Stories
Meet the Makeup Artist Team from “Orange is The New Black” - Part 1 September 16, 2013

Go behind the scenes with the genius makeup team of the hit Netflix show – Orange is the New Black.

Meet the Makeup Artist Team from “Orange is The New Black” - Part 1

I have to say that my favorite thing about being a makeup artist...is being able to do a job that I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid.

Meet the Makeup Artist Team from “Orange is The New Black” - Part 1

September 16, 2013

Go behind the scenes with the genius makeup team of the hit Netflix show – Orange is the New Black.

The Pro Team at MAKE UP FOR EVER met with the artists behind the hit Netflix show – Orange is the New Black.  The genius makeup team of Michal Bigger, Karen Reuter, Sunday Englis, Mandy Bisesti, Ingrid Okola and Josh Turi share their inspiration, love of makeup and why they do what they do in a three-part interview.

What do you love most about makeup?

  • Karen: I love the transformation, the creation of characters, collaborating with the actors and the painting process.  It’s very much an inner child’s fantasy world that you can actually create.
  • Michal: I love the painting, of course, the art of it, but also the personal connections I make with the people I work on. I meet the most remarkable people and am privy to astounding performances.
  • Josh: I have to say that my favorite thing about being a makeup artist, (aside from the actual application of makeup, because let’s face it, that’s amazing, lol), is being able to do a job that I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid and being surrounded by some of the most creative people on the planet.  I get to go to work and create, everyday, and share that with other artists.
  • Ingrid: The creativity, the colors, the transformations, being surrounded by all the creativity, hell pretty much everything about it.

If you weren’t a makeup artist, what else would you do?

  • Michal: I can’t imagine. I love this job.
  • Karen:  Plastic surgeon
  • Josh: One of three things - Chef, Bomb Squad Tech, or Rock God.
  • Mandy: Photographer or a professional reader. Is that a job?
  • Ingrid:  I guess a prop maker and builder or something in forensic science or something in the field of prosthesis.

How did your career begin in the world of beauty?

  • Michal: Through independent films which segued into to larger films. Commercials were also helpful.
  • Josh - For me, it was necessity. I was always on the path to being a Prosthetic Makeup artist, but I always believed that you should be a well-rounded artist also.  So over the years I would take jobs doing background, just so I could bang out a bunch of beauty makeups.  It was practice for me. I am a firm believer that knowing how to do beauty makeup has made my Prosthetics better. I use some of the same techniques, and materials. 
  • Mandy: I studied theater & painting growing up, & I have a BFA in photography from The School of Visual Arts. Doing makeup allowed me to roll all my passions into one.

Who are some people that have inspired you?

  • Michal: I was inspired early in my career by the makeup artist, Way Bandy. His light touch in the ‘80s was way ahead of his time.
  • Karen: I saw Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein when I was 5. I was terrified yet, even at a very young age fascinated with how it was done. Those early makeup artists were real ‘McGivers’.  
  • Josh: My early inspirations were the work of Dick Smith, and anything that John Chambers did. Catching the Planet of the Apes films on the 4:30 movie had a huge impact on me, as well as Stuart Freeborn and Rick Baker’s work on Star Wars.
  • Mandy: I love Peter Phillip’s work. His hand is just beautiful.  And every single person on this makeup team is truly an inspiration.  Beautiful artists & beautiful people.
  • Ingrid:  When I saw the transformations and the monsters that Rick Baker and Rob Bottin created, it blew my mind and it’s what got me to try makeup.