For one week, I was privileged to attend Class: Where the Masters Teach, one of the biggest educational events for makeup artists in the world. Along with 150 other makeup artists, I was able to spend 5 days receiving top notch education from some of the biggest and most experienced makeup artists who have ever worked in the industry. The educators who spoke at this event compile a client list with Oprah, Beyonce, Rihanna, Tyra Banks, Justin Timberlake, Zac Effron, and Kristen Stewart just to name a few. As a business owner, it is imperative that we continue to improve our business to provide a better service and experience for our clients, and Class was the ultimate class to take my artistry to the next level.
The first day of Class started off with Color Theory with Jessie Powers. Although it isn’t the fun, creative, unique stuff, it was an exceptionally important class. Jessie provided an in-depth insight to color theory and I’m not just talking about the color wheel. It’s really amazing to see how many colors actually make up the composition of skin. Hues of green, orange, yellow, and red are in each and every person’s skin that makes our individual composition so unique.
Steven Dimmick, is worth the price of admission just for his personality alone. He is like that ray of sunshine that instantly gives you the warm fuzzies, with a gorgeous Australian accent. One thing I particularly love about Steven is his candidness. He literally says whatever’s on his mind, which is very refreshing. He will tell you like it is and put it in a way that is funny, yet educational. His artistry just adds to how amazing he is, although he’s had a lengthy career as a makeup artist, he shared many of his stories, one being his first job, which was the cover of Vogue. The moral of his story is ultimately to be kind and humble with everyone you come in contact with. At the end of his demonstration, we were able to see his signature flawless glowing skin and soft erethreal glow.
The keynote speaker of day 1 was the beautiful and striking Sam Fine. Not only is he incredibly talented, but he’s also is a true professional. He made his entrance on stage in a full suit, dressed to the 9’s which is how he dresses for every job he does. His client list is comprised of Tyra Banks, Queen Latifah, Iman and Naomi Campbell. Sam has focused his career working with women of color and he has placed himself at the top of the industry with his skill and fiesty personality. He is such a sweet and genuine person and he was willing to share as much information with us as he could and even stayed after his demonstration to take photos with every one of us that waited in line. I was a bit nervous to meet him as he just has such a striking appearance, almost like meeting Tyra herself, but he was so kind, so complimentary, and so sincere. It made my day when he told me based on my makeup it looks like I know what I’m doing. It’s so good to know that even with all of the celebrities he works with, traveling all over the world, he’s still a down-to-earth, genuine individual.
The first class of day 2 was with the beautiful Julianne Kay. Julianne works with some of the top A list celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Zac Effron, and Gigi Hadid. At the beginning of her career started her Youtube channel, Rev Beauty, which is still very popular to this day. Julianne gave us the rundown on Men’s grooming as well as proper ettiquite when working on set. She also shared some of her key secrets, which I now use when working with my bridal clients.
Beau Nelson was the second educator of the day and he was so much fun to watch and listen to. To say the least, Beau is one of those people who is a true artist. He pretty much creates looks based on how he’s feeling or what’s inspiring him. He explained that this is his normal process when working with clients such as Kristen Stewart (below), who he created this look for the 2016 New York Film Festival to add interest and color as she was wearing an all white outfit. To think and work like him is something that many makeup artists struggle with as especially in bridal it can sometimes get very redundant. Watching Beau work has inspired me to try new techniques and styles of makeup when working with clients, that still achieves a beautiful result.
The last educator of the day was the First Lady of makeup artistry, Sandy Linter. Sandy has been working as a makeup artist since the 60’s and worked with the top celebrities of the last four decades such as Jackie Kennedy, Christie Brinkley, Bette Midler, Elizabeth Hurley. She is also the Beauty at Every Age Expert for Lancome. She demonstrated makeup for women over 40 on a beautiful model. The makeup was soft, age-appropriate, but still had an edge. Learning from Sandy was such an honor and being that women over 40 may sometimes feel like they can feel beautiful and sexy at their age without trying to hard, the techniques that I learned from her will definitely help add a boost of confidence in my mature clientele.
-Michelle Coursey, Jessica Padilla, Chris Milone
Day 3 was not a great day for me as I had come down with a sickness in which I had to spend the night at the hospital and return back at the hotel at 6 the morning. I wasn’t able to attend Gregory and Pati’s classes, which I was so upset about because they are incredible clean beauty makeup artists. Although I unfortunately missed the first two classes of the day, I was able to catch the last class which was Vintage Makeup of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. Being a history aficianado, vintage makeup is one of my favorite styles. Just seeing how beauty progressed based on the economy and current events of that time is so fun. Also having an education background, I love that they had a powerpoint presentation of about the history of makeup during those three decades, the colors used, makeup products, and the evolution of makeup to keep up with the up and coming Hollywood era.
The results of each of the three looks were stunning and so interesting. Over the span of 7-10 years the makeup styles look so different but each so beautiful.
FUN FACT: In the 1940’s, women did not wear a winged liner until later in the decade!
Although I enjoyed all of the classes up until this day, I have to say Lora Arellano was one of the educators I was most excited to see. I have followed her career from when she was just a small town makeup artist posting looks on Instagram. Her impeccable style got her noticed by Rihanna, whom she was her makeup artist for her Diamonds world tour. She is a true story of a normal girl who through hard work worked her way to the top in the modern day industry.
Not only was Lora gorgeous in person, but she was so humble. Many of the educators who we seen present on the first three days have been working in the makeup industry for years, and their personality and attitude is very been there done that because they have. Many have done multiple Vogue covers, travelled around the world with celebrities, but Lora was different. She is at that level but was so down-to-earth and shared her stories being a real artist and real issues that she dealt with like mean and negative people. At that moment, I seen that she was just like us with insecurities and issues as an artist.
Her look was editorial edge and involved so much detail work, which is very difficult to achieve. She pulled her look together with ease. After her class, she stayed and talked with each of us and took photos with all of us. She is such a kind and down-to-earth person and understood what we as artist go through on a daily basis. It was so awesome to talk with her and know that she goes through similar struggles as a makeup artist and business owner.
Reggie Wells was another speaker I couldn’t wait to listen to. Having been Oprah’s makeup artist for over 20 years, he was at the top of the industry. One thing I enjoyed about Reggie is that he is old school. He didn’t allow any phones, cameras, or any social media as he wanted our attention, our eyes and ears to be completely open. Reggie’s story is a humble one, as he started as a makeup artist at a counter at Macy’s. He took a few photos of his work and snuck his way into a designer’s office and the rest was history. From there, he worked with some of the top actresses, singers, and Oprah for many decades. His message to us was simple; don’t give up and have confidence in yourself. Reggie is so honest and so fabulous, which is no wonder he was such a successful makeup artist.
Roshar was the final educator of the day and although he does makeup that I necessarily don’t do I was very excited to see him work. Roshar is one of those minds that doesn’t think like everyone else in regards to makeup. He is a true artist. In the first two classes of the day, he did different looks so I was excited when he said he would be doing something much more avant garde. I was very impressed with how technical he is. Being artistic and incredibly technical and intentional about his process and technique. I learned so much from Roshar and although his work is more abstract and creative, I took away techniques that I can utilize when working with everyday clientele.
The last day of Class was half panel half demonstration. Our first panel was Clouttier Remix, which is one of the biggest agencies in Los Angeles. They talked about how to get represented by an agency and what to expect when working out in the industry. They gave some great insight on what services they provide as an agency and etiquette when working with celebrity clientele.
Johnna Schlip was our first keynote speaker of the day. Johanna is one of those makeup artists who are at the top of the Hollywood industry. Her client list includes Eva Longoria, Ellen Pompeo and Iggy Azalea. Her story is an amazing one, one that isn’t likely to happen nowadays, but is a crazy one nonetheless. At 18 years old Joanna left her home in Missouri and bought a one way ticket to France to become a makeup artist. She went to the French Vogue office and asked for a job; no agent, no portfolio and no professional experience and eventually worked her way to the top of the European fashion industry working with the top models and photographers of the time. Joanna created a gorgeous smokey eye and challenged herself to use makeup that we in the class had on us. All she had was brushes and created a look based on what we had available.
The grand finale of the week was the amazing Alex Box. Like Roshar and Beau, Alex’s creativity is on a whole other level. The masterpieces she creates are a representation of her feeling and vision, something that no one else would or could ever recreate. I honestly haven’t heard much of Alex Box as she is a avant grade artist, and although I’m sure can create a flawless beauty look is known for her out of the box creations. When she arrived, I was surprised to see she was a tiny woman and very soft spoken. Her demonstration was just that, a show in which she is in her zone; no talking, no explaining, but just feeling the emotion and creating her vision. While she was working it was like nothing I had ever seen before. She had created a preset playlist to play during her performance and you could see the emotion of the songs, her emotion just being brought to life. It was like you didn’t understand, but you did at the same time. It was quite an incredible experience.
Overall my week at Class was one of the most mind-blowing educational experiences I have ever been to. Nowhere else can you have a coffee with Roshar, or eat lunch with Oprah’s makeup artist, Reggie Wells, or get personal advice from Rihanna’s makeup artist, Lora Arellano. Aside from that, the quality of education is so exceptional, it is a must for any makeup artist who is looking to improve their skills, technique and take their business to the next level. Erica Carr, the mastermind behind this event has worked on this event for 3 years and she did such an amazing job. I am so grateful to her for her hard work and can’t wait to attend next year!
For more information on Class, please visit www.imgoingtoclass.com.