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EFA Takes New York Fashion Week
New York Fashion Week is a jam-packed week full of the best hair, makeup, and current style trends. EFA esthetics student Rachel Mendoza and EFA alums Keren Salsgiver and Rebeca Gonzalez had the opportunity to join in on NYFW as makeup artists for a new clothing line – Nokota Style by Tonya Pesch! We sat down with the girls to get the inside-scoop on what it’s like to be part of the biggest week in fashion.
How did you prepare for New York Fashion Week?
Rachel: I bought professional lighting and any extra makeup I felt I might need.
Keren: We made sure to connect with the designer to make sure what makeup looks she was wanting, we packed up what we needed, and of course booked everything we needed for the trip.
Rebeca: The best way to prepare is practice, practice, practice. I wouldn’t be the makeup artist I am today without years of practice!
How would you describe the backstage atmosphere?
Rachel: Busy! We were told a specific time to be done with the makeup looks, but 30 minutes before that time they announced, “5 more minutes!”
Keren: We were in a huge ballroom area where everyone was doing hair, makeup, and wardrobe. Many people were doing last minute things, and before we knew it the models were lined-up, prepared for the stage.
Rebeca: It was really cool to talk to the models and connect with them.
What did a “typical” day during fashion week look like for you?
Rachel: We walked in early (we’re EFA students, what do you expect?!) and were escorted into a large room. We had to find a table, clean it off and set our stations up. Then we waited for models to slowly trickle in to start their looks.
Keren: After a 5AM wake-up call, we hopped in a cab despite being just five minutes away from location. Inside we checked in and received our badges for makeup artists. We did 10 models total in the span of a few hours. We created a modern, tribal makeup look for a few of the models, while the others had a very soft makeup look. We were all very in the zone and had a blast doing what we love to do while doing it together. It was a very humbling experience for us and I loved that all three of us could be there.
Did you find time to do any sight-seeing?
All: We were very fortunate to have time to go see many things including the Statue of Liberty, The Korean War Memorial, Times Square, Manhattan, a carriage ride in Central Park, Rockefeller Center, plus front row tickets to the Kelly and Ryan Show! We also enjoyed a lot of great food. We really wanted to go to the Freedom Tower (911 Memorial) but we only had time to drive by. There is so much to do!
What do you think people misunderstand most about your career?
Rachel: People assume makeup is all I do, but I’m trained in so many areas such as facials, waxing, spray tanning and eyelash extensions.
Keren: I think the biggest misconception about being an Esthetician is the assumption that it’s just a hobby and you can’t have a great financial career. There are so many things you can do in this career but the best part is being able to chosee what you like and what works best for you.
Rebeca: People don’t understand that doing makeup can be a career. It’s often looked as “not a real job.” I love having a job where it feels like I’m not actually working because I love it so much.
Do you have any advice for makeup artists or beauty school students who want to become New York Fashion Week makeup artists?
Rachel: Make connections and network yourself! You never know who your client knows – message designers and put yourself out there!
Keren: I feel that we got lucky, but my advice would be to practice the looks you’ve seen on runways and offer to do shoots with photographers to build your portfolio. Research what designers will be at the next show, message a designer and offer to do makeup. The worst thing they can say is no! Get some practice under your belt and then just ask.
Rebeca: Always market yourself. Don’t be afraid to meet new people, and always have fun with your work!
What did you learn from your overall NYFW experience?
Rachel: Never give up. Keep pushing for the goals that seem too crazy to accomplish. Make as many connections as possible because it will pay off!
Keren: I learned that everything around you can be another opportunity. For example, we were asked to do more makeup while working at NYFW. I’m sure if we stayed all day we could have been able to do more makeup. I have some of the best friends around me that it truly makes it more fun and an easier experience when you all understand and respect each other. NYFW was a very humbling experience and we are blessed to have gotten such a great opportunity.
Rebeca: I can’t say this enough – never stop marketing yourself. Post your best work and meet new people. This will take you places!