the make-up industry standard & aesthetic...PERIOD

      Ok, now we get to the juicy part. As an avid user of TWITTER & FACEBOOK for the past 2+ years, I have been able to connect with more make-up artists in/on so many more levels of the industry than I ever imagined I would. Through these electronic medium - the conversations, advice, tips, photo exchange, sharing & everything make-up/beauty have taken on a new level colleague interaction. Fantastic! This whole *eyes 1st* vs *FOUNDATION 1st* debate has gone back & forth on a global stage.

      So I have to ask, WHERE DID THIS *EYES 1ST* MONSTROSITY COME FROM??? I had NEVER heard of it until I 1st free-lanced at a retail counter (to remain nameless for the purpose of fairness) where the manager told me that this is an advised practice that was put into place to avoid foundation being ruined by 'fall-out' from eye shadow. I've heard (with my own ears) that almost ALL of the MUAs who use the *eyes 1st* method say that they go this route for that same reason. I don't argue the fact that you do indeed avoid 'fall-out' if you do *eyes 1st* but...let's talk about 'fall-out'.

      'Fall-out' occurs when excess eye shadow falls (gravitational pull) from an eye brush or is otherwise expelled (velocity) from the brush during application of eye shadow. Back & forth whisking of an eye brush can indeed send excess eye shadow to parts of the face that we do not desire eye shadow to appear. So what is a make-up artist to do? Having posted this subject to my FACEBOOK profile, the discussion did indeed heat up over there! Arguments for yeah & nay on both sides. We even had the fabulous Michelle Villanueva of Shadow Shields (http://www.shadowshields.com/) chime in because they received a shout out on the *eyes 1st* side. One thing is certain, MUAs & consumers that use them love them! I haven't gotten around to it as of yet, but when I do try Shadow Shields, I will STILL APPLY *FOUNDATION 1st* because I agree with many top industry pros on the importance of that part of make-up application technique & based on my own experiences.

      "Why *eyes 1st* Stunts Growth of Your Artistry"

      Ok, this is where I explain just a few of many technical aspects of why/how *eyes 1st* can indeed stunt the growth of our first MUA group, aspiring/new/working/retail artists.

      A) I see it as a crutch that may hold you back:

      If you ONLY aspire to apply flawless make-up with the *eyes 1st*  application order, then ask yourself - When will?
      • You extend your technique in the direction of achieving better & more precision?
      • Your methods peak in the areas of brush selection for particular areas of the eye?
      • You push yourself to adjust how much product you pick up on the brush & do sufficient 'tap-off' to avoid 'fall-out' in the first place?
      • You commit to refining your personal brush techniques?  (which will make it way more likely that you rarely experience significant 'fall-out' if you have any at all)
      • You step into the reality of the TOP INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL MAKE-UP ARTISTS who are where they are because THEY CHALLENGED THEMSELVES ALONG THE WAY. They honed their skills, and refined their techniques in ways that catapulted the term 'fall-out' from their vocabularies.
      As you step into different circles in the industry, I believe you may find that other industry pros expect your work to reflect a high industry standard. *Eyes 1st* may get in the way of execution of this. A few scenarios:
      • The photographer is shooting with an HD camera. You get the whole application finished so that you can start shooting. The camera picks up the fact that you have gone the *eyes 1st* route because it shows up in the bridge of nose/eye area.
      • The area above/in the top of your clients/model/bride's brow does not have properly applied foundation as a base - so it just does not look as "clean" as it could/should.
      • There is a definite line of demarcation between lastly laid foundation and this eye shadow that proceeded it.
      • So in essence, you really DO NOT save time with *eyes 1st* method (as proponents of this method say is 1 reason for their choice to use it) when you have to go back & make corrections to your 'house' because your 'basement' has not been laid properly. This also squashes the "clean" argument.
      The point of this blog post is to get MUAs to thinking about additional ways to improve their skill level. Many speak of aspirations to one day have stellar careers & cosmetics empires like Billy B., Kevin James Bennett, who is team eyes 1st along with Pat McGrath (& when you are as masterful as they are at BOTH eyes 1st & foundation 1st, let me know), Sam Fine, Lottie Stannard, Bobbi Brown, Tym Buacharern, Francois NARS, Val Hunt & others who would likely vote on the side of *foundation 1st* (please advise if they tell you differently). Many top pros use the trick where you apply a bit of loose powder to the area below the eyes/tops of cheeks to catch *fall-out*. To be noted, even the ones that use this trick have no notable *fall-out* anyhow because they have/employ skills & techniques that make it a non-issue.

      In conclusion, WHAT IF *EYES 1ST* IS NOT AN OPTION, how would YOU - AS A MAKE-UP ARTIST IMPROVE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF YOUR APPLICATION METHOD (s) TO ENTIRELY AVOID THE DREADED 'FALL-OUT' SCENARIO? It would behoove any advocate of the *eyes 1st* method to think about ways of evolving. Worst possible outcome is that you will become a BETTER & MORE SOUGHT AFTER MAKE-UP ARTIST in the end. Your work will reflect that fact & you will then find yourself advancing upon more of your dreams & aspirations in the field. If you want to argue THAT, I'll assume you just like to argue. Your consideration of dropping/picking up this method or that method could be the difference between you staying local or going global. (in a manner of speaking)

      Sincerely,

      Jennifer James Beauty,
      Shop Steward of the *Foundation 1st* Global Union of Make-Up Professionals
      ;-) Find me on Twitter here & find my fellow union members w/ hashtag #TeamFoundationFirst!

      Related Blogs:
      MakeUp 411 brings you Kevin James Bennett's Essential Techniques (incl *Eyes 1st*)    http://makeup411.com/ea_info/id/374/ 
      Hello Beautiful Wake Up Your Eyes With Foundation http://bit.ly/9wBvIo

      http://www.jenniferjames-beauty.com





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