MUD Celebrates Our 20th Anniversary with Stephen McCallum

Who is Stephen McCallum? A true jack-of-all-trades, Stephen has filled just about every position we have at MUD. In the beginning, McCallum and CEO Tate Holland did all the paperwork for the school side-by-side, including admissions and contracts. His greatest accomplishment at MUD is perhaps applying for the school’s accreditation–even in the face of a full software crash three days before the site team visited MUD’s Los Angeles location. In his own words, “if there’s something to be done around here I’ve done it–except that guy’s job,” pointing to Holland’s office, “and I don’t want it.”

Now, McCallum jokingly calls himself “the most overpaid secretary in the world,” but that’s not really accurate. McCallum always stays tied to Operations and management here at MUD. But his most important task of all? Keeping our office running with his mischievous sense of humor and opportune life advice. Full of laughs and stories, Stephen McCallum is the behind-the-scenes expert on all things MUD.

Q: How has the MUD team changed over the years?

A: In size and scope, we have changed enormously, from a small three-room school to an international corporation with two primary campuses, schools Europe, Latin America, and Africa, and many other educational partnerships around the world. However, in our essence and mission, MUD has changed very little in 20 years. We started as a group of friends, and very high goals…now, our goals remain ambitious and our friends have grown.

Q: Looking back, what do you think is the biggest challenge MUD has overcome?

A: The biggest challenges MUD had was being accepted as a real school, then as a real cosmetics line. However, with our true work ethic and a line of outstanding products, we quickly earned the respect of our students, our grads, and our professional friends in the industry. And, for twenty years, we have maintained that ethic and that respect.

Q: How did you envision the future of MUD back in 1997?

A:  The guys were good at their jobs, but risked their homes, their families, and their careers. I was a wandering leftover from the 60’s, not afraid to fail. But, they put their livelihood in my hands, asking me to manage the paperwork that is demanded in the business world. With the help and support from Crystal Wright, editor of “The Make-up and Hairstylist Guide,” Maurice Stein of Cinema Secret, Dana Nye of Ben Nye Cosmetics, and Wolfram Langer of Kryolan, we built a school ready to represent the film and television industry. And, the support of the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education set standards worthy of being lived up to, and have supported the school since the very beginning.

Q: What’s your most memorable moment from the last 20 years? Your funniest moment?

A: The most memorable moment was March 20, 2001, when the California State Senate made it “Make-Up Designory” Day, with State Senator John Scott presenting us with an official Resolution. The ceremony was nerve-aching. There were lots of people touring our brand-new facilities in Burbank, only two years after our start.

My most memorable moment was the original application and process for our Accreditation through ACCSCT (now, just ACCSC). It required five weeks of effort, 69 pounds of paperwork, and having our computer software completely crash two days before the on-site visit. We received the Commission’s approval on our first attempt.

There have been plenty of funny moments. However, the two best were:

  1. a) In 1998, our first year, we were on Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake. Right across the street was Trader Joe’s. After Paul completed a very descriptive injury demonstration, the student (not realizing the effect) walked across the street to get her lunch, sending the store into complete chaos. The staff even called 9-1-1 thinking she was in shock! We were asked to refrain from our students doing that again.
  2. b) In 2005, we had just opened our New York campus. Then, during the character class, students were so excited by the “characters” they were, they wore their makeups home, to show their families, on the subway. This, of course, created a whole new series of panics, resulting in NYPD sending us a letter to instruct our students they could not wear their makeups on the subway!


Product Focus: Liquid Foundation

We all know that feeling: it’s officially summer, and you’re ready to spend your day lounging poolside or hanging out at a sunny park with a good book. You put on that cute summer dress you’ve been waiting to wear, and get all made-up with your favorite bright colored lipstick or bronze eyeshadow. You can feel the hot sun tanning your skin. Life is good!

But then, the worst feeling sinks in. You’re taking a selfie in the sun and you see your heavy, cakey foundation clumping up all over your face. Why did nobody tell you sooner?!

Just as summer is a good time to get a great primer, it’s also the perfect time to find a breathable, lightweight foundation. That’s why my favorite summer foundation is MUD’s Liquid Foundation. Available in ten versatile shades, MUD’s Liquid Foundation is suitable for everyone who wants a beautiful, skin-like finish that keeps your skin looking fresh. While the make-up feels lightweight, it is also buildable without being cakey. In fact, there’s been times I have added another layer of foundation under my eyes instead of corrector and maintained an even coverage all day! However, if you prefer the ultra-light coverage of a tinted moisturizer, this foundation can be mixed with a primer to sheer it out even more. When my skin is fairly even I like to buff in a small amount of foundation using the 615 Buffer Brush with a light hand.

On an active summer day, you don’t want to feel like you’re wearing make-up; that’s why MUD’s Liquid Foundation is my absolute favorite for this season. MUD’s Liquid Foundation can be purchased here.

Product Focus: Face Primer

If there’s ever been a best time to look for a good primer, it’s summer. I find that my skin breaks out more in the summer, so making sure I have a good base for my foundations is especially important so that my imperfections stay covered. That’s why I always use MUD’s Face Primer.

Primer is important not only because it sticks to whatever coordinating products you place on top of it, but also because it creates a protective barrier between your skin and your foundation. Our primer is silicone based, which means not only is it compatible with oil and silicone based foundations, but also it’s designed to stay on the surface of the skin to create a smooth, flawless foundation application. To use, just take a very small amount of product (I use about the same amount as a pencil eraser) and smooth it all over the face prior to foundation application.

But primer isn’t just for foundation! On hot summer days, I know I don’t always want to wear a full face of make-up. However, a light layer of primer makes my skin feel soft and silky. I like to make MUD’s primer the last step in my skincare routine to prepare it for make-up no matter how much product I’ll be putting on. Mix it with your foundation or pair it with a little corrector and you’ll have a wonderful, light, everyday summer base.

PRO TIP: Primer can work with powder products too! Mix MUD’s Face Primer with our eye colors, cheek colors, bronzers, or cake eyeliner for more intensity.

When the weather is warm, a lightweight primer is key. Luckily, this primer keeps me covered for a long day out in the sun. MUD’s primer can be purchased at our online store, here.

Product Focus: Idol Lipstick


Do you turn to a bright red lipstick every time you want a pop of color? Or have you never ventured outside of peaches and nudes? Either way, it might be time to go outside of your comfort zone and pick up a vibrant, purple lip color. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered with my favorite MUD lipstick, Idol.

Arriving in a rich, magenta-purple shade, Idol stands alone as a strong statement lip that’s flattering on a multitude of skin tones from light to dark. It’s a twist on a deep, vampy lip shade that’s a little bit more purple, but not so bright that it isn’t wearable from day-to-day. We recommend lining the lip with one of our MUD lip pencils before applying with our #310 lip brush for a precise, bold look.

However, don’t think you’re limited to just one look with this color! After strutting my stuff with a rainbow make-up look at pride, I was able to make the look more mature for a family dinner that evening by pairing Idol with a maroon lip liner like our Mahogany or Mauve shade around the edges. Just line the lips and blend in until about halfway with the maroon shade and touch up with Idol in the center for a sultry ombre lip look.

If wearing a lot of product on the lip isn’t your thing, Idol makes for a lovely lip stain as well! Whether you’re going to the beach or trying to tone down your lip shade on your way to the gym like I did, just blot the lipstick evenly for a healthy-looking berry stain.

Versatile and bold, Idol has quickly become a mainstay in my primary make-up bag. It can be worn for a formal occasion, a festival, or even when you want to spice up your everyday make-up. I get compliments whenever I wear it, and I’m sure you will too. 

Idol lipstick can be purchased here.

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 🙂

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Hey girllllll heyyyyyy @renee_varela @fundip @w_illia_m

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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