The Pro Team at MAKE UP FOR EVER met with the artists behind the hit Netflix show – Orange is the New Black. The genius makeup team of Michal Bigger, Karen Reuter, Sunday Englis, Mandy Bisesti, Ingrid Okola and Josh Turi share their inspiration, love of makeup and why they do what they do. Black beauty makeup tips.
What do you love most about makeup?
Karen: I love the transformation, the creation of characters, collaborating with the actors and the painting process. It’s very much an inner child’s fantasy world that you can actually create.
Michal: I love the painting, of course, the art of it, but also the personal connections I make with the people I work on. I meet the most remarkable people and am privy to astounding performances.
Josh: I have to say that my favorite thing about being a makeup artist, (aside from the actual application of makeup, because let’s face it, that’s amazing, lol), is being able to do a job that I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid and being surrounded by some of the most creative people on the planet. I get to go to work and create, everyday, and share that with other artists.
Ingrid: The creativity, the colors, the transformations, being surrounded by all the creativity, hell pretty much everything about it.
If you weren’t a makeup artist, what else would you do?
Michal: I can’t imagine. I love this job.
Josh: One of three things - Chef, Bomb Squad Tech, or Rock God.
Mandy: Photographer or a professional reader. Is that a job?
Ingrid: I guess a prop maker and builder or something in forensic science or something in the field of prosthesis.
How did your career begin in the world of beauty?
Michal: Through independent films which segued into to larger films. Commercials were also helpful.
Josh - For me, it was necessity. I was always on the path to being a Prosthetic Makeup artist, but I always believed that you should be a well-rounded artist also. So over the years I would take jobs doing background, just so I could bang out a bunch of beauty makeups. It was practice for me. I am a firm believer that knowing how to do beauty makeup has made my Prosthetics better. I use some of the same techniques, and materials.
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Mandy: I studied theater &, painting growing up, &, I have a BFA in photography from The School of Visual Arts. Doing makeup allowed me to roll all my passions into one.
Who are some people that have inspired you?
Michal: I was inspired early in my career by the makeup artist, Way Bandy. His light touch in the ‘80s was way ahead of his time.
Karen: I saw Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein when I was 5. I was terrified yet, even at a very young age fascinated with how it was done. Those early makeup artists were real ‘McGivers’.
Josh: My early inspirations were the work of Dick Smith, and anything that John Chambers did. Catching the Planet of the Apes films on the 4:30 movie had a huge impact on me, as well as Stuart Freeborn and Rick Baker’s work on Star Wars.
Mandy: I love Peter Phillip’s work. His hand is just beautiful. And every single person on this makeup team is truly an inspiration. Beautiful artists &, beautiful people.
Ingrid: When I saw the transformations and the monsters that Rick Baker and Rob Bottin created, it blew my mind and it’s what got me to try makeup.
What's your best technique for concealing under-eye darkness?
Michal: A good Director of Photography! My makeup favorite for under-eye darkness is a combo of several things. When all else fails I bring in the big guns – MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer.
Mandy: I concur with Michal!!
What do you do to ensure that makeup stays put for hours at a time?
Michal: The brand is very important. In general, we use HD Foundation for our show. Not loading up on moisturizer before the foundation is important, too.
Karen: MAKE UP FOR EVER HD primer
Josh: A properly prepped face for one. Clean, oil free, and primed.
What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to women?
Michal: Appreciate yourself. Beauty truly shines out from the person within.
Karen: Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, styles,…embrace who you are and stop comparing yourself to photo shopped models and actresses. Aside from that…take good care of your skin
Mandy: That healthy is beautiful. Be healthy in mind, body &, spirit!
What are some common beauty mistakes that women make?
Michal: Doing their makeup in an ill lit bathroom, too much under-eye concealer, making themselves look older by putting on too much makeup… makeup can work against you as well as enhance you. Also, breaking the rules can be a creative woman’s asset. I love it when I see someone expressing themselves with makeup.
Josh: My biggest pet peeve is not blending. Please do not stop at the chin.
Ingrid: Too many women focus on covering the negatives and not enhancing the positive. Also many women don't take off all their makeup properly so their skin can breathe at night.
How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?
Michal: As film makeup artists, it’s not about one signature makeup style that identifies us but rather how we can create a signature look for each character. If I were to say what sets makeup artists for film and TV apart from other artists, it would be the versatility.
Karen: I would agree with Michal….it’s totally about versatility and breadth of imagination.
What products do you think should be a staple in every woman's purse?
Michal: Jao hand sanitizer, sunscreen, blush and lip color.
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Mandy: Blotting papers &, a great lip balm.
What mistakes do you see women make most often when it comes to their makeup?
Michal: Foundation that is too heavy. Trying to cover one pimple by drowning the entire face in makeup. Just spot cover a pimple with a waterproof concealer (but not much!).
Mandy: Applying really heavy eye makeup but not concealing blemishes &, unevenness on the skin. And mascara smudges under the eyes &, on the eyelids.
What are your three must have products and why?
Michal: I work with a disposable palette, which lets me blend colors and see what I like together before I apply it to the face. When I’m done, I rip off the sheet and throw it away, ready for the next situation. The MAKE UP FOR EVER Sculpting Kit has become indispensable. The shading color works on a wide variety of skin tones and it blends really well. The dark skin camouflage palette has been so useful. There is rarely a dark skin tone it won’t work for. If on the set I see something that needs hiding I can whip that palette out to do the job. I do wish there was a very dark shade in the mix, though.
Mandy: MAKE UP FOR EVER HD foundations. A dental spatula. Really good quality brushes.
Ingrid: MAKE UP FOR EVER 12 Flash Color Palette - can do all most everything with that in a pinch. MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Foundation, few decent brushes and I’m sneaking a fourth, hand sanitizer.