The call time for my TV commercial shoot was 6 a.m. As soon as I arrived, the first order of business was makeup and hair prep. The makeup artist airbrushed my face and applied layers of natural palettes on my eyes, cheeks, and lips.
Eight hours and a number of takes later, the makeup artist retouched my face. To remove the dark smudges under my eyes, she wiped it off with a sponge and brush, and then reapplied concealer and powder.
Twelve hours into our long, toxic day, the repetitive process of wiping my undereye area and reapplying powder and eyeliner was taking its toll. The skin around my eyes was beginning to feel itchy and tired from all the tugging. I resisted the urge to scratch and rub in fear of getting more irritation, and, not to mention, wrinkles!
When we hit 20 hours on the set, my entire face was feeling sticky and itchy. Although we used oil blotters to make my face look shine-free on-cam, the feeling underneath the gunk wasn’t so heavenly. More wiping and retouching of my undereye area ensued. Yikes!
When the director finally yelled, “That’s a wrap!” past 6 a.m. the next day, I gave a long sigh of relief. In my car I wiped everything off with makeup remover wipes, but because I lived a few hours away, I couldn’t thoroughly wash my face until I arrived home. After washing I applied eye cream and moisturizer before hitting the sack.
When I woke up a few hours later, I looked at my face in the mirror and spotted bumpy rashes (a.k.a. butlig) around my eye area! I panicked and used a facial scrub to wash my face again, followed by a helping of eye cream.
Two days later, the itchy butligs did not budge, so I Googled to see what organic treatment I could use. I found that coconut oil helps improve skin condition naturally, so I applied that in lieu of eye cream. There was no improvement after a day, so I called my friend, a professional makeup artist. She advised that I let my skin rest with no harsh scrubs or any skincare products for a day or two to let it heal naturally. If it doesn’t improve in a week, then it’s time to see a dermatologist.
I freaked out, but followed her advice. I also avoided wearing makeup. The bumps shrunk within a week, but it took about three whole weeks before my skin went back to normal.
In the modeling and acting industry, 12- to 24-hour shoots are unavoidable, but looking back at my mishaps, I learned a few lessons:
1. Don’t overdo it. Rigorous scrubbing and using too many skincare products can actually make facial rashes worse.
2. Heal, don’t conceal. Our common instinct is to hide any signs of imperfection, like zits or rashes the moment we spot them. Sure, layering it with concealer will temporarily hide it, but it’s best to give your skin time to heal, even if it means airing out your rashes or zits for the world to see.
3. Sunglasses or eyeglasses make a great camouflage. Take it from celebs who wear giant sunglasses after a prickly facial or to cover a makeup-less face.