We were told in some children's books that people and animals come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and that each should be celebrated equally.
But until very recently, that sentiment was not reflected well in the makeup industry at all.
During 2023 New York Fashion Week, Black model Megan Milan was excited to get ready for a busy day of back-to-back photoshoots. But her excitement was ruined when the makeup artist working with her used concealer and foundation that would be far more appropriate on a fair White person.
Milan started recording a video, showing herself with white-cast skin and thick makeup.
The makeup artist gestured to the highlighted areas of her face and said:
"See, it's light here and dark here. I think it looks good."
Milan looked at the makeup artist, clearly emotional and over the situation, and said:
"Yeah, I look like a ghost."
The end of the video showed Milan on a voice call with a friend, and she could be seen crying in her preview shot.
You can watch the video here:
Fellow TikTokers came running to the video to show their support of Milan, standing against what the makeup artist had done.
After multiple requests to see what Milan was going to do about the situation, she shared a follow-up video.
In her second video, Milan shared a quick recap of what had happened before cutting over to her walking down a New York City sidewalk, hurrying over to her nearest Sephora.
The model vented:
"I'm on my way to Sephora, right in the middle of a [fashion ]shoot."
Upon arriving at Sephora, Milan asked a few employees if they had makeup wipes she could use to clear her face of the mismatched makeup.
While cleaning up, Milan confided:
"I'm just so irritated. I'm so tired. I barely got any sleep. I have another shoot after this."
"It's just frustrating that we have to deal with this all the f**king time."
"Like, if you didn't know how to do a Black woman's makeup, why did you do that? You guys knew what I looked like before I came. So rude. Like, why am I at Sephora, doing my own makeup?"
Milan also explained that she usually carried some of her own makeup with her, like her correct foundation shade, but she "let her guard down," thinking that the makeup artists hired for New York Fashion Week would be better prepared.
She also, quite reasonably, didn't want to have to carry her makeup bag around with her all day long, as this was only the first event in a very packed day.
Fortunately, at the end of the video, Milan showed that she was able to pull her look together while at Sephora.
"You can't even tell I just had an entire breakdown."
To top that beautiful look off, Milan also had the opportunity to work with makeup artist Donni Davy, known best for her artistic work on Euphoria. She completed Milan's already stunning new look with eye shadow, blush, and lip color.
Most importantly, Megan Milan was obviously feeling much more comfortable and happy at the end of the video.
You can watch the second video here:
TikTok was relieved on Milan's account and found her second look to be absolutely stunning.
And Donni Davy was clearly rooting for her.
The Euphoria makeup artist also went on to post her own video in response to Milan's initial dilemma video, encouraging new makeup artists to always be thoroughly prepared for any clients who walk through the door.
Not only did she challenge them to carry a variety of shade ranges, but she wanted them to know that they might need to mix and concoct unique shades from time to time.
She also pointed out that makeup artists are going to "f**k up" from time to time, and it's better to own that and redo the look than to try to convince a client that their look "looks good" when they actually agree that they "look like a ghost."
You can watch the video here:
Like any other profession, we're all going to have moments when we make a mistake and have to redo the project that we're working on.
This might be especially true for makeup artists, who are working with a living person's look. Not only is every person's shade going to be somewhat different, but it might vary based on their summer tan, a bad cold they're getting over, or an acne flare-up!
The best thing to do is to admit that something went wrong, redo it, and get it right the second time.