February 23, 2014 8 minute read
It’s a rare treat that I get a week to prepare myself for a photoshoot, because 90% of the time I hear about a job for the first time at 6pm the night before. You get used to the last minute nature of the industry, but it’s those times when I’ve spent an hour giving myself a really cute mani/pedi or have a leg wax booked for the next day that I wish I had a predictable job. Off comes the nail polish, out comes the razor, and into prep mode I go. However, when I do get extra notice prep mode means I spring right into action with my full week long routine. I’ve perfected a schedule to get me ready to be photographed from every angle. I also followed this before my wedding day, so it’s a seamless guideline to be used for any big event preparation.
A Week Before
1) Start your preparations by upping your water intake. The benefits of drinking enough water deserve their own post, so just take a leap of faith until then.
2) Increase your fitness routine by adding some extra workouts. This will help to get your circulation in tiptop shape and give you that healthy rosy glow. I like to add both a high intensity activity and a low intensity activity: like spin and hatha yoga.
3) Exfoliate your whole body. You want to start to remove that dull layer of dead skin so that every inch of you is glowing for the camera. Every other day with exfoliating gloves, and every day with a dry skin brush (before a shower or bath) to stimulate your lymphatic system.
4) Jump into a detox bath. I like to do a Sweat Bath the week before so that I can set a good healthy tone for the rest of the week. 30 minutes of soaking is all you need. If you don’t have access to a bathtub (I don’t know how you do it) then going for a steam or to a Bikram yoga class is a great way to sweat out those toxins.
Three Days Before
1) Eliminate all alcohol from your diet and cut back on sodium. Easier said than done, but alcohol is extremely dehydrating and sodium condones water retention.
2) Apply a deep cleaning face mask. I like to use Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment to clear up any spots. It’s one of the most effective treatments I’ve found for quickly treating already visible problem areas. It’s also perfect for preventing acne, a powerful cleaner with “deep pore vacuum extraction [for] seemingly poreless skin. Bio-Life-Cell-Science™ uses the complex natural occurring skincare benefits of green life for advanced results.” I apply this to my nose, forehead and chin. It’s insane, you can see the junk being extracted. Just rinse off with tempid water.
3) Dry brush. Again. This combined with clean eating will help you to drain any retained fluids (keep drinking water so that your body can eliminate them effectively). Remember, long strokes up the legs and arms towards your heart.
4) Apply a hair mask. Hairstylists either hate me or love me. I take really good care of my hair and have never dyed it, so it doesn’t tend to hold curl well. But I prefer to look and feel good in real life, and it’s always easier for a hair stylist to mess up hair than to repair it. Make sure you don’t apply a mask any closer to the shoot than 3 days before because it’ll be too slippery and heavy to do anything at all. My favourite right now is the Olive & Avocado Deep Conditioning Hair Masque by Earth Science.
5) Give yourself an at home manicure and pedicure. I start by removing any nail polish and clipping my nails to even lengths in a subtle square shape. Then I file and smooth the edges (always in one direction to avoid splitting nails). I’m obsessed with clean cuticles, so I love soaking my nails in warm water and applying Essie’s Apricot Cuticle Oil to soften them in preparation for gently pushing them back. Next I clip off any dry and dead skin with a cuticle nipper. Then I exfoliate the bottoms of my feet with my Pedro Callus Stone and go right on to wash my hands and feet. End by using a 4 way nail buffer, rinsing, and applying 2 layers of OPI Nail Envy. Unless the client asks for clean nails I always show up with this on.
The Night Before
1) Deal with any facial hair. I learned this trick from celebrity and Victoria’s Secret makeup artist, Miriam Azoulay, who actually bleached my upper lip hair on set for my Glow cover shoot. So now I use Jolene for sensitive skin to bleach the fine hairs on my upper lip and leave it on for 10 minutes. This will seriously open up your whole face. Plus I just hate getting any hair removed from my face, so I don’t wax – all that yanking at your skin will just destroy its elasticity. Tweeze any stray eyebrow hairs and make sure you know what your agent is ok with in terms of shaping. My mother agent, Liz Bell, is an eyebrow nazi and it comes in very handy when I have to fend off pluck-happy makeup artists.
2) Remove any leg or underarm hair. You don’t want to show up to a shoot and have the makeup artist whip out his male model grooming razor so that you can shave your legs on set (I’m not speaking from experience here…).
3) Remove all coloured nail polish. It’s just unprofessional to show up with it on. Unless you’re in the middle of a set of travel jobs (it happens) you don’t have an excuse. Even then you can pack individual nail polish remover packets. I always have La Fresh Eco-Beauty® Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover Pads with me. They’re super moisturizing and one pad actually takes nail polish off all 10 nails – bonus, they don’t smell like nail polish remover so you can use them on the plane or subway without getting stared down.
4) Exfoliate your face. I like to use my Clarisonic Mia 2 the night before a shoot. I only use this gem 3 times a week, but when I do my face is ultra smooth. It uses a “patented sonic technology [that] works with skin’s natural elasticity, oscillating at a sonic frequency that produces over 300 movements per second. The resulting flexing action works to loosen dirt and oil, removing deep-seated impurities from pores and priming skin to better absorb topical treatments.”
5) After I exfoliate I like to apply a skin-brightening mask. My favourite is yogurt. Honestly, just straight up yogurt all over my face. I prefer to use plain goat’s milk yogurt. Goat milk is “rich in vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant and is important to maintaining skin health. Goat milk provides up to 47% more vitamin A than cow’s milk.” Just put some in a bowl, pick up a cotton ball, and apply it to your face and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you need some soothing action you can add about 2 tablespoons of ground oatmeal (you can do this yourself by putting oatmeal in the blender and storing it in an airtight container). This can get messy, so tie your hair back and wear a headband.
6) Exfoliate your body. I’ve covered this already. Do it.
7) I like to get in a final detox bath the night before a shoot. I usually choose my Smooth Skin bath for a less intense experience. I have trouble sleeping knowing I have to wake up to an alarm the next morning (I tend to sleep through them), so this bath relaxes me and puts me right to sleep. Make sure you get at least 8 hours so you’re rested and ready to be on your feet all day.
This is a lot to do, I get it, and sometimes I can’t manage to fit it all in. But when I do I always get compliments on my clear and glowing complexion. Really, it’s no different than the time someone would take to prepare for a big project pitch at an office. You prepare, prepare, prepare and make sure you’re ready for anything to be thrown your way. Note: don’t try anything new the night before a shoot – having an allergic reaction would be the worst! So try to implement new products and techniques into your routine slowly to see how your skin reacts. If the products I recommend don’t work for you, there are lots of others I can suggest so just shoot me an email! Good luck!