Mystery Clients

A big part of why I love my job as a makeup artist, are the different people and situations I find myself in – from the Dallas Cowboys locker room (pretty much all of them were buck naked), to getting whisked away in limousines by billionaires to a restaurant so private there was no name on the door, and to friendly conversations with Secret Service agents. I have actually put eyeliner on a 4-star General, who, in his own words, “shall remain nameless”. When you reach a certain level as a makeup artist, you need to be ready for anything.

From the 1960's CBS TV series,

From the 1960’s CBS TV series, “Mission: Impossible”

Many times, these types of clients prefer to remain anonymous and not have their business, and the fact that they hire makeup artists, put on Facebook, or any other book. I generally get an email inquiry with the actual name of the client left out, and told that it is a “high profile” client who’s name, location, and other details will be left out until the appropriate moment. Usually, the day before I am actually going to do the job. Sometimes, I am hired with the agreement that my client wishes to remain anonymous, and that no images, credits, or names regarding this client or company may be used by me – as if it never happened. These types of clients are quite different from others in that I may have to work outside my “comfort zone”.

These are very powerful people with very limited time, and makeup is really done on their terms. I may not have the proper working conditions, time or place to set-up, or even the light to do it in. I need to work fast with no room for error. I am often inches from the faces of these people, and any sign of nervousness or lack of confidence is easily read and can make for uncomfortable experiences on both sides. Nerves of steel are very helpful in these situations.

This past week I was asked to do makeup for one of Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business”.  She was named in the Top 5 in 2014, and named in the Top 25 on the Forbes “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list that same year. (The actual ranking #’s were deleted, to maintain client privacy). This person is privy to national security secrets at the highest level, and the company’s business shapes the economy on a global level, including both war and peace in the world that we live in. No pressure 🙂

Before dawn in the lobby of The Waldorf Astoria Chicago. My makeup kit and portable light setup.

Before dawn in the lobby of The Waldorf Astoria Chicago. My makeup kit and portable light setup.

I arrived promptly at 6:45am at one of Chicago’s Gold Coast hotels to meet my contact. I noticed the familiar sight of men dressed in business suits casually standing around in the lobby, not really doing anything or going anywhere. Security.

The makeup was for a 4D video and had to be flawless. Everything was going without a hitch, until I noticed a couple of pieces of glitter on her face.  Not appropriate for a powerful global leader and captain of industry.  This was not the time for Ziggy Stardust.

The glitter was a remnant from the job I did the night before. I transformed four guys from Pandora Radio into the band KISS, and had a little of Ace Frehley’s “Spaceman” makeup in my kit as a memento. Ah yes, glitter… the herpes of craft supplies had infected my kit. These nasty little specs would glare like headlights in 4D video.

I carefully checked her face in the light for any traces of silver glitter, and flicked a few off with my handy synthetic blender brush, and went on my merry way.

By the time I finished the makeup, she was taking notes on what I did and products I used. Great time, great lady, and a great gig. I received a thank you email telling me that if they are ever in Chicago again and in need of a makeup artist, I would be hearing from them.

Mission Accomplished.

Who will be my next MYSTERY CLIENT?

Pandora Radio guys dressed as KISS. Halloween 2014 Conrad Hotel Chicago.