One of my all-time favorite TV shows? LOST. So I'm super excited to bring you my interview today with the fabulous makeup artist behind the series, the one and only Emily Katz! Emily is fascinating and super knowledgeable -- read on to discover how she first got involved in the makeup industry, the lip product she couldn't live without on the LOST set, and so much more.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Originally from the East Coast, and grew up all across America, from NY to Hawaii! I've trained in the fine arts (predominately painting and sculpture) since I was a child.
How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to become a makeup artist?
As a watercolorist, the esthetics of beauty have always been a large part of who I am.
My interest in the world of fashion, beauty and makeup was invigorated from an international modeling career (runway back in the day). And I was a ballet and modern dancer, so stage makeup was something with which I was already familiar from childhood. Looking back, it's all a convergence of a natural evolution toward doing makeup for film and TV. I do have to say that it was never "the plan," unlike many now who focus on MakeUp as a career. For me, it was serendipity.
I had actually planned to be either a medical specialist (MD in Neurosciences) or a famous painter ... yikes, big dreams, I was in pre-med track and the arts ... needless to say the artist side of my nature overwhelmed the science, however I still hold a rapt interest in the science of the human body, which has actually assisted me in some of the effects I've needed to accomplish for jobs that are realistic. I've seen much of the real thing so I have a very lucid point of reference. The painting theme has been actualized on some level -- I get to paint people as my canvas for a living. It's pretty remarkable. I feel very blessed to be able to pursue and utilize these abilities.
You were the makeup artist for one of my favorite shows of all time, LOST. What can you tell me about the experience of working on such a game-changing show?
LOST was an amazing experience, and truly an iconic television moment. I'm honored to have been a part of what became woven into the fabric of society at the time.
The challenges of working on LOST were many, some physical ... if the actors were seen up on top of the mountain ledge, guess what? So were we! Along with the physicality of the show, there was the need to create makeups that were uber-durable under some of the most trying climatic conditions, plus the network wanted the women to still be beautiful and appear as if they had no makeup on at all. In fact, most of them had makeup on any bit of skin that was exposed. There was a crew of some wonderfully talented people who helped enact all the makeup designs.
Sunscreen, bug spray, fake dirt, tan, sunburn, often blood, bruises, not to forget the sweat ... sprayed on or self-generated ... and how to make all those layers appear as if there was absolutely NO makeup on anyone! The focus was always on how to keep the skin looking like it was solely that -- naked skin, even though it wasn't.
Another challenge was keeping the actresses' skin as impeccably beautiful as possible. So a knowledge of skincare and how to deal with all kinds of odd things the tropical climate keep throwing at us was imperative! We faced numerous challenges that have deeply added to my repertoire of experience. My lord, I sure understand sunscreens and compositional elements of products on a whole new level. It was about how to find products or help actually create them, that would stay on for the duration of a shooting day.
What were some of your tips and tricks on the set of LOST to keep the actors looking so great even under the sun for so many hours a day?
High SPF sunscreens are paramount to ensuring actors didn't change color in the midst of the shooting schedule, or get burned. I know there is some controversy in certain circles about the benefits/negatives of sunscreen. Since the jury's still out, I recommend everyone, no matter what their genetic background, wear sunscreen (particularly in the sub
There are a number of excellent products out now that cling to the skin without feeling heavy or "icky," that do not turn ghastly white or blue. It was truly a winnowing process to find which ones did or did not work out for on camera. Someone's favorite might have gone white, or run in the eyes when hammered with the water/sweat sprays ... all kinds of elements you don't need to think about in the course of normal life that had to be carefully considered on the show.
But, the answer to the question remains: wear a daily sunscreen/moisturizer. No matter where you live! It's the SPF that may vary. I also want to add that although we're told there is evidence that no higher than a certain number of SPF is effective, truly I have seen before my eyes the results that a very high SPF (like a 90) have over, let's say a 30, through the course of a day. I defer to what my experience has shown me!
So that the makeups stay intact and not disintegrate, blot papers help mitigate oiliness and sheen in the wrong places, while maintaining the very fresh and immediate look that LOST became known for.
Mascaras were held in place, even in the pouring rain and salt water, with Benefit SheLac, one of my standard turn-to products. Even waterproof-alone mascara would descend in the heat and humidity, but with the addition of Shelac, it clung where it was supposed to for hours.
We used ChapStick to keep lips from drying out (counterintuitive to what would happen on a deserted island -- they still had to look good!). The Moisturising Chapstick isn't waxy, same goes for the Neutrogena lip balm. Neither impact a makeup by imparting a sheen to the lips so it's very effective in looking utterly natural. Sometimes the good old standard is just the best thing!
(Editor's note: If you're curious about the various products Emily used, here's a list of some of her favorites from her time on the show!)
Neutrogena Age Shield Sunblock FACE SPF 90
Dry Touch spf 55, Sport 45 ...we went through boatloads of this
Jan Marini Sunscreen, Transformation Creme, transformation eye creme
PCA face and Body sunscreen
Derma Doctor Face and Body Shield sunscreen
Anthelios SPF 50, 60 and tinted
Jurlique sun lotion spf 30, Silk Dust powder
B Kamins bio Maple lipbalm, Bio Maple body lotion
Chapstick (all of them, especially Moisturizing and flavored)
La Mer The Concentrate (truly amazing for healing scars!! it works!!!)
La Mer hand creme and Moisturizing Lotion
Dermalogica Active Moisture Calming Cleanser, Special Cleansing Gel, Ceramide Eye Gel
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel (takes off even the fake tan, dirt, sweat, and didn't irritate even sensitive skin. It's fab), Wheat Germ Body Lotion
Benefit SheLac, Some Kinda Gorgeous foundation, Benetint, Posie tint, lipsticks
M.A.C Face and Body Makeup, Matte Bronzer, eyeshadows (often used as brow color), lip colors
L'Oreal Voluminous mascara
Chanel Nude and Natural lip pencils, pressed powder
Clinique lip pencils, eyeliners, Teddy shadow quad, many other colors, Shy and Rosy creme blushes, spray on sunscreen, SPF 50 body sunscreen, line smoothing concealers
Cargo Matte Bronzer, blushes, liglosses, Sand pencil, lipsticks
Dior eyeshadows, bases, mascaras
Estee Lauder foundations, blushes (especially Rose, Peach and Plum Nuances) and creme blushes, Illusionist waterproof mascara (unfortunately discontinued), lipsticks
Bobbi Brown Bronzing powder, blush, lip, pencils
Stila Convertible color, Sport Flash cheek color
Cetaphil cleansers and lotions
What are your top makeup essentials?
Jan Marini Sunscreen -- usually tinted
Cargo bronzer in Matte Medium
Cargo JetLag concealer
Dior, Clinique, Estee Lauder lipsticks and glosses
Chapstick or Neutrogena lipbalm -- always with me!!!
Estee Lauder ColorStay eyeliner
What are your top 3 makeup tips?
1) Good skin is the basis of everything. Take care of yourself, cleanse, protect, moisturize, antioxidant, peels, microdermabrasion -- whatever you need to do. The power of great skin cannot be underestimated, and there's a lot that can be done to bring it right if it's a bit troubled.
2) USE SUNSCREEN! I like multitask products, so a tinted sunscreen really works for me
BLOT instead of powdering for touchups. It will diminish the possible cake-iness that can build up through the day. If you love a totally matte finish, blot, then powder.
3) BLEND EDGES. Always make sure the edges of your foundation (which must match your skin!) blend into your neck under the jawline, and make sure your blush is not a big stripe. Feather those edges. Refer to make up sponges to help blend.
Being a makeup artist must be fun -- but what do you do in your spare time?
I paint, draw, read copiously and always have a novel that I'm reading -- sometimes a couple simultaneously. I also am a contributing writer to Skin,Inc. (spa and skincare) Magazine, and give private lessons and seminars. There's always something I'm interested in, and I have a great family. I truly am never bored.