02/09/2014

MEET THE ARTISTS - ROBIN SIEGEL

Robin Siegel's resume reads like a a who's who list of Hollywood; from Julia Roberts, Whoopi Goldberg, Sharon Stone and Jodie Foster to Felicity Huffman, and to name just a  handful, nearly every major star has had their makeup done by Robin. Her work with one celebrity or another has been in every major publication, on numerous red carpets and many an advertising campaign. Robin's TV work includes heaps of hit shows and Makeup Department Head positions on huge shows like Beverley Hills 90210 (1 season), Veronicas Closet (3 seasons) and Friends (9 seasons), as well as personal makeup artist to Lisa Kdurow and Jennifer Aniston on many other projects and films. Currently working as personal makeup artist to Mary McDonnell on Major Crimes, Robin took some time to tell me about her career and, of course, some of her favourite products.
Snapshot of Robin's career

MANW: How did you start your career and what was the progression it took?
RS: For a couple of years I worked in a salon as a hairstylist and aesthetician. I knew I wanted to be in the beauty industry and realized I was more interested in skincare and make-up. Doing "make up for the movies" inspired me to move to Los Angeles. After going to a make-up school that taught everything from beauty to effects and fantasy I started working on student films, non-union movies and then music videos. Eventually I worked on larger independent movies, some on location; I spent time in Jamaica, St Croix, Baltimore and New York. After being on location for a while I wanted to work more at home in Los Angeles and I was hired to do the pilot for one of the first HBO original series, a comedy called 'Dream On' starring Brian Benben and Wendie Malick. That show lasted 5 or 6 seasons and was created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane who also created Friends. Marta and David invited me to work on Friends and Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox asked me to stay. During the first season I was finishing the last season of 'Dream On' so I only had time for a few episodes on Friends, I stayed as Makeup Department Head on Friends for the remaining 9 seasons.

During the time I worked on Friends I did Jennifer Aniston's and Lisa Kudrow's make-up for most of the award shows and other press and red carpet events they attended. It was at this time that I got an agent who still represents me. My agent, Alyssa Regulski, recently opened Grid Agency. Since Friends ended I still sometimes work with both Jennifer and Lisa, I recently did Jennifer Aniston's makeup for Horrible Bosses 2. I did Kyra Sedgwick's make up on The Closer for seasons 4, 5 and 6 and I am currently doing Mary McDonnell's make up on The Closer spinoff - Major Crimes. In between I had the pleasure of working with Ashley Judd on the mini series Missing which filmed in Prague, Croatia and Istanbul for 5 months. In between my film and television jobs I also do make up for celebrities and private clients for red carpet, press and special events.

MANW: Do you have a preference for the type of jobs  and make-ups you like to do, ie: TV characters, red carpets or magazine shoots?

RS: Beauty is still my main focus when it comes to make-up and skin care, I don't have the experience or desire to work with special effects. I designed a couple of fashion shows and worked on several films as a personal make-up artist to Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Felicity Huffman and Diane Keaton but my preference is to do one actress's make-up on a television show, film, event or photo shoot rather than design a whole show.  

MANW: You have worked on some legendary TV shows like Friends and Beverley Hills 90210 and with a huge list of legendary actors such as Sharon Stone, Brad Pitt and Jodie Foster.. can you tell us about some of the stand out moments of your career?

RS: Some of the stand out moments of my career are watching somebody see themselves in the mirror after I finish their make-up and smile at their image, that never gets old for me.  Working with some legendary actors has given me a chance to be in the presence of true artistry and talent. When I see them go from my make-up chair to in front of the camera it can be magical. I love using make-up to reveal the beauty I see in each woman whose make-up I do. I don't necessarily transform them to look different, I try to bring into focus the beauty that is already there.

MANW: You've been in the industry a long time, how do you think it has differed and what advice would you give to new artists starting out? 

RS: The main differences I see in the industry are social media and high definition film.  I recommend that new artists learn, experiment, photograph and post their work. There is also a business to being a make-up artist and I highly recommend that new artists learn that aspect as well. Marietta Carter Narcisse has excellent online classes and seminars that take you beyond the brushes and products.

MANW: What are your top 5 holy grail kit products? 

RS: Some of my favourite makeup products are; Cle de Peau concealer, Makeup Forever Primer, Chanel and Dior liquid and Tom Ford Stick foundations, Chanel Inimitable or Clinique Lash Power mascara, Chanel waterproof eye pencils and eye shadows, MAC fluid line, Tom Ford eye brow pencils and Chanel, Shiseido and Cle de Peau lipsticks and glosses.

For skin care I love Cle de Peau eye baume, La Mer Hydrating Infusion, Murad Perfecting Serum, Dr Hauschka Moisturizing Day Cream and Nerium or Optimera Night cream treatment.

MANW: What's your best make-up artist tip to give women?

RS: Besides blending....look in the mirror and smile!

MANW: Finally, false eyelashes - the longer the better or enough already they look ridiculous?

RS: I love false eyelashes as long as they look like lashes and not a little animal sitting on your eyelid.

For more info on Robin see her agency page here or follow her on Instagram here.

If you liked this interview and would like to read other leading industry makeup artists stories have a look at the rest of the series here.

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