Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Just Shoot Me

Fully aware of the high competition among college students for summer internships (particularly paid internships at great companies in desirable cities), I cast a wide net and applied to over 40 different programs. I scoured college career center internship postings and cold called companies, sending a resume and cover letter to every company that met my broad qualifications (based in New York City, in any field remotely connected to my interests). Even after hundreds of hours invested in perfecting my resume, personalizing each cover letter, writing additional essays, doing research on industries and positions, e-mailing alums for advice and getting to know the employees at my school's career resource center on a very personal level, I only got 3 callbacks.

Shockingly, one of them was for a program that I assumed was way out of my league, but that I felt was worth trying for anyway. CosmoGirl magazine sponsors an internship program every summer called Project 2024, where they choose 8 different female college students to work in 8 different industries (you apply to the industry of your choice), while the magazine pays for your housing, transportation and food expenses. I was chosen for the internship in advertising, and was given a spot in the internship class of a major agency, but there are also positions in politics, finance, law, environment advocacy, music, international relations and sports, all at prestigious companies or non-profit agencies.

Basically, I hit the jackpot for summer internships, as I get paid to intern at my dream job while CosmoGirl foots the bill for all my living expenses. If you're a college student attending school in the U.S., I highly recommend checking out the program, cause you never know if you might be qualified (the application is here).

Now one thing they didn't tell us when we applied and even when we were accepted for the program was that they would feature us (the other 7 program winners and myself) in the magazine. A couple of weeks ago I got a schedule that included a date for a magazine photo shoot. The editor explained that they would take a picture of all of us, list our names, schools and internships, and quote us on our experience, and it'll be featured in the December issue of the magazine.

Instantly, I had an image in my head of my mother ordering the issue in bulk and mailing them to every person she and I had ever met. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but my mom has printed off every single blog post I've ever written and organized them, by date and topic, in huge binders that sit in our living room. She's that kind of mom, and I love her for it, but this made me a bit anxious about looking good in this photo that will likely haunt me for the rest of my life.

The big question on the lips of all 8 of us was whether the magazine would be doing our hair and makeup, but we were all too chicken to ask. Instead, we pored over past issues that featured pictures of the Project 2024 interns, and from the look of it, the magazine didn't offer anything in the way of hair, makeup or photoshopping. Sure we're "real girls," but a little extra help would be nice, especially since our picture will probably run across the page from a Victoria's Secret ad, or something of the like.

So here's where you guys come in: considering that I'm on a fairly tight budget, what should I do to make sure I look my best for this photo shoot? There are over 140,000 CosmoGirl subscribers, and my mom will likely mail the issue to an additional 80,000 and I can expect to see the page framed and hanging in a hallway of our house for the rest of my life. I don't want to come off as vain, but a lot of people are going to see this and I don't want to be "that girl" with the crazy hair and bad makeup.

I was planning on getting my hair blowdryed at a cheapo hair salon, and then going to a department store or Sephora to get my makeup done. Does anyone in New York have recommendations for a good but inexpensive bloutout and a counter or makeup artist that will do a great job at a reasonable (ie, the cost of a few products) price? I'll also get an inexpensive mani/pedi, but that's about the extent of my pre-shoot grooming plans.

You guys have given me so many fantastic tips in the past and any suggestions or advice you might have would be greatly appreciated by myself and my seven equally nervous friends!

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi! Im new to your site but I just wanted to tell you that Ive always had great experience with the Bobbi Brown counter at most major dept stores. Since it looks like they want you to look like "real girls", a Bobbi Brown makeup artist would definitely be able to boost up for natural features but not make you feel like you're wearing a layer of goop on your face.

and also, CONGRATS on such a wonderful opportunity. :)

jamie aka socialite shops too much said...

Congrats!

Joanna said...

Congratulations!

A Gentle Hedonist said...

I think Bobbi Brown is your best bet for make-up. You can also try Stila, Smashbox or Make Up For Ever counters (or Sephora, since they carry all those lines and their artists are usually familiar with them).

With artist lines, the counter people are usually very well trained and can provide you with a natural and camera-ready look. (If you go to MUFE, check out their Face and Body Foundation - it is extremely wearable and ideal for photography. Avoid anything with sunscreen as the titanium dioxide will reflect light and make you look moonfaced.)

ashley churchill said...

yeah meg!!!! good for you hon, how exciting! for makeup i'd recommend the ladies and gentlemen of stila. i'm addicted to their products and never go anywhere else, ever.

Kat said...

Congrats! I'd try the Clinique counter at the Herald Square Macy's - they've always been really nice!

H said...

Congratulations! What a fantastic opportunity. I don't have any recommendations on where to go for hair and makeup -- my only piece of advice is to smile!

Lauren said...

Yann Varin Salon on the Upper East Side does a great blow dry and style for $35. Not sure how much you are looking to spend..but they gave me a great blow dry last time I went. The one I went to is on Second Ave at 74th St. Good luck!

Joanna said...

Meg, I approached The special events coordinator at The Bay (a canadian department store) prior to getting my headshots done for a teen pageant a few years back. In return for a mention in the program booklet, they sponsored my hair (they had an in-house salon), nails (mani & pedi), waxing, and even gave me a one hour appointment with a their fashion consultant. She helped me pick out an outfit for the shoot and I was allowed to borrow the outfit for a couple of hours. Perhaps you might want to try this at one of the many US department stores and offer some a mention on your blog in return?

Anonymous said...

congrats! i don't have any advice on hair and makeup but aren't you also worried about what to wear??

Meg said...

Thanks for all the kind words and great suggestions, everyone!

Anon- I've already been told that we're all wearing a CosmoGirl tank top (not the most flattering piece in the world, but it's alright) and jeans, with no shoes or socks (I guess they want the au naturale look). So luckily, clothing isn't a big issue, otherwise I'd really be freaking out!

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

CONGRATS!!!!

I'd totally suggest going a day or two BEFORE you get your official Sephora makeover.

I went to a makeover once, and they did such an awful job on me, I had to wash it all off, I felt so gross and eww.... it looked awful and I felt awful.

Try it out BEFORE you go in for the real thing.

Again, congratulations!!!

Anonymous said...

i dont' feel that sephora is a good choice they are usually rushed or in a bad mood, and they don't clean the brushes etc unless u know of someone spec. to help u....u def would have to buy some products but saks(scott barns, stilia or trish macvoy) does usually a wonderful job and sometimes u can call ahead and they will set aside a time frame so that u def get helped...good luck!

Jeanne said...

Congratulations!

I had a great experience with Sheryl at the Fresh/Lipstick Queen counter at Barneys when I was in New York. She was super-nice and helpful with both Fresh and Lipstick Queen products.

Kate said...

Congratulations! I'm facing the internship hunt this next year and will check that one out. I can't add to the advice already given, but it does seem a little, well, mean of them not to "help" at all... Best of luck!

BellaSugar said...

I'd bet dollars to donuts that CG! will be providing a makeup artist. Why not just ask? If you do decide to go in with makeup on, bring some remover just in case. Congratulations on your gig -- what a wonderful opportunity!

Kristin said...

Bobbi Brown makeup photographs beautifully. I always wear it for photo-heavy occasions, and get lots of compliments on the results.

If CosmoGirl doesn't offer hair & makeup for the shoot, it's probably because an enterprising young blogger hasn't yet organized a sponsor for this (hint, hint).

jennifer said...

congratulations - what an amazing opportunity for you!

as far as make-up goes, for my cousin's wedding a few weeks ago all of us bridesmaids got our make-up airbrushed. It was $60+tip in Florida, but it was tear-proof, sweat-proof and absolutely perfect. It lasted all day, which was nice since we didn't want to have shiny faces for the wedding pictures. just an idea :)

the addict said...

Go see Shaun Thomas at the Becca counter at Bergdorf Goodman. I love him!

Anonymous said...

Congrats!!! What an opportunity! I have really really bad hair and Irina at Hollywood Salon (little tiny salon) on 21st and 2nd Ave does a great job for $25.00. She really knows what she is doing and they are open 7 days a week although she is not there on Tuesdays.

willikat said...

i do'nt live in nyc but i do coordinate photo shoots, and i can tell you the makeup that photographs best are: mac, bobbi brown, and smashbox. tha'ts not to say others don't look great, but they do look better because of their finish. i can also say that you should def. wear eyeliner and bronzer, with a little bit of blush over the top of the bronzer, on your cheeks. mascara, lipgloss and alittle shadow on the eyes. you won't need much but you do need more coverup/blush than you'd think, to pop out your bone structure. good luck! and congratulations!

Oxanna said...

I'd say to go ahead and ask - it can't possibly hurt! (And they've probably answered exactly the same questions many times before. :)

If you do get your makeup done elsewhere, *please* visit the counter of your choice waaayyy in advance of the photoshoot. I once let a makeup counter lady (Prescriptives, I think it was) do my foundation. Oh my. It was entirely too much for normal wear - I could see the makeup streaks and the powder. *shudder* I didn't even let her touch my eyes!

I think there are actual makeup salons that will do your makeup for you, for a fee. They might be worth looking into.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to your internship.
Try not to do too much. This will make you uncomfortable. My experience with make-up counters is that they put way too much makeup on you. Try to eat healthy, drink lots of water, sleep well and if you have any skin problems, try to solve them now. So you will not have any red spots on your skin anyway and do not need tons of foundation. Same goes for the hair.
Get a great haircut, not just a blow dry. Get the hair shiny and healthy.
Let somebody photograph (cheap digicam is enough) you in the outfit you want to wear. Just as "polaroids" for you. Try different ways to pose "naturally" and find out, how you like yourself most. And look if the outfit does anything funny with your body.
Have fun and stop worrying. Nobody looks good all tensed up.

Anonymous said...

If money is an issue for your hair, I would highly recommend calling the Aveda Training Salon- 212-807-1492. Call soon in advance because sometimes they fill up and they don't seem very flexible about scheduling, so that would be the biggest problem.
But, as far as the quality of their services, I have gone there a gazillion times to get my hair highlighted/cut, and always am amazed after they style it at how sleak and wonderful it looks. I also have several friends who go there, and no one has yet to be disappointed. Yes, it is a student styling your hair, but they have always been just as well trained, and besides, they are getting a grade, so it is in their interest to have you look fabulous too. There's always a teacher overseeing everything, too.

Sorry I don't know much about where to get makeup done in this town. I know one girl who goes to Makeup Forever for special events, but it will cost you.

Anonymous said...

p.s. Aveda training salon is at 233 Spring street

dianabobar said...

Congratulations on that!!!