Pro Beauty Interview – Make-up Artist Amber Weijers

I had the privilege to meet Amber about 12 years ago when I was working as an account manager Benelux and head of artistry for Skins Cosmetics where we had a meeting about her artistry discount card application. I thought she was sweet, knowledgeable and very dedicated to her profession as a make-up artist. So of course I said yes. 🙂

In my previous interview with Elles, I mentioned that I wanted to share thoughts and ideas from fellow make-up artists with you because I think it’s really interesting to share what they have to say, especially as protocol for hairdressers and beauticians are mentioned throughout the news, yet make-up artists as part of the contact professions are not specifically.

Most of us with contact professions are back in the game since a few days, yet Amber won’t be for a while as she is still recovering from Covid-19. I wanted to share her story and ideas thru the interview below. Wishing Amber all the best and a speedy recovery.

Tell us about you. How long have you been a make-up artist? What is your line or artistry work? (client type, productions, type of shoots)

My name is Amber Weijers, I started doing my first make-up course more than fourteen years ago. During my career, I participated in many national and international shoots, cooperated and worked with photographers like Patrick Demarchelier. And I was featured in the program Model for 1 day (Net5) and I work mostly for different magazines, celebrities, commercials and campaigns. Every working day feels exciting because I get to meet so many interesting people and get to visit places where I normally would never been able to go to.

In a telephone chat prior to this interview you told me that you just recovered from Corona. How long have you been ill, and how are you doing now? 

Well, it’s has been a hell of a ride. I have been in isolation by myself for seven weeks, since one week I am not in strict isolation anymore. As you can imagine after such a long time being ill, my body needs time to heal and recover. Mentally it is really weird to go outside after seven weeks alone in my bedroom, as if I am not really there. I am still a bit in my own little bubble. Also talking to people but not able to touch anyone after two months now is really strange. I miss hugging my family and friends, but safety first. Also my immune system has been so weak, it needs to recover and get much stronger. I take it step by step, day by day.

How does the future for make-up artists look from your point of view?

That is a really interesting question, we are working so close to people. Like really in their face. What I did was make my own safety list, like what is important for my clients and also what is important for my own health. Many of my colleagues also made a safety list and we discussed this way of working to help each other to be able to work safe and clean in our industry. I think if we prepare ourselves really well, like have an intake or chat (with 1,5 meters distance) with our clients about what they would love to see on the model or on themselves before start doing any make-up. That way you do not need to talk as much during make-up. It is maybe a little boring not being able to chat while doing make-up but again, safety first. Chit-chats we can do after the make-up is done with the 1,5 meters distance between us.

Tips by Amber:

Disinfect extra well, use disposable mascara or ask your model to bring their own, take some product out of the containers and only use that on one model, that way you do not bring bacteria’s onto your clean products.

Use a different brush set for each model, or ask them to bring their own. These are only just a few guidelines of the many in my safety list.

Here in the Netherlands, a facemask and gloves are not obligated with our jobs. Although I will wear a facemask while I am doing make-up, for my clients safety and my own. For cleaning my make-up kit I will be using my gloves as well.

I think washing hands is key here. Many people will do that already but I cannot say it enough, wash, wash, wash. Every time I touch something else than my disinfected products I will wash my hands extra. Do this before you start with your model and afterwards again. At the end of a working day I will need a hand mask with cotton gloves to hydrate my skin again, after all the washing haha.

Are you willing to wear mouth masks,  a face shield and cloves, or are you thinking of a different approach when you go back to work?

Yes, I am willing to do whatever it takes to be sure that my clients and I are safe.

Do you have any advice for fellow make-up artist that are struggling, especially as you’ve had Corona?

Trust me, you do not want to be infected with Corona or infect someone else. I never want to have this virus again, I was so sick, I am just really glad that I survived. It’s an awful idea but you never know if you’re going to get thought it a next time. Immunity is still not proven.

Use your brains, sometimes it feels so familiair and comfortable because you already know these people for such a long time, and what could happen if you hug them or stand close? But what if you get infected, not have any symptoms and you go to your job the next day while not knowing. Maybe you will infect someone who will have symptoms and ends up really ill or worse. It is really important these days to think about other people and not only about your own comfort in this moment right now. Corona is something we have to take really seriously.
If you do not feel well, stay home, send a colleague to do the job. Better safe than sorry!

Copyright Malou van Breevoort

Everyone always wants to know this:  What are your three favorite beauty products you can’t live without?

Well I actually have way more than three favorites, but it you’d twist my arm, here we go:

Chanel Bronze Universel – Soleil Tan de Chanel, it is such a good bronzer for a natural and sunkissed look. Definitely my favorite bronzer. It works the best if you use it with a duo fibre brush or a damp Beauty Blender.

RCMA, 5 colour foundation/concealer palette – I have bought this in New York (also available online), it is such a lovely and easy to use concealer/foundation.

I love to mix the colors to make a perfect skin tone match. I love to use this product with a damp Beauty Blender for natural looking skin, or with a tapered blending brush if I want to use it on spots of blemishes. They also have a great 5 colour blush palette!

The Make-up Studio, eyebrow fix.

I bring this product everywhere. It is the best to set the eyebrows for the whole day.

Copyright Klaas Jan Kliphuis
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