It was an emotional evening on Wednesday at Variety’s Makeup Artistry Dinner with Armani Beauty at Sunset Tower in Los Angeles.
Rachel McAdams, Olivia Wilde, Maya Rudolph, Chloë Grace Moretz and Alessandra Ambrosio were on hand to speak about the close relationships and bonds they have formed with their makeup artists.
The honorees included Carolina Gonzalez, Melanie Inglessis, Kayleen McAdams, Molly R. Stern and Mai Quynh.
Moretz was only 13 years old when she began working with Quynh. She praised Quynh for helping her take risks on the red carpet while “allowing my personality to come through.”
She said makeup “could be fun, it could be frivolous and it could make you feel confident, powerful and free.”
She went on to recall suffering from cystic acne when she was 15. “Mai never once missed a beat for me,” Moretz said. “She covered it up and she never judged me and she gave me the confidence to be able to go out there and face the world and not feel self-conscious.”
Quynh was so overcome with emotion by Moretz’s remarks that she had to take a moment to compose herself before standing up to accept her award. “I am so glad I get to work with you and you trust me and you make my job so easy,” she said to Moretz.
Olivia Wilde emphasized how close she and Inglessis are, a theme that was repeated throughout the evening’s program. They first met when Wilde was doing press for 2010’s “Tron: Legacy.” “She’s a healer. It’s not makeup, it’s something deeper,” the “Booksmart” director said.
For McAdams, getting her makeup done is a family affair. Her sister Kayleen has been her makeup artist ever since ditching her bachelor’s degree in psychology for a career in cosmetology. The “Doctor Strange” star said their life in beauty began when they were junior figure skaters. Being the older sister, Rachel was the one to apply their blue eyeshadow, purple eyeliner, blush and “gobs of sparkle” for their time on the ice rink. Rachel even burned her sister’s hair with a spiral curling iron. “She was gracious about it all,” she said with a laugh.
Rachel also said of her sibling, “You are truly one of the hardest working women I have ever met and I think you get that from our dad, who shovels the snow off the driveway before it even hits the ground. You are so kind hearted, you are fiercely loyal.”
Rachel also cracked that studios save money on her press tours because she and Kayleen share the same hotel room.
Ambrosio told Variety that she and Gonzalez first met about 20 years ago on a Bloomingdales’ advertising shoot. Since then they’ve become “best friends,” Ambrosio said. “She’s a truly amazing makeup artist. She…does it all. She’s a best friend who is always there for the ones she loves.”
A tear-eyed Gonzalez said, “I love you. I’ve seen her grow from a teenager to a strong, hard worker with an amazing work ethic.”
The evening, which included remarks from Variety’s group publisher and chief revenue officer Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, concluded with Maya Rudolph presenting to Stern. “I’ve never felt more beautiful inside and out,” the “Bridesmaids” star said. “When we leave each other, I’m nourished and that, for me, is the most beautiful thing about your work. You could really see people and you bring out their natural beauty.”
She went on to say, “It’s not just a friendship. We created this life together and we hold each other up.”
Looking around the room, Stern said, “I am so honored to be a part of this community. I am so honored to be here with all of you, ladies. So grateful.”