On May 17, I headed up to New York City to attend the its third annual Makeup Show. The Makeup Show is a huge professional event that brings some of the biggest and best brands in the industry into one place at one time. Over the span of two days there are seminars, workshops, keynotes, demonstrations, and, of course, lots of merchandise to be seen (and bought)! In a subsequent part, I will list the brands that had booths at the event, and I also what I purchased. For the first part, though, I wanted to run down my experience, with pictures!
I took this trip by myself – only my third time ever to NYC and definitely my first time in such a huge city alone. I flew into LaGuardia and had a shuttle scheduled to take me downtown. He arrived about forty-five minutes after I landed and then proceeded to wind me (quite impatiently) through loads of back roads to avoid paying any tolls. It took an hour to get to my hotel. I stayed at The Time, which is very nice and located in the perfect spot off Times Square. Because I was by myself I didn’t eat at restaurants very much during my stay, and instead found The Belly Delly Deli, right around the corner from my hotel, which I frequented for breakfast and dinner.
I flew in on Saturday, quickly got settled, and headed straight to the MAC PRO store.. of course! Most of you probably know that MAC PRO NYC is a flagship store, recently renovated, unlike any other MAC store and absolutely beautiful. It is completely concealed; there’s no number on the overhang, you have to be buzzed through the the narrow front door, and you have to take an elevator to the second floor to get to the PRO store, though there is absolutely no sign. The whole mystery of the place was thrilling for me. I happened to come upon an employee standing in the doorway, who apparently knew I was looking for the PRO store before I was able to ask him “where’s 7?” He let me in, which allowed me to avoid figuring out how to be buzzed in. :P
The store itself is a different aesthetic than any other MAC store or counter. It’s very much a modern, almost back-to-the-basics look with what looked like stained and partly rusted sheet iron. They are also utilizing the new MAC PRO logo, which reminds me much more of the art of MAC than the previous logo.
Apart from the hugeness of the store, there are several aspects that make it the flagship store it is. There is a studio prepared for photo shoots (by appointment, of course) for makeup artists to build their portfolios or experiment if they desire. There is also what they call “the archive,” which has a library with the most amazing fashion and makeup book collection I’ve ever seen. There are two Macs(!) in the archive for your surfing pleasure — actually, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the computers are there for. (My hotel didn’t offer free internet in the rooms so I checked my email — shh! Ha!)
There is a huge station on the far wall with the jars of all different colored pigments. I think the secret has gotten out of the bag by now, but most of the jars are actually painted to appear as if there are pigments inside, though I did see a few actually filled with the precious powders. Unfortunately I was too busy being amazing and shopping to take any pictures myself in the store.
I guess I should interject here to say that I let people on YouTube know I was going to the MAC PRO store in case anyone wanted to stop by. It was very informally organized and in the end no one was able to go, though it was a bit of a blessing in disguise because I was in no mood to entertain! I wanted to shop. :D I did some serious damage in the MAC PRO store. I would like to say that I met an amazing artist named Colleen who was very welcoming. I expected to see her again at The Makeup Show but didn’t, so if she is perhaps reading this, thank you again for your help and kindness! I hope to be back to see you again soon!
After I left the PRO store, I headed back to my hotel where I planned to settle in and get ready for two days ahead. The Makeup Show was open from 9am-6 on Sunday 5/19 and Monday 5/20, and I had tickets for both days. Unfortunately, because I am paranoid- and anxiety-prone, I spent the greater part of Saturday night worrying about the next day. Because I had never been to the show, nor known anyone who ever had, I had no idea what to expect, and therefore expected the worst. (Not a good habit!) I flew out of NY from Myrtle Beach, and accidentally left most of my nice (work) clothes in Charleston. I went shopping for a few nice tops but didn’t realize I didn’t have any black slacks until the night before I flew out. I had to go to the PRO store on Saturday because it is closed on Sundays, and I was tired. In other words, I was worried sick about how I was going to dress. Ugh!
On top of that, I have unfortunately still not received my staff card from MAC, and I was worried that this would prevent me from entering the show. As it is a pro-only event, they ask that you bring proof that you are either a student or work or are involved in the industry in some capacity. I brought a pay stub but, as it was not listed as an example on the website of the ‘proof’ to bring, I was worried it wouldn’t be enough. I spent a good hour arranging for my boss to send a letter of employment verification to my hotel and continued to worry. On top of all this, I also didn’t print out a confirmation of my ticket purchase to The Makeup Show and had no access to the internet, let alone a printer. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep very well on Saturday night. I woke up bright and early at 7am on Sunday so that I could be at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 9am sharp.
It was cool in NYC, and sunny. I easily got a taxi and suddenly I couldn’t help be more excited than worried. There is something very calming about feeling like you are exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, and that is how I felt. I walked in with a confidence in myself that comes from knowing that this, makeup, is what I want to do with my life. This point would only be driven harder into my mind in the coming days.
(For the sympathetic: I wore a pressed black collared button down shirt, jeans, and black flats, and I was dressed up more than most people who were at the show. I had no problem getting my tickets — they didn’t even ask for my “proof,” and the email confirmation wasn’t necessary.)
The Makeup Show was set up with several rows of booths on the main floor, a little lounge area, and then two seminar areas on opposite corners. There was a schedule of seminars led by different representatives from the companies present at the show. I sat in on two seminars in the two days I was there — one on quick prosthetics (which was completely new to me and very interesting!) led by Paul Thompson of Make Up Designory LA and one on the NY Fashion Week Fall ’08 trend by Stila‘s Sarah Lucero.
There were hands-on workshops offered at The Makeup Show that I decided not to attend this year. I am considering registering for one or two next year, though!
I did decide to sit in on a “keynote” by the amazing Sharon Gault, a makeup artist that I was so happy “meet.” Talk about a character! She is incredibly talented and giving. I loved watching her work and listening to her advice. I will tell you here that I am holding back some of what I took from listening to her speak; I was really inspired by what Sharon and her friend and amazing artist James Vincent shared with us, but I am still digesting it all and deciding how it applies to me and my future in the industry.
(picture taken from Sharon’s myspace.)
Look forward to Part II, in which I will outline the companies present at The Makeup Show, what I thought of them, what I bought, and pictures from the event!