A Thought About Profession

In Silly Posts on December 2, 2006 at 4:10 pm

When working backstage of any show in Indonesia, these are people that you are bound to meet:

1. Celebs – Who would only be nice and friendly to you if they already know who you are
2. Celebs managers and or publicists – Who would be three times nicer and friendlier if they already know who you are
3. Sneaky gossip journalists – Who could instantly create commotion, the nemesis of Celebs and Celeb Managers but the love/hate friend to Celeb Publicists
4. Segment producers and scriptwriters – With handy talkie attached to their hips and papers in their hands looking so busy but all they do is just walking around, driving everyone crazy, really
5. Costume People – Who normally takes about two hours just to hang the costumes but five seconds to disappear whenever a costume is too tight or too lose or unwearable
6. Make Up Artists

Now I want to talk about the last of the batch. The makeup people.

I don’t really know how it’s done in the US or UK or anywhere else in the world… but in Indonesia, these people always look the ugliest. The average so-called make up artist in Indonesia are NOT looking like those from MAC. You know, the trendy people with colored hair, skinny jeans and tight MAC Logo-printed tops with perfectly done face. No.

All throughout my career in the business, I have encountered many people who does this for living. And I am saddened to say that almost all of them look like they haven’t showered for a year. So after years of observation and a vivid last look just the other night, I braved myself up to make a list. Here goes.

There are four categories of female make up artists:

1. The You-Listen-To-Me-Or-I’ll-Make-You-Look-Like-A-Kabuki-Dancer Type

These are usually the senior ones, age ranging from 80 to 200 years old. They don’t take no for an answer, they are straight-faced, badly conservatively-dressed and used way too many brushes to color one eyelid. When you try to correct their ‘mistake’, they pull a warning look on their faces and in an instant you’ll know that it’s time to shut the hell up or you’ll end up kabuki-ish. In the end, you’ll wish you’d yell or make a scene because you end up kabuki-ish anyway. And these people are usually very vengeful. I once came across one who made the term ‘touch-up’ looked like wedding cake icing, just because the client said she put the wrong eyeliner. To sum up, this is practically your mom doing your make up, with reference from the post-war trends to match your brasierre.

2. The No-Fuss-Quick-Done Type

These ones hate to be interrupted -who doesn’t-. A bit of criticisms are okay with them. To this kind, it’s somewhat ‘I’ll give you what you want as long as this is done in 30 minutes’. Very effective, but sometimes due to their ‘rush’, these people tend to forget the minor details such as applying the right amount of glue to the fake eyelashes so the eyelash suddenly ‘jumped out of the lid’ in the middle of the show.

3. The Ultra Thorough Girl

The Ultra-Thorough girl is a rare species found among the Expensivo of the male make up artist flock (will explain later). A rare breed who manages to look good herself, finish the job to perfection and usually works freelance so her schedule is mostly busier than the celebs’. That, is probably her only flaw.

4. The I-Want-To-Own-My-Beauty-Shop-But-Haven’t-Got-Enough-Money-So-I-Think-
I’ll-Give-It-A-Shot-In-TV-Business Type

The make up artists I am talking about are those who wears scruffy jeans, oh-so-last-season flip flops, uniforms or dull tops that you can only find in traditional markets for sale, with faces so oily they could fry an egg on ’em. An equivalent of The Nothing from the male flock, except these girls are louder-mouthed and tend to giggle at very inappropriate times. My tip is: if you happen to be a celebrity, own one of “The Thorough Girl” from the female flock or “The Expensivo” from the male flock and bring them along whenever you are invited to do a show on a TV station. Otherwise, you’ll be handled by this exact last type.

The men, mostly gay, can be classified in 3 categories:

1. The Expensivo

Normaly very good looking -so good you’ll wonder why they aren’t the stars-, not much of a talker -while usually they keep unbelievably juicy gossips under the cool exterior-, uses fine brands of cosmetics to even touch up a nobody. Very Kevyn-Aucoin wannabe. And I am glad that they do exist although very very rare.

2. The Middle Men

These sorts are the ones who just entered the glitz and glam of the business, and they think they own the world. Usually very talkative, if not to their surroundings, to their cell phones. Uses middle-branded cosmetics. Some of them know who Kevyn Aucoin was, some -when I mentioned the name- went: “Oh yeah, I’ve never use that brand.”

3. The Nothing

Being the worst of the bunch, these guys only know one thing best: gossips. They get irritated hearing complaints about their work, they snap at people for no reasons at all, they make their clients look all caked up and big-haired, but whenever you want to hear the juiciest, they are all infotainment programs bundled into one. And um… most of the time badly dressed with a hint of B.O. or bad breath that when they apply eye shadow, you’d feel like you need an oxygen mask.

Now based on my observation, I could not stop wondering why most of Indonesia’s make up artists don’t represent their own profession in a representative kind of way? It’s like… your job is to make other people beautiful… why can’t you be beautiful yourself?

I know this may be perceived as a shallow post, but what’s not shallow in entertainment? We’re all doing fake things, creating fake “reality” shows (come on, you don’t still believe that Survivor is real, do you?) and so what? The industry makes tons of money out of it, lots of people get entertained and everybody’s happy. The unhappy ones are those poor celebrities who have to sit there in the make up room, getting touch ups by uncapable make up artists.

We see designers and every time we see them strutting around posh malls, we go: boy, are they stylish! But when we see a make up artist working for a major television station, we go: Really?

I am not judging anybody. Everyone is free to choose their style. Free to dress any way they want. It is a so-called free country. But there is something -not just make up artists- people forget ever so often:

Respect to their own profession.

How can you respect a doctor who listens to your heart by pressing his ear to your chest? How can you respect an interior designer who lives in the dumps? How can you respect an athlete who doesn’t even own a decent sporting gear?

How can you respect a make up artist who doesn’t put much effort to at least wear a thin layer of make up on herself?

Thank God I am not a celebrity. Nor a make up artist.

And there’s the perk in being a producer which I love. You criticize, you bitch, you yell, you scream and nobody will say otherwise. As long as you keep the show running and the management smiling.
When the ratings drop, you’re fired.

At least, if it ever happens to me *knock on wood*, I’ll walk off the set in style.

  1. Hey whoa! Great post!

    I haven’t been lucky enough to encounter very many make-up artists in my life (or profession)… haha.. I always had images of busy gorgeous bitchy babes running the make-up artist industry brandishing puffs and brushes on each hand. What a disappointment! This is about one of very few times that I’ve had sympathy for the poor celebs. haha!

    ooh btw.. keep the number of your fave make-up artist… I might be calling you for references ;p

  2. Teez: aha! about two years later she shows up here. HAHAHAHA! oh thank God i’m not brushing shoulders with them anymore, but yes i do have a favorite make-up artist and a favorite hair stylist too. will keep their just for you. i’m assuming you’re just in the mood of dressing up and ready to pay big bucks and will pretend you don’t have a big day somewhere in the near future unless you say so. but um, just keep me posted. *wink wink* 😀

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