At age 16 I walked by a makeup boutique and walked in asking for a job. They hired me and trained me.

Personal Information

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NAME

Molly Stern

JOB TITLE

Makeup Artist in Hollywood, CA

LOCATION

Los Angeles, CA

SALARY

Undisclosed

NUMBER OF YEARS IN THE FIELD

25 years in the field

Career Bio

The profession

Top 3 beauty tips:
Sleep: The old expression, get your beauty rest, is really true. The more you allow your body to rest and unwind the more healthy and alive you feel and look. Water: Drink a lot of it. It’s a natural way to flush your skin and free it of toxins. It keeps the skin glowing and bright. Sunscreen: The sun is so hot and can really scorch the skin instantly creating pre-mature aging and worse threaten the skin with sun damage aka skin cancer. Protect your skin everyday.

Training:
Many professional makeup artists’ only training is to assist those further along to learn the how to work with makeup. Some choose to go a more traditional route and attend beauty/cosmetic schools. Some work at the beauty counters to have an opportunity to play with different types of makeup and have a lot of different types of faces to work on.

How I got here

At age 16 I walked by a makeup boutique and walked in asking for a job. They hired me and trained me. I got involved with makeup artistry in Hollywood by meeting other artists at the beauty boutique where I worked, who were a bit further ahead of me career wise. I assisted everyone I could. Through those contacts I met actresses, models, photographers and directors. At first I worked for free, or “tested” to build my portfolio until eventually paid jobs came in. My first paid on set job was assisting Jeanine Lobell on a music video. On set my day consists of watching my actor to make sure that the look I have created stays consistent. I offer them mints between takes, chat with them, grab them tea, etc. Once they are shooting I watch the monitor to make sure the light is right and see if they need any adjustments.

A typical day

It varies. If I am working on a movie or television set, my day could start as early as 5am and go for up to 15 hours. Those days start in a makeup trailer where I get the talent ready for whatever scene is being shot that day. From there I stand by the set and make sure the actor is okay and maintain the look that I created. If I am getting someone ready for a red carpet event, I will go to their house and collaborate with the hair dresser and clothing stylist to create the look. Then over the next few hours we all work together to send our gal out the door.

The hardest parts

The sometime very long hours and maintaining an super bubbly personality. No one wants to work around a grump.

The best parts

Getting to make women feel better about themselves.

Advice for someone thinking about going into the field

Practice practice practice. Paint as many faces as you can and find someone to assist and learn from. Get your hands into as many different types of makeup products as you can. Learn what products are easier vs harder to use.