This “review” is coming out a little late but better late than never, right?
In June/July a friend and I attended the Priscilla Ono four-day makeup course in Downtown LA. You can find all the logistical information on her website but I’ll briefly go over it here. The total cost of the course is around $1300. Though you are required to bring a number of your own supplies they do provide makeup for the students to use as well as some drinks and snacks. Each day is about 6-9 hours long and includes demonstrations as well as hands-on work.
For those who are unaware Priscilla Ono is a celebrity makeup artist based in the downtown Los Angeles area. Her clients include Iggy Azalea, Amber Rose and Christina Milian just to name a few.
Prior to attending her course I was aware of some of PO’s work but not so much her background and how she got started in makeup. In fact, one of the most valuable aspects of the course was hearing her story and getting her professional advice.
One thing that I liked about PO’s class was that her assistants were all Latina, as is Priscilla. This might seem arbitrary but I love to see people celebrating and elevating others like them.
Speaking of cultures, the students in the class were pretty diverse. There were no men, only women, but all ages, some from different states and even a couple from out of the country.
Another aspect of the class that I appreciated was that Priscilla and her team really tried to set the environment to be as realistic to a paid makeup application as possible. During demonstrations and hands-on work background music was playing and we were often timed to get us used to deadlines. We were able to photograph our “models” (who are just other students taking the class) under a professional beauty light when we finished.
Meeting someone like Priscilla can seem intimidating and I was super nervous to attend the class but she was very humble and approachable. She made everyone feel like equals no matter their background or experience.
The class is a great networking opportunity. In fact one of Priscilla’s assistants was once a student in her previous makeup course.
Priscilla provided a booklet of “beauty rules” so to speak to refer back to and to take notes in during class. She also gave a supply list of her favorite items and recommendations on pricing and building clientele.
Priscilla was open to being used as a reference on a resume or during a job application and we were also provided with certificates of completion at the end of the course.
There weren’t many things that I didn’t like about the class but there were some things I thought could use improvement and I believe they are worth mentioning.
In the beginning Priscilla mentioned numerous discounts and deals that we would be offered as a perk of taking the class and while we did sign up with NARS for a makeup program it was unclear that she meant we could use our certificate to apply for discount accounts with other makeup stores and companies.
I suppose for four days $1300 isn’t terribly expensive but I was expecting to spend more direct time with Priscilla and that wasn’t necessarily the case. Quite a bit of our time was spent waiting or organizing/setting up and much of the instruction was done by her assistants.
I also found it a bit confusing having more than one teacher. Each one would come around and observe and critique our work but often times they’d each say something different that contradicted the other.
I did wish that she taught us more variety. We learned a few different eye looks and Priscilla did one demonstration of a more natural look but I would love to have seen more cutting edge trends like strobing or the really wet makeup look.
Her supply list is pretty long. Some of the things that Priscilla specifically recommends seem unnecessary but if you show up without them you will look unprofessional and feel ill-prepared and embarrassed. Specifically make sure you have the eye brushes (liner, brow and blending) that she requires. An angled liner brush is essential as is a fluffy blending brush.
If you are having trouble finding 99% alcohol I ordered mine on Amazon about two weeks before the trip and purchased my own spray bottle from Target for about a dollar.
The Monda/Cinema Secrets brush cleaner is essential. It cleanses like a dream and dries very quickly. Get a large amount. Also get beauty blender cleanser. You’ll need it.
The Ben Nye neutralizing creme crayon was hard for a lot of people to find but NYX wonder pencils are a good alternative.
Her specific black gel liner recommendation is unnecessary. Bring any kind that you’ve used before and liked.
When she mentions a powder puff with holster she means a powder puff with a strap on it for sliding over your fingers.
Bring false eyelashes that you would want to wear. Some of the other girls came without lashes and you may want to bring extra just in case.
I’d say you need about 10 each of: Q-tips or cotton buds, wedge sponges and mascara wands. You may use double that of face wipes so be sure to stock up. Also you only need about five paper bags (which will be used as garbage bags) so if you can’t find those just bring a small handle bag and take your trash out with you everyday.
I found it helpful to bring my own foundation. I didn’t feel that I was properly matched and if I am going to wear makeup that someone else put on me and have them take photos of me I at least want the proper color, you know?
It can get pretty cold down in her studio so I would advise bringing a sweater, snacks, a notebook and pen and a bag that is easy to carry. The parking garage is up a small hill and an awkward bag will make it that much harder to get up and down.
Gladys, Gabby and Lori were so kind and amazing. Really utilize their help while you are in the class as they will primarily be the ones judging your final makeup application.
Based on some of what Priscilla shared about her own story I think her success was a combination of talent, passion, connections, dedication and timing. She was willing to take chances on what she loved to reach her goals and everything has been able to evolve to even bigger than her initial dreams and expectations. It was very inspiring and affirmed some of my own desires.
One thing that I think it’s important to remember is that her class is not expressly teaching everyone how to apply makeup but more-so how to apply makeup like Priscilla. She did ask us not to reveal trade secrets so I can’t really give too much away but I will say she really packs it on! No wonder her clients look so flawless. Though her techniques are built for celebrity clients attending red carpet events and not necessarily the everyday client.
I think taking classes like these are very valuable because its an opportunity to network and further develop your own skill. If anything it is time dedicated to practice with the ability to get professional feedback and support.
Priscilla offers classes in other states (perhaps other countries?) so check her website if you’re interested. She also teaches a one day class that isn’t as in depth but still comes highly recommended. Overall I loved the class and I would take it again if I had that kind of bread lol. Check out Priscilla’s Instagram page for mini videos and pictures of her work.