So the kind makeup artist, Michelle Garbin-Cobb, has answered my interview questions for you all to read! I was so excited because she took the time to do this and she's a makeup artist on my FAVORITE show, "Sons of Anarchy". She works hand in hand with Vivid MD Skincare and she sent me their products which I started using yesterday because I stopped my regular regimen since one of the products is known to reduce the production of collagen so my acne prone skin has been acting horribly. I will do a review on the line after 2 months. She uses it on all her actors, so it is HD friendly.
How did you break into the industry?
While attending San Juaquin Delta College I worked on a play doing make up, an actor in the play owned a modeling agency in San Francisco and asked me to do makeup and hair for print work. I enjoyed this so much and wanted to learn more that I transferred to University of California Santa Barbara to study theatrical arts design. While I was at UCSB, I was able to get an apprenticeship on Days of Our Lives in the Art Department and this led to NBC’s makeup department teaching me how to do television makeup. Then came the opportunity to travel the world with actress Lynn Redgrave on a one woman’s show called “Shakespeare for my Father”. After the play ended I started working at Universal Studios Theme park in the wig and make up department. Eventually this led into makeup for commercials, television and movies.
What was your first big job?
I was a day checker on Tin Cup, I was so excited when Frank Perez, the department head called me to work. I've worked on 5 movies with Frank now.
Where did you learn makeup?
Woodruff Cosmotology in Stockton, California and NBC Studios in Burbank was some of my formal training, however I'm a self taught artist.
How does it differ from doing makeup on famous actors than regular folks?
I have a fascination with faces and love working on all types of faces. Famous people are just like you and me.
What is the skin prep process prior to makeup?
If normal to oily or acne skin, I like to first start with Vivid MD's Refreshing Toner using a cotton pad and then follow it with Vivid MD's Balancing Moisture Cream. Balancing Moisture Cream is a lightweight moisturizer with mattifying properties and a great makeup primer.
Favorite makeup must have products?
Bronzers and mascaras, I have at least 20 different brands and colors.
What is your favorite concealer for HD?
Smash Box HD concealer
Fun one: How many brushes do you use to do a full face of makeup?
Oh, never counted before.
For a women's beauty:
2 concealer brushes; 1 for under eyes, another for other imperfections
1 eye shadow primer
5 eyeshadow brushes; 1 for all over, 1 for lid, 1 for under brow, 2 for crease
2 blush; wet and dry
TOTAL:18 brushesA lot of brushes! Is this normal? No wonder it takes me so long to clean them...
What are the hours like being a makeup artist for a movie or television show?
We've been known to work long hours and Fraturdays (Friday that turns into Saturday) in hot middle of nowhere locations. On a typical day, 5 am we start getting actors ready, wrapping at the end of the day by 9pm if we are lucky. On certain movies we will work 6 day work weeks.
What would you be doing if you weren't a makeup artist?
I would work full time in a medical spa doing facials and selling skin care.
How do you get your jobs? Through an agent, self promotion, word of mouth, etc.?
I've been in the business for over 2 decades, so mostly word of mouth.
What is the toughest part of your job?
On SOA we do beauty makeup, straight makeup, character makeup, tattoos (up to a 100 daily), facial mustache and beard work, scars, and special effects. Almost all of our special effects is done on set out of our kits. Working in the desert and other rural areas is always challenging. Besides a long drive there is heat, sun, cold, rain, sunburn, sweating, dirt, bugs, snakes and other ailments. Tattoos pick up dirt and mustaches misbehave after long motorcycle chases. On tv you have to work as quickly and efficiently as possible in the time allowed. I'm a perfectionist and you don't have the time you would have on a movie set. My department head makeup, Tracey Anderson, has been known to time me, and occasionally I hear "MICHELLE!!!"
Has the recession affected your business? How?
I’ve been busy on various makeup projects, however I do see that people are not buying products the way they used to.
The biggest misconception you think people have about the industry?
Being a make up artist is not always glamorous. I've unfortunately played in manure, nacho cheese, smoothies, chocolate, slime, bugs and anything else you can think of for kids' shows.
Your career has the stereotype of catering to “Diva” clients. Do you find this to be the case?
I am so lucky and blessed, I have the best clients in the world! My clients are so incredibly generous, fun and nice: some of their gifts include; paid vacations, spa packages, concert tickets with back stage passes, and front row LA Laker tickets. I can't believe I get paid every day to work with such amazing people.
What are your most favorite products that you’re never found without?
Vivid MD Skincare products .