Blue Bloods. Country Strong. Eat Pray Love. What do these (and many more movies and TV shows) have in common? Makeup artist Sherri Berman Laurence. Read on to find out about the foundation she can't live without, the amazing non-profit organization she runs in her spare time and so much more.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Dallas. I went to the University of North Texas and majored in radio, television and film. I am one of the few makeup artists who actually never went to makeup school and learned everything I know from trial and error, other makeup artists, and just naturally knowing the skill.
How did you first become interested in makeup, and what led you to become a makeup artist?
My mother was a hairdresser and I have done makeup and hair since I was 4 years old (I used to do it on the little old lady down the street!). I would also go to my mother's salon on the weekends and do my younger cousin's hair and makeup every week! In high school I always did everyone's hair and makeup as well for dances, graduations and other events. It is something that I was born loving to do! I then had a salon and worked my way through college as a manicurist. I went to college for film and TV and started working in the business immediately after college. I guess because I grew up doing hair and makeup, I didn't think makeup was "filmmaking" (boy was I wrong!!!) so I did every other department instead. Eventually I realized that I was completely drawn to the makeup department and wanted to be a makeup artist. It was the best decision that I have ever professionally made! I have been doing makeup longer than any department since I have been in the industry.
You've worked on some really amazing projects. What do you love about working in film and TV?
I love the creativity and the different blank canvases that I get to work on every day. It is so exciting to get to create different characters and take them through all the transitions that a script calls for. I really enjoy doing beauty makeup but also LOVE doing special effects!
I loved the makeup looks in Country Strong. What can you tell me about the different looks you created and the products you used for them?
There was a big arc in Leighton Meester's character as far as her makeup and style. She started off with a really over the top look, like a beauty queen or a "country Barbie". It was really exaggerated with the colors and amount of makeup applied. That type of character is really hard because it goes completely against every grain in your body not to blend and to choose these types of colors. Her character gradually becomes more and more polished and ends up looking more like a seasoned pop star.
To get these looks, I used a wide range of products. Some of the products I used were:
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
La Mer The Treatment Fluid Foundation SPF 15
Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer
Chanel quad eyeshadows
Benefit Cosmetics CORALista blush
Chanel and by Terry lipglosses
Estee Lauder Double Wear mascara and eyeliner
M.A.C #34 lashes
What are your top 5 makeup essentials?
1) Shu Uemura eyelash curler
2) Amazing Cosmetics AmazingConcealer
3) Chanel Variations or Spices eyeshadow quads
4) Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
5) Laura Mercier Plumberry lipliner and lip balm stick
What are your top 3 makeup tips?
1) Make sure to match your foundation to your neck (faces are usually darker) or dust a matte bronzing powder on your neck to bring it to the same level.
2) Curl your eyelashes to open up the eyes.
3) Moisturize well before makeup application. I like to use Creme de La Mer!
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
It is so rewarding when you create a character and see it come to life on the big or small screen!
Being a makeup artist must be fun -- but what do you do in your spare time?
I actually have a non-profit organization called WaHi Cats (aka Washington Heights Cat Colony) that spays and neuters feral cats (non-domesticated cats) and then releases them back into their territory. We then maintain the health and well-being of our neighborhood feral cat colonies by providing ongoing care (food, water, shelter and medical treatment) for the feral, stray and abandoned cats in our community. This is called TNR. In the process we often run into stray and abandoned cats and kittens, which we take into foster care and find homes for. So when I am not at work and even when I AM at work, I am constantly working for my organization. We depend solely on donations and volunteers and are in constant need of adoptions and fosters as well. If you are interested, please contact us by going to our website wahicats.org to find out more and to see our adoptable kitties listed on petfinder! You can also become a fan on our Facebook page.