Rayme: Hey Lora! Tell the folks at home a little bit about your self? What do you love about being a make up artist and stylist?
Lora: I’ve been working as a makeup artist, stylist and costumer for about a decade. I’ve worked for TV, movies, private clients, theatre companies and anywhere else my skills are needed.
I love it when the work I do impacts someone positively. Not just because they look more polished once we get their eyebrows in check, but because there’s something incredibly therapeutic in having someone pay close attention to another person. And it doesn’t really get closer than having someone 2 inches from your face with something pointy near your eye. Getting your makeup done is very intimate, and like all intimate situations, when it’s handled well it can be incredibly fulfilling.
R: What would you describe as your “artistic speciality?"
L: It’s really hard to say. I have played with so many things, it’s hard to nail one down as a specialty, but I suppose right now my focus is on what’s possible in challenging environments like under water or flying thru the air.
R: What does make up artistry and styling mean to you?
L: To me, it’s translating a concept into something visual and applying it to a person.
R: How best can a photographer, director, or actor utilize you when your on set?
L: They can best utilize me by having a concrete idea of what it is they want me to do. The most frustrating thing in my world is having someone say, ”I trust you. Just… make it look… good.” Only to have them tell me when I’m done that the look isn’t at all what they wanted. While I pride myself on being able to extract information from even the most vague of individuals, I need SOMETHING to go on. Also, everyone in the industry should understand that my complete kit of makeup and hair stuff fills a room in my house. I cannot bring everything with me, so I need to know what’s going on before I get to set. If you want an army of zombie prom queens, that’s a very different kit from what I’d use to create a pair of fresh-faced nuns.
I digress... while on set, I’m happy as long as I know what’s expected of me, and I’m given adequate time to accomplish it. Communication before the shoot is essential so I can give you a timeline. Depending on what’s required, hair and makeup could take from 5 minutes to 3 hours and beyond.
R: When it comes to actresses preparing to get their headshots taken, do you have recommendations for them to help them prepare?
L: Yes. Yes I do! There are a lot of things you can do to prepare for headshots. Ideally, you should be wearing ALMOST NO MAKEUP during your shoot, because the point of the image is to showcase YOU, not my skills as a makeup artist.
Take care of your skin! That means stay the hell out of the sun. Seriously. It dries out your skin and makes it look splotchy and old. I’m not going to tell you to avoid the sun in general, because it’s your skin and if you want cancer, that’s your business. BUT for the week before your shoot, don’t bake yourself naturally or in a tanning bed. Your natural skin color is great, don’t try to change it. The same thing goes for self tanner (sunless tanner). Just don’t. Please. Sunless tanners can be really splotchy and leave weird dark lines anywhere your skin creases. If you feel like you need color added to your face in order to look your best, let me do it with a matte bronzer.
If you’re willing to invest, get a facial 5 or 6 days before your shoot. Just a basic cleansing and hydrating treatment. DO NOT get a chemical peel or any other hard-core services, they take a long time to heal and you don’t want a flakey nose in your photos.
MOISTURIZE. You should be doing this anyway, but it’s extra important when someone is going to be taking close up photos of your face. It doesn’t have to be a big hassle, just find something that works for your skin type and put it on twice a day after you wash your face. Easy as pie. (I recommend Embryolisse Lait-creme Concentre and day and night creams by Nerium, they work well on just about every skin type)
FACIAL HAIR. If you’re a mammal, you have it. Here’s the thing about women and facial hair… just because it’s blonde, doesn’t mean its not there. Unless your facial fuzz is an important part of the way you want the world to view you, get rid of it. Smooth skin can make your face look more sculpted. Waxing and threading are easy options, and a skilled technician will zip the fuzz off your cheeks, upper lip and forehead (yes, you have a lot of fuzz on your forehead. Go look… it’s there). If you’ve got really fine hair (I don’t recommend this for thick or abundant facial hair), you can shave it off. Yes, you can. Shaving your peach fuzz will not make it grow back thicker (that’s impossible) and it’s a cheap, quick way to get the job done. While we’re discussing facial hair, groom your brows. Even if you rock an au natural look, just about everyone could do with at least a little bit of tidying up. Just don’t do anything less than 4 days before your shoot, gives you time to heal from any irritation.
The day before your shoot, avoid alcohol and super salty foods. They can make your face look swollen. Drink lots of water and try to get 8 hours of sleep. If you know that you tend toward puffiness and you want to be super hardcore about it, sleep with your head and chest elevated and it’ll keep swelling down and help your features look well defined.
YOUR HANDS. Make sure your fingernails are clean and tidy before you show up.
R: What about men. I have found that many are alittle shy to bring their own make up or toiletries to a photoshoot. And often because I have found many are shy to by themselves products. Do you have any recommendations for them as well?
L: Guys should follow the basics I mentioned for the ladies. I totally understand why it’d be an unpleasant experience for them to buy makeup and skin care for themselves. My advice is to go to a professional theatrical or film cosmetic store. They aren’t at all like a department store makeup counter and the staff there knows what men need to look their best without looking too “fabulous”. Also, professional grade products are generally fragrance free and in neutral packaging. If you’re in Chicago, go to Kryolan on N. Halsted. If you’re in LA, go to Naimie’s in Valley Village. Also, once you know what products you need, you can just order them online. Men who want to look their best but don’t want to look ‘made up’ can get by with a good moisturizer, a mattifying gel, a clear mascara (for taming brows), a matte lip balm and a high pigment concealer pencil to camouflage any blemishes. I don’t at all object to a BB cream or tinted moisturizer on guys as long as they’re applied with a very light touch. Oh, also, carry one of those little tiny pocket trimmers with you. Stray hair on your face/neck/ears is never a good look, so be prepared to do a last minute trim.
R: What about shooting etiquette. What are some general do’s and dont’s that actors and models should look out for when getting ready at the shoot?
L: Show up on time. Or early. And communicate about your expectations and what you want. If you haven’t booked makeup AND hair, don’t expect to get your hair done. Follow the instructions you’re given during your consultation (If I ask you to arrive with clean, moisturized skin, please don’t show up covered in self tanner and caked with yesterday’s mascara). Be vocal about what you want. If you never wear eyeliner, say so. If you always wear shiny pink lip gloss, say that too. Your headshots are supposed to represent the very best version of the image you want others to see, so don’t be shy about speaking up if something doesn’t look/feel right to you.
R: Tell us about your favorite photoshoot/film/ or make up project you were apart of? What made it so special?
L: I worked on a fashion shoot in the Netherlands in spring. We were out in these amazing tulip fields outside of Amsterdam. And then it started to rain. Really, really hard. And the wind was blowing so hard we were having a hard time keeping the equipment from falling over, the model was drenched and nothing looked right. So we changed the theme of the shoot, and we embraced the rain and wilted clothes and flat hair, and it was amazing. The entire crew was happy and laughing and it felt magical.
R: Your a cat person. What’s the deal with your mini leopards?
L: I love my two kitties, Oki and Sukoshi. They’re not quite mini leopards, they’re Savannah cats, which means they’re part serval. They’ve got amazing personalities, they wear leashes and like going on walks. They also weigh about 20 pounds each, so they’re substantial additions to my household. I was kind of dismayed to see how trendy they’ve become, Savannah cats have become a status symbol, like a fancy watch or car, and I have people tell me all the time how much they’d LOVE to have cats like mine. I don’t think they really understand how much responsibility they are. It’s like having a pair of fur covered, rocket powered, sentient bowling balls with claws living in your house. Their awesome personalities and all of the snuggles make the effort worth it, but I don’t think they’re ideal pets for everyone.
R: Tell us you favorite movie, song, and cocktail. Go-
L: Tarsem’s “The Fall”, Rhapsody in Blue, Makers Mark on the rocks with a fresh sprig of mint.