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Hats (And Wigs) Off To The First Annual Hair And Makeup By Symposium

Attendees at the Hair and Makeup By Symposium enjoy hands on time with their favorite artists.

By: Marjorie Galas

Moments after entering the Loews Hollywood mezzanine, I passed what appeared to be a walking china doll. A second glance revealed what looked like ornate fuchsia lace draped gently over her porcelain skin. What I was witnessing was purely makeup! The style was courtesy of Tym Buacharern, an Emmy nominated professional makeup artist who’s toured with Janet Jackson and has created unique looks -from stage to screen both large (“Dreamgirls” ) and small (“House of Lies.”) Buacharern was amongst the hair and makeup artists offering unique hands-on workshops at Hair and Makeup By Symposium. Presented by the Criterion Group, Hair and Makeup By was a first of its kind, day-long event in Los Angeles that offered attendees panel presentations, workshops and one-on-one sessions with pros. The event was specifically tailored for professional hair and makeup artists looking to grow their craft, stay on top of trends, and find unique opportunities to present their skills in the production landscape.

The day began with a panel highlighting makeup artists Vera Steimberg, Beverly Jo Pryor, Melanie Hughes-Weaver and Buacharern, who spoke about their process and approach to makeup. Next, barbers Stacey Morris and Conrad Hilton discussed how their craft is integrated into the hair department, and shared their tips on how to become a “star clipper.” Before the break-out sessions began, Camille Friend, Gail Ryan, Melissa Forney and Daniel Curet presented a final panel focusing on the challenges they have faced as hair stylists at the top of their field.

I jumped from one break-out session to the next, watching eager attendees meet face to face with makeup and hairsylists from hits including “Empire”, “Dancing with the Stars” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Before the afternoon concluded, I was able to saddle up alongside Camille Fiend (“The Help”, “Django Unchained” and “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay I and II”) as she began to wind down.

IMG_0066Friend had begun the process of removing a model’s hair. I was shocked that what I was seeing was a wig! Staring at the model’s hairline, I found it impossible to locate a seam. It wasn’t until Friend applied a gentle adhesive that I noticed the lace border. I joked that the wig was not the type you get at a local drugstore for Halloween. Friend informed me that she has wigs made to order per specs she submits. The wigs can go for up to $600 or higher.

IMG_0068As the wig was removed, I noticed the model’s hair was placed under a professional cap – and oddly still fashionable on the model. Friend carefully placed the wig on a head stand. I noticed the light box filled with goods next to the stand, and asked if that is her travel case. Friend laughed at my naive question. Her collection is massive and takes up more than a room!
IMG_0071Once the cap was removed, I saw model Diva’s hair was tightly pinned down. Friend informed me she calls this the cinnamon bun – the hair is formatted and tightly pressed against the scalp to allow the wig to lay as flat as possible, providing a natural contour.

IMG_0072Upon removing the pins, Friend brushed out Diva’s hair. None of Diva’s original style remains. With a burst of thought, Friend informs Diva she’s going to create a “fresh look” before sending her to the cocktail reception. Grabbing a number of hair extensions, Friend defined a length and color that best matched Diva’s hair. Within seconds they were attached to the base of her head.

IMG_0078Watching Diva as she swung her playful ponytail about, Friend decided an up-do would be more event appropriate. In a flash she braids the extensions and pins them into a bun, leaving a swatch of hair sticking out.

IMG_0081In a flash, the swatch is fashioned into a clever, forked spray of blond hair. Friend secured the special style with a touch of spray.  Diva was delighted with her second special look of the day, and couldn’t wait to enter the cocktail party looking 100% stunning.