Industry Speaks: David DeLeon

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“I’m not a diva. My work is the diva. Art is bigger than life.” David DeLeon

Last night, Emmy Award winning Make-up Artist David DeLeon, who just wrapped CBS’s The Crazy Ones (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robin Williams, James Wok, Hamish Linklater, Amanda Setton) stopped by MUD Burbank to lend a room-full of students some of his valuable time and words of expertise and wisdom. David was interviewed by MUD’s good friend and colleague, Deverill Weekes.

Q: How did you know that make-up is what you wanted to do?
A: “I would ditch school –now, don’t you ditch school!– and go to the library and read Scavullo on Beauty (by Scavullo, Francesco, Random House, 1978) it’s a beautiful black and white book of “before and afters.” I was enthralled by the transformations.”

Q: How did you get started?
A: “My first celebrity client was Kathy Najimy. I met her assistant at a party—it’s one of those things that happens in this town, a door sort of opens—and she needed a make-up artist for a stage show. And that started the whole thing.”

Q: Who are your heroes?
A: Michael Westmore. Dick Smith, Ve Neil, Todd MCIntosh, Pat McGrath—I am obsessed with her right now. There are so many—I look up to everyone.

Q: Why [are you obsessed with] Pat McGrath?
A: “Because she’s so out-of –the-box with her Avant-Garde make-up, she makes people look ravishing.”

Q: Who are the great make-up artists you’ve worked with and what made them great?
A: “Michael Westmore. He is a great make-up artist and delegator. He makes people feel like they can do it. He’s very encouraging and very gentle in his approach. I’ve worked with Ve Neil, she’s just a powerhouse, talented and wonderful.”

Q:  You have a sort of “famous” relationship with Sara Michelle Gellar, you worked with her so many times. How did that get started?

A: I met Sarah at the first presentation of Buffy. Sarah came in and it was just instant comradery, it was instant fun and laughing.

Q: Before we started, you said something about a really good, clean beauty make-up. Will you talk about that a little bit?
A: “Beauty make-up is the bread and butter of this business. If you can do that, you have more opportunities to work, than if you just do FX or if you just do character work.”

Q: What’s your personal [life] code?
A: “Do unto others ..” [as you would have them do unto you.]

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve received?
A: “Show up. Do your job. Eat free donuts. And, go home.”


During the interview, and intertwined in the hour long conversation, there were some great words of advice. Here, we sum up some of David’s quotes.

“Establish relationships. We pull from people we know. It’s rare that you hire someone you don’t know anything about.”
“You’re never going to work under optimum conditions. You have to learn how to operate under chaos.”
“Do whatever you’re passionate in. I’m passionate about beauty. It’s good to know all sorts of make-up, but stick to what you’re passionate about.”

Thank you, David for being an inspiration to our students!

David DeLeon Bio
Emmy Award winning Makeup artist David DeLeon’s artistic sense and attention to detail makes him a sought after makeup artist from Hollywood to New York and beyond. David brings a passion and commitment to every project he is involved with. He has worked with such talents as Barbra Steisand, Ellen Degeneres, Portia de Rossi, Harrison Ford, sarah Michelle Gellar and Jane Fonda to name a few. He has lent his talents to numerous films, television shows, stage plays, and print work. He also lectures at makeup schools and conventions around the world.
Follow David on Twitter @DeLeonMakeup

Make-up Designory’s Open House / Los Angeles

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Make-Up Designory’s Open House was a huge success! The event was held from 1p – 6p at the Burbank campus, and was packed with exciting proceedings from the time doors opened until the last make-up brush was put away for class the next morning.

The afternoon began with tours of the school while class was still in session. Prospective students witnessed the process of special effects, beauty, and airbrush make-up.

Soon after, special guest Kazuhiro Tsuji was presented with an Award of Recognition for his distinguished service as a world-renowned make-up artist by assemblyman Mike Gatto of the 43rd District. Make-up Designory would like to give our special thanks to Kazu for allowing us to display his latest work, Lincoln, in our studio for our Open House.

Once the award ceremony concluded, our student competition began. Nine students competed for their chance to represent Make-up Designory at the upcoming Make-up Show Los Angeles “Wonder Games 2013.” The competition theme was “Fantasy Beauty / Grimm’s Fairy Tales.” Participants were given two hours to complete their project, and not a minute was wasted.

While the students worked feverishly, guests continued to mingle, and enjoyed local Portos Cuban pastries, fresh fruit, and refreshments.  The halls were packed with special guests Byrd HollandTommy Cole (Local 706), Tate Holland, Karl Zundel, Paul Thompson and – as previously mentioned – Kazu and Mike Gatto, along with excited future MUA’s.

After 20 minutes of deliberation, the results were in.  The winner of this year’s Open House student competition is Vanessa Delgado and her creation, “Red Riding Hood” from “The Little Red Cap.” Second place went to Audrey Ramos and her rendition of “The Snow Queen” from “Hans Christian Anderson.” Congratulations to all of the participants! You were all GREAT.

If you’d like to attend our next open house, or are interested in a personal tour of Make-up Designory,  contact us. We’d be more than happy to have you as our guest.

To view more photos of the event, please visit our Flickr Open House Album.


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.

Fun Photos with Instagram!

We love our students! Photos tagged on Instagram with #makeupdesignory 🙂

Hey girllllll heyyyyyy @renee_varela @fundip @w_illia_m

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City Time! #country #girl #city #nyc #fun #funny #cute #model #awesome

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Make-Up Designory kicked off the 39th International Makeup Artists Trade Show in a huge way, unveiling the latest works of Kazuhiro Tsuji. If you’re not familiar with the name, you’re definitely familiar with his work, which has been part of award-winning films such as Planet of the Apes, and the unforgettable characters from How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Held at the Pasadena Convention Center, the trade show’s Pro Night turned into an amazing evening for over 1,000 guests. A short documentary film, “Dream Out Loud,” directed by Deverill Weekes and Juliet Landau, Miss Juliet Productions, gave a touching insight into the story behind the artist. The 20-minute film showcased over 50 hours of footage depicting Tsuji at work on his creation, interviews, and an intimate look at how he grew from a dreamer to a full blown artist who makes other artists marvel at his work.

Photo Credit: Scott Sebring
Photo Credit: Scott Sebring

Shortly after the documentary, guests were escorted in to get an up close and personal view of the finished product of his latest work, an Abraham Lincoln bust. The realness of the Lincoln bust seemed to come alive the closer you were to it and once again, guests marveled at the works of the humble artist that could only express how much he loves what he does for a living.

The event was hosted by the industry leaders in make-up artistry, Make-Up Designory (MUD) and Make-up Artist magazine. While MUD campuses, located in Los Angeles and New York, provide education in the craft of make-up artistry, Make-up Artist Magazine gives artists the latest in industry news and holds one of the most noted make-up trade shows in the US, Canada, Australia, and England.

When it comes to making a grand introduction, the Dream Out Loud event definitely brought to life the remarkable exuberance of fine arts to a new level.


MUD students inside the classroom

Enrollment at our school is very simple, and we do not require any past experience. You might experience a few subjects which you already feel quite confident in, such as applying eyeliner, mascara, or tweezing eyebrows. However, even with such simple subjects, we will probably offer different techniques for you to add to your experience.

As the Los Angeles Campus Administrator, the first question I get asked is about the TOEFL. Make-Up Designory does not require the TOEFL. We do not teach in any language but English. However, if you can read our website, write and understand emails with us, and speak English at that level, you will find our classroom training easy and enjoyable.

The second question is about the kind of Visa needed to attend MUD. We are only authorized to issue an M-1 Student Visa, issued for the specific period of time for training. We are not the same as a major university, which can issue an F-1 Visa for up to four years. Also, our career field does not have internships or “on the job training” periods; so, you cannot get a job while you are training on an M-1 Visa.

In our school, you will have the opportunity to choose courses which have direct value to you: our classes are conducted Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. International students traveling on an M-1 Student Visa are not allowed to enroll in the evening courses. Also, MUD does not charge international students a “non-residency” fee above what American students pay.

The process for International enrollment is as follows:

1. Go to our website ( Complete the Enrollment Application (Part I), and the Application for a SEVIS 1-20 Document (Part II).

2. Include the payment for the registration fee, $100.00 USD. This can be paid on our secure website or you may mail a check or money order issued from an American Bank (all international banks have direct association with some American bank). Or, you may make the payment by bank wire transfer from your bank to ours. This service, however, does require an additional fee of $25.00 USD, which is a bank charge for the wire transfer.

3. We do require proof of high school completion. You must provide valid English translation of either a diploma or transcripts. To have documents translated, you must use a third-party to prepare and validate the translation, such as a Notary Public or translation agency. A GED (General Education Diploma), received by adults who return to school to complete high school, is also an acceptable form of proof.

Otherwise, we are required to ask you to take an aptitude test, which demonstrates your ability to read and comprehend written language and basic math. Your public library can recommend several service companies who can conduct such a process for you.

4. You must receive a letter from your local bank stating that you, and/or your family, have the financial ability to allow you to travel and study in the United StatesThe letter must be signed by an officer of the bank. This is required by the US government because international students are not allowed “to seek out or accept paid employment” while a student in the US. The original letter MUST be presented to the American Embassy at the time of your Visa interview. You must fax, photocopy, or scan a copy of the letter and forward that to the school before the I-20 Document can be prepared.

Once all of this is completed, the school will prepare your enrollment package (including the I-20) and forward it to you. In addition to the other documents, you will be required to present your photocopy of the Enrollment Agreement to the American Embassy, which will support and validate the I-20 document. Also, you will need to go to the United States Department of State website and pay a $200.00 processing fee for the appointment before you can visit the U.S. Embassy. The school will provide the webpage information with your enrollment package.

Whenever you have any questions, please let one of us know. You can contact me at 818-729-9420 or at If you have questions about Los Angeles, contact Jackie Rosner at 818-729-9420 or at If you have questions about New York, contact Desirae Ross at 212-925-9250 or


Inside the classroom at Make-Up Designory’s Beauty 301 Beauty Lab

The Make-Up Designory (MUD) Beauty 301: Beauty Lab course is designed to prepare students for work in their selected fields of study through a series of challenging, real-world projects. This class is considered a finishing class, where students are given the opportunity to apply what they have learned in previous classes and from prior experience.

In the classroom, students learn about the materials needed to market themselves and how to start and manage their freelance careers. In the studio, they get the opportunity to apply everything they have learned about set etiquette.

In the progression of the class, students complete make-up and hairstyle setups on professional models for a series of photo shoots, which are designed to simulate actual working environments. Each setup is captured digitally by a professional photographer, for the student to use in his or her portfolio.

In Beauty Lab, students apply their make-up and hair skills to the professional set where, with supervision, they can quickly see where they excel as well as what they still need to work on. By exposing the students to photographers and models within a learning environment, it allows for the freedom of creative exploration – and room for error if needed. The more exposure the students get, the more confidence they gain.