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sara1025

Anxiety when doing someone's makeup

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First off, hello! I've been somewhat of a lurker, have finally decided to join in the hopes that there are others who can relate to my issue. I've been doing makeup for around 5 years now, worked at Sephora for 3 years and currently at a makeup counter for 2 years now. When it comes to doing makeup on others, I love making them look beautiful but I hate the anxiety that comes with it! When I first started doing makeup, I figured the anxiety would eventually subside after getting more experience but 5 years later it's worse than ever. When I do a makeup appointment at work, I get shaky, sweaty, and sometimes turn completely red (specially if the client is going to a big event or if they have issues with how the makeup turned out). It's embarrassing because I'm sure it makes the client uncomfortable, and while the makeup usually turns out well I can't help but think it would look so much better if I could concentrate more without being so nervous. I know it's just makeup but I care so much about the client looking the best they can. It has come to the point where I think I'm going to have to think of a different career path despite the fact that I've wanted to be a professional makeup artist for so long. None of my coworkers have this issue, so it's hard to find anyone to relate to. Does anyone else have this issue? Any tips/tricks/advice to try to overcome this, or would it be a good idea just to quit and pursue something else? Thanks in advance for any replies!

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In my opinion its the nervousness and anxiety that turns your makeup great, because you are worried for the final look, so you do your best this way. :)

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On 1/2/2019 at 8:11 PM, sara1025 said:

First off, hello! I've been somewhat of a lurker, have finally decided to join in the hopes that there are others who can relate to my issue. I've been doing makeup for around 5 years now, worked at Sephora for 3 years and currently at a makeup counter for 2 years now. When it comes to doing makeup on others, I love making them look beautiful but I hate the anxiety that comes with it! When I first started doing makeup, I figured the anxiety would eventually subside after getting more experience but 5 years later it's worse than ever. When I do a makeup appointment at work, I get shaky, sweaty, and sometimes turn completely red (specially if the client is going to a big event or if they have issues with how the makeup turned out). It's embarrassing because I'm sure it makes the client uncomfortable, and while the makeup usually turns out well I can't help but think it would look so much better if I could concentrate more without being so nervous. I know it's just makeup but I care so much about the client looking the best they can. It has come to the point where I think I'm going to have to think of a different career path despite the fact that I've wanted to be a professional makeup artist for so long. None of my coworkers have this issue, so it's hard to find anyone to relate to. Does anyone else have this issue? Any tips/tricks/advice to try to overcome this, or would it be a good idea just to quit and pursue something else? Thanks in advance for any replies!

Hi Sara,

First off, welcome to the MuT forum. 

Being a little bit nervous during an application is normal. Unfortunately it can be compounded when doing a make-up at a counter and when doing  a make-up/camera test on an actor due to the amount of questions they throw at you, and these questions can make you second guess your work and your expertise.

To overcome this, I usually take a few slow deep breaths in a quiet private area to calm myself. If you're familiar with yoga, I use ujjayi breathing technique, which is slow deep breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth. This breathing technique will calm you yet will keep you focused. This is what works for me, however, it may or may not work for everyone. The point is, is that you use a calming technique, however that looks to you. 

To overcome the questions, I become assertive and confident in my recommendations in a non-egotistical professional way. For example, If a client balks at a black eye liner pencil, you can recommend other options like a cake or powder liner while complimenting them. Compliments appeal to their emotions and they will become more at ease and comfortable with your application process. Even at the end when they are looking in the mirror, still compliment them, but don't overplay it as it could come across as being fake.

Also, your application needs to be done in a confident way. When I first started in the industry 25 yrs ago doing fashion editorials, I was very nervous working with high-end models from Ford, Next etc,  a photographer then once told me to fake it like I was an experienced MuA that had 10 yrs experience. So I had to pretend to be a make-up artist with 10 yrs experience, and how that looked like was that my technique and touch had to be done in a very confident manner.

Make sure the pressure on your brush or sponge is firm, don't move your brush in a hap hazard way all over the face. Start from the top down or from left to right. Start somewhere and end somewhere without too much overlap, especially when doing a man's make-up.

I also find in engaging in conversation with the client or actor helps in alleviating a bit of nervousness. Also make sure when you talk to your client or actor that you are sure of yourself, if you feel more confident in them talking, let them talk while you do the make-up. Even during a conversation, keep your make-up application process the focal point. Another thing is the minute you second guess yourself in a conversation or recommendation, you've pretty much lost their confidence in you, and that is very difficult to get back, if ever. Don't worry, this happens at least once or twice in a make-up artist' career, and we just learn from it.

If you still feel nervous during the middle of an application, don't be afraid to excuse yourself to regain your composure. Just say you have to check to see if you have that item in stock or whatever.

Hope this helps Sara, good luck!

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On 2/2/2019 at 4:57 AM, leepalmer said:

I could recommend you medical marijuana to cope with anxiety, but I guess your clients won't understand this lol. Honestly, it is a normal feeling to be anxious with first clients, later you will be feeling more confident, your clients will be satisfied with your mastery, your self esteem will grow. Good luck!

Most to all people who sit your chair will find fragrances  / scents not very comforting, including tobacco, fast food, alcohol, fabric softeners, etc. That's why the fragrance free policy in this industry and in most wedding parties that hire hair and make-up artists. 

Edited by vogueboy

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You could feel anxious because you don’t know if your makeup has been applied correctly, if you have missed any blemishes, or perhaps you are worried your technique isn’t good enough. I have a friend who constantly checks her makeup every two seconds despite the fact she has received loads of compliments towards how she wears it. Makeup is like another thing someone could judge you on. Despite the fact that it covers blemishes and makes certain characteristics of a face pop, it can also have a negative effect, as the face is one of the first things people see when they look to someone.

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