An inspirational day with Danessa Myricks at her make-up and beauty masterclass

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Over the Australia Day long weekend, I had the exciting opportunity to attend the Look and Learn Masterclass by successful make-up artist, photographer and entrepreneur Danessa Myricks in Perth, along with the rest of the team of TrainSmart Australia trainers as well as our students.

I first saw Danessa Myricks at the International Make-Up Artists Trade Show (IMATS) in Sydney in 2017. I found her enchanting, inspiring and unique in terms of make-up application, so when we at TrainSmart Australia received an invitation that we were able to extend to our students, we felt honoured to have the opportunity to not only attend Danessa’s workshop, but to be invited to attend free of charge (tickets are usually $280+). This was a testament to the value the make-up and beauty industry places on TrainSmart Australia’s trainers and students.

The workshop was held in a yoga studio in the vibrant streets of Mt Hawthorn. The casual atmosphere that was felt as soon as we stepped into the studio helped everyone in attendance to relax and enjoy the workshop. Danessa chatted to the participants in her usual bubbly and friendly way and spoke a little about her background and history with make-up. She encouraged questions and had a little banter with the group.

It was a surprise to hear that Danessa did not start her make-up journey until she turned 30 years old. She spoke about the need to provide for her child as a single mother, and so her drive to succeed in the industry grew.

Most of her early days were spent with photographers, learning things like the effects of different lighting on make-up and different make-up on the skin. Fast-forward 10 years, and she is now a make-up maverick whose eye for photography has encapsulated her ideals of beauty – transforming her talent and passion into make-up artistry.

From fair to deep complexions, Danessa aims to touch all faces equally. Her approach to beauty ignited her desire to create her own brand, Danessa Myricks Beauty. Her products are versatile, high-quality, vegan and cruelty-free.

Danessa’s artistic expertise and drive saw her gain the exciting opportunities to work on the faces of numerous celebrities like Britney Spears, Madonna, Chris Brown, Jordan Sparks, Enrique Iglesias, and many more.

During this workshop (and at IMATS), she highlighted the importance of finding a muse – a person to work on over and over again, transforming them and shaping their face differently each time to push your skills to the maximum.


“Work with intention” – Danessa Myricks

Danessa’s model and muse Tuesday Rose sat in her chair eagerly awaiting another beautiful transformation. Danessa placed a face-mask on Tuesday to prepare her skin and hydrate her, ready for product application.

Danessa then showed us an insightful PowerPoint presentation, only further reiterating the statement she made earlier about transforming the same face over and over again.

The images she showed us during the presentation were of 2 models who looked completely different from one image to the next.

Danessa told the class there were 4 things we needed to address in a specific order:

  1. Light (light defines shape)
  2. Camouflage (what do we not want to see)
  3. Texture (reflective=amplification)
  4. Contrast (Bridal vs Drag)

Working with highlight first and contour or camouflage second was a new concept to me, but one that made sense.

After performing a bridal beauty demo on Tuesday Rose, Danessa talked about how to get the best images of your work. Her approach was something very new for me, as she went in-depth to the point that she got out her reflectors, hooked her laptop up to her camera, and pulled out different lighting gels to show how make-up appears differently under lighting. I was astounded at the quality of the images when using certain levels of lighting and reflection with just a standard camera.


To sum up, here are just some of the valuable knowledge and skills I took away from this masterclass:

  • Posing models
  • Incorporating make-up onto the body
  • Lighting 101
  • Working with intention
  • Transforming the same face over and over
  • Skin prep, including masks
  • 4-step process for make-up
  • A working knowledge of Danessa’s amazing products

If Danessa comes back to Perth again, I will definitely attend another of her workshops, as I left this workshop with more knowledge and full of inspiration that came at a time when I needed it most.

Shannon Murphy

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