Joy Prom Las Vegas 2017 – A night to remember…

I am not sure where to begin as I have never written a blog. I prefer to tell my story face to face, so the person I am telling it to can experience the joy with me.


Joy Prom Las Vegas started for me in June of 2008 while I was sitting at a dog park talking with Bobby, a fellow dog lover. We were talking about the weather, our lives and families, our dogs, our work, and things that were special to us. Bobby informed me that he was a pastor at a local church and had started an event called Joy Prom, which is a full-scale prom for teenagers and adults with cognitive and physical impairments. He explained that the girls get their hair and make-up done, while the guys get their shoes shined. They then walk down a red carpet, with volunteers screaming for autographs, as an MC announces their names.


Hearing the joy in Bobby’s voice overwhelmed me and I knew from that moment, that I needed to be a part of this magical night. Right there, without even knowing what would be asked of me or what I would need to ask of MUD, I pledged my support and told him from this point on, my wife Allison, MUD, and I would take care of all the hair and make-up needs. Since that day in 2008, the wonderful owners of MUD have not questioned anything that I have requested for Joy Prom Las Vegas.


In the beginning, we supplied the make-up and brushes and let each of the guests choose their favorite color (or colors) from our lip glaze collection to keep. Now, each guest also gets a goodie bag of eye colors and cheek colors to take home with them.


The attendees make this event special every year. Regardless if I have flown in from abroad that day or the day before, I am never too tired to smile. I get to see these amazing people who I only see once a year. When you get that hug because they remember you, it makes it that much more gratifying. Some guests even come with their make-up already done, but that does not stop them from coming into the make-up room to pick up their favorite lip glaze from MUD.

This year’s event meant just a little more to me because MUD’s CEO, Tate Holland, and his wife, Kayci finally got to come and experience the magic of Joy Prom –  just seeing the smile on Tate’s face, I knew right then that he now fully understood why I do this event year after year.


All the interactions that I have there are very special; they are moments that I hold close to my heart, but one interaction this year stood out. A couple came in to the make-up room, and the gentleman was pushing this beautiful woman in a white dress in a wheelchair up to the make-up station that my wife, Allison was at. As my wife was doing her make-up, I asked him how he was doing and that question led into a full-blown conversation. He pointed at his finger and was so excited to tell me, “she said yes!”. He told me that she works five days a week, and he three days a week, while the rest of the time he spends cleaning the house, but that’s okay because she said yes!

The reason this interaction stood out to me is that no matter who we are, what color our skin is, what religion we practice or what cognitive and or physical impairments we may have, we all have the same gripes and joys that come with life. To see the smile on his face when he was talking about his fiancé, and then to hear him complain about cleaning the house in the next breath, reminded me of myself, how much I love my wife, and that I don’t like to do chores either.


After all the fanfare was done and the guests had dinner, it was time for music and dancing.  Even after we did our part in the make-up room, we made it a priority to go see everyone having fun on the dance floor, because in that moment, no matter what is going on in the world, the only thing that matters is the music. This year, as we were in the dance hall, I heard Kayci say to Allison, “I need to get him out of here before he cries like a baby!”, as I turned around I saw Tate with a big smile on his face and his eyes watering, because in that moment he realized nothing else mattered.


Thank you, Bobby, wherever you may be, for starting this wonderful event so many years ago. It has changed my life, as well as so many others for the better. And a huge thank you to all of the volunteers who continue to help out with this event, and the M Casino and Resort, who so graciously donated so much.

-Troy Watson, Director of Sales at MUD Cosmetics


Click here to find out more about Joy Prom Las Vegas


Full application of a vintage 1930’s make-up

The make-up trends of the 1930’s were dramatic, feminine, and classic. In this tutorial we are going to create an iconic 1930’s look using make-up techniques that will transport us back in time.

Get This Look:

Face: Prep the face before applying Face Primer using a Professional Make-up Sponge. The base color best suited for this look is an ivory tone that may be 1-2 shades lighter than the natural skin. Apply MUD’s Cream Foundation all over the face with the #940 Foundation Brush, extending down past the jaw line and into the hair line.

Brows: In the 1930’s women had very sculpted and extended brows. In order to achieve this look we will need to block out the brows using a combination of Red Corrector 1 and Blue Corrector 1. This can be done before or after the foundation is applied. After the brows are blocked in, set brows and face with Loose Powder in Shell using #800 Crease Brush. Start by setting under and around the eyes. Then, switch to the #510 Duster Brush for the rest of the face and neck. Now it’s time color and shape the brows using highlight and shadow. Start out by filling in the brows with a combination of Onyx Eye Color and Espresso Eye Color and the #210 Angle Liner Brush. Remember to exaggerate and extend the brow outward.

Eyes: Moving on to eyes, start by highlight the brow bone using the #330 Shadow Fluff Brush and the Honeysuckle Eye Color, place it directly under the brow and pull down toward the crease. To create a subtle crease, use a combination of Taupe Eye Color and Canyon Eye Color on the #330 Shadow Fluff Brush. Blend it out with the #800 Crease Brush and just a touch of Berrywood Eye Color to warm it up. Go back to the Honeysuckle Eye Color with the #330 Shadow Fluff Brush and apply just a small amount to the inner corner of the lid. Along the lower lash line, drag the #210 Angle Liner Brush and just a touch of the Onyx along the bottom there for a lovely drop shadow effect.

Lashes: For this classic 1930’s look use strip lashes for a authentic vintage feel. Saturate the strips with Duo lash adhesive and wait about a minute for the adhesive to get tacky. Then you are ready to apply. Using Black Cake Eyeliner and the #100 Round Liner Brush you are able to camouflage the strip and create a more natural feel by lining the eye with a soft winged out tip at the outer corner. To complete the eyes it’s time for a generous coat of Black Volumizing Mascara which is applied with our #500 Mascara Brush.

Cheeks: Rose Petal Cheek Color is perfect for this time period, as it wasn’t until the mid to late 1930’s when we saw more plum and raspberry tones. Apply to the apples of the cheeks using the #710 Powder Brush.

Lips: Line the upper and lower lip lines with the Natural Lip Pencil. When doing this, slightly over accentuate the line creating a larger upper lip. Fill in the lips using a combination of both Mai Tai Sheer Lipstick and Blackberry Satin Lipstick along with the #310 Lip Brush.

Product Focus: Firebrick Eye Color


SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSMOKIN’!– Jim Carrey in “The Mask”* on Firebrick eyeshadow (early 2000’s)

Do you ever feel like you woke up one day in a world where everyone is rocking pops of colors out the wazoo? As I sit here with my usual, standard makeup look, I felt like everyone around me was standing out as I blended in. I was struggling to incorporate more color into my looks until a little fire was sparked inside of me- Firebrick. I found Firebrick to be the most wearable pop of color and it was the easiest for my nude-loving self to incorporate.


For those of you a little more on the conservative side, a bright warm orange may seem intimidating to throw into your everyday look; however gently blending a bit of Firebrick into your crease or transition area allows you to spice up an otherwise average eye look.

Once you’re feeling a little more aquatinted to adding color into your makeup,  I recommend you jump right in and start having some fun! There are plenty of ways to make a statement with Firebrick; here are some of my favorite techniques!

Drop Shadow! Daily, I blend the same two warm browns under my eye for a subtle hint of drama; swapping my usual shadows with Firebrick gave my eyes a bold pop that isn’t overwhelming. To do this, dip into the shadow pan with a flat brush like MUD 410 or 400. Gently run it back and forth under your lower lash line, building to your desired opacity.


Pack it on! I spiced up an evening smoky eye by adding Firebrick on my lid, creating a look that helped me stand out in a crowded room! To achieve this red-hot look, use warm browns in your crease and outer corner of eye. Deepen the shades as you concentrate more on the outer “V” and work your way down. Once you’ve built your standard smoky base, liberally apply Firebrick to your lid using a packer brush like MUD 350. If you want to kick it up a notch, dampen your brush and apply Firebrick wet by patting it over your existing shadow.

Pro Tip: To achieve a vibrant editorial look, apply a wash of Firebrick eye shadow all over the lid and top it with Spicy Lip Glaze.

While I will always be a monochromatic, nude-loving makeup artist at heart, Firebrick has open the door to get me out of comfort zone, stay on trend, and have a little fun!


Product focus : Spark




Dunkin Donuts – the corner of Rector and Greenwich – grabbing breakfast before a busy days work at MUD Studio NY.

“Large coffee and a glazed donut, please.”

I’m waiting for the elevator when I go to grab a bite of my donut, I realize … this is my ideal highlight. It’s dewy, it’s glistening, it’s creamy and so much more.

But seriously, who doesn’t love a good highlight. As someone who’s constantly on the search for the ultimate glow, I was so excited when I got the email that MUD would be releasing our very own highlight shade, Spark! For weeks, I anxiously awaited to arrival of our new cheek color, hoping it would be as radiant, pigmented and silky as the highlighter of my dreams. When it finally came time to reveal Spark, it did not disappoint.

spark_alexis2Above - Alexis wearing Spark as a highlight

Spark is a shimmery golden-beige powder designed to complete your make-up, giving the skin a warm natural glow. While Spark is ideal for highlighting and illuminating it can also be mixed with matte cheek colors to add a touch of shimmer. It’s buildable formula will allow you to create a subtle daytime glow or layer it to achieve a dramatic high shine look.

NEW_Spark_instagram2 Spark swatched

If you’re going for a natural day look apply Spark with a loosely pack fan brush, like MUD Brush #510. If you’re trying to blind with your highlight, use a damp, dense brush like MUD Brush #620 and apply Spark in thin layers.

Pro Tip: For an all over glow that will work just as well for a model on set as it will for bride on her big day, try mixing a dime size amount of our MUD Face Primer with your Spark Cheek Color and apply to high points of the face and body with  fingers or a brush.


Think of me and my donut the next time you go to highlight with our new cheek color, Spark!

Alexis Chance,  Store Manager at MUD Studio NY


Chronicles of a Traveling Make-up Artist for MUD: This Stop, London

So once again I’m ready to board a long flight. After my 16 hour flight to Dubai this 11 hour flight seems like nothing at all. Once again after a lot of movies and trying to sleep through the bumpy ride we finally arrive in London. This time I am also traveling with a fellow make-up artist Chad Washam who is also visiting London for the first time. As we are driving (on the wrong side of the road!) to our hotel the cute villages and quaint buildings are absolutely adorable. There is a blend between the older style buildings as well as some newer modern styled skyscrapers and best of all, pubs everywhere you turn.

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We only had one free morning to explore London before we had to get ready for the tradeshow, so we decided to take a double decker tour bus and ride through all of the sites. We had to take the train to the first bus stop and in the station was this amazing sculpture. Also, as we walk the streets there are these adorable little back streets that are filled with cute little shops and pubs.

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Once we finally get on the bus we pass by some of the amazing sites to see. St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Big Ben and so much more. We didn’t have much time so we weren’t able to get off the bus and explore more the way we would have liked.

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One stop we did make sure to jump off and explore was Buckingham Palace. We had no idea that we had timed our stop perfectly. As soon as we walked up to the palace the changing of the guards was beginning. The crowd was so packed it was impossible for us to see much of anything at all.

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Since we couldn’t see much of anything we decided to explore the beautiful park across the street and what a gorgeous site it was. The scenery was like something out of a fairy tale, including two of the biggest swans I had ever seen in my life!

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After we saw all that we could see we headed back to the bus to make sure we got to the venue on time to set up our booth for the next day. As we headed back to the bus and were ready to cross the street a police officer asked us to stop for a moment as the guards were heading right past us. Front row view!! We couldn’t have timed it better if we had tried 

The next day we were off to the Business Design Centre for the UMA expo!

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The first day Chad worked on our model creating a chemical spill victim and then an alien makeup as well. Watching Chad work and some of his techniques was an amazing experience for myself and the attendees of the expo as well.

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The second day Chad re-creates some looks that he had shown at Monsterpalooza. The female Thanos and the Japanese Uni character as well.

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Even though this trip was short it was so amazing to meet new friends and continue to work with this amazing MUD family!

Actor, Writer, Producer David Dastmalchian Speaks with Students at MUD Industry Speaks

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David Dastmalchian came to Make-Up Designory’s Burbank campus for an interview in front of students with Deverill Weeks. He shared some of the secrets of success to being a working and well respected make up artist in the film and television industry. He offered three simple rules. First, the right make-up helps the actor create the character. David believes that if the make-up is right, the character flows from there. He says that character development is 90% from the outside in, and that hair and make-up help a great deal with character development. Secondly, remember that the make-up artist is the first one the actors will be with during the day, and that the make up artist really sets the energy for the actor for the day. So be positive, professional, calming, and create an environment that lets the actor feel safe and comfortable. This will be a great help in keeping the production on schedule. Finally, do not complain. Actors and others may start complaining about the conditions, the producers, other actors, or the long day. Do not fall into the bad habit of complaining. Be empathetic and understanding, but not negative. Keep the energy positive and move on to another subject. This will keep the actors and the set more productive.

David Dasmalchian, who is co-staring alongside Paul Rudd in the upcoming film Ant-Man, has an impressive body of work. He was in The Dark Night, Prisoners, Employer, and many stage productions. He was raised in Kansas and grew up loving special effects make-up and comic books. Throughout his life, movies were an escape. He was on his way to college to play football when he became heavily involved in theater. He started acting professionally in Chicago, and then headed to Hollywood where he has been doing well ever since. He is now married with his first child. He recently co-wrote and produced his first feature length film, Animal, which is being released in theaters nationwide in May. The make-up on that film was expertly done by MUD grad Amber Talarico. Look for details, of the movie release and his Q&A sessions at the premiers, on the MUD Facebook pages.

Students had a great opportunity to hear first hand from a well known actor about how important make up is to character development and to setting the mood of the actor on the set. His closing advice was find your marketable strengths and spend time with people you respect and want to be like.

Chronicles of a Traveling Make-up Artist for MUD: First Stop, Dubai.

As I board the plane to begin my 16 hour journey to Dubai I’m nervous and excited all at the same time. Not knowing what to expect along with the excitement of discovering a new culture and meeting new people build up inside me as I settle into my seat. After many hours of sleeping, knitting, and countless movies I finally arrive at my destination. Welcome to Dubai!

My first day consisted of meeting with Citruss TV, a shopping channel, to do a run through of the recorded segment that would be taking place the next day followed by some tips and tricks videos to be put on their website. On our way to this meeting I notice the beautiful skyscrapers in the city and how incredibly clean and luxurious everything looks. As we are traveling, Reza, a MUD Dubai employee, informed me that many of the locals live in these extravagant villas and we stopped to see the 2 most extravagant of all; the prince and the king’s villas. Their villas are located across the street from one another and they are an amazing site to see. This picture is taken at the entrance of the kings villa, so you can get a sense of how far away “across the street” is for these two villas.

After doing much research on Dubai before my arrival, I was extremely interested in seeing the Burj Al Arab, so after our work was done I was able to do some sightseeing. Since the Burj Al Arab is a very high end hotel only guests were permitted to enter past the entry gate but this view was close enough for me to see how wonderfully constructed this structure is. Next we grabbed a bite to eat in a quaint shopping center next to the Burj Al Arab and sat by a picturesque river way.

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Later that evening we went to dinner at another location that I was dying to see, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. After living in New York City for 10 years I am used to seeing these tall skyscrapers, but this one was definitely awe inspiring and a wonder to see. Sitting outdoors at a restaurant at the bottom of this grand tower was truly breathtaking. The water show that happens every half hour was icing on the cake of this magical experience.

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The next day we were up early for our filming with Citruss TV and presenter Rania Majdi Abu Zaid was an extremely gracious host. Here I did a live demonstration on how to use MUD’s highlight and shadow palette for contouring the face. Next, I layered MUD’s cream foundation over the contouring to give a flawless base match and to blend the contouring into the foundation. Finally, to add warmth and to blend the highlights and shadows together I used MUD’s Bubblegum Cheek Color to bring a beautiful glow back into the model’s cheeks.

Citruss TV filming

At this point of my trip I was extremely exhausted. My body trying to figure out what time zone I was in as well as being on my feet and traveling the city I was falling asleep in the car. But I quickly gained a second wind as we headed to the Wafi mall and into Salam where our products are available for purchase. This store is extremely high end with a very exclusive clientele. It was amazing to see how well our display looked in their retail location and how sleek and luxurious the entire store was. The entire staff was extremely accommodating and helpful. We sat in the store café sipping cappuccinos discussing the brand and product training.

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The next two days were filled with product knowledge training at the 5 star Taj Hotel. We hosted many of our salon owners, retailers and even freelance makeup artists who wanted to know more about MUD products and how each product is used and its multiple functions. We discussed how to get the perfect base match for your client, how to correct any imperfections on the face, the proper placement for each type of contouring on the face and so much more. We dove into the multiple colors that make up the lip cheek and eye colors and the infinite ways to create color combinations within each of them. The class was extremely engaged in the product and asked so many questions regarding the products. I have done many of these types of trainings before, but this was the first one that I had to adjust my methods in order to be sure that everyone was able to understand what I was trying to teach. I had to remind myself that to my audience I had an accent that was hard to understand and my humor or examples of different scenarios were foreign in this culture. By the end of the day everyone was on the same page and loved what MUD had to offer! This was such a fun group to work with.

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After the 2 days of training it was time to SHOP! Off to the Emirates mall we went where, of course, I had to see the famous ski slope inside the mall. Such extravagant shops and restaurants were within this gigantic mall.

Mona and I in the Emirates Mall

Finally as my trip came to an end, we had our goodbye dinner. I was overwhelmed at how extravagant this culture is. Everywhere I went I was catered to above and beyond all expectations. I was so happy to be surrounded by my new MUD family who were the most gracious hosts I could have ever asked to take care of me during my short time in Dubai. We could have taken a nice sweet picture where everyone is looking their best, but that is not my style… SILLY FACES!! I can’t wait to come back soon. I want to send a huge thank you to Matheus, Reza, and the beautiful Mona for all that you did for me on this trip, I am blessed to call you all my new friends!

Matheus, myself, Reza and Mona

Industry Speaks: Make-up Artist Kenny Myers

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What do you get when you leave a napping mother around a 5 year who is more interested in mommy’s makeup bag than he is about sleepy time? An Artisan Award winner and three-time Emmy nominee for make-up, that’s what. Kenny Myers, known for his work on The Prestige (2006), X Men: The Last Stand (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) and The Last Samurai (2003) graced MUD students and industry friends with insight on his journey as a make-up artist in the film industry.

While his story has great twists and turns, a few nuggets of wisdom appeared with every tale. For aspiring artists looking forward to their own journey, Myers shared professional advice that can be used in whatever path one takes.

“Innovation comes from every direction” Myers shared with the room full of wide eyes. The next big thing is always on the horizon and can come based on the smallest thing. Even when you’re working late at night, that one new “thing” can happen.

“Don’t be afraid of showing what you know. It WILL come back to you.” As the artist began talking about how techniques of Dick Smith had come alive from one project, it’s apparent that the genius of Smith has lived on throughout the face of make-up artistry today.

For artists that are ripe into the industry, Myers advises, “Your job isn’t to show off. It is to bring your skillset to who you work for.” People know that you’re good, that’s why you’re there. Do the job and save the sales pitch.

MUD thanks Kenny Myers and his family for joining us for such an insightful Industry Speaks and we look forward to seeing you around the MUD campus again soon. You can find a more detailed look into the eyes of the artist soon in an upcoming edition of MUD Art, with photographer and writer, Deverill Weeks.

Mud Presents 2012 Graduate Nicole Elle Rogers


Nicole Elle Rogers developed her passion for the arts while studying at Pennsylvania State University. She later studied abroad in Florence, Italy at SACI where she honed her skills in facial anatomy and sculpting.

We Caught up with Nicole at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week where she worked with a team of MUD make artists for the Art Institutes Spring 2015 show. This is Nicole’s fourth season working Mercedes-Benz Fashion week! Her work can be seen on shows like the Ricardo Seco’s Runway show and Rocco Leo Gaglioti where she did both hair and makeup for the models. Her resume is substantial and includes a series of Film, Television, Movie Posters, Commercials, Print Editorials and Runway work. She has also worked as the Key Makeup artist for brands like MTV, American Express, Mastercard, OLAY, Ebay, Equinox, Anthropolie and Disney to name a few.

Nicole reflected on her time at MUD, telling us she considers the school a driving force behind most of her work. While studying at MUD Nicole not only gained the tools and resources necessary for success, she also learned from some of the most esteemed professionals in the beauty industry. Nicole found Beauty 301 which is the last class of the Fashion Makeup Artistry curriculum the most beneficial. In Beauty 301 Nicole learned how to market herself, how to interview for certain brands and how to manage her freelance career. MUD’s Career Services Department which offers current students and graduates continuous support throughout their career played an integral role in Nicole’s success. The job board was particularly helpful as a resource for her to obtain information regarding potential freelance jobs. Nicole recalls doing any job she found on the board regardless of the pay, this enabled her to put her name out there and make connections with up and coming directors, photographers, producers, models and other industry professionals. The relationships Nicole cultivated through MUD are a major factor contributing to her success.
MUD products are still an important aspect of Nicole’s makeup kit today. We caught Nicole using MUD’s Blue Deco Shadow on all of the models at the Art Institutes Mercedes-Benz show this spring. Nicole favors the MUD Palettes and concealers using them for various Film, TV and Webseries job’s. Even Nicole’s brushes have significance “I still have my full set of brushes I learned on which is cool, I keep them close to my heart.”

A quote which inspires Nicole is “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” Nicole’s dreams certainly are big enough, congratulations Nicole and keep up the great work!

Article by: Stacia McCarthy

NY Fashion Week 2015


Make-up Designory joined forces with the Fashion Design students from the Art Institute of New York City for another successful fashion show last night. Doors opened to the public at 8pm but we were backstage to give Twitter followers the inside scoop at 7pm with MUD’s first ever live tweet session! First, we caught up with the Key Makeup Artist Jackie Caruso who explained her vision for the makeup concept. “Being that this was a Mercedes-Benz Spring/Summer fashion show, I wanted the makeup to be fresh and clean with a pop of color”. Jackie used MUD’s Deco eye shadow in teal blue and MUD 107 Lashes which were generously donated by MUD Cosmetics in order to achieve the desired look.

Backstage was hectic to say the least as the makeup artist scrambled to apply the makeup,while working cohesively with the hair and nail teams to prepare the models. Soon it was time for final looks. Suddenly, Jackie explained to everyone that the models were looking “a bit too shiny” so she advised her team to quickly apply the MUD Matte powder to contain the gleam.

The makeup team featured members of MUD Studio New York, MUD Alumni, and even current MUD students!  We would like to Recognize a particular MUD Alumna for her participation in this event. Nicole Elle Rogers is a 2012 graduate of MUD’s Fashion program and has been involved in the make-up and fashion industry for years. She’s already a seasoned pro at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as last night was her 4th season!  Stay tuned for a full article and interview with this amazing MUD-trained Makeup Artist!

Fashion Week Spring 2015_FIT 2

This Fashion Week was especially dear to us as well as other fashion enthusiasts because it is the last year the shows will be sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz announced that after five years it will no longer be affiliated with NY Fashion Week. We are eager to see where next season’s Fashion Week will be held!

We would like to congratulate our MUD Makeup artists on an incredible show and another job well done!

Article written by Stacia McCarthy
MUD New York

2015 Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Guild Award Nominees Announced

Congratulations to all of the 2015 Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Guild Award nominees!

We would like to recognize and congratulate MUD alumna Essie Cha on her nomination for Best Contemporary Make-up in Television Media Series from AMC’s  The Walking Dead, MUD alumna Sarah B. Wolfe on her nomination for Best Make-up in Theatrical Productions (Live Stage) for Kinky Boots and finally, congratulations to MUD Faculty Member Vanessa Dionne for her nomination for Best Make-up and Best Hair Stylist in Theatrical Productions (Live Stage) for Così fan tutte.

the-walking-dead-s4b-key-artinterior-logoCosì fan tutte