My I'm Going To Class Experience

Hello readers! It's been a minute since I've blogged, it's a new year & time to grind out those goals. Why not start with the singular experience which renewed my love of artistry to take to the next level: Erica Carr's I'm Going To Class. If you aren't hip, Erica Carr is one of the nation's leading Bridal Hair & Makeup Artists and Global Educator. Erica is known professionally for identifying & cultivating unique strengths within others while challenging everyone to be proactive in pursuing their dream career. 

Being a successful artist is 50% skill, 50% personality. It must be exact.
— Reggie Wells

I'm Going To Class is the manifestation of a dream Erica had to bring the masters of beauty makeup together to teach their strong suits to makeup artists from around the world in an inclusive, environment in Portland, Oregon.  Yes, finally us in the PNW get in on world class training! As soon as I heard about it I knew I would find a way to be a part of it. Where else would I get to be taught by Reggie Wells, Alex Box, and Sam Fine in the same week without jetsetting around the world or dealing with enormous crowds at traditional trade shows? For the full 2016 lineup of Masters click here. Here are my candid thoughts on my experience, keep in mind there may be changes for 2017, of the awesome variety of course.

First Impressions

As I pulled into the Embassy Suites valet, alone from Seattle (forgetting my kitty ears and whiskers I told my roommate I'd be wearing for Halloween) I was stoked, nervous, and ready to take it all in! The first person I saw was Stephen Dimmick in his signature hot pink bowler hat, greeting someone outside. Being a bit starstruck and shy I casually said hello as I passed not knowing how he'd react or if he felt like speaking. He warmly greeted me & gave me a hug. I almost died.

Stephen Dimmick demoing on his model.

Stephen Dimmick demoing on his model.

On my way to the check in I see none other than makeup artist icon, inventor of The Makeup Light Vivian Baker and her husband. I almost died again. I finish checking in, meet my roommates, and we run downstairs to enjoy Happy Hour with awesome people from around the world. I immediately felt at ease in this beautiful vintage hotel in one of my favorite little cities.

Sometimes adding light can be as dramatic as using dark or bright colors.
— Stephen Dimmick


One thing to know about Erica: She loves Oprah, therefore the she loves surprises. Let that soak in. The first meeting every day of class consists of Homeroom where Erica interviews each of the three masters teaching that day, lets us know what contest or vendor specials might be happening, and allows for any questions to be asked, and we choose which station to take for hands on. 

Beau Nelson's Pink Passion Look

Beau Nelson's Pink Passion Look

Rip away the filters and see beauty for what it really is.
— Gregory Arlt


Now Class was advertised specifically as being an education based event with a few well curated vendors. The goodie bags were legit! Check out this video I made going through what we received. The vendors & sponsors included were: Smith Cosmetics, Frends Beauty, RCK, Model Rock Lashes, LimeLight By Alcone, Eliis Faas, It Cosmetics, Makeup Forever, Kit & Hook, Paw Palette, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, NARS, Melt Cosmetics, Laura Mercier, Kryolan, Embryolisse, Colourpop, Dermaflage, and Cinema Secrets. 

The Goods! Thanks to the amazing vendors.

The Goods! Thanks to the amazing vendors.

Master Class

The coolest part of class is that we get to see each and every class in it's entirety. No having to carefully map out a schedule, making tough calls on which ones we have to skip like in a standard trade show, or making our way through crazy crowds to get a decent seat. Every class featured a topic, demo with lecture, plenty of time for questions, and a photo opp at the end. My first class was Color Theory with Jessie Powers- I was excited but also thought my color theory was down pat. Let me tell you Jessie laid down the knowledge in ways I'd never think of. Color not just to correct but to respect the elements of the living organ. Tips for analyzing color and texture. Sheer brilliance. 

Think of skin as a living organ with emotions in which imperfections are beautiful.
— Jessie Powers


Yes food is important! One of the biggest perks of Class was that we got fed stupid within Portland, a city known for its food ( check out the food trucks just a block away from Embassy Suites). Prior to attending any dietary restrictions are taken into account.

Breakfast: We received a complimentary breakfast in the morning including customized omelettes.

Lunch: Alternated between a themed buffet (such as Mexican or Mediterranean) or a 2 course gourmet meal with a dessert bar on the side. Buffet proved more popular so Erica ensured we received what we wished.

Snack: Snacks ranged from flatbread pizza, flavored popcorn, cheese, salami, pitas, and hummus. 

Happy Hour: There were two happy hours simultaneously inside the hotel if you wanted to keep your budget but still socialize with fellow artists. Many of us would hang out downstairs, in the lobby, or outside the hotel to for fun post class shenanigans. 

Give them what they want but in a way that pleases you.
— Sandy Linter


Hands On

Each day after the last Master taught their class we would have a couple hours to practice hands on another attendee in the main ballroom. Quarters were tight, similar to Fashion Week dimensions which is a good challenge to learn to keep that kit streamlined. I learned I need to get a smaller case! Luckily I brought my Makeup Forever shoulder bag once I realized I needed to condense. 

Start again and make it great.
— Beau Nelson

As we practiced each Master and staff made rounds to give honest guidance. If a support staff member felt they didn't specialize in what the question was, like when I asked about making a foundation shade out of a Flash Palette, they find the Master themselves to reiterate and guide us.  I do wish I reached out and asked for more individual attention but I still received excellent tidbits. Don't skip out on hands on, even if you're exhausted that is where the real learning happens!

Golden Nuggets

I can't give away all the magic that happened, also things will likely change by getting even better in 2017. That said here's a few quotes and takeaways that stood out to me.

The Masters are more than raw talent, each of them is an amazing person in their own right. Here I am with Alex Box, Lora Arellano, Reggie Wells, and Sandy Linter. 

The Masters are more than raw talent, each of them is an amazing person in their own right. Here I am with Alex Box, Lora Arellano, Reggie Wells, and Sandy Linter. 

Paint conservatively.....
— Sam Fine (In context of working in unknown lighting conditions.
When Sam Fine asked us if we wanted to see a smokey eye or contoured eye we demanded both! 

When Sam Fine asked us if we wanted to see a smokey eye or contoured eye we demanded both! 

Break the ice with a joke. Keep your station simple to avoid intimidating guys.”
— Julianne Kaye on Men's Grooming


Being surrounded by such diverse talent for so many hours during the week, calibrated my eyes as an artist. One of the most difficult parts of being an up & coming artist is to remove your emotions from your work, to view it with discerning eyes. The feedback I received from Cloutier Remix agency was incredible.

I learned to make a foundation shade with a Flash Palette as well as create a custom blend for that exact match thanks to Jessie Powers.

I learned quite a bit from my peers! I'm excited to finally have some makeup artist friends across the states and as far as Ireland and London. 

Above all I learned to continue staying true to myself while also taking risks sometimes. You'll never see me do Kardashian makeup but you'll see me create explosions of color occasionally. 

Making It Happen

If Class keeps running through your mind but you're unsure- just do it. The sooner you make the decision the easier it is to make it happen. Partial payments are accepted. It is a tax write off. Nike it then invite your friends. If you have an questions about my experience just email or message me. For official info & the latest updates check out

Who's going to Class 2017? Who do you want to see teach?

Catch you guys next time!