Makeup lessons in San Francisco?
September 29, 2008 9:25 AM   Subscribe

Where should I go in San Francisco to learn better techniques for make-up application?

I'm preparing for a special event and I'd like to look my best for it. I'm not particularly keen on hiring a makeup artist to do my makeup for the actual event but I'd love to go somewhere and have someone make recommendations for what would look good on me and show me how to do it myself. At 40 years old, and a good 25 years of makeup experience, you'd think I would have this figured out but I guess I don't feel like I'm great at doing my own makeup. I like to look pretty natural most of the time and can do a fairly good job at that but for this event, I'd like a little more drama while ensuring that I don't look like a clown.

Can I just show up at any makeup counter or do I have to hire someone to give me lessons? Beauty schools? Of course, I'd rather not pay a whole lot but I'm totally willing to buy a bunch of new products, if I think they'll work for me. Currently, I use mostly Clinique, MAC, Prescriptives, and a collection of drug store brands.

Recommendations for San Francisco are really appreciated.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
i like going to sephora for products because they have so much stuff, so it's better than just going to a department store brand counter. find someone on staff whose makeup you like and ask them to help you find things that are appropriate for you and teach you how to use them.
posted by lia at 10:04 AM on September 29, 2008

Two friends of mine went for lessons at 77 Maiden Lane Salon. They both were (and still are) very happy with what they learned, though they said they spent a lot on cosmetics that day. These women continued with the 77 M L foundation, but later switched to other brands of eye and lip color and skin-care products. They were both about 40 at the time, and said the makeup artist had a lot of useful things to say about which brands are better for over-40 skin. The salon has its own brand of cosmetics.

For what it's worth, I thought they both looked great "after." I couldn't tell it was the makeup -- they told me about it later.
posted by wryly at 10:24 AM on September 29, 2008

Not in SF but online:

For my wedding last year (at 40) I watched a few of Ask Me Makeup's tutorials and found them helpful. She covers a lot of different styles, you can watch how she does it, and then have fun playing around until you find the look you're most comfortable with. Have fun at your event!
posted by dog food sugar at 10:34 AM on September 29, 2008 [4 favorites]

I've had really excellent service at the Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier counters. It's good to go there knowing what you're willing to do in terms of time and application. (5 minutes, No foundation, etc.) It's worth a pass through the counters to look at the sales staff before you allow anyone to apply your makeup. Whenever I look at MAC and see the MACtastic looks on the staff, I know I don't want them slapping purple and green eyeshadow on me. There are some great products in the line, but I'm not a fan of their application style.

When you in try to go on a weekday during the day. The stores are less busy and the salesperson will have more time to spend with you. Also, there are often make-up artist "events" in department stores. It's worth scheduling an appointment for those, just to see what's new.
posted by 26.2 at 12:11 PM on September 29, 2008

I have had really good experiences with the Mac staff in SF, particularly at the Fillmore Street store. I told them what I wanted, and they were great about finding products and colors that fit. No green or purple involved!

I think the staff in the stores have more time to spend with customers than the ones at the department store counters, or at least they always seem more relaxed. There's also a Mac store on Union, but I haven't been there lately.
posted by gingerbeer at 2:19 PM on September 30, 2008

I ended up going to the Mac store on Union and got some great advice.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 6:57 PM on October 30, 2008

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