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.

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

Industry Speaks: Special Make-up FX Artist Norman Cabrera

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“Never be discouraged…” This was just one of many pieces of advice that Norman Cabrera gave to a room full of peers, fans, MUD students, graduates, and aspiring make-up artists attending Make-up Designory’s Industry Speaks. With over 20 years of special make-up FX experience and a resume that is just as tall as he is, it was certain that this advice would leave a lasting impression and serve as food for thought for those who were hungry to hear more about Norman’s roadmap to a career as one of the most sought after special make-up FX artists.

It was an informal gathering, almost like having a beer with an old friend — discussing work, family and the thing you loved most, in this case FX make-up. “I want this to be informal, like a chat,” he said, and encouraged the crowd to throw out questions as he talked. The first being, “How did you get started?”

His eyes lit up behind dark frame tinted glasses and with a reflective smile he began to talk about his start and journey as a make-up artist. “I’ve always loved monsters and make-up FX. I was obsessed with it,” he started. “I remember watching Planet of the Apes and it blew my mind. After seeing Rick Baker’s work I knew that was what I wanted to do.” He continued as he flipped through youthful pictures of himself surrounded by pictures of Return of The Jedi posters and masks he created. “I was sculpting by the age of 14. At 16 I, built up the courage to show people my work, and when I was 17 I sent Rick Baker pictures of my work.”

Realizing this was a teachable moment he briefly deviated from his story and took a minute to plant a seed of wisdom. “Always have something to show,” he advised. “Building your portfolio is one of the most important things you can do. No one is going to hire you if you don’t have anything to show them,” he added with a tone that was high-spirited yet still conveyed the importance of what he was saying.

Pens feverishly jotted down the tidbit of advice before Norman resumed telling the story of how he started his career. His moment of reflection took the attentive audience on a journey through his work and his experiences working on films like Hell Boy I and II, Drag Me To Hell, and Men in Black 3. He talked about his work with directors like and Guillermo Del Toro and fx make-up artists like Rick Baker, who had inspired and mentored him throughout his career.

“So, you knew beyond a hobby that this is what you wanted to do?” Gil Romero, School Director, asked.

Without hesitation and with a confidence supported by talent and years of experience, he answered, “For sure. I would always read magazines and I searched through the TV Guide looking for anything that had to do with make-up.” He talked about working in a supermarket as a teenager and saving his money to buy latex so that he could make masks.

“So, is the passion still there,” an enthusiastic audience member asked.

“Absolutely,” he answered quickly and assuredly. “I think about this stuff all the time. I’m always working on something. He then took another second to impart advice to the listening audience. “It’s important to always keep working. Do more stuff. Every waking moment you should be working on something.” He paused for a second and then added. “And always keep learning. Just as important as building your book you have to keep learning.” His words resonated with the crowd. But the wisdom coming from years of experience did not stop there. “Keep learning. Study anatomy,” he said adamantly. “Study all the creatures of the earth. You can find ideas and inspiration in all of this.” It was simplistic but still profound advice.

As Norman continued to talk about his experiences the audience hung on his every word, some writing them down hurriedly while others simply nodded in agreement. Before wrapping up his informal chat, he left them with some final words of advice. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to build your book. You have to have a kick ass book. This is a competitive industry but never be discouraged to follow what you want to do.”

As I wrote down these final words of advice I realized Norman’s gems of wisdom could be applied to all aspects of life. I recognized the motivation stirring in the room and the sense of inspiration emanating from the crowd. Just like the line waiting to shake hands and take pictures with Norman Cabrera, I left not only feeling the urge do more, but believing that I could. “Never be discouraged,” I thought as I scribbled the last notes before I closed my notepad. Wise words indeed.

— Jarrell Mosley

Make-Up Artist David Dupuis Speaks at MUD

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When you bring in award-winning artists that have a portfolio of creations from Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Hunger Games, and Blade II, you never know what to expect. At MUD’s Industry Speaks event, David Dupuis did not disappoint. As a matter of fact, he wowed.

Students explored the world through the eyes of Dupuis as he walked them through a variety of his works using gels, appliances, and foam. When asked to name a memorable “McIver” moment in which he had to be quick on his feet, a lot of examples came to mind — including making eyes that are gouged out by a fork. His best advice: “While you’re studying, you are already connected to this world. Start saving for your union dues while you’re preparing for your new career in make-up artistry. Be ready, or close to ready when that window of opportunity opens up for you.”

As fans of his work, MUD thanks David for sharing his experiences with MUD students, and we looking forward to more amazing stories in the future.

Michael Westmore, Part 2

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A couple of months ago, we had the honor of hosting Michael Westmore as a guest speaker for our Industry Speaks series. The students and staff were inspired tremendously by Mr. Westmore’s experience and knowledge. We wanted more — and to our delight, he agreed to return.

Last night, Mr. Westmore walked the audience through an impressive make-up career reel featuring his work from Rocky, Raging Bull, Masters of the Universe, Star Trek, and Mask (for which he received the Academy Award for Best Make-up) just to name a few. He shared behind-the-scenes make-up secrets and stories that promise a fascinating autobiography.

Mr. Westmore has worked with many Hollywood legends, his credits are extraordinary, and he continues to offer his knowledge and make himself available to our students. For that, we are grateful.

Watch Michael Westmore as he shares his expertise and mentors the next round of talented make-up artists, including MUD alumni Nicholas Gonzalez, Cat Paschen, and Bethany Serpico, in the extreme make-up competition reality series Face Off.

Face Off Season 6 premieres Tuesday January 14.

Smoky Eye Workshop

If you didn’t make it to our Free Smoky Eye Workshop in L.A. or N.Y., don’t worry, we’ve detailed the steps for you below!

Item List:

Eyes: Bone, Honeysuckle, Chamois, Sienna, Espresso, Onyx

Black Eye Pencil

Volumizing Mascara

Get the Smoky Eye Kit


330 Brush

800 Brush

Travel Brush Kit

Eyes: First, apply a Cream Foundation on the top lids and set with a Loose Powder to create a smooth surface for the eye color treatment. Begin with a highlight on the brow bone. A mixture of Bone and Honeysuckle is the perfect demi-matte for highlight. Blend the combo from the base of the eye brow to the crease of the eye with Brush 330. With a windshield wiper motion from the crease of the eye, build a soft shadow into the highlight with the 800 Brush and the Chamois Eye Color. For warmth and to reinforce the crease use the 800 Brush and the Sienna Eye Color. Start from the outer corner of the crease and as you follow the crease to the inner corner, lighten up on the pressure. This will allow you to sheer out and taper the Sienna Eye Color. Make sure to lightly blend upward into the Chamois. At this point, you should have a gradient of color from the crease of the eye into the highlight. Use Brush 330 with the Espresso Eye Color and stipple on the entire lid. Connect the outer corner and create a deep drop shadow for the smoky with Brush 800 and the Espresso. For more drama, deepen the outer corner with the Onyx Eye Color. Blend from the outer corner on the top and lower lid. Be careful not to drop the outer corner of the eye. Line the top and lower water line with the Black Eye Pencil and top this smoky look with a generous coat of Volumizing Mascara.

To register for our FREE Saturday make-up workshops, visit our Eventbrite page. If you have any questions about the steps above, general make-up application, or to make suggestions on future blog topics, please leave a comment here, or contact us at

We look forward to hearing from you!

MUD Welcomes Kevin James Bennett to Their Campus

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What do you get when you place make-up brushes in the hands of a guy in a storefront window in New York City?

Kevin James Bennett.

As MUD’s Industry Speaks weekly event invited Kevin to speak to MUD students, he wanted to do more than simply give words of encouragement. Prior to the event, the Emmy Award winning artist casually visited the classrooms, talking to students as they worked on their current projects. During their discussions at the Industry Speaks event, Kevin pointed out a few keys to success based upon his own experience.

Have a plan — long and short-term.

Be confident, but know the difference between confidence and arrogance.

Preparation for the future includes lots of practice and sharing your ideas.

It takes a variety of skill sets to go from an artist to a brand. Learn as many as you can.

As students circled the artist after the event, Kevin gave personal attention to their questions while sharing his own aspirations. MUD thanks Kevin for always being an amazing asset to their education program and looks forward to seeing him in January at IMATS 2014 in Pasadena where he will be a keynote speaker. To find out more about Kevin, go to

Zombie SFX Demonstration

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Nothing says “Welcome to America” like an awesome Zombie SFX demonstration. Students from Fukuoka, Japan visiting Hollywood World Beauty College met at the MUD New York campus for an unforgettable class. The 30 students were lead by Craig Lindberg as he discussed the process of application and the art of special effects.