3 weeks down, 2 to go. And not gunna lie… Starting to get a bit nervous about life after the course at this point. The final week was gaining on us and all of us had started discussing what our plans were for afterwards. Apart from sleeping a lot for the first few days. And then possibly scheduling a mental breakdown in shortly after that. In all seriousness we couldn’t believe how quickly the time was flying by and soon enough we were going to be graduates and out in the real world. Scary yet exhilarating at the same time! For those of you who have missed my other posts, firstly where have you beeeeeeeen and secondly you can catch them here: week one, week two, week three. Have a catch up, get with the times, know what I’m talking about. Get me? For those of you who are all “caught up” let’s proceed with week 4 at AOFM. We were rolling into nails and airbrushing week and myyyyy woooorrrddd were we excited! Especially airbrushing, get that photoshopped skin all up on me girl! (Sorry I’ll stop trying to sound all ghetto now…) For reals though (apologies again. Last one, promise) this week was about to get creative. Ohhhhh here it goes!
Day 1 – 3 Nails, Roxanne Campbell
You wouldn’t necessarily think that a makeup artist has to take care of nails on a photoshoot or a catwalk as well would you? Well yep… We do! The whole shebang! Roxanne isn’t a makeup artist herself, but she is an incredibly talented, award winning in fact, manicurist. Roxanne has worked in the nail industry since 2006 and even won Manicurist of the Year in 2013! She names working at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as a highlight of her career… and I’m not really surprised! Roxanne also has her own pop up nail bars in Chelsea and backstage at regular celebrity events. Safe to say… she knows a thing or two about talons. We were lucky to have Roxanne with us for 3 days who was to teach us how to do manicures, pedicures, gel extensions and nail art! On the first day we were briefed on all of the products and then thrown straight into the manicure deep end! Roxanne explained that doing a red polish manicure is the hardest to do as it shows up all of the mistakes, and that once you can do red you can do any colour! Therefore we were asked to paint our partner’s nails red on one hand and a french polish manicure on the other hand. Being the perfectionists that we all are, there were a few grunts around the classroom when we accidentally smudged the nails. You just can’t get away with it with red polish!
Photo Credit: Paulina Bajalyte
The next day, after we had learnt to file and polish to perfection, Roxanne gave us a demonstration of how to perform a pedicure. Now I’m not gunna lie… The thought of having to touch someone’s feet sends me into cardiac arrest. I’m pretty sure I’m actually feet-phobic. We’d all look much better off if we just had stumps. But unfortunately in this industry people don’t have stumps, they have big ol’ ugly feet so I had to bite the bullet with this one. Maybe whilst holding my nose at the same time. But you know what? It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! I think I actually preferred doing a pedicure than having one. After 20 years of dancing I have developed what I like to call, Hobbit feet. They’re minging and I feel sorry for anyone who has to endure even looking at them let alone touching them. So lets all raise a glass to my friend Kristina who survived this horrific ordeal! And on another note here’s her tootsies buffed and polished by yours truly…. (She will kill me for posting this)
I don’t think I will be nominated as Pedicurist of the Year any time soon, but maybe my foot phobia has shifted a little. Maybe a tad. OK I’m always going to hate feet but at least now I know how to make them look a bit prettier! You wouldn’t believe how much work actually goes into a pedicure, back breaking stuff – literally! Pedicures over, onto gel extensions! Now we all know that I love me some acrylic nails, so I wasn’t quite sure how my partner was going to be able to perform this on me. In the end I had to say goodbye to two of my nails as Roxanne demonstrated how to remove acrylic nails on my right hand 🙁 A sad day. A very sad day. However they were getting put straight back on for free so can’t really complain! Roxanne taught us how to create clear gel and white gel extensions. As I’ve been getting my nails done for the past 3 years I more or less knew the procedure, except we didn’t have the privilege of electrical nail files to do all the hard work for us, and let me tell you… It makes one HELL of a difference. Giiirrrllll we were literally sitting there for about 5 minutes buffing one nail down and filing it into shape. On. One. Nail. Imagine if you had to do that on ten! Safe to say I will be investing in some electrical goodness if I ever get seriously into the nail bizness. However, after some very achy arm action, here are the nails I created with clear and white gel. All two of them.
And durn durn durn durrrnnnnn… The final nail day was upon us! This was set to be a very exciting day as we were learning how to do nail art! I’d always been a bit rubbish with nails to be honest with you when it comes to fancy designs. I mean yeah, I can do a mean polish and stick a few crystals on with an orange stick, but that’s about as far as my talents were going to take me! I’d always admired those who were able to basically draw out the map of the world on their fingers (including cities) so was ready to learn some tricks, nail art pen in hand! Roxanne showed us the AOFM Nail Wall of Fame (at the top of this post) which sported some crazy ass nail designs on fake nails which had been created by previous students. Roxanne also showed us some of her own designs, including some popular designer logos you may recognise… See how many you can guess right!
Photo credit: Roxanne Campbell
That YSL nail though… A girl after my own heart. Roxanne taught us how to use different tools to create different effects such as marbling, applying crystals, feathers and glitters and drawing on thin lines. We were then given 5 false nails each to create some imaginative designs which could potentially make it onto the AOFM Nail Wall of Fame! GAME ORRRRRN! I came up with these babies:
And I’m pleased to say that 1,2 AND 3 made it onto the wall! 3 out of 5 isn’t bad! And apparently this was just a warm up exercise as Roxanne had a challenge for us. She was looking for assistants to take with her to London Fashion Week and was setting us a task of creating an artistic nail art look to go with a chosen catwalk outfit. Only we weren’t allowed to choose these looks… They were given to us by Roxanne. And we had to do it in half an hour. Eeeeek! Sounds like enough time, but trust me when you are concentrating hard to get every detail right, that time flies by! Here was the outcome of mine. I was given a glitzy black and gold look:
Not perfect, but not bad for my first attempt I would say! And that’s a (nail) wrap! The end of our nail training! You can check out Roxanne’s website here. Spreading the love!
Day 4-6 Airbrushing, Dani Fonseca
Just go and google Dani’s name right now. Go and blimin’ google it. Dani is a sensational body painter and makeup artist who is behind Lady Gaga’s skull body paint in her Born This Way video! Yup she’s worked on Lady G herself. Jealous muchos. Dani specifically flew in from her home in NYC to train us in airbrushing for 3 days. Lucky thangs! Dani’s portfolio is beyond phenomenal and she runs The Body Of Art offering workshops for those wanting to enter the industry at beginner stage or to existing pro wanting to improve or refresh their skills. Needless to say, we were very lucky to have her! Dani dove straight in by showing us how to assemble and disassemble the airbrush gun and reiterating to us how easy it is to break it. 2 of the girls accidentally broke theirs so we were all extra cautious after this! We were using TEMPTU guns and products which come in many different formulas and colours. After a demonstration from Dani and practing on some tear out sheets from our booklets, we were asked to pair up and airbrush our partner’s skin. The result was phenomenal and I can understand why so many brides opt for it on their wedding day. It looked photoshopped!
Now I didn’t know this, but you can actually airbrush on a whole makeup look and not just the skin! That includes foundation, blusher, contour, eyeshadow, lipstick, eyebrows and even eyeliner! It was quite tricky to get the placement right but this was my first attempt at a full makeup look:
Not bad huh? Eyebrows and all! And this was done in about 15 minutes. 15 MINUTES! A full face of conventional makeup takes me at least 45 minutes so I am loving this. Photoshopped and in double time. Yep… Loving the airbrush! Over the next couple of days we continued practicing what we had learnt and honing our skills on how to create a full face of makeup. Excellent for weddings as it is waterproof, sweatproof, tearproof, everythingproof and extremely hygienic as you never actually touch the face! Dani even taught us that it’s actually possible to fully cover tattoos with a different formula. She demonstrated on one of the students as her tattoo disappeared before our eyes:
It’s like some sort of dark magic I tell ya! On the last day we were asked to create an editorial look with funky colours. Basically we were allowed to do anything we liked and let our imagination run away with us. I love bright colours and editorial is the avenue I mainly want to work in, so I was owning that gun! On your marks, get set, AIRBRUSH!
I’d rock that on a normal Saturday night… So what a productive week! I learnt some invaluable skills and I’ve fallen deeply in love with airbrushing! Can’t wait to use it on my clients. Next week is the FINAL week (wahhhh!) which is Special FX week. And believe me, it’s going out with a bang!
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