Marvin Westmore has very specific ideas about giving your clients a look that suits them.
Marvin Westmore comes from Hollywood royalty. His family has more film credits for makeup than just about anyone. He’s also the owner of the Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts in Burbank, CA, which has trained some of the finest makeup artists in the country.
That’s why he gets so angry when makeup artists aren’t given the respect he feels they’re entitled to. “Just because a person puts lipstick on another person’s lips, blusher on her cheeks, and eye shadow and mascara on her eyes does not make him or her a makeup artist,” he says. “A makeup artist is someone who creates an individualized and personalized makeup design for a client based on her age, fashion awareness, clothing preferences and color preferences.”
Westmore tends to avoid the word “makeover” since it implies that he’s either a plastic surgeon or God, “which I’m not,” he laughs. “Instead I will use the artistic principles of line, form and balance to create an aesthetically pleasing look for her by enhancing and defining her features, utilizing fashionable colors to suit her taste.”
One thing he’s learned over the years is that a woman does not want to be dictated to despite the fact that she might be suffering silently in your chair as you impose the newest, most fashionable, bright pink lipstick on her. He tells this story to illustrate his point: “A few years back I had two clients who went to a high-end Beverly Hills salon where they were treated like queens, had facials, then had their makeup done. The left with huge bags of products. When they went outside, one of them remarked to her friend that she thought they looked beautiful but that she couldn’t go home looking like that. Her friend replied, “I know what you mean, It’s not me.” They ended up at the Westmore Academy where I redid their makeup, and they left pleased as punch. The point is, you don’t have to sell to a client who’s happy with her results. She will gladly buy whatever you used to make the difference.”
Westmore finds it helpful to conduct what he calls a “guided conversation” with a new client. “I ask each person a series of questions pertaining to her lifestyle as well as what color clothing she gravitates toward when she’s shopping but may not actually buy,” he says. ‘I also ask her which colors of clothing she buys and which colors she avoids. “Next, Westmore does a color profile that assists him in selecting colors for her lipstick, blusher and eye shadow. “Besides my guided conversation information, I try to observe the style and color of clothes she wore in. Now I have enough information to begin to design her makeup,” says, Westmore, who notes that it’s important to observe a client’s face while you’re conducting the guided conversation in order to see if her facial features are in balance and , if not to determine what you can do to create an aesthetic symmetry.
The bottom line, according to Westmore, is that anything short of this approach is not makeup artistry but rather makeup demontation and sales. – MARIANNE DOUGHERTY
*Thank you to Marianne, editor of American Beauty – June 08 – p.24
- “Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” ― Napoleon Hill
- “If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” ― John D. Rockefeller