Six-time Emmy nominated makeup artist Jeff Lewis is bringing Hollywood to his hometown of Edwardsville. Makeup & beauty.
He and his wife, Tricia, have opened a one-of-a-kind makeup store and school on Century Drive. The Makeup Department &, Academy features professional makeup lines such as Graftobian and European Body Art, which are used by makeup artists in the entertainment industry.
Lewis says growing up with films like “Star Wars” is what got him interested in special effects and makeup.
“I was always into ‘Star Wars’ as a little kid,” he said. “Once I got to college and found a niche for this line of work, I got more involved with the theater department. I then figured out that this is an actual job. I didn’t know it existed.”
With more than 25 years of experience, Lewis has worked on multiple productions, including “Star Trek,” “Up in the Air,” “Paranormal Activity,” “13 Reasons Why,” “The Messengers” and “Prom.” Beauty, theatrical, fantasy and special effects are his expertise.
Lewis will provide services in makeup application, personal consultations, workshops and full training courses for those who desire to be professional makeup artists. He said it’s not an easy field to get into.
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“Be prepared for a lot of long hours and lots of hard work,” he said. “Everybody feels they can do makeup, but to do it right and know all the different aspects you need to do makeup these days has increased. The level they expect you to be at these days is much higher than when I first got in. They now expect you to be fully ready to go. It’s a lot more competitive now.”
The first three workshops will be geared more toward special effects for Halloween.
“The first workshop is on September 17 and it will be an Out of the Kit Zombie,” Lewis said. “The second workshop, we will work with latex prosthetics and the third is on silicone prosthetics. Come November, there will be more workshops on airbrush and beauty makeup.”
The store will also offer special events and celebrity guest lectures.
“We will have special events and guest lectures throughout the year,” Lewis said. “Besides workshops, we will also do after-hour parties where we will work with body casting, pregnancy bellies, casts to the head and hands, and all sorts of different things.”
Lewis and his wife said they hope the store will benefit both Edwardsville and surrounding communities.
“It’s just a different kind of place,” he said. “Most makeup stores, when you go and buy their makeup, it’s a luck of the draw on whether you get the right thing or not. Here, you can come and play with different things and see what really works before you go home and find out it doesn’t work. You can find what’s right for you within the store. We are hoping to alleviate the frustration of spending a lot of money on unused makeup. I will be providing a lot of teaching services and doing a lot of personal consultations so not only do you buy the makeup, but you also learn correctly how to put it on and what you should be doing to best help your facial structure.”
Lewis has plans to build up the schooling portion.
“A lot of kids that want to go to makeup school either have to go to Los Angeles or New York,” he said. “This place is kind of in the middle. If kids want to learn all the aspects of makeup for the film and television industry, they don’t have to go to one of the coasts to learn. Here, they can stay closer to home.”
Sierra Jenkins of Edwardsville is the academy’s first student.
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“I was originally going to go to a makeup school in Burbank, but I feel like there are more opportunities here,” she said. “It’s awesome to have this whole store of makeup to play around with.”
The Makeup Department &, Academy opened last month, but a grand opening is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 8. Check out their Facebook page for more information or call (618) 650-9270.