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The Oscars and Beyond: An Interview with Robin Mathews, Makeup Artist

We caught up with Robin Mathews, Oscar-winning makeup artist and Make Up For Ever Ambassador. Speaking to us between workshops during her Master Class at the Make Up For Ever Academy at the Cité du Cinéma just outside of Paris, Robin shared some of her best experiences working in film and why she thinks Make Up For Ever is a brand apart.

The Oscars and Beyond: An Interview with Robin Mathews, Makeup Artist

At my age, I’ve already accomplished everything I set out to do, which is amazing, and now I’m just enjoying everything else that comes along, like continuing my work with Make Up For Ever.

The Oscars and Beyond: An Interview with Robin Mathews, Makeup Artist

We caught up with Robin Mathews, Oscar-winning makeup artist and Make Up For Ever Ambassador. Speaking to us between workshops during her Master Class at the Make Up For Ever Academy at the Cité du Cinéma just outside of Paris, Robin shared some of her best experiences working in film and why she thinks Make Up For Ever is a brand apart.

Make Up For Ever: You’ve built up an enviable career as a makeup artist, working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood and on some of the most talked-about projects in recent years. Have you always known you wanted to work in film?

Robin Mathews: I always knew I wanted to work in some kind of theatrical setting. I started off as an actor. In my 20s, I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, one of the top acting schools in the US. There I took a course on how to do my own stage makeup and really loved it. I had to choose between acting and makeup, and I chose makeup. Hopefully I made the right choice!

Make Up For Ever: You have a long list of credits in film and television to your name. What have you accomplished in your career that you’re particularly proud of?

Robin Mathews: Winning an Oscar! That’s definitely not just the highlight of my career but of my life. At my age, I’ve already accomplished everything I set out to do, which is amazing, and now I’m just enjoying everything else that comes along, like continuing my work with Make Up For Ever.

Make Up For Ever: What has been your favorite look that you’ve created for the screen?

Robin Mathews: There are so many! I really enjoyed a movie I did called The Paper Boy, directed by Lou Daniels and starring Matthew McConaughey. It was the first time I worked with Matthew. His character had big scars on his face -- he was completely disfigured. It was a lot of fun transforming this really attractive guy into someone completely unrecognizable. Nicole Kidman was also in the movie, which was set in the 1960s, so her character wore tons of makeup – we had a lot of fun experimenting with her character’s look, with colorful eye shadow and blush and winged eyeliner.

Make Up For Ever: What has been the most challenging project you’ve worked on?

Robin Mathews: Definitely Dallas Buyers Club. The movie was shot out of sequence, so I was constantly going back and forth between the characters’ healthy looks and their end-of –life looks. I sometimes had to do that five or six times a day.

Make Up For Ever: Following your work on The Runaways with Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, you were awarded a contract with Make Up For Ever. What was your first experience with the brand?

Robin Mathews: I knew the brand had the widest range of colors and that’s exactly what I needed when I started work on The Runaways. The film is set in 1970s Hollywood, when everyone, both men and women, were wearing a lot of makeup with glitter and bright pigments, and Make Up For Ever was the only brand that offered that. We used only Make Up For Ever products on the film, and that was the start of a long relationship with the brand – it’s such a great company, I feel really blessed.

Make Up For Ever: What is your favorite Make Up For Ever product?

Robin Mathews: That’s way too hard! I cannot do what I do professionally without Make Up For Ever. I guess I would have to say my favorite product is Face and Body Foundation. On HD television it’s flawless. But I also love the new Ultra HD foundations – so amazing. Aqua Black is the only liner that stays in the water line of the eye. Smoky Lash, the Contour Palettes… I don’t know, I can’t name just one!

Make Up For Ever: How would you describe the Make Up For Ever brand?

Robin Mathews: It’s really all about what sets it apart. First and foremost, it’s a pro brand. There are lines for the military, for competition swimmers, for dancers… it’s incredible how committed Makeup Forever is to the professional.

Make Up For Ever: What’s your impression of the Academy?

Robin Mathews: It’s been so fantastic teaching a Master Class at the Academy at the Cité du Cinéma. The cool thing is that the Academy brings in different teachers with different strong points, so students learn a variety of techniques from a range of talents. They also get to figure out for themselves what techniques they like best and develop those, which I think is a different approach to teaching from any other academy I know of.

Make Up for Ever: What career advice would you give your students?

Robin Mathews: First of all, practice, practice, practice. To this day, I still practice on my hands when I’m trying to figure something out. Research is also key, because realism in today’s film industry is incredibly important.

Make Up For Ever: At Make Up For Ever, we like to say, “Life is a Stage”. What does that mean to you?

Robin Mathews: Everything is right there for you for the taking. Don’t waste a single minute -- enjoy life to the fullest, and be beautiful doing it!

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