I can still remember the way I felt when I saw the YouTube video announcing the launch of L’Oréal’s ‘The Brush Contest.’ Eva Longoria starred in the quirky clip which invited budding makeup artists to create a three minute video tutorial for a ‘bold and daring’ look which was based around the theme of colour clash. I approached Adrian with some trepidation. I knew what it meant to ask him to help me with this. If we were going to do it, we were going to make the best video we possibly could.
Thankfully he agreed and we spent the next two weeks preparing for the day of filming. My eyes were red and sore from all the looks I was practising. Adrian and I were pouring over makeup-art pictures, searching for inspiration. We knew that there was a fine line between ‘the most outrageous look you’ve ever done’ which is what the rules specified, and what people were going to vote for in order to get us to the final 5. Adrian hired a slow motion camera, we booked a studio and purchased the perfect mini dressing table to complete the set.
On the day of filming it was absolutely roasting hot and there was no air-conditioning, but together with my friend Cara, we pressed on. It took the whole day to get everything we needed. The owner of the studio even came by to take some fashion style photos before we packed up for the night. It was such a fun experience, but we were all completely stuffed by the end of the night. I was really proud of how the makeup came out. I definitely listened when Eva said to ‘mix it, match it, clash it.’ It was wild, but also had structure. Hopefully people were going to think it was bold and daring, in a good way.
Adrian, with my input, spent over two full days editing the video together to keep it under 3 minutes and also have it ready for the closing date. It consumed our lives. We had a nasty shock when it was announced that videos with music were not being accepted, but thankfully it was confirmed that our royalty free music was going to be ok after all . I must have read the rules a hundred times. We had worked so hard, I didn’t want anything to prevent us from getting into the top 50, which then went to the public vote. I was slightly disheartened when L’Oréal announced that the contest was being extended and everyone had another 10 days to enter. Ultimately I was happy with our entry so all that was left to do was wait with baited breath.
I was laying on the couch when the top 50 began appearing on L’Oréal’s YouTube page. Adrian was having a nap. One by one they showed up. 10, 20, 50. Where was my video? I was stunned. We didn’t make it to the top 50! I climbed into bed and told Adrian. We both lay there in silence. Then the waterworks started. It hurt. It physically hurt me that after all the effort we went to, after everything we did to ensure our entry was the best possible work we could do, we were not good enough. I had to have a day off work I was so upset. My family and friends who saw the video were equally surprised. They couldn’t believe it either. That was a nice consolation.
The next thing I did was stupid, I admit that. I emailed the contact person at L’Oréal Australia and asked what I had done wrong, why I hadn’t made it to the top 50. The reply was even more heartbreaking than not getting in. She told me that because I did not speak to the camera the judges were unable to assess my personality. She said I definitely had talent and technical ability, but didn’t show personality. I just don’t know what to say. I had read the rules so many times. I was physically in the video, I had designed the look, I had picked the music and the set design, I had written all the little captions. There were more tears. Many more tears. I cannot even begin to describe how disappointed I was. How defeated I felt.
At the end of the day though, I’m still bloody proud of our video and there is no reason to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here it is! Please watch, please enjoy and please bask in my personality!