Counter Confidential: Halloween at the Makeup Counter 


Counter Confidential

"Halloween at the Makeup Counter" by Undercover Beauty Agent

In New York City, every day seems like Halloween. Or at least I think so. I have seen so many bizarre costumes on a regular day that I am rarely surprised anymore. On the train I’ve sat next to wizards, black swans, and people who seriously believe they are vampires. It’s actually refreshing to go to the makeup counter where a client might be clueless about makeup.

I love assisting customers who have never worn makeup a day in their life. They treat me like I’m a different species and they’ve just entered this new world. Their confused expressions are priceless to me because I love watching them experiment with products. When clients leave thinking of makeup as an artistic form rather than a material object, I know I’ve done my job. The best time of the year to truly be artsy and go all out with makeup is during Halloween, when artistry can really shine.

Last Halloween I did another face every 20 minutes or so, but one client who really sticks in my memory was a guy who had never worn any type of makeup before. He looked like a lost puppy. I could sense his fear and nervousness, but as always I just tried to relax him by asking about his plans and his costume.

He was wearing a gold sequined suit and held a gorgeous half mask with music notes all over it. He looked like a cross between a dancer from A Chorus Line and the title role from Phantom of the Opera. I don’t think he even knew what he was going for, but he did know he wanted some type of gold shadow around his eyes and some concealer or powder for the redness in his skin.

I started with his eyes and really worked in the primer. His skin was so oily, and I was nervous his makeup would smear. I started working gold shadow with a midnight black shadow into his crease. He wanted to look dark and mysterious, and didn’t want too much makeup. He wanted people to be able to see only his eyes under his mask. The best way to make eyes really stand out under a mask is with big bold lashes. He didn’t want falsies, so I used many layers of mascara to give him a false lash look. To finish his eyes I rimmed them heavily with dark black liner.

I wanted to add concealer or a bit of foundation to cover his redness, but his scruffy beard made it a challenge. I had to use the tiniest brush ever to get around his mouth and chin area. Even then, I couldn’t do a thorough job. Still, he was pleased.

Before he left, he asked if I could create some fake tattoos on his neck. He wanted music notes, which I did freehand with black gel and liquid liner. I was more proud of my fake tattoos than anything else, and he absolutely loved them. While sealing them with translucent powder, I silently prayed that the tattoos wouldn’t budge.

He seemed happy and relieved when I was done. He even tried to leave me an insanely huge tip, which I couldn’t take because I would have been fired. Instead, he bought face primer and blotting sheets for his oily skin. It was a great Halloween. And I hope he had fun being a phantom chorus line dancer.

It’s always fun to do crazy looks for Halloween, but make sure you're comfortable. Seeing a professional makeup artist might help calm your nerves, and you’ll definitely be in good hands.

Undercover Beauty Agent is just an average makeup artist at your local beauty counter who's reporting true stories exclusively for Beautylish: "I love what I do because I get to make people feel beautiful on a daily basis. I'm a beauty advisor in New York City by day and a secret beauty agent by night, totally ready to share all my insider secrets and gossip."