By: Art Myers
October 8, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - My guide in this "no man's land" is Danielle Ardister.
Danielle tried to be encouraging as we began.
"It'll be great" she said. "I just hope I get out alive, " was my response.
Danielle's a make-up artist who works at Altovise Hair Studio in Tallahassee.
For this challenge, we invited two brave, nearly identical twins to meet us here for a face-off, or should we say face on?
I was curious and asked Alexandria, "how come you're not gonna have me as your make-up artist?"
Her reply- "She lost the bet."
She was referring to her sister Sydney, who would be my "victim."
Well, I was about to go the beauty school!
"This is the primer.. it fill up the pores," said Danielle as she applied the first of many cosmetics.
Next, the foundation.
Danielle used her sponge to get right next to the eyeball.
"You're going right up to the edge there. I can't do that," I whined.
"Yes you can!"
Danielle has no fear.
She's been doing this seven years now - a profession Danielle did not see coming.
"I was an athlete...in basketball and volleyball," she said.
But that all changed when she took part in a fashion show and her make-up artist amazed and inspired her to learn.
Now Danielle does make-up for weddings, fashion shows and even commercials.
She says sometimes people get emotional when they see the results of just one session. "I've had people cry afterwards 'cause they didn't think they could look that beautiful."
Time to polish those apples. Danielle's terminology for different facial parts was amusing.
" We put blush on her apples- her cheeks."
As I observed, I thought she'd applied two eyes shadows. I was wrong.
"Four, actually" she corrected.
Time to take the eyelashes to the next level.
She showed me several types of false eyelashes, from big bushy, dramatic ones to ones that were a little closer to natural.
She applied a drop of glue, and carefully approached Alexandria.
"Line it up right at the base of her lash line" she said.
"Then you just press it on. "
As the glue sets we head south to the lips.
Danielle applied lip liner, then a lighter lip gloss..and finally a flashy pink lipstick.
Voila! Pucker perfection!
Now it was time to reveal the results to Alexandria.
"Here we go! "
Alex loved her new look.
I asked, "are you gonna go through the rest of the day in class wearing this?"
Her enthusiastic reply- "Yes!"
I shook Danielle's hand and told her she'd done a great job.
"Now it's my turn. Yikes!
Oh well, if I'm goin down, I'm goin down in style! While my model Sydney was out of sight, I changed into a more "flamboyant" shirt and hairstyle."
When Sydney walked in I fired up the blow dryer and in my best foreign accent said, "Welcome to Chez Arturo. Our results will blow you away!"
Sydney was a little blown away. She had no idea my transformation was coming.
It didn't take long to mess up. Apparently I applied the primer a little too vigorously and Danielle jumped in to wipe some off.
"Oh, you're already correcting me!" I said.
The eyes went pretty well until the false eyelashes.
"Uh oh! I put too much on, " I said as a big drop of glue slipped out of the tube onto the eyelash. Danielle laughed so hard she cried.
"Arturo, you're hilarious!" she said.
I also got a little careless with the glue on Sydney's eyelid.
"I glued her eyeball!"
"Yeah, you did," said Danielle as she wiped it off.
All I could say was, "sorry!"
We finally got 'em on, and moved on to the lips which turned out pretty well, thanks to Danielle's tips.
I couldn't believe it when Danielle said, "You're done. You did very good, very good!"
I actually got an ovation from Danielle and the other customers and make-up artists in the studio.
As Sydney changed chairs to get in front of a mirror, I said, "You can now turn around for the big reveal!"
"Oh, wow! You did a good job, high five!"
The "money shot" shows my model Sydney on the left, and Alexandria on the right. Before- and after!
Sydney said she'd be happy to wear my make-up back to class, and even wanted my card.
Of course, I didn't have one, but I grabbed the first card I could find in my wallet, handed it to her and said, "I have one left.. Chez Arturo!"