Monday, December 3, 2007

Makeup Artist Corner: Billy B. Workshop!


I call this a 'Makeup Artist Corner' but it's really for anyone that wants great tips on doing a smokey eye. Since my phone interview with Billy B. back in July, I had been anticipating his workshop that took place on November 25th at Industry Cosmetics. It's one thing to hear him speak over the phone but to see him in person doing what he does best is quite an amazing thing. On the day of, I wasn't feeling my best but decided to suck it up because after all it was Billy B!

When I arrived I was a little bummed and embarrassed that I had missed about 45 minutes of his seminar! I wasn't aware of a time change and Industry's site said it would start at 2:30 pm. So when I arrived, I was politely ushered in and took my seat in the back quietly. The good thing was that I was able to come away with some great makeup tips! Here is what I took away on achieving a smokey eye for editorial!

1. You want your smokey eye to be different than everyone else's. You want yours to stand out from the rest.

2. The deepest intensity should be the top eye near the lash line. Anytime you use a pencil you always need to set it with the same colour powder shadow so it will not smudge. For the shadow colour, he used a charcoal grey in the crease and lash line. Lid was in a natural beige tone.

3. Applying mascara with a short nylon brush on bottom lashes (Billy uses #9 from his Paintbrush collection). I thought this tip was really genius and I tried it on myself at home. I just loved the result - of course if I had the proper brush it would have went on a lot easier. It really gives the eye definition and makes the eyes pop. He applies mascara with the #9 brush and lays it on the bottom lashes for a very precise application. You want the intensity to be right into the root of the lash. He rarely applies mascara to the tips of the lashes and concentrates it all on the root because it makes the lashes look feathery, full, and natural. He also used this technique for the top lashes.

4. Curling the top lashes - if done properly it will stay curled all day even without mascara. First he raises the lid by putting his thumb on the brow bone. This will help anchor the eye lash curler to the base of the lash. Pulse at base a few times, walk it out to the middle of the lash, pulse, and walk it out to the tip. Interesting fact about his new eye lash curler: it was made for Westernized eyes. Shu Umera is a great eye lash curler for Asian eyes but he felt it was too wide for Western eyes.

5. Billy loves to use dual-finish powders and prefers Makeup Designory to set and blend the makeup. He also used it as a shadow colour for the lids which took another step out. For detailing, he uses his #6 Paintbrush in a buffing motion. By doing this, you are not applying a lot of product and only applying it in areas where needed. He also used this to conceal.


6. Contouring and blush - Billy uses his #4 Paintbrush to contour. I personally love this technique because it gives my cheeks definition and gives the illusion of slimmer cheeks - yay! Some makeup artists choose to use foundations to contour. But contour doesn't have to be done with an extremely dark colour. He chose a rose-beige powder blush as his contour colour. You want to concentrate the colour further back on the cheekbone. If you don't know where to contour, ask the model to smile and it's right under the apple of the cheek. The contour was very natural but still looked contoured and wearable for everyday. He then chose a peachy tone blush for the apples of the cheeks. He took a bigger brush and blended and buffed the two colours together. The result was perfectly sculpted cheeks in a natural way.

7. To highlight Billy used his #13 Paintbrush, a fluffy soft brush on the cheekbone and all the way up to the eye and on top of cheekbone. For fair skin he suggests using MAC Pigment in White Frost and MAC Trace Gold Blush for olive or darker skin. The shimmer should not be chunky or sparkly but have more of a sheen. Before applying the shimmer on your model, swipe the brush on your hand to get rid of excess. He then took the flat part of his brush to contour the nose. If you're scared of contouring the sides of the nose with a darker colour, he suggests highlighting straight down the nose (you must make sure it's straight). He then buffed the sides of the nose with a brush to blend out the shimmer. With the residue from the brush, he used it only where sheen is pretty like the inner corner of the eyes.

8. Billy decided to add dimension to the eye by adding another shadow colour on top of the grey. He chose a deep purple which really gave it a sooty smokey look. He left the brows unfilled and suggested to emphasize brows only when it's an accessory to the look (unless it's an undesirable shape). The thing with editorial is that the makeup doesn't have to be too perfect. Filling brows in too much can sometimes look dated.

9. Billy isn't really a fan of lipstick. Sometimes lip colour is not as good as the natural lip colour. He chose a lip liner that was similar to the model's lip colour and only lined the lips - no filling in. He then softened the edges of the liner. The lip gloss he chose was a pinky-beige and added a shimmery gold gloss just to the bow of the lip.


The result: The model looked flawless and picture ready. Too bad the lighting in there was dim because my pictures turned out blurry and yellow. A Q&A was followed by the workshop which almost turned into a therapy session. Here are some interesting tid-bits I learned about Billy!

1. Choosing your battles: This question was brought on by a makeup artist that wanted advice on how to tell a customer that the dark ring around the lips was a bad choice (I too hate that look!). The makeup artist was very adamant that if she's going to stand behind her work she will not let her customer walk out of the store looking horrible. Billy totally understood this and said that some customers don't know how to look any other way. It's hard for them to break away from what they've become so accustomed to. You have to choose your battles. If you're working retail and only getting paid minimum wage just sell her what she wants. Billy talked about one client who shall remain nameless (but you know who you are!), that washed off her makeup after he was done and took the picture like that! Can you imagine??? Well, that was definitely a battle worth fighting for and he won and will never work with this actress again!

2. When it comes to applying makeup, Billy doesn't believe in rules. But he does believe in makeup that is done perfectly and not relying everything on Photoshop!

3. Billy's Paintbrush Collection is animal friendly. Sub-sable mixture of fibres. The lip brush he created for his line is a lidless retractable brush. There's no lid but there is an automatic closure to keep your brush clean!

4. Billy gets this question all the time and each time it makes him get a little teary-eyed. Awww! When asked about who inspired him the most in his career he said there are many people but the main person was himself. He grew up in a little town in Mississippi and hated who he was and desperately wanted to reinvent himself. He was determined to prove to everyone that said he was never good enough or called him names that he would work his way to the top and he has. Billy was so open and honest - I think almost everyone was in tears including the person that asked him the question. She burst out uncontrollably and said she was going through the same thing. Billy being the amazing person he is, got up and hugged her tightly and asked if she wanted to talk after. Michael DeVellis made a joke about it being Dr. Phil but with Dr. Bill haha.

5. Billy's first big break was when Mariah Carey was discovered. His agents told him that the job was for a new artist and he wasn't going to get paid very much. But when Mariah's career took off so did his!

6. Billy learned about using milk magnesium on the skin from Beyonce. It's a technique used on stage to prevent sweating. He only uses this on Beyonce.

7. Every job that he does he travels with a light (called Total Light). It's very portable and folds up. He prefers using a light because he likes to see everything when he's working and it's pretty close to the light he works in. Billy suggests to of course use day light if you're doing a day shoot outdoors.

8. Fake lashes tip: use a black glue, take a liner brush and line the lash line with the glue much like you would using a liner. Stick your lashes on and voila - no messy application! I have definitely got to try this technique! He says to cut the tip of a Q-tip because the cardboard part is the only thing that really pushes those lashes to the base. I'll have to try that as well!

9. Billy doesn't airbrush but says he'll learn at some point. He travels too much and doesn't have time to mix. Also, he likes doing things the ol' school way. Mee too!

10. Be on the lookout for packing accessories for transporting your products from Billy B.'s line!

After it was over, Michael and I exchanged hugs and I introduced myself to Billy. We hugged and I gushed about how wonderful his workshop was. Unfortunately, Billy had to step out quickly and I didn't get a chance to get a picture of us two together. Oh well! Maybe next time! But I'm glad I pulled myself together and went to the workshop. Billy is just too great to pass up! I hope you enjoyed this post and were able to come away with some great tips!

5 comments:

yummy411 said...

great tips of course!

i've heard of #s 6 and 7. i've never tried the milk of magnesia but i'm so curious. it was suggested to me to use on a performer. how would you use it, brush it on? lightly? layers?

7. i so want one of those lamps. i was told about it and need to price one =))))

great great great coverage! thanks joy =)

lucky said...

i REALLY loved this post!!! i've had the fortune of meeting billy a few times and he was always gracious and really *listens* to you when you talk... more proof that being a makeup artist is so much about your people skills!!

thank you for such a detailed, informative post... i'm going to try the milk of magnesium trick when i'm in LA next week for the Aftershow!

Make-up Junkie in Canada said...

Hey Yummy411!

You're soo welcome - thought you'd enjoy some tips from a pro like Billy! The milk magnesium I'm not sure of the application but I assume you can apply it with a foundation brush?? Hmm...going to look it up...oh and the light is something really cool to have. I just realized I have a few of these lights hanging around my house! My husband used to be a photographer! Try ebay - my husband bought a few lights off of ebay and they were great!

Make-up Junkie in Canada said...

Hey Lucky!!

Aww, thanks I'm soo glad you enjoyed it!! Hey, you'll probably know this question - how will you be applying the milk of magnesium?? Are you going to be applying it on Jessi and Dan?? You're sooo lucky (no pun intended)! Have a blast in LA! I can't wait to see the finale!!!

lucky said...

thanks joy! i bought the m of m (that's my code... it sounds prettier) yesterday... i'm gonna try a light layer of it with a foundation brush... we'll see how it goes!! i might do a test run on myself first...then, i dunno, go for a run at the gym or something...