Make Up Artist Abroad: How to pack?♥
This blog is all about my first international wedding booking in Marbella, Spain.
After working very hard for four years I have built a very strong and loyal bond with my clients. So much so that I was flown out to do Nicole’s wedding party. This booking included bridal make up, many bridesmaids make up & hair styling.
Understand your brief.
Ensure you and your client takes time to discuss exactly your role and purpose for the booking. For example, I am a makeup artist, hairdresser and hair extensionist, however, I may just be booked for touch ups. On the other hand i may be expected to create 12 makeup looks.
The reason this step of ‘Understanding your brief’ is vital is down to packing (step 2). The main factors you want to clearly understand about your brief is
Skill required (Make up, hair, nails, extensions etc)
Number of clients who require the service
Strict timings of your job (The bride may think you’re super woman and be able to do 8 maids in 2 hours – which unless you’re bionic is not possible and you would need to communicate this to your bride)
Study the ‘look’ (Have a trial or 3 to really get to know your clients needs, wants and expectations. Once you have the trial you will want to write down all products used to make step 2 even easier)
Ensure the price is right (Let’s not lie, we all love our jobs, if you’re in the right profession, but we do work to get paid. So, please understand, yes it is amazing to be flown abroad and do your skill internationally but you are LOSING income by not being in the country. Yes you’re in marbella doing a wedding but you’re not in England to take on other clients. This loss must be included in your price otherwise the booking can actually go from being exciting to being a burden if you’re losing money to live)
Research your destination (Know the month, date and time of the day the booking will take place. This will play a vital part in product research as your main factor to consider is climate). Once all of this is established you’re ready for Step 2.
Plan, Plan, Plan. You will be very stressed trust me if you do not have a premeditated plan. This should include, transport from airport to venue pre booked, hotel pre booked, time of arrival for booking, timetable of clients, time to be finished by and allergies of any clients. Once this list is clearly ticked off you want to start writing a list of tools and products you need to take with you. This list should include everything down to ear buds. You will be surprised how many products you take for granted in your job. It’s like when you stay at a friends you forget your toothbrush, charger and underwear. Well, working abroad you can sometimes forget your brushes, sponges or eyelash glue. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE!
PLEASE write a list and tick as you pack. Also, as silly as this sounds, worry about what YOU are going to wear. Working in a 40 degree hotel in jeans and a leather jacket isn’t going to allow you to create magic if you’re close to fainting.
Hopefully by the time you are being booked abroad you are very experienced and knowledgeable to your trade. You need to keep your kit as compact as possible and have great multi-use products with you. I’ve noticed some artists can think ‘more kit is a better artist’ – I disagree and think a real artist can make magic with a few products as they have strong product knowledge. In addition to this, you will need to research products which are suited for hot temperatures and humid climate. (‘Best products for working abroad’ blog post to follow). Product knowledge is so important as you need to know what works and what doesn’t to save space in your bulging case and to also save time on the day.
Well, this is vital. What good would it be to do all these preparations in order to pack it wrong and it all becomes broken. Firstly, the way your plane luggage is handled is vile. Luggage thrown from a height, piled up & even falling off the transporter. PLEASE plan how you can protect your precious kit. My tips are –
Buy a hard shell case (I use a samsonite case as they’re designer luggage for business people. So they aren’t trendy to the eye but they’re safe practical and built solid. Having a soft case would allow other objects to perhaps slice or damage your case exposing your kit).
Place in hand luggage anything that can smash (To ensure i did not have a nervous break down worrying about crushed eyeshadow I decided to place all pressed powders in my hand luggage. In addition to this, I recommend placing all glass bottles in bubble wrap to avoid smashing and finally wrap the whole kit in towels. Not only does this provide padding, it also acts as a sponge of absorbing any shock preventing your kit getting smashed).
Separate personal items/professional items (If for any reason you are using a suitcase for both your kit and personal belongings place all your personal belongings inside a bin bag so you can quickly remove them before your booking).
Personalise your case to identify if lost Finally, I would add a personal tag to your case to help with recognising the case if it goes missing. For example this could be a bandana, necklace or I once saw a hula skirt (nice touch!)
After all of this worrying and stress about making sure you have everything packed you need to enjoy yourself! Lets not miss the amazing achievement! Hard work has got you noticed and you need to be proud of yourself. Take many photos to prove you aren’t making it up – trust me many people didn’t believe me when i explained my office was marbella this weekend. This booking will triple your portfolio rating and take you that extra step further to conquering the world!! Well Done you! And please…. Send me your photos and let me know how this blog post has helped you. I would love to share your work! <3
I would also like to personally thank Nicole & Jack for inviting me to do your make up. It still feels surreal and such an honour.
Thank you for all the business you have given to SalonSabina. To witness your love in marriage was beautiful. You both are perfect together and I never will forget this weekend.
Thank you for everything, all my love, Sabina. x