×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Armani, Variety Salute Beauty Innovators in Makeup Styling

On Feb. 20, Variety and Armani Beauty will team up for the 2019 Make-Up Artistry Dinner to toast four of the most sought-after celebrity make-up artists in Hollywood: Nick Barose, Molly Greenwald, Beau Nelson and Patrick Ta. Held at Sunset Tower Restaurant Terrace, this A-list-studded event, featuring such dazzling stars as Olivia Munn and Constance Wu, will celebrate the bright and bold and colorful creativity of these esthetic visionaries.

Nick Barose

Whether it’s blue lashes, purple lipstick, or red eyeliner, Barose isn’t afraid of color — something he attributes to growing up among vibrantly hued nature in Thailand. His current client roster features a rainbow of skin tones and personalities, including Rachel Weisz, Mackenzie Foy, Tracee Ellis Ross, Zoe Saldana, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Amandla Stenberg and Lupita Nyong’o. “You always want to keep it fresh and you can always push it,” says Barose, who learned from guru Kevyn Aucoin. “That’s what’s fun about makeup.”

You do a lot with color. From where have you gotten your inspiration lately?
Now, we’re seeing a return of the ’80s. That’s always going to be my thing because I grew up in the ’80s. I remember my mom wearing blue mascara and red lipstick, but she looked so elegant. … I always loved strong artistic women in music like Grace Jones or Annie Lennox, who really played with their looks and their makeup. When people think “timeless,” it doesn’t always have to mean “less.” It doesn’t have to be a natural face, it can be a statement.

How do you approach red carpet makeup?
I like to push when I do red carpet. I’m definitely not for every actress — like I’m not for people that want nude lips and cat eyes at every event. I like people that are willing to collaborate and play and change it up. I think that’s what makes it fun too, because this is year 25 of [my] doing this. You can have fun with color and texture and sometimes you can do something really beautiful, something a little odd. A big event is about being seen from a distance.

What are some of your favorite recent looks you’ve done?
Definitely Lupita at the Golden Globes with the blue lashes. When I saw the dress, the color really struck me. So I wanted to play off of that Yves Klein-blue color and then when I saw these lashes that were exactly the color, it was really spontaneous. … The other one is Mackenzie Foy from the Chanel show. I knew Mackenzie from when she was a kid, from “Twilight.” I played with the peaches and cream because she’s really fair, but I wanted it to be more like a Renaissance painting … and then Rachel Weisz at the Gotham Awards. She’s a natural beauty, and she definitely has the best brows in the business. It’s a really natural face, but I played up the brows to make them fuller. And then the rest of the face is pretty soft with a little bit of eyeliner in brown tones.

What are some iconic Oscar beauty moments you’ve had?
My memorable one would be when Lupita won the Oscar. Just because it was my first Oscars, and then my client won, and she looked fresh and classic. It was the perfect makeup for the ingenue: it popped in the photo, it looked fresh in person, and it’s timeless. [We did a] “panther eye” for the Oscars last year. It’s always fun to add a little bit of character.

What looks and trends do you think we’ll see at this year’s Oscars?
I feel like people play more with the Golden Globes or SAG [Awards], and then when it gets to the Oscars, it’s almost like a wedding day. Like, “I don’t want to be too dramatic, because these pictures are going to be forever.” But I’d love to see some statement. If anything, I think we’re seeing people that are pushing it more, so hopefully we’ll see some fuchsia lips or purply toned lips or jewel-toned eyes. … I think at the end of the day, if you’re working with good actresses, they’re artists, so the makeup is like a self-expression that helps them look more like an artist, rather than like another pretty person walking down the red carpet.

What are you seeing now that you didn’t used to see in the beauty world?
We’re definitely seeing a lot more women of color with representation in movies and on the red carpet and in beauty campaigns. It’s really great because people get to see these beautiful women that look like themselves, so it helps them to feel like, “I can embrace who I am, too.” When I started out, if you were doing somebody with dark skin, then you would have to go to a niche brand and you’d have to be good at mixing. Because there were not a lot of colors, and you’d just mix and match to make it work. But now you have brands that have like 55 shades of foundation and powder. It’s easier to be a makeup artist and be good at it because the product’s already there.

What are some of your favorite recent looks you’ve done?
Definitely Lupita at the Golden Globes with the blue lashes. When I saw the dress, the color really struck me. So I wanted to play off of that Yves Klein-blue color and then when I saw these lashes that were exactly the color, it was really spontaneous. … The other one is Mackenzie Foy from the Chanel show. I knew Mackenzie from when she was a kid, from “Twilight.” I played with the peaches and cream because she’s really fair, but I wanted it to be more like a Renaissance painting … and then Rachel Weisz at the Gotham Awards. She’s a natural beauty, and she definitely has the best brows in the business. It’s a really natural face, but I played up the brows to make them fuller. And then the rest of the face is pretty soft with a little bit of eyeliner in brown tones.

What are some iconic Oscar beauty moments you’ve had?
My memorable one would be when Lupita won the Oscar. Just because it was my first Oscars, and then my client won, and she looked fresh and classic. It was the perfect makeup for the ingenue: it popped in the photo, it looked fresh in person, and it’s timeless. [We did a] “panther eye” for the Oscars last year. It’s always fun to add a little bit of character.

What looks and trends do you think we’ll see at this year’s Oscars?
I feel like people play more with the Golden Globes or SAG [Awards], and then when it gets to the Oscars, it’s almost like a wedding day. Like, “I don’t want to be too dramatic, because these pictures are going to be forever.” But I’d love to see some statement. If anything, I think we’re seeing people that are pushing it more, so hopefully we’ll see some fuchsia lips or purply toned lips or jewel-toned eyes. … I think at the end of the day, if you’re working with good actresses, they’re artists, so the makeup is like a self-expression that helps them look more like an artist, rather than like another pretty person walking down the red carpet.

What are you seeing now that you didn’t used to see in the beauty world?
We’re definitely seeing a lot more women of color with representation in movies and on the red carpet and in beauty campaigns. It’s really great because people get to see these beautiful women that look like themselves, so it helps them to feel like, “I can embrace who I am, too.” When I started out, if you were doing somebody with dark skin, then you would have to go to a niche brand and you’d have to be good at mixing. Because there were not a lot of colors, and you’d just mix and match to make it work. But now you have brands that have like 55 shades of foundation and powder. It’s easier to be a makeup artist and be good at it because the product’s already there.

Molly Greenwald

Constance Wu Golden Globes
CREDIT: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX

After moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles on a whim and getting a job at a makeup counter, Molly Greenwald began working with clients including Amber Stevens West and Prince’s ex-wife Mayte Garcia — something of a “second life” for her. Now, such big players as Constance Wu, Alison Brie, Hannah Gadsby, Jill Soloway and Gillian Jacobs rely on her attention to skincare and natural aesthetic. Says Greenwald, “I really like when my client looks like she’s wearing the makeup, it’s not wearing her.”

Your looks are so natural. They’re glamorous, but it’s very natural beauty.
Right. Even if it’s a bold or dramatic moment, there are a lot of natural elements. There’s still a soft, chic feeling to it, even if I’m giving you a lot of makeup. I don’t like it looking too prosthetic, like put-on.

What are some of your favorite looks you’ve done recently?
I loved Constance at the Golden Globes so much. … We kept with the nude matte of the dress and did beautiful skin because she wanted a really intricate braid and she had this big dress, but we knew we wanted the makeup to be quiet and simple and pretty. … I loved the after-party look a lot, too, which was a little more glam, a little more disco. A lot of bronzy, shimmery skin. One I loved most recently was Caitriona Balfe. We did her for Harper’s Bazaar and that was amazing.

How did you approach Constance’s makeup for the “Crazy Rich Asians” L.A. premiere?
It was the dress. That Ralph & Russo couture was so major — the metallics and the beads. I just wanted her skin to be radiant and architectural. Contoured but not heavy, really natural but really contoured, with high-shine metallics.

And the lashes — is that something that’s evolved over the years?
I use lashes here and there. Constance wears lash extensions. A lot of actresses are nowadays, because putting lashes on and off can get a little weary. … But you will notice that there’s less lashes, definitely less strip lashes, and the lashes I’m seeing out there are like little individuals, something to fill.

What looks and trends do you think we’ll see at this year’s Oscars?
It’s weird, because big looks are really in, but also really quiet, soft, natural makeup is also really in. I think what we’re seeing is less of that in-between: that perfectly painted pretty girl with the fake lashes and the crease-color contouring. … On the red carpet this year, too, are little touches that you’re going to see in the tight photos. Like, you’re going to see a purple mascara or a little bit of a burgundy eyeliner. And, “Oh, I didn’t notice that was a forest green liquid eyeliner and not a black.”

What are some memorable awards show looks you’ve done?
The 2016 Emmys with Natasha Lyonne. Natasha usually goes pretty dark around the eyes and she’s usually giving you a lot more rock ‘n’ roll. We did a really soft, beautiful, Old Hollywood everything that just was really soft and natural and really flattering. It was, I think, the prettiest she’s ever looked.

Do you have any tips for the red carpet?
Putting some anti-shine kind of fights from underneath, so you’re not having to keep layering on as much powder, which can photograph a little junky.

You did sparkly eyeshadow on Alison Brie for her appearnace on “The Late Late Show With James Corden.” Are there things you’re playing with more now?
I will always still keep it simple. I’m way more into bright colors and glitter than I used to be. It was really hard to even get me to do a hot pink lip back in the day, because I just love natural makeup the most, which I think is obvious by my makeup — natural colors, and colors that usually come from within the body already. But I love hot pink lips now; I love a glitter lid. There are so many glitter and metallic foil-based eye products that are so fun. And I love a dramatic wing in a different color.

What would you like to see more people doing with makeup?
I always want to see people do less. I just am a child of the ’90s; I will always prefer Kate Moss’ naked face in an Obsession cologne [ad]. But I think we are over the heap of the Instagram makeup where people are doing stuff like contouring with a Louboutin heel. What I’d like to see most people be able to do is really work out their skin. … And a lot of people don’t take the extra time for blending and for layering. I’d rather see people buy less brushes and makeup palettes, and take more time to explore and play with their own face.

Beau Nelson

CREDIT: Rex/Shutterstock

Photographer and makeup artist Beau Nelson considers himself more of a “beauty director,” as he’s most interested in the end result. A versatile artist who’ll go from a bold color-lined eye to a monochromatic approach, the native Canadian wants his work to reflect his clients, who include Kristen Stewart, Riley Keough, Nicole Richie, Anne Hathaway, Christina Hendricks, Emma Roberts and Zoe Kravitz. His philosophy: “Instead of painting my vision onto the women, I try to paint something out of them.”

How would you describe your aesthetic?
I think the thing that comes up again and again is that people say I make women look expensive. And I really try to get to know my clients. I see who they are and what they’re comfortable with. … When I’m working with Kristen Stewart, for example, she likes a look, and she can really sell a look too, so no matter what I do to her, she pulls it out and she feels it. That’s why those things look at home on her, whereas I don’t do that to like, Anne Hathaway, or Christina Hendricks. But Christina Hendricks looks very beautiful in a classic red lip or even a ’60s kind of look, that’s where she likes to live.

What are some of your favorite looks you’ve done recently?
Kristen at Chanel Couture was pretty great. I thought that deep teal blue eye and the orange lip was very ’80s, David Bowie-ish …. There’s a look on Elizabeth Debicki that I really liked [for TIFF], it was a pale lavender.

How did you approach Kristen’s looks for Cannes? Every one of those was so creative, like the pearl-lid one, and the amfAR one with the aqua eye and pink lip.
I always take my cue from the fashion, so whatever she’s wearing is what ends up inspiring the look. I think there are a lot of makeup artists who are strictly “makeup artists,” and they really focus on the makeup, but I’m more interested in the total look overall. … She’s a great client to have because she’s so open to trying different beauty looks and she wears them so well.

Which awards show looks have you done that you’ve loved?
There was a look on Nicole Richie quite a few years back [for the 2013 Globes], where she’s wearing a powder blue dress with long sleeves and I did this matching eye shadow. In my mind, it was sort of ’60s country music star. That was a really cool, fun look — it was sophisticated but kind of outside the box…. Abbie [Cornish] and I had that whole run together through the [2018] awards season, and so we did a lot of different looks.

And Anne Hathaway recently at the Globes, did you play off the dress with that one?
Yes, but when I think about Anne, she’s like a classic beauty. So she’s not the type that I would give a searing hot-pink lip with a purple eye to. I wanted to just make sure that her skin looked beautiful, and that she had a little bit of an eye going on. She had three different dress options for the awards and we only chose like minutes before. … Also, a lot of my girls have brand contracts as well, so I never try to go anywhere that the designer would be unhappy with.

What tips do you have for the red carpet?
A lot of highlighter is not necessarily the best way to go, because it can come off looking greasy or overly metallic. So, if you’re going to use highlighter, then keep the highlighter to the cheekbones. And make sure you apply powder above the arch of the eyebrow.

What things are you playing with now?
I always love monochromatic everything. I’m very into peach at the moment…. Glitter’s fun. The glitter I just made for charity benefits the LGBT Center on Highland. It’s a pale lavender that reflects rainbow when the light hits it.

Something you have displayed is how you can use the same product on lips and cheeks.
Cream blush is almost lipstick-like in its formula anyway …. If you have a creamy or demi-sheer lipstick, I love those kinds of formulas for cheek because they add moisture and dewiness to the face.

What looks and trends do you think we’ll see at this year’s Oscars?
The Oscars is always the classic beauty moment …. You want to look like the best version of yourself,
so I think you’ll see a lot of beautiful nude looks, you’ll see classic red lips of course, this season you might see a deeper, cabernet kind of lip…. Soft smoky eyes always, nude lips. I’m hoping we’ll see a little bit more skin. I want to see people’s skin; I don’t want to see as much makeup anymore.

Patrick Ta

CREDIT: Rex/Shutterstock

In the five years since he moved to Los Angeles, Patrick Ta has accrued more than 1 million Instagram followers and numerous celebrity admirers. The former MAC makeup artist caught the eye of “it girls” including Gigi Hadid, Shay Mitchell and Kim Kardashian, and went on to work with Olivia Munn, Jenna Dewan, Blake Lively, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Chrissy Teigen, Rita Ora and Jennifer Lopez. While he’s embracing color and edgy eye shapes, “a bold lip and glowy skin” remain his staples.

How did you get started as a makeup artist?
I’ve been doing makeup in Los Angeles now for about five years, but I started six years ago. I used to have a tanning and nail salon in Arizona, but that failed miserably. So at the time, I needed a job, and my roommate was a manager at one of the MAC stores. She got me a job with no experience, and I fell in love with makeup there. And because of that, I started Instagram. And then I made the move out to Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to meet two of my favorite clients now, Shay Mitchell and Gigi, shortly after moving there, and they’ve both completely changed my life.

How did you distinguish yourself from the other Instagram artists?
I noticed that everyone kind of had this cookie-cutter makeup look, and I really wanted to work in fashion, so I definitely tried to lighten up my makeup and make it a little bit more fresh and glowy. Then over time, instead of copying everyone else — which I definitely did at first, I was definitely looking on Instagram trying to recreate these looks — when I figured out the style that I like, people started booking me more.

How would you describe your style, and the things you do a little differently?
I definitely love glowy skin. I think glow is one of my favorite things to do — glow just brings skin to life, brings foundation to life. And I love adding a bold lip on everyone. I always try to add a lip because I feel like it’s such a statement. And a lot of my clients let me — especially my client Olivia Munn. She loves a lip, and she has really beautiful freckles, so I always try to let that shine through.

What are some of your favorite looks you’ve done recently?
I just did this look on Bella [Hadid], this graphic winged-out bold eyeliner. I’ve been really loving these shapes. Just because I’ve been doing glowy skin and a bold lip for so long…. So I’m definitely trying to do different eye shapes, different colors, different blending techniques.

What are your favorite awards show looks? You just did Olivia Munn for the Critics’ Choice Awards with the red lip.
Yeah, I loved that. I think one of my favorites would probably be Jenna Dewan for the [2016] Golden Globes. I did this blue-y, smokey eye, and she wore this Cinderella dress that was blue …. And I also did Gigi almost four years ago for Vanity Fair. It was just like super bronze and golden, and she wore this Versace outfit.

And you did Sophia Bush in pink for the 2017 SAG Awards.
I love that as well. That was definitely a more edgy look for her …. I am still doing [pink eye shadow], but you can only do that when the time calls for it.

What looks and trends do you think we’ll see at this year’s Oscars?
I think color is something that is going to be here for a while, just because with Instagram, I feel like people are using more colors, artists are seeing different colors, so you want to always one-up your next post.

So many of your clients, such as Kim Kardashian, have great, glowing skin. How do you create that for the red carpet?
I always use skin prep, so by using a great moisturizer, a great oil, you’re building that moisture underneath the foundation. Then definitely leave areas a bit unpowered, like your cheekbones, the peak of your forehead, anywhere that would catch natural light …. I always set the perimeter [with setting spray], so I leave the center of the face matte, and the perimeter nice and dewy.

You use the blush color in the eye crease as well, to tie the look together.
It definitely makes things a bit more cohesive, so whatever blush color you use, I would use it in your crease color.

What would you like to see more people doing with makeup?
Just being more adventurous and trying new things, such as color. I feel like girls tend to be scared of lip color, but you have every single day to try a different look, so why not?

More Artisans

  • A Hidden Life Movie Austria

    Landscapes, History and Incentives Lure Producers to Austria

    Going back to the sweeping mountain vistas of 1965’s The Sound of Music and the pulse-racing action sequences of 1991’s Point Break, Austria has long been a favored destination for international production. The small, landlocked country boasts medieval villages, fairy tale castles, and the historic city of Vienna, which ruled over various permutations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and [...]

  • John Wick Chapter 3

    'John Wick: Chapter 3' Tones Down the Blood and Gore to Keep Look 'Totally Real'

    When Jeff Campbell, a visual effects supervisor with VFX studio Spin, initially set to work on the first “John Wick,” the 2014 action thriller from director Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad, he started with an industry-standard test: Establish a single, simple kill effect meant to get a sense of the look of the violence [...]

  • Spider-Man Homecoming

    Film and TV Productions Are Using Drones for Scouting Locations, Lighting and More

    Since a ruling by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2014 that cleared the use of drones in film and TV production, the acquisition of footage by these unmanned flying machines has become de rigueur for aerial shooting in cases when cranes or aircraft are impractical or unsafe.  As such, drones have been greeted enthusiastically not [...]

  • MTV The Challenge

    How 'The Challenge' Relied on Global Crew to Pull Off Plane Game

    Thirty-three seasons into MTV’s “The Challenge,” the reality competition series has spawned a band of traveling producers and engineers who fly around the world to create one-of-a-kind games. This includes placing cameras, smoke elements and a puzzle inside a plane that was suspended more than 30 feet above water. Executive producer Justin Booth joined “The [...]

  • Chaz Ebert DePaul CHA Documentary Filmmaking

    Chicago Program Gives High School Girls Lessons in Documentary Filmmaking

    At the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, three of the projects screening in the Short Film Corner — “Birthday,” “Phenomenally Me” and “Without Dying” — will be products of the DePaul/CHA Documentary Filmmaking Program, a six-week course co-sponsored by the Chicago Housing Authority in which high school girls learn filmmaking from graduate students and faculty of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content