Derrick Rutledge Perfecting Your Presence Class

While it seemed everyone and their mother was in New York to witness Sam Fine and Renny Vasquez on the same stage, I was in Washington D.C. to see none other than Derrick Rutledge. I wasn't sure what to expect from the class but I definitely got more than I bargained for, but I'll get to that later.

If you don't know (which I'm hoping you already do if you read my blog) who Derrick Rutledge is, he is an amazing makeup artist who has graced faces such as Oprah Winfrey, Patty LaBelle, and countless other celebrities with his signature look. So when I saw the opportunity to take a class with him AND in DC (seems like we always have to go to NY for the best classes) I knew I had to be in the place.

The class was more intimate than I thought, seeing as though there were less than 25 participants.
There was a mix of makeup artists (both aspiring and pro), hair stylists, and just real women who wanted to know how to do their own face.

There was a special guest once we arrived. Who might you ask? None other than the makeup godfather Mr. Reggie Wells. YES GIRL REGGIE WAS THERE. He came to surprise Derrick and support him, and to everyone's surprise (including Derrick's) he stayed the entire time.

The Class was broken down into 5 sections:

  • Skincare with board certified and licensed dermatologist Dr. Lisa Ginn
  • High level overview of instructional manual
  • Lunchtime discussion with Style and Fashion Editor from ESSENCE Magazine Pamela Edwards Christiani
  • Hands on Demo and makeup application
  • Photoshoot

If you want to know more about the class keep reading!

Skincare with Dr. Lisa Ginn

Dr. Ginn was amazing. Not only does she have over 20 years of experience, she came with amazing facts for every skin type and age group. Definitely provided knowledge for any woman, whether you have issues personally, or how to combat issues in a client before you apply their makeup. She anatomically broke down the layers and the structures of skin and touched on common ailments and issues like:dryness, oiliness, acne, dark spots, red spots, unwanted hair growth and more! I will be doing a more in depth post about all that she shared at a later date.

Class Manual

Derrick went over the class manual that was definitely amazing in my book. Whether you're an aspiring artist or just someone who wants to know more about the function of makeup its an amazing book. From skincare, to tools, foundation by coverage and skin type and tips to enhance features, the book was chuck full of information. Not only were there guides, there were face charts that I believe were hand drawn by Derrick himself!

Derrick shared with us that he is finally close to completing his own line of makeup which boasts a range of 40 foundation shades. The formula is to be like that of Dermablend but a little more sheer. There will be cream as well as liquid foundations. The price point you ask? Derrick wants all women to be able to find their shade and doesn't feel that it should cost $60 or more. Once released, you should be found in places like Target, Walgreens or RiteAid. (wall slide)

Makeup in Media with ESSENCE Magazine

While we had lunch (which was absolutely amazing. I'm mad I didn't inquire about the caterer) we were blessed by the presence of Pamela Edwards Christiani, Fashion and Style Editor from Essence magazine. Now this was probably one of the best portions of the class to me for those that are aspiring artists or already working in the industry. Patricia did a wonderful job of sharing tips about how to be prepared, set etiquette, working with magazines and/or brands, and the type of make that makes the cover versus what makes a spread on the inside. She was so open and transparent, and even shared some email addresses and key contacts at the magazine! I was completely shocked but so grateful for all that she shared.

Hands On Demo

At this point Derrick did a hands on demo with a model. We simultaneously were able to do our makeup and follow his steps to create a flawless face and perfect our presence. We were given gift bags that had a set of brushes designed by Derrick, as well as a little mirror. He chose a 50 year old model because he said he wanted a "real woman" and not a super young model. I liked that he chose that and that he shared that with us. He did an entire face step by step, and took the eye from day to night. Shared some of his contouring and highlighting techniques, as well as provided help providing tips on how to apply your own lashes. The setting was so intimate and you could really get up close and personal while he was working. Some women were even sitting on the floor at his feet while he painted! Reggie even walked around and helped women with their makeup which I know was a blessing to many.


We all were asked to bring ensembles to change in to after we applied our makeup and there was a room set up with a professional photographer to get our photos taken. Unfortunately since the class ran over and I had prior engagements I wasn't able to stay.

As you can see there was a ton of information, some surprises, great food, transferable knowledge and skill. The class was from 9:30 am to roughly 5pm or later (since the class ran slightly over). All of these things with a celebrity artist (and a private meet and greet the day before) for less than $400. Definitely get your bang for your buck! The class will apparently turn into a beauty tour, so if you missed the DC class look out for the next location where he will be.

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