You’re the expert

I was going to immediately dive into the nitty gritty of “choosing the right foundation” or “why brushes are important” with this post, but I did remember something else that was really essential before we begin our makeup shopping journey together.  When working as a counter makeup artist in the past, there was one phrase that I could really never ever hear again and be perfectly happy and that phrase was “you’re the expert.”  Although, I appreciate this appraisal of all my hard work in the field; blood, sweat, and tears pouring forth to make the world a more beautiful place, it doesn’t really apply to my customizing something for an individual person to go home and enjoy.  If a photographer hires me for a job and shows me the clothes, models, and sets we’ll be working with and I in turn show them my concepts and ask them which they prefer to go with, if they reply “Whatever you want, you’re the expert.”  This is great (and probably a dream).  He/She have hired me to do a job which they trust me to execute based on my  previously assessed abilities, artistic integrity, and concept pitch.  In this situation, I am indeed the expert.  At counter, the conversation usually goes like this

ME:  “Hi, welcome to ____.  Can I help you find something today?”

You: “Yes, actually.  I need help picking out a lipstick/foundation/eyeshadow.”

ME: “Okay, what did you have in mind?”

You: “Oh, I don’t know…..You pick, you’re the expert!”

Although it is true, that I do make people up for a living, I am not the expert on You!  Only you are the expert on you!  What you like or don’t like.  What works or doesn’t.  What you will or won’t do when you make up your face each day.  I can help you sort through all of the choices offered or recommend what’s right for your tastes and needs once you share them with me, but unless you are a personal friend or family, I wouldn’t blindly tell you what’s right for you.  And maybe not even then.  Because I would probably be wrong.  The usual play out of this unfortunate scenario, is that I pick something I like, that you are not jazzed about, or I automatically go for a “safe” choice that ultimately may not be the most scintillating for you.  Don’t be afraid to be specific.  The more specific you are, the more you are likely to get what you want.  I highly recommend using pictures (just like you would at a hair salon when getting a hair cut) of the lip/eye/face you desire to create.  Makeup is totally visual. All reds are not the same nor are the descriptions used to explain their color.  Sometimes, one man’s red is another man’s mauve.  Pics are worth a million color descriptions.  If you really aren’t sure what you want, that’s totally okay too.  In that case, maybe start with what you don’t want.  Everyone knows what they don’t like.  Look at the options and point.  Or talk about what you have and what you like/dislike about it and what you’d like in your next purchase.  The more we know, the better expert we can be on you!