For anyone who wants to work in film Julie's career is the career of dreams. Starting off on huge classics like Heathers, Liar Liar and Batman Forever, Julie progressed into Department Heading some of the biggest movies of the last twenty years; Oceans 11, 12 and 13, Pearl Harbour, Spiderman 2, Solaris, Magic Mike and Saving Mr Banks are just a small list. Julie also works on films as the personal makeup artist to many stars such as Annette Benning, Barbara Streisand, Al Pacino, Diane lane, Jodie Foster, Hilary Swank and Nicole Kidman to, again, name just a few. Utilising her experience in over 30 years in film Julie also built her own successful 'Julie Hewitt' makeup line which is sold all over the world and a favourite among makeup artists. Currently working as Makeup Department Head on Brad Pitts' new film 'The Big Short', also starring Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and a heap of other stars, Julie took some time to tell me about her career and of course share some of her best tips.

A snapshot of Julie's 30 year career

MANW: How did you start your career and what was the progression it took?
JH: I started out as a fashion designer, I went to Parsons School of Design in NYC where we studied fashion illustration and anatomy, which turned out to be my training as a makeup artist as I sat around school drawing faces. When the fashion business turned out not to be my thing I started doing make up. I had some friends who were doing non-union movies and I sort of just fell into it!!!

MANW: You mainly work as the makeup department head in film, did you ever want to work in fashion or beauty?
JH: I have always wanted to do editorial beauty but in LA movies and red carpet are the thing to do here. Presently I want to collaborate with a fashion house and bring my products to the runway and I want to design the makeup for a collection. It's going to finally happen later this year.

MANW: Do you have a preference for the type of jobs and makeups you like to do? Do you prefer designing or being personal to one person on movies, and do you prefer straight or effects makeup?
JH: I like variety but I truly love doing period looks. I love designing a show or the face of one person. When you do one person it is a real journey into the character.. I really like to do both. My heart is in beauty but creating characters is so much fun. 

MANW: What is your process of creating character looks and how much say do you have in the designs?
JH: Creating looks is a collaboration between hair, makeup and costume. We create the look with the actor, with final approval from the Director and Director of Photography.

MANW: You have worked on some legendary movies; American Beauty, Pearl Harbour, Oceans 11 and with a long list of greats; Annette Benning, Nicole Kidman, Al Pacino, Barbara Streisand, Jodie Foster and Diane Lane..it's a very long list! Can you tell us about some of the stand out moments of your career?
JH: When I was asked to design the makeup on 'The Artist' I sat with the director and the DP who gave me references of silent films to watch for inspiration, it was helpful to get in tune with the period. Translating into black and white was a challenge to get just right. This film was a stand out moment in my career, I loved making it, it was such a love letter to movies. I got nominated for a BAFTA which was such a thrill, and a thrill to attend the BAFTA Awards in the UK. 

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?
JH: My advice for artists starting out is always just do it.. makeup everyone, work in a job with makeup, document your work and develop your style. And you will need passion to succeed. 

MANW: All artists have 'the wish list'; a face they would love to work on or a show or film they would have loved to have worked on. One of mine has always been Bugsy Malone (Tallulah) and a current one is Nashville, I'm obsessed with the country glamour and Connie Britton's hair. Who or what are yours?
JH: I would like to do a sixties movie. I also love the 40s, I was always inspired by Greta Garbo. My Dad gave me a book called 'Four Fabulous Faces' and that was it for me.

MANW: What are your top 5 holy grail kit products?
JH: My Julie Hewitt Camellia Oil, you can apply makeup on top and it creates this amazing natural (not greasy!) glow. My Julie Hewitt 'Noir Lipsticks', 'Camellia Balm', 'Cheekies' and 'Shimmy'. I also love Face Atelier and Armani Silk foundations, Tatcha blotting papers, SK2 face masks and Natura Bisse Diamond Cream. 

MANW: What's your best makeup artist tip to give women?
JH: My best tip is to make your foundation flawless, however, I tell women all the time the better your skin is the less makeup you need.

MANW: Finally, false eyelashes - the longer the better or enough already they look ridiculous?
JH: I love lashes!!! I cannot have enough. Individuals, strips or tons of mascara or all is fine with me. Its flirty and feminine, however, older gals do best with a bit more subtlety. In LA it is a big thing to get extensions which, when they are done correctly, look so beautiful and flattering.

For more info on Julie's career go here or follow her on Twitter here. You can view her makeup and beauty product lines here, and here in the UK. 

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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