Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Services Menu : September 2015

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The Val Garland Course: The first brief! Create!

For those of you who follow me on instagram you will know already that I recently went on a super exciting make-up course. The course was a first of its kind; I read about it in Vogue, to give you an idea of how upper echelon we are talking! We heard from pioneers, market leaders, world famous names and , of course, from Val Garland herself. Val Garland is an industry giant who has collaborated with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, is the creative make-up genius behind those fantastic M.A.C images and the list goes on. The course promised real industry briefs for companies as exciting as NARS, Vivienne Westwood and i-D magazine! Just look at her work! Why wouldn't I jump?  
Val doing Kate Moss' face

The genius of Val


I, right? I was jazzed to winch open my colour-neatly-in-the-lines brain.

Our briefs, which I will share here, stretched me in directions I never though it could go!

In our first project we were asked to create a make up look out of anything for Val herself....the only rule was, our thought process couldn't be about make-up! We were to think of something and only at the very end were we to think about how it could translate in to a make-up look. 

Where to start, right?

The next morning I woke up, went about my day and noticed that many hours in to the day, the impressions from my pillow were still on my arm. (I am probably dehydrated, I know, I know, drink more water). This sent my brain in to a spiral.....when you remove lace from skin there are pretty impressions.....lace impressions on skin.......corseted skin......marks of a corset on kardashian's feet after shoes...the pain we inflict on ourselves for beauty.....

The course instructed us to sit with our ideas for a while after doing a little research, a little mood boarding and these two images really stuck with me.,,,,, And it occurred to me that these kinds of impressions almost looked like tribal scars of some kind.

I started to research Scarification and while it seems scary to outsiders, the tribes that indulge in it use it to mark important occasions, like the onset of manhood or womanood, or getting married. I started to see how beautiful the scars can be, as you can see.  

I decided to experiment with the idea of symmetry on the face, with the zig zag shapes that were echoed in corsets, the net on to which lace is embroidered and indeed in scarrification. I thought it was time to start designing make up. 

The course required that we design a high street look, a fashion look and an avante garde look. I made four face charts and roped in my favourite face to work with, my husbands baby sister; she was my muse through most of this course. Ever patient and an excellent model and collaborator, I can't really ever thank her enough.

You can see my station in my salon all ready to go, face charts at the ready......

For the high street look I decided to reference tribal colours and I thought I would take this last few season's love of a bright eye liner to the next level.

With the right tools (witness my hacked up brush above) this was actually pretty easy to achieve! 
For the fashion look I though I would stick to these fantastic colours of both the sub continent and Africa and play with the symmetry within a face.

To take it up a notch we added lashes......the result is Bardot meets Bowie, I think......

I thought I could create the effect of scarrification by mixing a latex glue with some flesh coloured acrylic make up...this is only half way through but it looked so pretty even in the sketching process we had to stop and photograph it!

Here is the finished avant garde look. A face swathed in scars in a net like design.

So there you have it...from initial idea to finished result!

 I have never had a reason to think like this or experiment like this before. Bridal make-up has always been my jam. Suddenly I found myself looking at everything as a basis for creative thought....... everything!

Now what more would you ask for from a creative make up course?

Model: Imaan Madani Photography: Danish Rasheed and Bina Khan 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A fun Q and A session with Sunday Magazine......

Classes; for the make-up enthusiast in you!

I have been a make-up artist for close on to 20 years now. I am addicted to the rush of seeing a woman look at herself in the mirror with my make-up on and seeing something beautiful in her face that she didn't see before.  In every appointment I wait for that moment. When women give themselves the "well, hello there, you gorgeous thing you!" look.

So it was with even greater pleasure that I realised that I also seemed to have the ability to write and teach. Giving women this power for themselves became a second kind of rush. Showing someone the beauty in their faces, pointing it out, showing them how to accent it and highlight it....this became a second source of great pleasure for me.

Soon I was being asked by girls who wanted to become make-up artists themselves if I would train them to be professionals. I jumped right in and I have trained many, many professional make-up artists by this point.....some of whom went on to work for me and do till this day! Training professionals, I found, gave me a thrill as well! Seeing an artist create excellent looks with techniques that I made up...or do the perfect liner and walk tall....well what could be better?

So over the past 15 or so years I have created different kinds of classes to suit my style of teaching and to try and address all of the needs that an interested make-up enthusiast might have.

I found I wanted to do away with group classes, as time went by. Unless there is a group you can't feel like you aren't keeping a troubled student myself growing up I felt that make-up classes, at least,  should not be a place for stress. If it's just you, then you don't feel pressured by what the others in the class are up to. I teach you one on one and there is no hurry. All the time in the world to get it right.

So here then are the kinds of courses that I created. I find all versions fun and challenging.

1) The Foundation Course:

In this course I teach you most of the technique that you need to do make-up. But on your own face. I feel that if you learn on yourself you pretty quickly gauge when things are becoming too much, or too cakey, or not bringing out the best in you. I have seen this over the years; a make up artists does what they think is an excellent job, but their client is uncomfortable with the result. This comes from putting what you think is a pretty mask on to your client's face. It's not them anymore......they are wearing your work. So I feel it is absolutely key to practice on yourself when you are first learning so that you understand when too much is.......well...... too much!

In the first course we cover:

* Bases
* Face Structure
* Eye Structure
* Eye make-up step by step
*Colour theory
*Pairing blush, lip and eye
* A good, core kit

This is a bullet point way of saying I teach you pretty much all there is to know about make-up! There are obviously some advanced techniques that you will learn after this but the core is right here. This is the kind of class that anyone who wants to learn their way around their own faces MUST do. I wish make-up classes were mandatory in school! It's a tool that we all deserve!

Our basic course is for Rs.65,000 (plus GST) and runs for 15-18 hours.......or till I think you are good enough to go!

2)The Advanced course:

This course is for professionals. Even as a professional you would need to start with the first course since most of the basic theory that is particular to my technique is taught there. In this course you finally apply your knowledge on other faces. Many students ask for other little details they would like to learn......lashes application......dupatta pinning.........that's up to you! It's fairly tailor made. You will again learn on my make-up.....this enables you to decide which products and brushes you would like to include in and send for in your own, final kit.

In the second course we:

*help you create a portfolio of looks that will be the core of your repertoire
*once these are created you will do one every class and I will review and correct each one
*you will learn some advanced eye make-up techniques that only a hand with some practice will be able to grasp

Our advanced course is for Rs. 100,000 (Plus GST)  and also runs for 15-18 hours.

And if you are excellent I usually try and get you to come and work for me!

3) The hour long class:

This class is simple. It's  a question that I can answer in an hour!

How do I do my base?

Show me how to wear a red lipstick?

How do I do a smokey eye?

How do I do a seriously epic liner?

This class is for Rs. 6,000. (plus GST)

I hope I have answered clearly all of the questions I get about classes and here are a few images to give you a little peek in to the process. (Do keep in mind that we no longer run group classes)

So let's start with one of the best students I have ever had. This is the work of a student who I insisted become a member of my team. She still comes and works with me whenever her busy schedule as a mum allows her to. This is her work on my sister in law Zara Madani. You can see her flawless technique,...I taught her completely from scratch!
Make-up by Meher Bano Qureshi
You get to learn on my your starter kit is pretty vast! 

Do any of you recognise another member of my team? Here is a very young Afrah Rizwan doing her foundation course before she got married. 5 years later she did her advanced course and became a make up artist at the salon! 

Every student leaves with a hand drawn, comprehensive sketch book which is your make-up bible. I encourage new students to keep this open and follow each step as you begin to learn. That way you don't develop bad habits that you will have to unlearn as you go along.

When I say detailed sketches...I mean detailed sketches......
Sometimes your eyes get tired with all the practice.....I demonstrate how to practice on the back of my hand. And if you can make it look 3D on a flat surface...imagine the nuance on your eye! 

Learn which brushes you need for which effect and shape....
Here we see a clarins small eye shadow brush, a stila #4 brush and a real techniques small detailer brush. Try all of them during class and see which one you want to send for in the end! 

Students crack up during their graduation picture.....

Sometimes you get to see demos on famous faces! Here you can see me getting Sanam Saeed ready for her apperance as Roxy Heart in "Chicago" as a class looks on! You can see the exaggerated contouring here for the stage.
Graduating classes with their certificates! 
Discussing technique......

Learn how to apply lashes.....individual or strip.

There are so many M.A.C lipsticks......but which ones work for our skin tones? I will show you which ones and how to make the colours of the season work for you! 

Students at work!