Ever wondered how makeup artists prepare for Fashion Week? Since I work mainly in TV fashion week is a completely alien world to me, albeit an intriguing one. MAC sent me a this Q&A with two of their senior artists; Pablo Rodriguez and Gina B and their "Fashion Week in Numbers" list, both of which I found thoroughly interesting. Some good kit tips for makeup artists out there.

Tips for packing a kit? 
 • Clean up and clear out. Get rid of anything broken, empty or dried up. List out whatever needs to be replaced. 
•  Scour the M∙A∙C website. Make a second list of everything that I’m missing and need.
•  Create a separate bag for all the new products I’m testing for next season.
•  Contain your potential messes! Keep glitter and pigments in stackable pots, which then go into plastic bags. Safety first!
• Packing a kit is like maintaining a boat: Something always needs your attention! One of my best tips is to empty each foundation bottle into a travel vial. Each vial of Matchmaster Foundation holds 80 pumps of foundation. I carry nine shades. That’s 720 pumps of foundation with me at all times! 

How many M∙A∙C containers do you empty out/depot to create custom palettes for fashion week? 
• 53!

How long does it take to pack your kit? 
• When I pack my kit properly, it takes all day. Cleaning palettes, decanting and labeling product – it all takes time and precision. This makes it so my kit lasts throughout the whole month of shows. 

Do you pack anything in your kit besides makeup?
• Extra towels, straws for models wearing bold lips, and Scotch tape to pick up unwanted glitter on a model’s skin.
• I bring stencils, sponges for effects, special glue to cover eyebrows, Glycerin (to fake sweat or tears), accessories to mould makeup (such as pieces of jewellery and fabric). Even if some of these items are more commonly used during editorial shoots, it’s always good to be prepared! 

Name one product in your kit that works for every model, no matter their skin tone or type.
• Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork: Great for contouring fair skin and highlighting dark skin. Everyone wins.

How do you create your Lipstick and Cream Colour Base palettes?
• Scrape your pots clean and fill each section of your palette. Pop into the microwave for a 30 second trip to get them smooth and gorgeous. Voila! 

What’s the one product you lose every season?
• Sharpeners! Where do they go!? Sometimes, my kit feels like the Bermuda Triangle.

If you could only take five items with you to Fashion Week, what would they be?
• Select Cover Up, Fluidline in Blacktrack, Eye Brows in Lingering, Ruby Woo Lipstick and Blot Powder.
• Prep + Prime Fix +, Face and Body Foundation, Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, Cream Colour Base in Shell and Lip Conditioner. 

How do you mark your “territory” backstage?
• Backstage is no-man’s-land. No one is safe! To claim my work station, I use an old M∙A∙C towel that almost nobody has anymore. I also label all of my palettes, and my brushes each have a green mark on them. Besides that, I know my kids! 

What is your pre-show ritual/routine?
• I hang upside down for 10 minutes.

Describe your pre-fashion week feelings in three words.
• May I pick four and create a quote? “Go with the flow.”

Fashion Week Makeup In Numbers
  • Number of shows in major Fashion Week cities that M∙A∙C will support backstage: 208
  • Number of Eye Liners and Eye Pencils ordered for Artists’ kits: 1,233 
  • Number of Permanent Lipsticks, Lipglasses, Lipmixes, Lip Erase and Conditioners ordered for Artists’ kits: 576 
  • Number of Mascara Wands and Tubes ordered for Artists’ kits: 3,776 
  • Number of Lashes ordered for Artists’ kits: 844 

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