Makeup Artist to the Stars Gregory Arlt Visits our Burbank School for MUD Talks

One might know Gregory Arlt for his pin-up red carpet looks on Dita Von Teese, his vintage doll-like makeup on Katy Perry for her One of the Boys album cover, or his glamorous editorial work with Angelina Jolie for Vanity Fair. Make-up artist Gregory Arlt has had an expansive and successful 25-year career in the makeup industry. Luckily for us, Arlt dropped by our Burbank location for one of our MUD Talks to lend the students some red carpet tips, skin care recommendations, and stories from his work with the industry’s top stars and photographers.

Photography: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

When asked how he became interested in makeup, Arlt can point to a few distinct moments. Watching Culture Club on MV3 (what he called the “poor man’s MTV”), Arnt says his “whole life changed.” Not only was the star in makeup a man, something Arlt had never seen before, but also this was a moment in which Arlt’s suburban bubble of Westchester exploded to reveal a whole new world at his disposal. Arlt also points to the first time he saw his lipstick-loving mother come home from a department store makeover with eyeshadow for the first time, and flipping through Francesco Scavullo’s book Women. Inspired by the transformative power of makeup, Arlt went on to develop the distinctive glamorous style he is now known for.

But Arlt’s talk was not all about his own biography. Scrolling through a slideshow of his favorite makeup looks, Arlt sprinkled in advice and stories of moments shared with some of his favorite faces. Here are some of his top tips:

  1. First, focus on skin: Looking at a bold-lipped photo of six-year client Gwen Stefani, Arlt draws attention to her clear, glowy skin. “A lot of makeup artists want to go to the fun stuff” he said, but “my brain doesn’t even compute that. You can throw on mascara running down the hallway or a lip whereas if you go on with your skin not being done and there’s imperfections or discoloration, everything gets negated.” Advocating that a makeup artist should never rely on photoshop for anything, achieving perfect, flawless skin is always his primary emphasis for editorial work.

    Photo courtesy of
  2. Know your makeup history: “However important you think it is, it’s nowhere near how important” as it should be, Arlt says. Discussing 60s references in a Katy Perry makeup look, Arlt encourages makeup artists to ask questions, like “Is it Twiggy is it Edie Sedgwick is it Pamela Grier?” or just “where in the 60s are we?” Albeit fun, having good historical knowledge is also a necessity when references are the language of the industry.

    Photo courtesy of
  3. Make your model feel good: Discussing the intricacies of red carpet makeup, Arlt’s bottom line is that he wants the star to feel “like the A+ version of themselves.” When it comes to red carpet, this means doing a makeup that works not only for an image but also when the star is talking to people, or allowing there to be a little more attention on the dress for a change. One specific tip he had for red carpet is to still moisturize the skin: since the client will likely be showing more of it, make sure the skin moisturized and healthy before toning down the shine with foundation and powder

    Photography: Aleksandar Tomovic

Thank you for taking the time to come to campus and speak with our students, Gregory! 


MUD Celebrates Ninth Annual Joy Prom

It’s summer again, and that means it’s time for the annual Las Vegas Joy Prom. A night full of music, dancing, and beauty for teens and adults with different cognitive and physical abilities, Joy Prom is one of our favorite projects to be involved with through our charitable branch MUD Cares.

Every year, MUD runs a room where a team of makeup artists are waiting to put glitter in the guests’ hair, blush on their cheeks, and and a shiny new layer of lip gloss on their lips. Even better, each guest leaves with a tiara and a makeup goodie bag with their choice of MUD Lip Glaze. The beauty station is often many girl’s favorite part of the event, and the guests’ faces always light up when they receive their free makeup.

Troy Watson, the MUD grad and director of International Sales who’s passion spearheaded MUD’s involvement with Joy Prom, was inspired by a conversation with founder Bobby Tyler while walking their dogs. At first, MUD just supplied make-up brushes and a couple of lip glazes. This year, MUD was responsible for a Starry Night-themed makeup room for all to enjoy.

The 2018 Las Vegas Joy Prom hosted 300 guests thanks to the help of over 300 volunteers. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen, and we can’t wait for next year!


The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Make-Up Review and How To

Lucy Liu

Last night’s 64th annual Primetime Emmy’s were held in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre, and was hosted by one of my personal favorite late night TV personalities, Jimmy Kimmel.

We saw quite a few strapless and sweetheart gowns this year. Zoe Deschanel, Morena Baccarin, Julianne Hough, and Kat Dennings looked slick and sexy with this style. Kat Dennings rocked a low cut burgundy piece by J. Mendel, and I think she made the right choice by wearing her hair down, in soft locks, and pairing it all with a bold, earth toned red lip.

Color-wise, I’d say the two leading hues of the evening were bright yellow and orange. Padma Lakshmi and Ginnifer Goodwin exemplified this Autumnal trend with two festive but elegant burnt orange dresses. The ladies in yellow were Julianne Moore, Kaley Cuoco, and Claire Daines – who all looked positively radiant.

This makeup How To, however, is inspired by the lovely Lucy Liu – who wore a futuristic Versace gown with bold black eyeliner and stunning cheeks. Her skin was beautiful and light with just a soft hint of freckling around her nose and cheeks. I love freckles as you can either choose to play them up with your makeup (always a personal favorite) or to conceal them using MUD’s Flawless Cream Foundation. The fun thing about having freckles is that you always have this option.

Get the Look!

Face: First, use MUD’s Cream Foundation in your shade to get Lucy’s flawless skin. Apply a medium coverage with MUD’s #940 Foundation Brush. Set the foundation using either a Loose Powder for a matte finish, or a Dual Finish Compact Powder for a more dewy look.

Cheeks: To accentuate your cheek bones with a pop of color, use a blend of Soft Peach Cheek Color and Poppy Cheek Color with your #710 Brush and dust along the cheek bone in circular motions until you reach your desired intensity.

Eyes: Lucy’s look is all about the eyes. To achieve the same effect, use MUD’s Black Cake Liner with our #100 Brush. Apply medium to thick winged out eyeliner starting from the inner corner and working your way outwards. Using MUD’s #810 Smudger Brush and Graphite Eye Color, smoke out the cake liner slightly to soften the effect while maintaining a bold line. Next, use your #800 Blending Brush and softly blend Galaxy Eye Color into the crease. Apply lashes and a load of Cream Mascara.

Lips: Nude is the way to go with this look. Try outlining your lips with Lip Pencil in Natural and fill in with a generous coat of Bare Lip Glaze.

The 84th Annual Oscars: Beauty Recap & How To

Rooney Mara

Movie magic provokes our imaginations with stunning visual effects, beautiful cinematography, and incredible acting. This year’s Oscar’s celebrated that magic with equal brilliance. Billy Crystal hosted such a magnificent show that it will be near impossible to follow his act at next year’s Academy Awards. Opening with a Broadway bang, his musical song-and-dance routine showcased the films nominated this year, and followed with nine of infinitely many reasons to go to the movies. His talent as a performer and sheer comic genius throughout the show captivated nearly as much as the greatest Cirque du Soleil act the world has ever seen. In short – This years’ Oscars deserves an Oscar.

The Oscar for Makeup went to Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland for “‘The Iron Lady” and made an incredible impact on artists watching at home. Helland has been working with Meryl Streep since her nomination for Sophie’s Choice in 1982, and thanked her with coy yet heartfelt gratitude “for keeping him employed over the last 37 years”. Streep reiterated her appreciation for Helland’s work during her speech while accepting her third Oscar for Best Actress. Magic indeed.

Off the stage and ON the Red Carpet, we saw glamour, style, and grace. Michelle Williams (as always) looked picture perfect in an orange-red Louis Vuitton dress with a structured, backless bustier, tiered skirt, and matching red lipstick. Angelina rocked it in an all black high-slit Atelier Versace gown – wearing her hair down with smoky eyeliner, bold red lips. The color of the evening was without a doubt white. Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Milla Jovovich dazzled in long and elegant, whimsical white. My favorite look and beauty pick is “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” star and Oscar nominee Rooney Mara, who not only stole the show in her white Givenchy gown, but with her unbelievably flawless makeup. Brows were perfectly shaped, skin was radiant, and the deep red lip brought her entire ensemble to life.

To Get Rooney Mara’s Red Carpet Look:

Face: Start by applying clean and even Cream Foundation in your shade/tone using the #940 Foundation Brush. Make sure to blend-out down past the jaw bone, onto the neck, and out toward the hair line. Set the Cream Foundation using a Loose Powder in Shell or Buttercream and the #510 Duster Brush.

Next, warm it up with a bit of cheek color. Use the #710 Brush to dust Glow Cheek Color across both cheek bones.

Brows: To define and sculpt the eyebrows, use the #210 Brush and – depending on the lightness of your brow – a mixture of Taupe and Espresso Eye Colors. Fill in areas that are sparse for full, symmetrical brows. Brush both brows upward with a clean mascara wand and then set using MUD’s Brow Fix. The key here is to use a Cream Highlight both under the brow — along the brow bone — as well as a small amount above the brow. Use Light from MUD’s Pro Highlight & Shadow Palette and a #300 Brush to create these complimentary highlights and achieve a sharp, clean look.

Eyes: Rooney’s eyes are uber-natural with a focus on lashes. To re-create this natural eye shadow application, start with the #800 Brush and apply Bone all over both lids — from the lash line to the brow as a base shadow. Using that same brush, blend the Taupe and Canyon Eye Colors back and forth into the crease until edges are defused. This will create a soft, natural, and warm contour in the crease.

Next, add medium sized, natural looking false lashes. Using the #100 Eye Liner Brush and Black Cake Eyeliner, apply a thin, natural line along the upper lid to blend the base of the false lashes. Beauty Tip: Minimal wing tip at outer corners for this particular look.

Lastly, apply one luscious coat of Volumizing Mascara over both the upper and lower lashes.

Lips: Begin by outlining the lips with Red Lip Pencil. Then, apply Lady Bug Lipstick with the Portable #310S Lip Brush.

— Reiva Cruze