Friday, April 20, 2012

First Look Fridays: Makeup Artist Georgia Allen

"I enjoy being able to transport people into a moment, whether it is exciting, scary or fantastical," says makeup artist Georgia Allen. She's worked on some very big projects, from the upcoming The Avengers and The Hobbit to Breaking Bad and The Lion King on Broadway. Read on to discover the foundation she swears by, her number one tip for good skin and so much more.

How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to become a makeup artist?
I was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My mom put me in theater classes at 8 years old and I imagine it all started there. I attended a performing arts theater high school and participated in theater troops outside of school until I was too old to do it. I was always doing makeup and hair for whatever show I was in. My mom has pictures of me doing makeup for the other actors at a very young age. After high school I spent a year studying photography and art history at a liberal arts school.

Having a career focused education was important to me, so I moved to L.A. and attended Westmore Academy for Cosmetic Arts. There is not a day that I don't go to work and thank Michael Pack for all that he taught me at school. I believe education gives you the confidence to compete in this cutthroat industry. It's not easy breaking into the film industry, so I spent the next few years moving around the east coast working on plays, operas, indie films and Broadway. I spent a year and a half working at Sephora, I believe I owe a lot of my speed and product knowledge to that job. I also did freelance makeup for M.A.C, Shiseido and Cle De Peau.

I was hired for a film shooting in New Mexico of all places, so my work brought me back home. After shooting there for the summer I decided to leave the theater world behind. My time working in theater was probably the most valuable to my career because Cookie Jordan took me under her wing and taught me how to Ventilate. Ventilating is tying individual hairs into lace to create wigs or false facial hair. This ultimately would be what would separate me from the majority of makeup artists in the business, and open lots of doors into the film world. I joined the Local 480 union when I moved back to New Mexico and worked in union film and television for nearly 5 years. Lots of westerns and post apocalyptc films! One of my most memorable shows was The Men Who Stare at Goats, I owe a lot of my facial hair knowledge to Ken Diaz who never ceases to amaze me.

At some point every makeup artist that wants to join the big leagues has to make the move to L.A. Union cards don't transfer to L.A. so after spending many a day back on indie sets and loads of persistence, I got my 706 Union card on OZ the Great and Powerful. OZ introduced me to Howard Berger who for many years has inspired me with his work and the work of his and Greg Nicotero's FX Makeup shop KNB. Howard has shown me that love and grace belong in the film industry no matter what department you are in. He has taught me that having fun with what you do is the most important part of doing this job. Beauty makeup will always play an important role in my career but I'm afraid special effects makeup holds my heart.

What are your top 5 favorite beauty products?
1) Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. It comes in 4 shades, all of which I love for priming eyes. Eyeshadow stays put all day and will not crease. I personally wear the color SIN on my eyes everyday for a great natural work look. The original formula remains my favorite.

2) M.A.C Acrylic Paints. M.A.C makes the acrylics in a range of 10 colors that are great for lining the upper and lower shelf of the eye. They will not run down and cause raccoon eyes. They stay put for hours. I love this trick for prosthetics makeup as well, it takes the human look out of the eye for creature makeups. Certain colors are not suitable for the eye so check the color out first. Of course the acrylics can be used in lots of other ways, this is just my favorite.

3) KohGenDo Cleansing Spa Water. Well, really, anything made by KohGenDo is amazing. It was really hard to narrow it down to one product. This can be used for makeup removal and is great for waterproof makeup as well. I love to use it around the eyes for beauty and FX makeups. It is oil free and alcohol free. It will dissolve glues and adhesives so you don't have to use a solvent around the eyes.

4) Kanebo Sensai Fluid Finish Lasting Velvet Foundation. This foundation is amazing! It comes in 9 magnificent shades and has an SPF of 15. Every actress I put it on goes out to buy it for themselves!

5) Philosophy Microdelivery Peel Pads. Deep cleansing and exfoliation is an important part of a skincare regimen. It also goes hand in hand for anti-aging and sun damage. These pads improve clarity and texture while brightening and removing unwanted oils and blocked pores. I found that at night weekly is the best use for brighter, more youthful skin.

What are your top 3 beauty tips?
1) I am a huge fan of coconut water for drinking but I bet you didn't know that it is amazing for your skin! Its mass amounts of electrolytes, sodium, chloride, and phosphate make it super hydrating for you inside and out. Coconut water is naturally isotonic so it helps balance your PH, as well as being sterile and having antibacterial properties so it is wonderful for blemish problems. It's wonderful for boosting your immune system, regulating blood pressure and cholesterol. With the crazy long hours I work, I believe coconut water gets me through it and keeps me healthy with nice skin! I recommend drinking one every day and splashing a little on your face every night.

2) Wearing sunscreen is probably one of the best things you can do for your skin on a daily basis. Even when we are inside we are exposed to UV lights and free radicals. Remember the SPF should be multiplied by ten to give you the amount of minutes you can spend in the sun before damage. Broad Spectrum Sunscreen is best because it protects chemically and topically. Use sunscreen specified for face to avoid breakouts and eye irritation.

3) Using quality brushes and tools will make your makeup look that much better. Better blending edges, better fine lines. Doing a smoky eye with a sponge tip applicator versus brushes will yield two totally different results. Invest in good brushes and they will last forever. Cleaning brushes daily or weekly will keep oils from being reapplied to your skin and keep your colors true. Sephora makes a daily spray brush cleaner that I adore -- at $14 it is affordable, it smells nice and does not have oils in it. When washing your brushes, lay them flat off the edge of a counter or table so the air gets 360 degrees around the bristles. It will keep the water from dissolving the glue and prolong the life of your brush. Take good care of your brushes and they will take good care of you!

Being a makeup artist must be fun, but what do you do in your spare time?
Time off? What is that? Well I suppose if I'm not at work I am cooking. Cooking for my roommates makes me happier than you would imagine. I enjoy sleeping, dirty gin martinis and going to the movies.

1 comment:

  1. Five great beauty products that I learned form your post. You are such a great makeup artist. Thanks for the post. Please continue posting like this one.