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

Be Inspired: Holiday Make-up Tutorial


‘Tis the season for giving–and, for holiday gatherings and festive make-up! We were inspired to take our beautiful wine color Concord for the eyes and adding a little depth with Semisweet. Since it is the holidays, we thought why not add a little Tinsel and Ice. Not only did this color combo sound festive, but they worked together like magic! Enjoy this step-by-step provided to you by our MUD artists Sean Conklin and Briana Perkins. Cheers!

Step 1)  Apply eye color Ice on the inner corner of the lid with Brush 350Step 2) Apply the eye color Tinsel on the center of the lid with Brush 350. Blend into Ice, then toward the outer corner. Step 3) Apply the eye color Concord in a v shape on the outer corner of the eye with Brush 300. Follow the crease toward the inner corner with the side angle of the brush. Step 4) Add the Semisweet eye color to the outer edge and the crease with Brush 300. Blend to soften the hard edges. Step 5) Add definition to the eye with a wet application of the Black Cake Liner and Brush 100. Step 6) Complete look with Cool Mauve Cheek Color and the Java Lip Glaze.

Holiday Make-up Inspiration Pictorial


Industry Speaks: Make-up Artist Jordu Schell

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Contributor: Svenya Nimmons

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but in the case of Jordu Schell, what frightens you, makes you create an imagination of your own.  At a young age, he gasped at an image of someone being chased in a movie and his mother quickly shut the television off.  Fearful and curious, the artist-to-be was then left to imagine what the creature looked like.

His curiosity continued as he began experimenting with masks during his youth, landing him at a tradeshow in Chicago where he was the first boutique mask maker showcasing his works.  The rest is history.

With such credits as Alien Resurrection, Men in Black, Avatar and Edward Scissorhands, this industry vet has 30 years of experience in painting, sculpting and designing. You can find him at work in his studio in Chatsworth, CA.  His lovely and talented assistant Emily Deroski helps with sculpting and her attitude of just showing up to do whatever is needed for the day is admirable.  Plus, she’s great with auto mechanics which adds to her cool factor.

So what makes an awesome character?  According to Schell, a well-crafted piece with an expansive imagination of form really brings it home. His advice as an artist looking to be taken seriously in the industry is quite simple: Be prepared for whatever opportunity comes your way with a website, business cards and a knack for networking that shows your genuine interest in what you do. “You’re not entitled to anything and the world owes you nothing,”- great advice from the guy from Philly that learned to love horror films in a way that has shaped his career.

As always, we are immensely grateful to Jordu and all of our  guests who give their time, knowledge and expertise to help our students through this diverse industry!

Industry Speaks: Don Lanning


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“If you feel you are an artist, you owe it to yourself to be an artist.” Don Lanning

Don Lanning was born in Van Nuys, California in the heart of Hollywood’s creature effects community. With early heroes Dick Smith, John Chambers, Stan Winston, Rick Baker and Rob Bottin as guides, Don started sculpting creatures at 10 years old. Don is known for his consistent ability to deliver the highest quality work at lightning speed on projects from conservative realism to the archetypes of horror, fantasy, and science fiction.

As our Industry Speaks guest last night, Don took us through his career—a career that got started 10 years after his initial opportunity. He told the story of meeting Dick Smith at age 17. Mr. Smith being a helpful mentor to many artists, was also there for Don, giving him the phone numbers to people who might help him get his start in the industry that held his heart and passion. But, there was something, or someone else who held Don’s heart and passion—a girl—and Don chose a career in real estate, perhaps assuming a steadier path. After 10 years, Don took a good look at himself and didn’t recognize the person he saw. He described it as feeling like he was in someone else’s clothing, living someone else’s life.

Shortly thereafter, he had the opportunity to sculpt for a commercial. It was during that process wherein he acknowledged his calling. He said, “I was found.”

Don’s story was the premise for the rest of the evening’s conversation as he encouraged MUD students to stick to their dreams. “If you feel you are an artist, you owe it to yourself to be an artist…you are the most beautiful when you are creating…art is the only thing worth doing.”  While Don shared his impressive portfolio, the true inspiration may have been in the pep talk he gave for living the life you want.

Don has recently received high praise entering the world of fine art with his modern take on pop icons Batman & The Joker and his elaborate reimagining of The Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tinman from “OZ.” His work is featured in more than 50 motion pictures and he continues to live out his passion, recently opening up a shop in Van Nuys, California.

Don’t miss out on these valuable opportunities extended to you to meet and speak with industry pros at our weekly Industry Speaks events. Our monthlyevent calendar can be found on our facebook page:

Don Lanning Instagram: @don_lanning


Glitz & Glam Face Chart by MUD Artist Vanja Djuran

The latest issue of MUD Art includes this beautiful step-by-step illustration for creating a dramatic, glamorous make-up look. Some might say it’s theatrical, others might say it’s perfect for the holidays. Either way, we might all agree that it’s simply stunning.

Eye Colors: Bone, Taupe, Statue, Pavement, Canvas, Onyx | MUD Cake Liner in Black | CFX Wheel 1 Black
Face: Dual Finish Pressed Powder in Light 2 (DFL2)
Brushes: #100 #210 #300 #340 #810
Lips: Sandy Beach

Available on