MUD Celebrates Our Emmy Nominated Grads: Carleigh Herbert and Hugo Villasenor

Carleigh Herbert

If you’ve ever watched American Horror Story, you know that the make-up and effects are always incredible. Whether it be Hypodermic Sally’s dark smoky eyes in Hotel or Twisty the Clown’s aged face paint in Freak Show, make-up is used to create the illusion of monsters, evil spirits, and everything in between. A limited series telling tales of disturbed horror and violence, the characters of American Horror Story play the ultimate canvas for a talented make-up artist who is prepared to stretch her artistic skill. 

Thus, we are so proud to say the make-up artist nominated this year for two Emmy’s for her work on American Horror Story: Cult is MUD grad Carleigh Herbert. This year, she has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or Movie (Non-Prosthetic) and Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special for her work on AHS. Carleigh Herbert has also developed a substantial portfolio outside of Cult, including a 2017 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or Movie (Non-Prosthetic) for American Horror Story: Roanoke in 2017.

Upon graduating from MUD, Herbert assisted in make-up FX shops to further refine her prosthetic skills. Within one decade, she moved on to working on cult television shows like American Horror Story, which display her special effects mastery with and without prosthetics. She told IMATS “I am constantly working to become a stronger and more established artist.”

Hugo Villasenor

Hugo Villasenor, a Make-Up Designory graduate from our Burbank school, has a diverse resume. From being the make-up shop supervisor for 2006 film Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny to working as a make-up artist on The Conjuring 2, his work covers a wide range within the special effects make-up world. Some of his credits also include ClownScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseThe Bad BatchMystery Science Theater 3000, and Anabelle: Creation.  

Photo courtesy of IMATS

This year, however, Hugo Villasenor finds himself with his first Emmy nomination for his work on Star Trek: Discovery. He has been nominated for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie, or Special for the make-up in an episode titled “Will You Take My Hand.” This was the fourteenth and last episode of the season.

Photo courtesy of Mashable

Supervising Sound Editor Jon Mete and his team have also been nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing for an episode of the series titled “What’s Past is Prologue.” Gathering critical acclaim all around, Star Trek: Discovery is certainly taking a spot in the media spotlight. MUD is incredibly proud of our graduate, Hugo Villasenor. Live long and prosper!

MUD at IMATS NY 2014


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The IMATS 2014 premiered this past Saturday at New York City’s Pier 94 in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Make-up artists and enthusiasts gathered to participate and view the festivities of the prestigious and highly anticipated event. Highlights included demos featuring multiple Mud Alumni, Make-up competitions and famous faces.

The show kicked off on Saturday with a prosthetic museum curated by MUD’s Special Make-up Effects Instructor Anthony Giordano. Various characters were featured from film, television and music videos for all attendees viewing delight. Giordano was assisted by a group of MUD alumnae including: Olivia Cui, Sky Vega and Alyssa Vandall.

Fans of the SYFY TV Series “Face Off” had the opportunity to pose for photos and view demos created by Face Off contestants and MUD alumni Catherine Pashen (Cat), Niko Gonzalez and Bethany Serpico. Cat and Niko presented their “Exo Bride” demo and Bethany created an alien-like creature, while show-goers snapped photos and asked for autographs.

MUD Instructor Kelly Budd also performed a demo and with the assistance of former student Korina Artemiadis, she unveiled her avant-garde beauty inspired character during the final hours of the event.

The show wrapped with the Battle of the Brushes character prosthetic competition featuring two MUD alumnae Renee Varela and April Townes as well as 8 other contestants, all competing for a cash prize and the opportunity to be featured in the IMATS Make-up Artist Magazine.

Fans also said goodbye to Face-Off contestants Cat and Nikko as they performed their final demo on Sunday featuring their demon inspired character.

Contributor: Stacia McCarthy

MUD at IMATS 2014

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The Pasadena Civic Center was surrounded by beauty enthusiasts over the weekend with a line of shoppers waiting to get their hands on the latest beauty tools and to see their favorite make-up artists at this year’s IMATS Los Angeles 2014.  The sold out show featured a slew of beauty product companies, schools and more.  Once you were in the door, the music and sounds of happy shoppers filled the air the entire weekend.

This year’s Pro Night was the most successful Pro Night in the IMATS history, tripling in size of attendees on Friday night, just before the show opened to the public.  The MUD booth featured Disney actress and commercial model Jaida Benjamin, as the MUD artists demonstrated several looks including the Deep Forest trend.

The MUD booth in the special effects hall featured Karl Zundel and Karrie Ann Sillay with a group of 2013 grads working on a tall, full body alien creature.  The character suit and prosthetic appliances were equipped with mechanical hands and a light show that have had the team in preparation mode for over 3 months.  Artists Dalton Kutsch (2007 MUD Grad) and Casey Love (1998 MUD Grad) also demonstrated some amazing sculptures throughout the weekend.

Kevin James Bennett’s presentation in the MUD booth and onstage as IMATS’ keynote speaker included a demonstration of a clean fresh look, a colorful look for the bold and the beautiful, as well as a classy evening look.  Giving out some of his favorite beauty secrets, Bennett wowed the crowd with his simple methods of getting the perfect foundation setting.

Beto Franca was back just in the US from Brazil, just in time for IMATS.  Showing off his amazing airbrush and body painting, the audience stood in awe at the intricate details from start to finish. Meanwhile, in the special effects room, Face Off cast members Cat and Niko created a Labrinth Hoggle using multiple pieces of prosthetic appliances.

The IMATS 2014 events are off to a great start.  Next stop is New York in April at Pier 94.

For more photos visit our Flickr page or Follow us on Instagram

The Man Behind IMATS and Make-up Artist Magazine: Michael Key

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With IMATS Los Angeles just around the corner, the buzz surrounding this huge industry event is deafening. To give you an idea of how big, let’s just say 10K tickets were sold and over 200 vendors will be present. The show offers excellent make-up educations classes taught by the industry’s best, live on-stage presentations, special make-up effects demonstrations, show-only offers by the best make-up brands, Battle of the Brushes student competition and more!

How did something that was just a “trial” become so popular? Last night, when Deverill Weekes interviewed Michael Key, make-up artist and the man behind IMATS and Make-up Artist Magazine, we got a simple answer: there was a need for it.

Michael is a musician who was caught in a twist of fate. When asked what started his career in make-up, he replied, “music was my first love, but it wasn’t taking. I’ve always loved movies, and I came across ‘Cinefex’ a magazine that covers behind the scenes movie make-up. It had a step-by-step on how to sculpt, and I thought, `I could do that’. So, I went to a hobby store, purchased plaster and clay and did everything wrong.” It turns out, that after 7 weeks, he successfully sculpted a head. He and his friends used it as a prop to scare people. Then, he got his friends to pitch in to purchase foam latex, so they too could have their own props. Project after project Michael was able to make somewhat of a portfolio, although, he credits his “gift of gab” for getting him his first make-up effects studio job.

Michael’s make-up career includes five Emmy Award nominations, and two wins for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. His make-up credits include Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Planet of the Apes, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Charmed, Batman and Robin and more. (IMDb: Michael Key)

Deverill asked, “Who were your heroes and mentors?” With no hesitation, Michael names Michael Westmore, Jack Dawn, Christopher Tucker, Jack Pierce, Rick Baker, and Dick Smith. He credits Michael Westmore for teaching him lessons you don’t learn in a text book, like how to work with a producer and how to present yourself as a class act. He is grateful for Dick Smith for agreeing to be a part of the first IMATS stating that because of Mr. Smith, it was a success.

During Michael Key’s early career, he noticed that there weren’t enough resources for aspiring artists. Everything he learned was from trial and error and knowledge shared by his peers and mentors. Because this knowledge was so valuable, he was inspired to get it in writing and thus Make-up Artist Magazine was born. He admits that he’s shocked it went beyond the first three issues, but today we celebrate 106 issues of a great publication.

The interview concluded with a raffle for two sets of sold-out IMATS tickets.

Thank you Michael Key for sharing your story with us, and thank you fate for putting Cinefex in his hands!

MUD Amongst the Stars at IMATS London

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MUD had the pleasure of participating at IMATS London again this year. The event was held at the Olympia National Hall in Kensington and included a variety of beauty vendors and classes from top industry professionals.  Students enjoyed workshops such as Einat Dan’s The Magic of Avant-Garde Make-up for Editorial and Runway as well as the Sian Richards’s Color Theory and Corrective Make-up.

The MUD booth was visited by inspiring artists such as beauty blogger extraordinaire, Wayne Goss and Kazu Tsuji, the featured artist of the Dream Out Loud event.

Amongst the excitement was the highly anticipated Battle of the Brushes in which two MUD graduates brought home the prize. Congratulations to Battle of the Brushes winners, MUD Grad Ya-Sui Tseng, who wiped out the competition, winning 1st place in the  Beauty/Fantasy category and MUD Grad Stella Sensel for taking 2nd place in the Character Make-up competition.

MUD’s Dream Out Loud and IMATS Take On New York City

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This year, the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show (IMATS) in New York gave beauty lovers an intimate look at the latest products and secrets from industry pros.

The second in a three city tour, the annual trade show kicked off with the Dream Out Loud event – honoring Kazuhiro Tsuji and unveiling his latest piece, a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Guests enjoyed a short film presentation, and were able to meet Kazu and take pictures with him alongside the Lincoln bust.

The artist talked about the challenges he has faced, and how they helped fuel the desire to perfect his craft. “The death of one part of your life really means the birth of something else,” he explained.

Other presentations at this year’s show included the always amazing Koren Zander, Christine Nguyen, and Peter Anthony Wynn. Wynn discussed personal branding, and the importance of both your digital footprint and your name. (Since your name is really your first impression, what does it say about your work as an artist?)

The MUD New York campus provided demonstrations by MUD students, and even used one instructor as a model. There, admissions advisers were on deck to answer questions about the MUD New York campus.

On Sunday, the ever popular and talented Brazilian artist Beto França demonstrated one of his airbrush designs at the MUD booth.

MUD instructor Ray Santoleri also displayed his work and held a demonstration.

The IMATS-NY show was sold out once again, and this year’s participants got more than just a great deal on products. From up close and personal conversations with artist idols, to industry tutorials on how to promote themselves as artists, the IMATS weekend in New York was a robust experience.

We can’t wait to catch IMATS in London, June 22-23rd at The Olympia National Hall Kensington!

Make-Up Designory at IMATS Los Angeles 2011


The International Make-up Artist Trade Show (IMATS) was held in Pasadena, California this past weekend, catering to all make-up enthusiasts. Thousands of make-up vendors prepared for the sold-out show, setting up their booths with a wide range of cosmetics to offer the make-up obsessed and the industry professional. Walking down the aisles of the trade show, one was almost overwhelmed by the amounts of brushes, eye shadows, lipsticks, prosthetics and much more. Vendors were offering them for a special price over the exclusive weekend. Make-up artists took advantage of this opportunity to network with others while enjoying the master classes and professional demos by some of the leading make-up artists in the industry.

MUD set up their booth complete with the cosmetics line and limited promotional kits created specifically for this year’s trade show. With the flood of attendees approaching, MUD lead artists Sean Conklin and Reiva Cruze were able to demonstrate the product for all to watch and learn while recommending products that would work best for them or their professional kit. Our own Jackie Rosner from the school’s administration department was there to help enthuse future make-up artists about the different programs and opportunities MUD provides.

Each year IMATS holds a beauty/fantasy and character/prosthetic student competition for any recent graduate of a professional make-up school. The make-up artists create a look based on the given theme and apply their creative design on their model within a certain time frame. MUD graduate Krystle Teocson competed in the tribal themed beauty/fantasy competition and won second place with her rendition of a Zulu Tribe! MUD graduate Marina Coria also competed in the mythological themed character/prosthetic competition. Given three hours, she applied her creative interpretation of a mythological creature using prosthetics given to her on the day of the competition. Congratulations to all competitors!

IMATS 2011 was a success! The combination of professional demos, guest speakers, interactive demonstrations and featured artistry product was an inspiration to all.

— Katie Williams