Faye Smith Wins 2nd Place!!!

Faye Smith Wins 2nd Place!!!

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Faye Smith Wins 2nd Place!!!!


I got to join in the fun at the 2011 Modern Basic Distributors Makeup Competition, held at the Modern Basic Beauty Supply store. Unfortunately, I didn’t win in 2011, but when I got asked to join in the 2012 competiton, I was thrilled to compete again.


The 2012 competition was so much bigger than the 2011 one! This time, myself and a number of other artists would be applying makeup at our very own makeup station, located at the Modern Basic stand at the ABA Show held at Canada Place. The ABA show is a huge hair and beauty convention held on a yearly basis. Hundreds of people were to attend over the 2 day show, with competitions taking place on both days. The themes for the day I was available were Coachella and Graffiti. The graffiti makeup were to include body painting! Eesh! Body is not my fortay! But I’ll give it a go!


I had gone to Coachella music festival in 2011 and experienced the crazyness for myself. Music festivals have been a favourite of mine since I was 17. There was a point in life when I would go to 3 a year! I knew how insane attendees went with their outfits, as well as the living conditions of extreme weather and camping that had to be dealt with during the festival days. I am having flash backs right now! Fun and filthy music festivals.


I wanted to come up with a unique design for my Coachella look. Something that was inspired by festivals, but transformed into a fashion editorial piece of work. I only had 45 minutes to execute this look at the competition! As I learnt from last year, competitors have to go above and beyond with their designs. I had recently gone to a brow block class at Studio FX and learnt the UHU Stick method. This was a great opportunity to put my new skill into action. I browsed through web pages and gathered my inspiration on Pinterest for both hair and makeup design ideas.


For the Graffiti look, I must admit, I was a little panicked. I read the small print criteria for the competition and saw that body painting were to be included in the look and we had only 2 hours to execute our designs! 2 hours for body painting is absurd! I got an A A-Level in art and design but for some reason, body painting is not my best skill. The only idea I could come up with for this look was to create traditional wall graffiti on my model’s body. But everyone would be doing this! It is so obvious!


I found out about the competition only a week before it were due to take place. I had to rearrange my schedule in order to attend so I wanted to make sure I would give it my all when competing. For the 2011 competition I had a professional model come with me and borrowed a dress from a student designer. I left the hair up to myself and had my model arrive early so I could get her hair ready before the competition. Having to think about all aspects of the look was rather stressful. I believe concentrating on one skill at a time will always achieve better results. This year, I wanted to gather a team of professionals. A model, a hair stylist and a clothes stylist. Having a team of professionals is bound to create something outstanding!


I had worked with Natalie Jean White on a number of occassions in the past and loved her! I thought she would be fun to work with and stunning in the pictures. Luckily for me, she agreed to join in the fun and compete in the competiton. My friend from England, Rachael Farrelly, is here in Vancouver training at Blanche Macdonald in the hair program, and is an amazing stylist! She jumped at the opportunity to gain more experience and exposure. I was more than happy to have her style Natalie’s hair for me. It was finding a clothes stylst that seemed impossible. I was so so stressed about this! I had posted on facebook and modelmayhem. I’d asked all the stylists I know. Everyone was busy! I couldn’t do the styling alone! I was fully booked with work so there was no time to go costume shopping. This stressed me out for the entire week!


I had a trip to Seattle scheduled at the end of the week prior to the competition. Bad timing or what! I could really be doing with preparing for the competition but all things happen for a reason… I had always wanted to go to Gum Wall in Seattle so made the effort to visit during this trip. I had heard of Gum Wall when watching a TV game show one Christmas in England. It is the 2nd most unhygienic place in the world! Lovely… I had to have a look!


When I was there, it struck me, this is graffiti! Hundreds of people sticking their gum on one wall has created graffiti over time and been given the title, “gum wall”. There are even sign posts for it! The wall is covered from top to bottom, side to side, in all sorts of colours of gum, creating a mosaic. It was quite beautiful actually. People had gotten creative by stretching their gum and hanging it off ledges. Writing things on the wall with gum. Drawing flowers with gum. I had got my graffiti makeup inspiration! Finally!


So I returned to Vancouver and ran to Dollarama to buy as much colourful gum as I could find! I think I spent $35 on gum that day! I began chewing on my way home but after 6 pieces, I realised I would start puking after about 10. Plus…it isn’t hygienic to put your saliva onto a mode’ls body =S Hygiene is number one as a makeup artist! How could I chew this gum without chewing? I got a large bowl and filled it with hot water. I put all the pink gum in the bowl and left it to melt a little. After a minute or two, I got my hands right in there and starting kneading the gum as though it were dough. I felt like I were making a colourful and sticky loaf of bread! I did this from 3pm until 10pm, repeating the process for each colour, until all of the gum was hand chewed, and rolled into balls and left to dry over night.


The day before the competition and I am still stressing over the styling. I was referred to Michael Black by a fan of Michael’s, photographer, Brandon Hart. Michael called me right away to ask questions about the competition, as well as to find out what I had in mind for the design. It was a miracle! A huge weight was taken off my shoulders and all of a sudden I felt excited to work with a team of amazing talents, rather than stress over competing in a competition. I scheduled to have the team meet at my apartment at 7am to begin styling Natalie’s hair and solid-ate the styling plan.


The competition was an absolute blast! I had so much fun and am so grateful for all of the help I was given. Due to mixed reactions from the crowd over the gum wall idea, with lots of  “ewww”  “is that gum?!?!” “who chewed that?!?” I had not expected we would finish high up in the competition, but oh well! I had hoped to receive some amazing portfolio pictures as well as being glad to have worked with some of Vancouver’s best talents. The winners were to be announced in a weeks time. I was quite glad not to find out on the day so not to spoil the fun. A week later when I found out I had won 2nd place, I was gob smacked and thrilled! What great news! It felt so motivating to know that my vision had been seen and understood. Thank you again to everyone for all of your help! I can’t wait to compete again in the future.

Faye Smith
Makeup & Hair

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