Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chaquis Maliq's Listening Party

Hi Forshadow followers!

I apologive for the lapse in update, but the makeup world has been a little slow for me. However, last Saturday I got an opportunity to beat the face of a wonderful recording artist and person who is becoming a good friend of mine.

Chaquis Maliq...please go to her website here: http://chaquismaliqsworld.ning.com/
has an amazing voice and great songs. If you go to her site, the artwork in the beginning is my graphic design...yep I do that too.

So I had to drive all the way to Bumtown aka Baltimore to not only drop off cd covers and bookmarks I designed, but to make up her face. When I finally get an opportunity to do her makeup (she was running around like a chicken all night) she was getting interviewed on camera...which means I was on freakin camera! Did ya'll knowI hate being on camera? Well I do.

Then I discoverd just how much I needed a brush tool belt. *Christmas Gift Alert* I keep all of my brushes in a little zip up bag, but when I go to retrieve the brush I need I have to rifle through all the brushes...and I have ALOT of brushes. So be it very unprofessional, I dumped all the brushes out on the floor so I could see them...sigh, I hope my teacher never reads this.

Anyway, although Ms. Maliq was a pain (i hope she reads this lol) and was trying to fight me about her makeup all the way, I think it turned out lovely. I didn't want to go too overboard on her face because she's not a makeup wearer, I just wanted to enhance and glam up a just a bit. Of course she was opposed to getting lashes...

I know by now you've scrolled down to see pictures and have discovered there are no pictures. Listen, this is what had happened. I go to turn on my camera and the batteries are dead. But never fear there were several photographers there and I plan on contacting them to get a good shot for my porfolio and this blog. You'll just have to be patient.

In other news, I ordered my business cards. And I tweeked them slightly from what you all saw, but they essence is still the same. My only complaint about the cards is the size of my contact info is too small and hard to read. So I'm going to fix that and reorder.

Oh yes, In even more exciting news, I'll be working at a salon event on Saturday November 21st. It's a Pamper Me Day at Sophisticated Elegance Hair Gallery at 7045 Berry Road #A6 in Accokeek, Maryland. We'll be doing $20 makeovers from 11am to 2pm. So if you're in the area, please stop by and get your face beat!

Ah...update. Ms. Maliq blessed me with a pic via facebook! Here she is...makeup looking fierce. Ask About Me. Thanks.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Howard's Homecoming Fashion Show

On Wednesday, my makeup school sent out an email to those who took the fantasy makeup class that Howard was looking for makeup artists to do "dramatic" makeup for their homecoming fashion show. I immediately responded as I needed to get some actual work experience under my belt. I called the show coordinator and she simply told me that there would be 9 other artists, 25 female models and the theme was Alice in Wonderland.

I'm not going to lie. I was nervous, this was my first real show and I knew my box wasn't completely equipped with everything I needed. So I went shopping; I bought some foundation colors, some duo lash glue (my glue of preference) and a crapload of lashes. I went to three different stores and bought crazy lashes in all of them. The show coordinator said she wanted crazy lashes!

The show started at 7pm and the call time for artists was 2:30pm. So Thursday I packed up my box with makeup and packed my separate duffle bag (my pitiful little box is too small to fit the big essentials) with my spritz bottle of water, makeup remover, cotton balls, moisturizer, hand sanitizer...etc. And I drive to Howard.

I arrive at Cramton Auditorium, and the street right before it, the police have blocked off. "What do you mean I can't park in the auditorium parking lot???" I scream at the fluke ass campus police. How did he expect for me to get all my stuff into the building? He didn't really care. Sigh. So I found a parking space like 5 million miles away, throw everything on my back like a pack mule and start hoofing it...up hill. Fifteen minutes later and way sweatier, I get to the auditorium, and the coordinator tells me I'm the only one here so far and she'll get us all situated downstairs in the dressing room when the other artists arrived.

Cool...I pull out my book (I'm reading Midnight by Sistah Souljah) and cop a squat in one of the auditorium chairs. An hour and several chapters later, I ask the coordinator what's good? No one else is here, can I get started while you wait for people to arrive? So she takes me down to the dressing room and I begin to set up. As I'm pulling stuff out of my box, I realize...my 88 shade palette...remember:I left it sitting right on my bathroom counter...DOH! I was so upset! I mean I have my individual shadows...but what, I have maybe 16 or so MAC colors. How could I pack EVERYTHING except that??? But in that moment I channelled Tim Gunn and made it work.

The 2nd coordinator then arrives in the dressing room, with a box full of lashes for me to use (THANKS and I'll be returning mine today...lol) and I ask her what kind of thing would she like to see on the girls faces. The night before I researched (I like to be prepared) Alice in Wonderland characters and their makeup. It was all pale faces and heart shaped lips. So I describe to her what I had seen. She says, "oh no nothing like that...just dramatic" Womp Womp....what in the hell does that mean? She then tells me she has pictures of what she wants, however the entire night came and went and those pictures never materialized.

At that point, I was still the only makeup person there, people were looking frantic and so I was like forget it, I'll do what I want. So every girl who sat in my chair, I asked them what their outfits were looking like and based their makup off that. Here are some quick pics I snapped of a couple of girls..I didn't have time to do all of them:

This is the girl who wanted absolutely no lip liner on...lol. She said her mother used to put it on her and she hated it. Usually I'd be like shut up and take it, but I didn't have time to argue. I did a bright green smoky eye on her and a shiny pink lip.
Ironically this is my best friend's cousin. As I was doing her makeup, her family came to visit and one of the girls asked, Do you know a girl named Krystle McClain? I'm like uh yeah that's my bestie...she was like I thought I recognized you from her facebook pics. Small world I tell ya. Anyway, this young lady was the first face I did and she's shiny in the eye, because I was experiementing, with putting lipgloss over her shadow. It worked, I liked it.
This girl right here was sweet as pie. I really liked doing her face, she was Alice in the show, so I made her delightfully girly. Super pink eyes, pink cheeks and pink face. I also did the girl in the background.

I'm hoping that I'll get to see/access to the professional pics taken during the show. If I do, I'll definitely post them on here.

So about an hour before the show is scheduled to start, 2 more makeup artists show up. My girl Michelle from my class and her sister. Then about 15 minutes after they arrive 2 more girls show up! I was relieved, I thought I was going to have to bang out all 25 faces...and that just isn't possible.

At that point I had girls waiting to be next in my chair, but once the other artists arrived, I start telling them to disperse to the other artists. However, once 3 of the artists did faces on their first set of girls, I started getting more people in my waiting line. So I say, hey there are other artists...and they say, No we want you. Now that's extremely flattering and I appreciate it, but I can't do EVERYONE. But the models insisted, they would wait for me. At some point, those in the opening scenes didn't have a choice but to go to someone else, and as soon as they left the stage, they asked could I do them over in time for the 2nd show. Basically the level of expertise that I had wasn't there with the other artists. Actually I take that back...there was another girl there (I met her in the fantasy makeup class) she is very good, but she's slow. I had cranked out 2 girls and a quarter and she was still working on 1.

By the end of the night, I was exhausted. Not only did I beat and touch up my original faces, I had to redo several faces of girls who already got done. But you know I loved it, and even though I cursed out this rude ass security lady, I'd do it again. The models were super nice and the clothes were amazing. Good times good times.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Certified high def fantasy makeup

I know it's been awhile. No comments necessary, I'm sorry.

So I had my final and of course I passed and am now a certified makeup artist, *holding for applause.* It was easy and fun. I was the first one finished and after some impromptu photos of my sister, I took her to get her face checked. I was basically asked how I created the look, how long it took me...etc. Then I was done. Here are some photos of the final look: (Model: Ayana)

This look is a smoky eye with purple pigment and black shadow, with a little green Swimming in the inside corners. I also put some lashes on her, with a chestnut liner and clear gloss.

The next Sunday after my final, I had signed up to take the Print and Film makeup class with celebrity makeup artist Monifa Mortis. Let me tell you...when I get there, I'm not going to lie, I was intimidated. I had my little makeup kit from class, had just graduated...and these chicks roll up in here with these professional on wheels trunks! They started talking amongst themselves, telling each other how long they had been doing makeup and who knows who. I was thinking, damn, maybe I should have waited to take this class....

So the class is from 10am to 4pm. The first half of the class we listen to Ms. Mortis speak about the industry and the different jobs and opportunites within each genre. She talks about different tips and tricks she uses while on set and the pros and cons to the industry. I can't even begin to tell you all the information she gave us for movies vs. tv vs. sitcoms vs. music videos vs. magazines...it was very very informative. After she finished talking, she did a demonstration with a model. She did a red carpet look, and giiiiiiiiiiiirl bye....she beat the hell out of that girl's face in no time.

The second half of the class, was workshop style and we would be doing a red carpet look on our model. At that point we were told that this look wasn't just for fun and practice, but there were stakes. The winner (who would be chosen by Ms. Mortis) would win an internship with her. Basically you'd get a job being her assistant as she travels the country doing makeup for celebrities. As you all know, that is my ultimate makeup goal...I feel like I'm destined to do celebrity makeup. So I was literally drooling at that prize. The 2 runners up would win gift certificates to take more classes at the school, also a formidable prize.

So we get to work, we have an hour to complete the face and Ms. Mortis would be walking around to give us tips and talk to us. Again I was intimidated, I spent like 15 minutes of my time looking at what other people were doing. Then I had to snap out of it and say, "Hey...you could beat this face in your sleep...get to work stupid." So I did. And it was fierce, if I do say so myself. Here's the finished product: (Model: Bree)
Please excuse the flash of the camera, it makes her look all caspery. I had people coming up to me saying, "Oh yeah girl, you'll make the top 5" That's when I took a stroll around the room to see other people's work. (:-| ) That was my face. God solidified a lesson in my mind that day. The amount of makeup you have is not in direct correlation with how skilled you are. Some of those models....sigh. One woman was working on a friend of mine's from class...made her look 10 years older then she was. It was horrible!

So time for judging...Ms. Mortis starts to walk the class, looking at everyone's face. I was on the first row with maybe 6 people in front of me. I'm watching her go past these people and look, say okay, and move on. I thought she just worked with the ill poker face.

Then she gets to me. I'm thinking I'll get the customary 'okay' and move on. Nope.

She stops, grabs my model's head to get a look at all angles. Then she says, "This face looks good" and asks my name. As I start to tell her she grabs my name tag and starts scribbling my name down on her clipboard. SCORE!

I'm the only person she did that to for awhile...and then I stopped paying attention. lol

Alas, I guess the faces got better as she went along, because I wasn't in the top 5. womp womp. (even though someone ran up on me at the end and told me I was robbed...wasn't that serious sweetheart lol). However, I didn't feel disheartened, because the ladies who were in the top 5 were good, and they have been doing makeup for yearrrrrrrrrs. I just graduated two day prior. So the fact that I even made the clipboard (probably the top 10 out of a class of 50) was quite the achievement for me. I still felt good...I hope my story wasn't anti climatic...lol.

And because we're playing catch up. Today I took a fantasy makeup class! Basically crazy balls to the wall makeup. Here's what I did: (Model: Jovan)
So in conclusion...I'm finished! I do plan on taking the 201 class where you get an airbrush machine and learn how to use that. This is not the end of my blog however, I'm sure the stories of ridiculous situations and makeup clients will be plentiful now that I'm fully licensed! Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Field Trips and Finals

Well friends it's that time. Tomorrow is my final face and my photo shoot. Time flew by so quickly. But I definitely feel like I learned ALOT. My eyebrow work is fierce, my foundation matching has grown leaps and bounds, and just overall the cleanness of my work is evident. I'm happy with my progress.

Last night my little sister came to class, as she's my model for my final. I worked on the look I'm planning for the final. Basically its a smoky eye in MAC's purple pigment, black shadow, and MAC's Swimming shimmer eyeshadow. Foundation was flawless (and that's a direct quote from my instructor), lips were very neutral but glossy, and the eyelashes had a royal blue mascara on the tips. I did that look quickly and effortlessly last night, so I'm hoping it won't be too much trouble to recreate it for Friday. It should only get better right?
Here's a pic:
In fact it looked so good, that a girl who came to the class to be a model for another classmate, came up to me and asked can she pay me to do her make up for Howard's Homecoming...lol. Girl YES...you can pay me to do your makeup for any event!!!! Cash ONLY!

That goes for any and everyone. I'll be officially certified tomorrow! Therefore I'm available to do weddings, large and small scale events! Contact me for rates.

Today we took a field trip, to this little hole in the wall gem of a store called Kinetics. It's mostly a theatrical makeup store, but they have all sorts of makeup for your everyday makeup artist. It was great!

They opened the store for us after closing hours, and we got a 15% discount off of everything we bought. I of course have no job or money so I bought a few necessities for the final tomorrow and upcoming classes...including Liquid Set, its a medium that turns any shadow or pigment into a liquid color and this special face paste, used to glue all types of objects to the skin (safely) for fantasy looks. It's actually really cheap in there. Everyone in my class is a baller except for me and everyone had totals in the $500 range. They are fully stocked, now they just have to know how to use it.

So everyone wish me luck tomorrow. Our instructor has promised us, that she will refuse to answer any and all questions tomorrow...and we are on our own. That makes me nervous. I know I don't need to ask her anything, as the knowledge is all stored in my brain, but its nice to have that safety net. Well Friday it's being snatched from under us. I'll deal....some of my classmates (some of you know who I'm referring to) are going to struggle...but we'll just throw a prayer up for them.

Basically this is how it will work: As soon as we get to class, we can get started on working on our model. We have a full 3 hours to do our final face. However, once we're "done," our instructor, Mr. Bennett (the owner of the school), and whoever else, will inspect our work. If they like it, we pass and move to certification land...and our professional photo shoot. If they don't, they'll send us back to the work room to fix it and make it better. They may not send you back at all, or they may send you back several times, but you have to have a passing face before the 3 hours are up. It would be in everyone's best interest, not to dawdle.

Again, I'm nervous, but excited. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Eyes, Cheeks, Lips, Logos & Business Cards

Class last week was all about bridal makeup. My instructor has a large eyeshadow pallet of all neutral colors that she only uses on brides. The most important thing about bridal makeup is creating a timeless face. You don't want to look back at your wedding photos and you're wearing the eyeshadow color that was "in" at the time. That holds true for all aspects of your wedding I suppose.

We also completed our work on eyes, cheeks and lips. Here are some photos of the awesome models that came to sit in my practice chair.This is my linesister Anike. I only did eyes on her...I was practicing blending. Oh and her eyebrows. Them joints was incorrect when she sat in my chair. But look how lovely they are now. I had to pluck, trim and wrangle those eyebrows.You will know I'm getting down to the nitty gritty when I put my hair up like this. lol.

Next is Blair: I was supposed to be doing Bridal Makeup on her...I think it looks nice, but I don't know how good I did in the bridal arena. *shrug*

Next were Kali (again...lol) and Candace! I didn't do Candace's makeup, another girl in my class did, but they both looked lovely. Plus I love this picture of Candace.Definitely needed the practice on the lightskinned girls. So thanks for coming out!

Now on to business matters. Yesterday we had a whole day on the business of makeup. How to get started as a professional artist, paying taxes, registering names, and getting clientele. Very interesting and informative.

So everytime I do someone's face for an event, they always ALWAYS ask.... Do you have a business card? No friends I don't. I know its weird, being that I'm actually a graphic designer, and spend the majority of my day designing these things for other people's company's.
(btw. my online portfolio can be found here: http://klang.carbonmade.com)
But in reality, I'm sooooo indecisive about my own stuff. I can design something for someone else, decide that I love it, show it to the client, they love it...I can move on. But when I design for me, I love it for 3 days, sometimes, 3 hours and then decide, after staring at it, it ain't that hot.

This is where you come in. Since you all helped me to decide on a moniker (Keke Lang is the winner...shout out to the 2 people who voted for my real name, my mother will appreciate that lol)...I'm hoping you can also form an opinion on my logo and business card. Here are your 3 choices.
Choice 1: This is still a work in progress, and I'll most likely take the pattern off the background on the side that has my info. But the logo is my actual signature. Also the number and email address are hard to see, but that must be this jpg, because its quite bold on my actual computer.
Choice 2: Is the same thing, only square. I'm leaning towards a perfectly square card. I think they're cute...and different.
Choice 3: Is completely different. While the first 2 really fit my personality, style, and the LEO in me. For some reason this choice really appealed to the smidge of Virgo in me. Very...clean.Anyway, your feedback would be greatly appreciated. I know you guys will definitely come forward with you opinions. So I guess that means we need a new poll!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The foundation saga....continued..and ended?

When we last left off, I was turning black girls white with foundation. Right.

So day 2 rolls around, and I start work on yet another light skinned girl (different one though) and again start mixing some colors to start her foundation. Of course this time I was foundation shy. Basically I effed up so bad the last time, I overcompensated for that this time and mixed colors at least 2 shades darker than her skin.

I swear I'm not usually this bad...at anything. I'm not joking it looked like she had black face on. I got called out again, but this time the teacher used her face as a lesson of what you should never do. (I wish this blog provided me with emoticons...I'd have the ill side eyed scrunch face).

She says, if you can't get a perfect match, the safest bet is to go a shade lighter, because you can always make a face darker with powder. But if you go too dark, you can never bring the shade back down.

Basically, don't do what I did. Great.

Day 3 brought much better results however.

One of my best friends..and long time Forshadow follower, Kali, volunteered her face to be my model for the evening. Again another light bright was in my makeup chair. Let her tell it, I did a good job. However, good is not good enough for me and b) I felt like again the color was too dark for her, it didn't match her neck. Plus my instructor told me to wash it off and start again. That's never a good sign.

But here's what the end result was (disclaimer: its alot of flash).This picture is courtesy of Kali's mobile upload via her Facebook page. Them eyebrows is fieeerrrrce though. *patting myself on the back*

Anyway, after Kali left, I finally discovered what my foundation issue was. I can't do light skinned people. LOL. Yes I'm being predjudiced. I guess I'm so used to adorning my chocolatey skin, this light bright palette is all too much for me. And white people! Oh white people. I love ya'll but what am I going to do with your pastey faces??? I need to just invite like 5 white people to my place and get at it.

But I digress. I know its the light skin that's the problem, because after Kali left, I finally did one of my darker skinned classmates. I knocked her face out the park, with minimal effort. Even my instructor was like her face is EXCELLENT. Here's a pic...

I also did her lips and eyebrows. I'm can't take credit for the eyelashes, them gaudy things were all her. So ends the foundation saga. However, if you know any white people, or are white people (Lauren...I'm looking at you..lol) please volunteer to come down to the class. We would love to have you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


So...I don't know who reads this besides my followers, because no one ever really comments (hint hint) but you will notice, us here at forshadow got a new look. YAY! I'm actually a graphic designer too, so I threw a little something together to spice things up.

I know the ending to the foundation saga is highly anticipated, but I'm putting that on hold for right now to get some opinions. I need a name for myself. To put on my business cards when I'm done. My real name is Kenan Afi Langston (the middle name being pronounced Ahhh-Fee). And while that name is certainly unique...does it scream makeup artist? I'm not sure. So I'm taking a poll. Here are my options so far...

Keke Lang
Kenan Afi
or my regular name Kenan Langston

Please give me some feedback on which one you like best or make another suggestion. I'd really appreciate it. The poll is to the right -----> see.