MUD Celebrates Our Emmy Nominated Grads: Nicole Faulkner and Jen Fregoz


Nicole Faulkner

Nicole Faulkner, alias “Lipsticknick” has developed a name for herself as celebrity make-up artist, with a personal brand marked by bold lips, feathery eyelashes, and flawless skin. You might know her from her beauty influencer status online, with 518,000 followers on Instagram and 42,100 followers on Twitter. She’s performed as herself on Todrick Hall’s MTV reality show Todrick in 2015, only broadening her internet base and front-facing public persona. Her expertise shows through both her industry and technical smarts, as she has become known for applying picture-perfect dramatic looks spanning from drag to high fashion.   

This year, she has received her second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) for Ru Paul’s Drag Race’s episode “10s Across the Board.” She was nominated for this same award at the Emmys last year, and has worked on the show for the last two years. A show focused on over-the-top looks and extravagant performances, one might imagine the job is many beauty make-up artists’ dream.  

Passionate about art from a very young age, Nicole chose to get an art-focused make-up education at Make-Up Designory before moving on to the professional world. Plus, Nicole Faulkner not only graduated from Make-Up Designory, but also has come back to teach, calling MUD “one of L.A.’s most renowned makeup schools” on her personal website [link]. She has also toured as a make-up instructor, and used her marketing and artistic skills to work with multiple large companies and celebrities including the Pentatonix, Tori Kelly, Todrick Hall, and Def Leppard.  

Jen Fregozo

Nominated for the same award as Nicole Faulkner for her make-up on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, outstanding make-up artist Jen Fregozo is a MUD grad from our Los Angeles school. She has collected over 20 years of experience in the industry since she graduated from Make-Up Designory, including work for people like Jennifer Lopez, Mat Devine and Siera Kustebeck, and Naya Rivera. She also has worked on movies including WinterthorneThe Blackout, and A Night of Nightmares 

In addition to beauty make-up, Jen Fregozo is an expert in the world of character make-up as well. Creating the make-up for characters based on Saturday Night Live’s ‘Gilly,’ a DC Comic’s Joker, or zombies for a live attraction, Jen Fregozo has become an expert in demonstrating special effects character make-up. She was also the Senior Makeup Assistant Supervisor at Dark Harbor up until 2015. Her character make-up skills have even earned her spots as resident expert on multiple make-up “how-to” videos, like this:  

Working on the set of Ru Paul’s Drag Race amongst equally talented peers like ‘Lipsticknick’ seems to be an absolute blast. In an interview with Bionic Buzz, Jen Fregozo was caught speechless, giggling “we love it” and agreeing with her coworker that there’s simply no better way to describe the experience. During this interview, Jen said she was drawn to make-up artistry after having an interest earlier in life in art, media, and pop culture. Like so many MUD grads, Jen’s artistic talent is obvious, as she creates creative and out-of-this-world looks on TV’s most popular drag show. 

MUD Celebrates Our Emmy Grads: Natalie Driscoll and Melissa Buell

Natalie Driscoll

Another accomplished MUD Grad from our Los Angeles school is hairstylist to the stars Natalie Driscoll. Like so many make-up artists, Natalie was drawn to make-up since childhood. On her website bio she says “in my younger years I dreamt of doing hair and make-up for film, television, weddings, and events. By working very hard my dreams have come true. Today I am doing it all.” Earning a make-up and hairstyling certificate from Make-up Designory, Natalie Driscoll has since gone on to style the hair of countless movie and television stars, red carpet events, and special occasions. 

Winning the Emmy for Outstanding Hairstylist for a Limited Series or Movie for her work on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Natalie finds herself recognized by the Emmys for her fourth time. She also won the award for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or Movie for her work on American Horror Story in 2012, was nominated again for her work on the same show in 2013, and won for her hairstyling on American Crime Story in 2016.  

Photo courtesy of FX

The nine-episode series investigates the murder of Gianni Versace by Andrew Cunanan in 1997. Stylistically the show holds on to European high culture amongst all the violence, starring beautifully tussled long haircuts, stylish runway updos, and clean men’s looks. Featured in InStyle and Vanity Fair, star Penelope Cruz’s daring fashion, make-up and hair on the show have created a lot of buzz in the entertainment community. Natalie Driscoll’s talents are certainly on full display. 

Melissa Buell

You might know her as the make-up artist responsible for Lea Michelle, Chris Colfer, Jane Lynch and other stars’ looks on hit TV show Glee. In fact, this MUD grad has been nominated three times for an Emmy for her work on the show from 2011-2013, including nominations for Outstanding Makeup for a Single Camera-Series and Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special. However, this time Melissa Buell returns to the MUD Emmy nominated list after 5 years with not one, but two nominations for her brilliant on-set make-up.  

Melissa Buell’s first nomination is for her work on “Money’s in the Chase,” an episode from the flamboyant 80s TV show GLOW. The episode is the show’s first season finale, which received glowing reviews for its “aim of authenticity as period comedy, modern character study, and respectful wrestling adaptation” [link Vulture article]. Having to prep the actresses with colorful 80s make-up fit for the wrestling ring, Melissa Buell and her work were clearly as popular with the critics as was the series’ dramatic ending. 

Photo courtesy of CNN

Buell is also nominated for Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or Movie (Non-Prosthetic) for her work on The Last Tycoon. The episode, “Oscar, Oscar, Oscar,” is also this series’ season finale, full of romantic drama, secret ties, and emotional fallout. The 1930s time period lends Buell the opportunity for flirty lashes, bold brows, and defining lip colors. Buell has also been recognized for her work on Tron: Legacy, Scream Queens, and Love.  

MUD Congratulates our Emmy Nominated Grads: Gina Ghiglieri and Kristina Frisch

Kristina Frisch

Kristina Frisch knew she wanted to be a make-up artist ever since she was a little girl. “It was the 1980’s and every movie had a transformation montage. The frumpy girl turned into a babe. The dorky kid into the werewolf. I thought ‘I want to do that.’ I just love transformations I guess” she says about her childhood dreams. Some might say Kristina’s childhood inspirations led her career full circle, as she has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (non-prosthetic) for her work on 80s women’s wrestling TV show GLOW 

Choosing MUD because it “felt like a family,” in 2001, Kristina learned valuable lessons about on-set behavior in addition to the valuable make-up techniques. “The most important thing I learned at MUD was probably the basics of how a set works and what would be expected of me as a make-up artist working in films and on TV. You get to set, and you are expected to just know. That probably would have been even more terrifying if I hadn’t had a heads up” she says.

Photo courtesy of Business Insider

She advises aspiring make-up artists make the most of their time at school and on-set.  “Always admit when you don’t know how to do something or if you need help. If someone has to redo your work because you screwed up trying to do something you weren’t confident with it’s a lot more harmful than just asking for help in the first place. There is no shame in not knowing how to do everything.” If you’re still a student, the same applies as well. Every time you work on your skills, ask the questions you need to ask. Even the most qualified artists need some clarification.

Gina Ghiglieri

A MUD Grad from our Los Angeles school, there’s no doubt that Gina Ghiglieri knows how to work through the ranks. “Always stay connected to your peers…you will help each other navigate and pass on jobs to one another” she says. Her drive shows—not only is her beauty makeup impeccable, but she’s worked hard off the clock as well, including networking and staying connected with alumni. She even got her job on The Voice through networking, getting her name passed along to the department head as someone who did well on the make-up set for live TV competition shows.  

Now, Gina Ghiglieri is nominated for Outstanding Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series or Special (Non-Prosthetic) for her work on the faces of Addison Agen, Christina Danielle, Kyla Jade, and more for The Voice. “I seriously feel so blessed to be a part of it” she says. A beauty expert, she found a job with the creative freedom with Department Head, Darcy Gilmore and Key, Kristene Bernard, and excels as she works with the make-up and wardrobe department to make looks suited to each artist’s personal style. “We start early in the morning creating their looks and watch rehearsal to see if any changes need to be made based on lighting or wardrobe changes, and then add details and pops that take the make-up to the next level” she says, “and there is no room for error.”

Gina Ghighlieri advises recent grads to know their worth and stay focused on their career. “Whether it be to gain experience, compensation for your kit, tear sheets, meeting new people, etc., I never worked for free.” says Ghiglieri about her time as a recent grad. “If you have to take another job to pay the bills while navigating, make sure it’s make-up related, and it has flexibility for you to jump when projects arise. This line of work does not come quickly, and you have to put a lot of time and experience in to get to where you want to be” she says. Know you are qualified, and don’t settle. Especially with a MUD degree, why would you?