Recently, my *younger* sister told me that as a makeup artist/stylist, I should be wearing fabulous clothes to shoots. *slaps forehead* After educating her that shoots in SA are generally not renditions of Running In Heels, I decided to share this insight with others who might not be too savvy to the ways of our industry…

1. The model is usually the only glamourous person on set. There is a team of 3 – 20 people working exceptionally hard to make her appear glamourous. Believe me, you wouldn’t recognise her from the person who sat in the makeup chair at sparrows’ fart this morning.

2. Working conditions are tough. Shooting summer in winter and winter in summer. Wind. Sand. Bushes. Early call times and late overtime. Humidity. Rain. Harsh sunlight. Protection from the elements is under-rated.

3. Comfort is paramount, second only to efficiency. When you’re on your feet for 12 hours, lugging makeup and clothes and props to and fro to satisfy the whims of the Art Director…you need to be fast and comfortable. I’m pretty sure my feet and back are ageing exponentially.

4. Professionalism. You lean over monitors and camera screens. You bend in front of cameramen and stunties. You reach over and across models. Two things are crucial here….your pits shouldn’t smell and your tits shouldn’t be exposed. Pits and tits, honey.  Just like any workplace, on set you should dress professionally and modestly. Trust me, flattery can turn into irritation very quickly when you’re tired and hungry.

Working in studios is a little different and you can style it up a little, but as a general rule, I don’t think I’ve seen ANYONE (who actually works on shoots) wear heels…I have however seen a few newbies rock up in the studio with heels (or open shoes on movie sets)…the veterans usually place bets on how long they’ll last…because being barefoot is so attractive and safe.

So here’s what I wear to shoots on locations (set)….a uniform of sorts…

* A hat to protect my face from getting burnt
* Big-framed sunglasses to protect my eyes and prevent wrinkles
* Black light-weight tee to that it doesn’t get dirty…or at least, you can’t see the dirt!
* Scarf to prevent my neck and decolletage from getting burnt…tell-tale sign of a woman’s age.
* Not-too-short shorts…not too tight either. Usually, on a movie location, I wear jeans…no matter the temperature. We start early (when it’s cold) and finish late (when it’s cold). It also protects against mosquitoes, ticks and spiders.
* Closed shoes…I usually alternate between sneakers but at the moment I am loving my Reebok EasyTone trainers. Slops are acceptable if you’re shooting on the beach, but generally closed shoes are preferred as they’re safer. For example…snakes, glass, needles, mud…
* I ALWAYS use Vichy Spf50 on my face and Dischem’s spf50 on my body before I go on location. Heels won’t save you when you look like raisin face!

So dear friends, take it from people who know…people who have actually been on a shoot or at the very least, spent an entire day WORKING on a shoot. Practical, safe, comfortable, protective and professional clothing.

I save my Aldo’s for tequila nights.