Saturday, July 23, 2011

Oldies but Goodies - Classic Products

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor
In the 1960's Ron Berkely was Liz Taylor & Richard Burton's personal makeup artist. He has also Department Headed scores of films in his career including Oliver Stone's JFK in 1991. I was a young makeup artist living in Dallas at the time and he hired me as a local on the film to do background actors. When I moved to LA he asked me to work with him on Michael Jackson's video "Black or White" and later to be his Key on Pure Country.  Trust me when I tell you I was a sponge soaking up his knowledge of products, set etiquette & how to organize a makeup department.
My makeups on Michael Jackson's "Black or White"
As a dyed in the wool product junkie I can't help but to try new products but I thought it would be good to talk to you about the classic products I was introduced to over 20 years ago by Ron & other artists who mentored me. Those products that stand the test of time and never let you down. 
I'll start with LA Femme Translucent pressed Powders. It doesn't build up even if you re-apply it all day. It has almost no color and won't change the tone of your foundation or blush. It simply stops shine. That's it. It's super inexpensive (around $5).
I buy this powder by the dozen before every show and it is a staple in almost all my actor's bags. The #2 works for light to medium/dark skin tones. The  #1 works for fair skin tones.
La Femme Pressed Powder
RCMA foundations
The Research Council of Makeup Artists was founded by renowned make-up artist Vincent JR Kehoe in 1962.
I studied with Vincent when he was teaching in the mid 80's. He was a wonderful artist, educator and person. He passed a few years ago and it is a great loss to our community.
RCMA foundations come in the most extensive skin tones available for every ethnic group in the world. You will be amazed at the variety! 
The foundation is 50% pigment so in other words you can get a full coverage without using a lot of makeup. If you want a sheer coverage just add a foundation thinner or your favorite moisturizer. I use my palette knife and mix on a wax paper palette to my desired consistency.
RCMA bases contain only vegetable oils & pure waxes. No perfume, lanolin, petrolatum or mineral oil.
I have used many great foundations over the years but RCMA is the only one that has a permanent home in my kit. 
RCMA Foundations
Brenda Christian Universal Brow Definer
This eyebrow pencil is truly unique. It works by using the pH of your eyebrow hair follicle & changes color to match your natural eyebrow color. It self adjusts from light ash blond to dark warm brunette depending upon your color. 
Sounds crazy, right?! But it works. 
Apply it in small strokes following the growth of your hair. 
Brenda Christian Universal Brow Definer
Lancome dual finish powder:
This is a great powder type foundation that has natural coverage dry and fuller coverage wet. I was introduced to this product 20 years ago but I kinda forgot about it over the years. 
When I got into airbrushing a few years back I found that during a long shoot day the airbrush makeup would come off in places or get wet and make a line of demarcation.
It's not always easy to pull out your compressor on set so I needed something that could quickly fill in and fix the holes. I tried a few things and found that this dual finish powder worked really well. I use it dry with a sponge or puff. 
When i was working in Florida in the summer i discovered another great thing about this product. This may sound gross but it works amazingly well for people who sweat a lot. Think about it, it can be activated by water and sweat is water. The more they sweat the better it works! 
It also works as a final layer over body makeup or tattoo coverage to blend everything together smoothly.
It comes in over 20 colors and many come in a fragrance free formula.
Lancome Dual Finish Powder
The people who mentored me were confident people who shared their knowledge willingly. I learned from them that there is great reward in giving back. 
No matter where you are in your career there is much you can share and always something to learn.


  1. This is such great post! Thanks for sharing! I definitely want to get the la femme powders,

  2. Wow, I agree with Jessica...
    Amazing post !

    Please Keep Up Posts Like This :)

    I will definitely be attentive to your next post :)