The Makeup Show in Chicago, June 2011

Posted on: July 2, 2011

The Powder Group is a professional organization for makeup artists, with a magazine On Makeup, networking events, artist summits and conferences/shows.

This year, The Powder Group brought The Makeup Show to Chicago, making a big impression on the Chicagoland beauty industry.  I have attended the show in NYC in the past, and was thrilled to see the show in Chicago, albeit on a smaller scale.  With the large number of people in attendance, it was obvious that Chicago is full of vibrant, talented, and passionate makeup artists!

In addition to the vendor booths and the hands-on educational workshops, there were keynote speakers and seminars galore on two floors at Venue One, a meeting/conference center across from Harpo Studios.  Vendors included professional and consumer brands — Smashbox, Makeup Forever, MAC, Kryolan, Mehron, and more!  And the deals … I’ve been eyeing Red Carpet Kolour Luminous Body Glow and was thrilled to be able to pick some up at a discount at the show.  Inglot, currently only available in Chicago at Makeup First School, was mobbed by MUAs excited to take a look at their products up-close.  I admit to being a big fan of their illuminating liquids, and the large selection of colors for their Freedom Palettes is awe-inspiring.

The Makeup Show was also a place to see new products launch — Reggie Wells, famed makeup artist for Oprah, debuted his new cosmetics line, HissyFit, at the Makeup Show in New York and in Chicago.  His foundation Clockpots contain foundation, concealer, highlighter, contour, and setting powder all in one compact.  Eye shadow and blush are also in Clockpots that are matched to your skin tone.  With Wells’ reputation in the industry, I predict HissyFit will soon find a following in the consumer market.  And Wells was there, in person, showing MUAs and makeup mavens how to use his product.  Amazing and humbling to see him interact with attendees and putting all his passion for makeup into his new line.

One of my favorite things at The Makeup Show was the free seminars, which took place all day on both floors of Venue One.  It was impossible to see them all, but to watch leaders in the industry show their skills, inspire, and create while you watch is something you just aren’t going to find anywhere else — seminars presented by makeup masters on wedding makeup, airbrush, theatrical/avant garde makeup, trend and red carpet makeup, the business of makeup, basic and advanced makeup skills, and more!  My only regret is that I couldn’t attend them all …!  One thing I picked up from the several seminars I attended is that there are all kinds of makeup artists — beauty, theatrical, avant garde — and that every makeup artist has their own preferences and tools, from Jon Hennessey’s preference to use a buffing brush to apply moisturizer to the skin to Candace Corey’s use of a small brush to apply setting powder for more control.  I tend to focus on beauty makeup in my own work, so watching master artists like Floriane David put a bald cap on a model’s head and paint and blend makeup as if the model were a canvas was fantastic to see up close. 

And the keynote and business forum speakers … Maurice Stein, Reggie Wells, Sam Fine, Crystal Wright … these are long-time, respected professionals that I was honored to see in person at the show.

Sam Fine’s keynote, in which he talked about his long career working on famous faces like Naomi Campbell, Patti LaBelle, Tyra Banks, Iman, Jennifer Hudson, and more, was among the most inspiring.  He opened his talk with the words, “We are all servants.”  The fact that a makeup artist to celebrities, and a celebrity in his own right, can say that — and MEAN it — brought cheers from the standing-room only crowd.  Fine talked about his mentors Fran Cooper and Kevyn Aucoin and “virtual mentors” — pictures of other artists’ work that he admires.  His other bit of advice to us as makeup artists was to not focus on the competition or what we don’t have, since that is paralyzing to the creative spirit.  His addressing our souls as artists was unexpected, and most welcome to this particular soul.

I cannot wait for The Makeup Show to return to Chicago in 2012 — for, as makeup artist Candace Corey told us in her seminar, education is key for all of us to grow and become true professionals.  To that I would add that INSPIRATION is also key, and The Makeup Show definitely did that for me!



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  • lilmakeuptips: Thanks for your comment! I got your note on the smoky eye and will do a post on the topic soon!
  • Wicked Red: You look REALLY good in those Lil. Thanks for sharing.
  • lilmakeuptips: Thank you so much Emil! I hope to have a New Year's makeup blog entry posted tomorrow ... maybe even a webcam if I can get it done ...


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