My Big Day as a Promotional Model

Exhibit a). Me without makeup, coffee, sleep and breakfast. b). Me after being "beautified." - photos by Chuck Cho

Leading up to Tuesday, I was sent emails from Banafsheh outlining requirements, information and needs.

As this was to be a mixer show our roles as models was not only to be photographed but also to walk around and talk to customers about what was on our backs. I was instructed to “please bring black heels, stilletoes and even ankle boots if you have any” as well as my pearl drop earrings.

inside nygard

It was requested that we wear only clear or no nail polish and for security reasons told “that everyone be bag-checked on their way out at the end of the event; this is nothing personal it's just a company policy that Nygard employees have to follow.”

Then the day before there were more requests –

“Please do not straighten you hair as it will be harder to style, if you have hair that is somewhat frizzy, try and reduce the frizz as best as you can withought straightening or using too much product! This will make the hair styling process go much faster … (and) try not to wear any/too much make-up before you come in, and please all have black undergarments! It's best to have a regular black bra and a strapless one if you have.”

This was all fine and completely understandable – a model’s key responsibility is to make the clothes look good and it’s always responsible to have a good night’s sleep and plenty of water before a shoot to minimize dark lines and give your skin a youthful freshness.

I did neither the night before having turned into an insomniac with irregular sleep patterns for the last couple of months and hormonally imbalanced had broken out with a couple of spots on my face.

Simply on the Tuesday morning I felt f*cked like a walking corpse.

I was the first model to arrive at 11am. I wasn’t formally introduced to the 2 makeup artists (MUAs) or the hairstylist who looked exactly how I felt but acknowledged as Banafshsesh outlined “my look.” Then Allie arrived, model number 2 a blond 19 year old with a lip ring and bohemian persona.

getting my makeup done

She was easy to get along with as I sat down to the mercy of the hairstylist to have my hair curled and she sat to have her makeup done. Allie talked about how she’d just spent a year in Europe as a live in nanny / ESL tutor for an Italian family who she adored, while I talked about the beaches and hot weather of Oz.

Her father was an ex-rock star and she’d grown up in a small country town leaving her high school sweetheart and everything to see the world and get out on her own for a year before starting college next year in journalism.

the models before

Then Erin, Taryn and Neha arrived and the 5 of us took turns between hair and makeup. Taryn was vivacious, Neha was quiet and Erin was doing Jessica the store manager a favor.

As I sat having my hair pulled and clipped Chuck "Norris" the photographer started whirling around snapping here and there. Chuck an amateur photographer of Asian descent, knew how to be respectful and not alarm the girls. Short and festively plump he wore a blue preppy sweater and his hair was swept to one side clicking and scuttling around to position himself.

The other photographer who was the lead said he “works at Super Store” and kept close to Taryn who he’d worked with before and was the reason he's got the gig and that he and Chuck "have a common passion."

I tried on my clothes while I waited for a MUA to be free. As I’d discarded most of my wardrobe, I didn’t have any black heels and had to borrow a pair of Banafshesh's mothers but my  pearl drop earrings worked well.

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